By Eric Yang
on 1.13.12
Photo by AKG

If there’s one thing that Bose does well, besides marketing, it’s noise cancelling headphones. They just work, even if they scream “I live for middle-management”. And despite efforts from some of our favorite brands, most of the offerings have been pretty lackluster. AKG aims to remedy that, including their former noise-cancelling headphones, with the all-new AKG K495NC Noise Cancelling Headphones ($349).

Using a closed-loop noise-cancelling design that measures ambient sound both inside and outside the headphone, the K495NC’s deliver shockingly good noise attenuation. We found ourselves somewhat taken aback at how well they suppressed the jarring ruckus of CES happening around us — letting us focus more on the headphone’s wide 20Hz-20kHz dynamic range — plenty enough to have our own Billy Chapel moment. And unlike other active headphones, the K495′s continue to operate as normal headphones even when you run out of juice, which is handled via USB charging instead of cumbersome batteries. Very handy. In the design department the K495′s speak for themselves. Leather ear cups, brushed metal and an ultra durable adjustable leather headband ensure they’ll keep up with your jet setting. Carrying case, in-line mic with remote, two audio cables, charger and flight adapter are included.

$350 out of your budget? Consider the AKG K490NC’s ($249). For a hundred bucks in savings they offer a bit less noise cancellation (single mic open-loop design), but still deliver convenient passive operation and stellar audio quality.

Buy Now: $349