A while ago I reviewed a pair of headphones that I really liked and still use today from Ableplanet. When I got a new pair of headphones from them to review, I was really excited to see what else Ableplanet had to offer. Ableplanet headsets feature their patented "linx audio" noise cancellation technology that work pretty well with the N200 that was reviewed before and I expected more of the same with this new headset, Ableplanet’s clear voice TL300.
The TL300’s also feature Ableplanet’s "linx audio" technology and this is a voice headset, meaning there is a mic.
Whats in the box.
Just like the previous pair of Ableplanet headphones, these came in a similar fashion. Inside the box were the TL300 headset and a nice cloth carrying bag. The carrying bag was very similar to the one that came with the N200’s, a Black cloth bag with the ableplanet logo. Also in the box were 2 adapters. 1 adapter had your usual mic and earphone plug and the other adapter was the larger stereo plug.
The first thing I noticed about the TL300’s were how light they were. the earpiece is the "cub style" earpiece, which mean it sits on top of your ears, instead of encasing your ear. There was a nice leather-like cushion around the earpiece and more or on arm portion of the headset (the portion that sits on top of your head while wearing). I put the headset on and it felt comfortable and light on my head. The mic stem is the flex style that you can adjust almost any way you like. I used the 2 prong adapter to connect the headset to my laptop (what I used for most of my testing). and the cable is a long enough length that I can comfortably use the headphone without worrying about the wire.
How well do the TL300’s work?
Ive had the TL300’s for a good amount of time and made food use of them is several types of scenarios. At first I used them like I used the N200’s. Listening to music and while watching DVD’s or other media. I used them in normal situations where there was little to no room background noise and in areas where there is a good amount of background noise. One thing I notice on first use was that the TL300’s were not powered (the N200 was powered). The lack of a active noice cancellation feature showed. While there was decent noise cancellation while listening to different types of media on my laptop, the "linx audio" feature didn’t work quite as well as the N200’s. When listening to media at times where there was a lot of background noise, the noise cancellation feature (or lack there of) was really noticeable. At times where there was normal background noise, such as people talking or a tv running, they performed sufficiently.
As far as the sound quality, the Linx audio technology does what I expect. Sound was clear and crisp. The TL300 is geared to be used for voice situations more so than movie or music watching but they fared pretty well as a general purpose headset.
Next I used the TL300’s with 2 separate applications. I used them with skype and my Magic jack, and I also used them with audacity. In VOIP and Podcasting applications, the TL300 really shined. in VOIP applications, the TL300 had excellent voice quality, as far as me listening to the person talk. Voices came across the earphones really clear. there were some times while using skype that the conversation sound almost as good as a regular analog telephone.
My voice transmitted clearly also, there was never a time where the people I talked to using those 2 Voip application couldn’t understand me. Recording basic talking with audacity produced a clear, understandable voice. I feel like my voice was a tad clearer than it had been in the past when I was podcasting (I used a logitech USB headset then).
There is always a bad…even if it is a small bad.
There isn’t too much I can fault the TL300’s but there were a few things about it that I had to mention. Wearing the TL300’s are really a joy if you are wearing them in short burst’s. I found with long sessions, the earpiece started to get a little uncomfortable for me. Like I mentioned above, the earphones are the cup style that sit on your ears. the leather cushion feels ok at first but after a while you will be able to feel the plastic circle under that cushion pushing against your ears. This little annoyance is amplified just a little by the sweating that the leather may cause. If you were going to do something like a hour or longer podcast, you would really start to notice and maybe have problems with that.
Also, I was a little disappointed by the lack of any real noise cancellation. maybe Im spoiled by the N200’s, I would consider the TL300 a lesser class headphones and I had to keep reminding myself of that.
The TL300’s does a great job for voice applications. if you are a podcaster or skype user that want a nice quality sounding voice for under $60 bucks, these will really do the job. although I think the voice quality of the TL300’s was superior to the Logitech I used for podcasting, I think I would just stick with the Logitech headset for the long term comfort and USB in those situations. the voice superiority wasnt so much better that it would cause me to pick the TL300 over the Logitech USB headset.
For general use (music and movie watching), while the TL300’s did pretty well, you can find something that perform as well or maybe better for less cost. The TL300 is optimized for voice applications and I would recommend getting them if that is going to be your main use.
You can buy Ableplanet’s TL300 clear voice headset for $59.99 at Ableplanet’s website.