Chances are good that if you use headphones with any kind of regularity, you’re hurting your ears. Subway too loud? Crank up the volume. Playing your Nintendo DS or Playstation Portable in the same room as someone watching TV? You’re probably constantly turning things up to block out the noise around you. The same goes for PC gaming; sometimes you’re in a loud environment, and your natural reaction is to turn things up.
Able Planet, as they have always looked to do, is looking out for your ears and your future hearing, and developed the PS500MM headphones for PC gamers. As you can see in the image, these are a small pair of headphones–you don’t have to carry around or store a big, bulky pair like you find in many noise-canceling headphones–and may be a necessary expense for those of you that game on PC’s often.
The noise-canceling effects built into the headphones means that you don’t need to turn up the volume in order to hear over your environment. They work well too–I’ve tested them on my PC playing some old-school games where sound is important to the experience, I’ve used them in my Nintendo DSi, and I’ve even checked them out on a plane, flying back and forth from Seattle to the Penny Arcade Expo. In each instance, I found that you never needed to put the volume all the way up, as you could hear the sounds and music with great clarity. This is nice for someone like me that has bludgeoned their ears with years of playing guitar with their amp turned up to 11, as I can still hear things without damaging my ears any further.
If you plan on traveling with them as I did, they come with a soft-carrying pouch to stick them in. The microphone that comes with the headset is very flexible, so the headphones fold up nice without any parts sticking out when you need to put them in the bag. Additionally, if you don’t need the microphone, it easily bends out of your way.
The headphones are comfortable as well, thanks to their being very light. The adjustment band on top is thin as well, so unlike some massive headsets, you won’t feel these on your head that much when you wear them. The headphones weigh in at 2.64 ounces, and to make things even nicer, the ear cups are leather and made to fit on your ears, not completely around them. I wore them most of the way from Boston to Seattle and back, and unlike when I use ear buds, I didn’t mind keeping them on for that length of time thanks to the way the cups fit.
A pair of PS500MM ships with a USB adapter in addition to your standard headphone and microphone jacks. You can pick up a pair of PS500MM headphones from Able Planet for $99. You can find them through Able Planet’s website, along with their other audio products.
Blast Factor: Headphones can be pricey, but $100 isn’t too much to ask for when it comes to saving your hearing. If you’re an avid gamer for PC titles–or even someone like me who spends a lot of time with a DS or PSP in their hands–then the PS500MM headphones are a comfortable and worthwhile addition to your gaming accessories.