Review: Outside the Box Group Plane Quiet Platinum Headphones

Do you like it when your ears feel tired and sweaty? Or when your music sounds as though it was recorded in an old refrigerator box? Then maybe you should try the Plane Quiet Platinum headphones.

To their credit, these bulbous cans do a good job of silencing the traffic hum from the street below the get-gadget offices, and they nicely muffle the gnashing of teeth in the newsroom around me.

But sonically, they’re about as satisfying as a week-old rice cake. The sound feels clipped and flat: High-end frequencies that hum crystal-clear in better headphones are missing or muffled in the Plane Quiets. Stereo separation is not as sharply defined as I’d like, and the overall sound feels only like it’s half alive.

They’re also not that comfortable. The pads squeezed my temples while their vinyl padding ensured that no air escaped from my ear canals. After an hour of listening, my ears were a little sore and coated with a thin film of perspiration.

For $100, the PQ Platinum is more expensive than the supercheap $30 noise-canceling headphones you can get on Amazon, but it’s a lot less dough to fork over than our current favorite pair, the $300 Bose Quiet Comfort 3. That said, you definitely have to be willing to live with the tradeoffs: Lower sound quality, less comfort and a less-appealing design.

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