Able Planet NC500TF Noise Canceling Headphone

Article Index
Able Planet NC500TF Noise Canceling Headphone
NC500TF Accessories, LM1000 Microphone
NC500TF and LM1000 Testing

Product(s): Able Planet NC500TF Noise Canceling Headphones
                 Able Planet Linx Microphone

Provided By: Able Planet
Price: $129.99 & $39.99 MSRP Respectively



Over the past few years, we've been able to meet with Able Planet at CES and have come to know them as a major player in the high-end noise cancellation headphone market.  The years have been kind and they have been able to expand their lineup to include mid-range products as well as the ability to turn their headphones into a high-end noise cancellation headset.  Today we are looking at one of the lowest models of the high-end NC500 series - the NC500TF "True Fidelity" headphones.  In order to make this into a good headset, they've also included the new LM1000 Linx Audio microphone that plugs right into the headphones and makes them a convenient headset.  First, a bit about the company.

The Packages


About Able Planet:

LINX AUDIO™ Technology Summary        

How It Works
Able Planet embeds patent-pending LINX AUDIO™ into audio and communication devices to enhance sound quality and speech clarity For All Levels of Hearing™. Here’s how it works:

Sound quality and speech intelligibility are impacted by high frequency sounds.
Hearing loss associated with age usually begins in the higher frequencies, or the “High Tones.” If you lose the ability to clearly hear these tones, high pitched sounds like “f”, “s” and “th” will be difficult to discriminate, and music may not sound as lively.

LINX AUDIO creates high frequency harmonics that enhance sound quality and speech clarity of difficult to hear words or notes, and increase the perception of loudness without increasing volume. LINX AUDIO provides full rich sound and enhanced speech clarity even at lower volumes, which may lead people to “Turn it Down” to preserve hearing. An analogy of a richer sound might be the difference you hear when you play a “C” note on a piano, as opposed to a “C” Chord. The “C” Chord demonstrates the impact of adding harmonics to the audio signal. 
LINX AUDIO™ filters undesirable sound.
LINX AUDIO™ removes undesirable sounds and noise making it easier to hear high frequency words or notes where clarity is often lost, maximizing full rich sound for music, and enhancing clear voice for speech intelligibility.
LINX AUDIO™ reduces distortion.
Increasing volume increases all sounds, including distortion. As volume is increased, standard audio products hard clip peaks with traditional square-edge characteristics (red). LINX AUDIO™ reduces harsh sounds by soft-clipping distortion (yellow).
LINX AUDIO™ technology advantages.
  • Enhances sound quality
  • Improves speech clarity
  • Filters undesirable sound
  • Reduces distortion
  • Restricts electromagnetic interference
  • Increases perceived loudness without increasing volume


First Impressions:

In the early days of Able Planet selling retail products they used a lot of white-box OEM packaging and as you noticed above, that has changed.  Thankfully, the internal packaging of the NC500 series hasn't changed much and you still get a nice zippered carrying case that holds the headphones, adapters, cable and batteries.

In The Case
In The Case


The headphones look almost identical to other NC500 series headphones from Able Planet and the padding on the "cans" is a very nice soft leatherette material.  It breathes quite well, although after extended use, they do get a little warm due to the closed-air design - which is obviously required for active noise canceling headphones.

Battery Door
Battery Door


On the next page we'll take a look closer look at the accessories and cover some of the features of the NC500TF before we jump into the microphone.