…getting stuff for review.

But while free stuff might sound like a great perk, more often than not, the stuff sent for review is, well… not that exciting. Let me put it this way: I’ve heard enough whiny pop punk to choke a busload of greasy-faced teenagers.

Every once in awhile, however, an item shows up in my mailbox that is an utter treat, a complete gem.

Able Planet’s new pair of True Fidelity headphones (model NC300W, for all you audio nerds) is a perfect example of one such gem.

Of course, I already owned a nice set of noise-canceling headphones before these showed up in the mail. Unfortunately, Mr. Fabulous mistook them for a dog treat one day and chewed the crap out of them. I was bummed, of course, but hey, she’s a dog.

With that being said, if she ever eats this pair of headphones, I’ll operate on her myself and pull the slimy remains from her bloated, greedy belly!

Why? Because these headphones sound great. What more could you want out of a review for a pair of headphones? Sure, I could get into all their technical blah blah blah, and I will get into that in a bit (again, for all you audio nerds), but the best review is a simple review, and that is this: Your music will sound better through these headphones. Period.

With my previous pair of noise-canceling headphones, I had never honestly noticed that much of a noise-canceling difference. I thought maybe my ears weren’t fine-tuned enough to even recognize these sorts of subtleties. But these headphones produce a noticeable amount of white noise that drowns out everything else in the room. (They really come in handy when my girlfriend is watching reality television.)

To create this white noise, the headphones do require one AAA battery (one of which is included), but the battery fits directly into the right side of the set and is completely unobtrusive. Yeah, replacing batteries may be a pain over time, but it’s well worth the clarity you get.

This clarity is mostly due to Able Planet’s patented Linx Audio technology, which does an awesome job of separating high sharp tones from low base sounds. With every ounce of a song’s music filtered properly, the track’s lyrics are able to breathe and stand independently on their own. Quite a feat for any pair of headphones.

Included with the set is a 1/4″ home stereo adapter (which is awesome, because I’m one of the few people left on Earth who still listens to most of his music through a stereo and not through a computer), a double-pronged airplane adapter, and a protective carrying case that holds it all.

I could see some people being bothered by the sheer size of the headphones. Over time, I think we’ve grown accustomed to the idea that smaller is better. But if that’s true, why do the iPod earbuds sound like total crap? Sadly, they’ve become the norm, and quality listening has gone out the window in the process.

There’s no way around it: The Able Planet True Fidelity headphones are big. They cover the ears entirely, and have thick padding around each earphone. But you know what? Who cares?!? I’ll gladly trade odd looks from total strangers for quality sound.

And besides, I’m used to big headphones. Just check out my first pair back in 1978.

Man… forget the headphones. What’s up with that carpeting?!?

Seriously though, they’re not that big. But even if they were, they’d still be worth it!

If you’re interested in learning more about Able Planet, or picking up a pair for yourself, check them out here.

Way better than pop punk,