Last year, Philips launched its Fidelio M2L headphones that plugged straight into an iPhone's Lightning port. Now, it has a noise-cancelling version, which draws power from the port and negates the need for batteries.
The Fidelio NC1L headphones use the same 24-bit digital-to-analogue converter as their stablemate, instead of the one on board the phone. This means the conversion that usually happens inside your device can instead be processed inside the cans, eliminating the analogue audio signal having to be sent through that long cable – during which time it can be subjected to all sorts of interference and degradation.
The active noise cancellation uses four microphones to monitor external buzz before inverting it to cancel out background sound. That's nothing new, but usually noise-cancelling cans require batteries to keep their circuitry running. Because the Lightning port can also provide power, though, these headphones don't need their own source of juice — instead, they'll… well, they'll run your iPhone's battery down instead.
They're certainly lovely headphones, and the fact that the audio is converted to analogue at your ears means that their sound is clean and clear. But then, at $300 for a pair when they go sale in the US – £200 if straight converted, although we'd expect a higher mark-up in the UK – it better be. [Verge]