First Listen: Phiaton PS 20 NC Noise-Cancelling In-Ear Headphones

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Phiaton PS 20 NC Noise-Cancelling In-Ear Headphones
First Listen: Phiaton PS 20 NC Noise-Cancelling In-Ear Headphones

Well, here we have something just a little bit different. While most high-end in-ear headphones rely on mechanical noise reduction to block external sounds, the Phiaton PS 20 NC in-ears use electronic noise cancellation to do the job. This approach is the one typically used by larger over-the-ear headphones, of course, and it has also been applied on occasion with in-ear ‘phones, so it doesn’t seem particularly exceptional. But as a step off the beaten path, we might ask “why?” and—maybe even more to the point—“does it work?”

The “why?” question can be answered in a straightforward fashion. By relieving the earphones of the need for mechanical resistance to outside sounds, the PS 20s don’t have to have quite as tight a seal to the ear canal. This should allow the designer to create a more comfortable earphone, at least when compared with

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