There is nothing worse than having your music disturbed by external sources. Be it the noise of a train rattling through a tube tunnel during the morning commute, a hoody playing a pirate radio station out of a tinny phone speaker at the back of a bus or a road chomping jack-hammer drilling as much into your head as it does the street, regular headphones just can’t defend your personal, harmonious music bubble from the outside racket of the modern world. AKG’s K390 Noise-Cancelling earphones aim to thwart these sonic invaders, with varying levels of success.
AKG K390 earphones certainly look the part with a shiny black plastic casing and matte trimmings. The elegant curves of the earphones are durable too, with reinforced cabling near the ear piece protecting from any sudden tugs.
The earbuds and sound apertures themselves are a little large, though the earphones do ship with numerous replaceable sizes. Putting the earbuds in at first feels a little like the sensation of wearing ear-plugs, magnifying the sound of your own head as it were. But once you have some tunes playing through them, the earphones have a bright, full sound with good bass response and a clean high-end.
Active noise-cancellation is solid. A trek down noisy Oxford Street and on to a busy tube made no impression on my music, even with the volume down relatively low. The active noise-cancellation once switched on did produce a slight hissing sound that muddied bass frequencies, but overall made a huge difference to the clarity of my music.
However, the active noise-cancelling module is a rather bulky piece. It does fine in terms of features; it’s good to see that it has a mute function and a switch for active/passive noise cancellation, and that it gets a decent run out of a single AAA battery. However its size (about 3 inches in length and an inch tall) and weight can make it a little cumbersome. It’s placement along the length of cable is also too high, meaning that it cant be placed in a trouser pocket when out and about and in use, which is a shame.
Packaged in along with the replaceable earbuds are a stereo patch cable for connecting up other audio sources and a rather sleek carry case. It’s also worth noting that the AKG K390 earphones also work as a hands free kit and do a good job of this secondary purpose.
The AKG K390 Noise-Cancelling earphones do a great job of defending your music from outside intrusion. However, a weighty noise-cancelling module drag the earphones down. They are pricey (you wont get much change out of £150) but the quality of the sound produced still make them a worthy purchase.
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