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Philips Fidelio NC1 Changes the Game on Noise Canceling Headphones

Philips is finally joining the active noise cancellation headphone club this year with their Fidelio NC1 headphones. Coming from the Fidelio line, we’re expecting the audio to be solid, but it sounds like Philips’ first crack at ANC is going to be pretty impressive, too.

The NC1 headphones use dedicated microphones for their active noise cancellation. Philips uses two FeedBackward microphones near the headphone drivers themselves to pick up ambient lows and two FeedForward microphones on the outside of the earcups to pick up ambient mids and highs, both of which feed into the drivers to help them produce the cancellation frequencies accurately. The ANC function has a 30-hour battery life according to Philips, which is a pretty good haul even compared to more experienced players in the ANC headphone field. The sound is coming from 40 mm drivers, and Philips is promising that the NC1 will avoid the dreaded ANC headphone hiss, which would be welcome if it holds true.

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The NC1 headphones are built to be travel headphones. They’re very lightweight, with a thin aluminum headband topped with leather. Memory foam earpads should make for a comfortable fit on long flights, too. And, as befits travel headphones, they fold up nicely and come with a hard case for storage.

The Philips Fidelio NC1 Headphones will arrive in North America this spring at $300.

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