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Product Packaging:Standard Packaging Product Description Microphones in the headphones detect ambient noise that is interfering with your music. Information from the microphone is fed to the audio enhancer pack where it is analyzed and a precise active noise cancellation wave is generated. When this ‘anti-noise’ wave meets the unwanted noise, the noise is reduced up to 95% so your music comes through loud and clear. Amazon.com Maxell’s HP-NC1 portable headphones are equipped with Noisebuster, a patented noise-reduction technology that really works, making the HP-NC1 an ideal companion for in-flight (or even on-bus) music lovers. The Noisebuster technology works via the following process: tiny microphones within each earpiece ‘listen’ for any pervasive environmental noise and send this information to a device called an in-line audio-enhancer pack. This device reads and analyzes the information and then generates a noise-cancellation wave that’s out of phase with the noise itself. The audio-enhancer pack feeds this wave back into the headset–when the noise wave goes up, a corresponding cancellation wave goes down, causing the two signals to cancel each other out. This eliminates a good deal of unwanted sonic junk, from airplane engine noise to distant freeway traffic seeping into your living room. We evaluated our HP-NC1s as a utility crew used jackhammers on the street outside our listening room. Because you can bypass the Noisebuster technology with a switch, it was easy for us to compare the noise-canceled signal to the standard sound. While Noisebuster didn’t entirely eliminate the jackhammer’s rat-a-tat-tat, it did significantly reduce the sound so that we could listen to quiet music, such as soft jazz and classical. As for the sound of the headphones themselves, the midrange is clear, but the HP-NC1s are a little sluggish overall, with no deep bass or extended high frequencies. In fairness to the HP-NC1s, noise-canceling headsets often sound restricted in the frequency extremes, as it can be tricky for the noise-canceling devices to differentiate between noise and music. The fit of these headphones is also a little snug for our taste, but you can loosen them a bit by gently bending the headset. We have heard comparably priced, non-noise-canceling headphones that sound better than Maxell’s HP-NC1. However, better sound doesn’t matter much if you’re having a hard time hearing the music in a noisy environment. At this price, these headphones are a bargain. Pros: Noisebuster technology works well In-flight dual-jack adapter included In-line volume control Cons: Snug fit may be uncomfortable Average sound quality