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A-Audio Legacy Headphones: Slick Noise Canceling

They won a “CE Week 2014 Best in Show” Award, but our guess is that you haven’t heard of them… yet. The company in question claims to take their cues “derived from the classic lines of Italian and Swiss design”, and brags about 24K gold plated connectors, anti-vibration aluminum, and memory foam earcups. Plus, we’ve been testing out the noise canceling, and it’s better than many other competitors (yes, superior to Bose).

The latest set of headphones to come through the testing grounds are the A-Audio Legacy Over-Ears, technically the A01 models in Liquid Chrome. The company also refers to HD sound and three-stage technology, which is largely marketing speak, but the fact is that the 40mm mylar drivers are huge and offer some serious output. Altogether in their case and with accessories, the box weighs more than four pounds and that heft (about .7 pounds for the cans themselves) translates into a durable feel and a very swanky set of packaging.

Batteries are included as well- two AAAs power the noise cancelation system. You can choose from either a basic cable with or without a microphone, a nice touch that we’re seeing on more high-end headsets, and the controls are decent. Dual jacks mean your sound is shareable, a nice touch. They aren’t the most portable pair- you won’t want to toss them in a purse- but are ideal for plane travel or for use in a car or truck when you’re trying to block outside noise. Women will likely find them a bit too bulky, but guys will love the details- the shiny steel metal components and dark diamond-quilted real leather band. Those looking for a wireless set don’t need to look far either- A-Audio also offers a model without the cord, the A21/22 Icon, as well as a cheaper version without noise cancellation, the A11/12 Lyrics.

We liked the bass- pumping and driving through tracks by the xx and The Knife- and found the overall sound signature slightly better for electronic and synthetic sounds, idea for hip-hop. Woods and reeds sounded a bit thin, and acoustics had a great middle but could feel a little constrained. We’d describe it as clean, a bit cool and sharp. The noise canceling, though, was top-notch, and on flights or in rooms with any repeating noise like fans, they did the trick quite nicely. Plus, the A-Audio Legacies are comfortable, fitting nicely over the ears, not too snug, and easy to wear for long periods. At $300, they are entering a pretty competitive space, but offer a great feature set and a very fashionable look. We hope to see them more widely on the streets soon, but for the moment they are available directly primarily.

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