wireless earbuds arms race is heating up with a new “neckband-style” set from JBL. Unlike others, these have active noise-cancelling powers. Pump ‘em up, and tune out the world.
The new Bluetooth 4.0 Everest Elite 100s will cost $200 in the US when they arrive in "early 2016" (UK pricing and release date TBC). For the money they’re pretty loaded. The top feature is adjustable noise cancellation, which is similar to the variable noise-cancellation used in Parrot’s excellent line of Zik headphones. To recap, “active” noise cancelling headphones work by using tiny microphones to listen to the roar of the outside world and then creating inverse sound waves to cancel it out.
The NXTGen ANC tech, as JBL calls it, allows you to use a phone app to adjust just how much of the outside world you want to hear. You know, for a little situational awareness so you don’t get hit by a bus while crossing the street. You can also use the app to tune the EQ of the sound to your liking.
Yes, these are powered headphones, which is why you need that nerdy neckband attachment to hold the 6-hour battery pack, the Bluetooth radio, and an amplifier. Does it look geeky? It sure does. But these headphones are also very practical. If you’re feeling self-conscious, just turn that noise cancelling up to eleven.