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Pioneer's SE-NC31C-K noise-cancelling earbuds are cheap, but are they effective?

Michael Gorman, @Numeson
March 29, 2011
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Active noise cancellation's the secret sauce that keeps us counting sheep even when surrounded by the cacophony of crying babies and the dull roar of jet engines -- though we often find the bulky form factor of those serenity-inducing cans unwieldy. Luckily for us, Pioneer has released its SE-NC31C-K noise-cancellation earbuds that promise to remove 90 percent of ambient noise at the flip of a switch on its AAA battery-powered in-line module -- all for around a hundred bucks, which is a far more palatable price than its sound-suppressing brethren from Sennheiser ($320) and Sony ($415). Should you run out of juice, fear not, for you can bypass the noise cancellation features to listen to your tunage as you would with a garden variety set of buds. Given its (relatively) bargain-basement price, we aren't sure how well Pioneer's latest nullifies ambient noise, but there's only one way to find out if they can give the best headset ever made a run for its money. Should you not share our skepticism, hit the source link and grab a pair for yourself.

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