Another day and another pair of wonderful headphones. This week we had the pleasure of testing a many of things and one of those, is Linner’s NC50 ANC (Active Noise Cancelling) wireless in-ear headphones. Although we didn’t have any prior experience with the brand, we started with our hopes high due to both price (MSRP) and “ANC” (as we love a good pair of ANC headphones). We try not to get our hopes up too much as it could lead to chaos at times, but there are certain things that peak our excitement we can’t shy from.
Before I go into the heavy details of this though, let’s start by talking about the design of the headphones! The design is quite close to the Leophile EEL headphones we covered back in August. The band that goes around your neck is soft and completely flexible, allowing you to easily wrap it around your wrist if you wanted to (albeit, it will take some playing around with wrapping them to each other if you did). Each end of the band has a wire around 9-inches long with a bud at the end of it. This one feels a lot more durable though. I’d feel a lot more confident running around in the rain with this one.
Most of the material involves a rubbery silicone with the bulkier parts of the band and buds leaning toward plastics. The neck section of the band is quick comfortable when it is thrown around your neck and the buds feature small magnets that allow them to snap to each other as they are hanging while you aren’t listening to anything.
The unit we have been testing is all black. They also have a blue and a white model as well (the white one seems to be more expensive on Amazon at the moment).
The headphones are IPX4 rated, which covers dust and splash for the most part, although they feel like they could take a pretty heavy splash. Just holding them in your hand, you get the idea that you could fall into water and climb back out without any concern (this is nice). We didn’t quite give this a test since they don’t make the claim outside of IPX4, so we kept it simple with light splashes and quick runs across a running sink. They did survive and are working well to this very moment.
The controls are split between the band and the inline remote–both of which are on the right side of the headphones. The band contains a power button that you turn them on and off with by holding it down. Above it is a small hatch revealing a microUSB port for charging them. On the face of this area, you have an easy to find button for “ANC/Monitor” which I will talk about in a moment.
The in-line controller features the basics with three buttons and a small hole leading to a microphone for taking calls with (and speaking to your device’s digital assistant (ie, Siri, Ok Google, Bixby, Cortana, etc). The three buttons offer track and volume control top and bottom, and the middle button acts as your universal button for answering/ending calls, playing/pausing the track you are listening to, and muting the headphones.
Going back to the ANC/Monitor button, this is what sets these styles of headphones apart from the rest. Typically, ANC (active noise cancelling) gives you the option of tuning out the noise around you so that you can hear your music better. So if you are on a busy subway, it could help drain some of that noise out. This feature is usually turned on and off with a button. These are a little different as noise control is turned off more so than it is turned on. In other words, it is on by default. When you turn it off, you have to press and hold the button down until it speaks “Normal Mode” into your ears.
Taking it further, simply pressing the button vs holding it, you are actually entering “Monitor” mode which not only turns ANC off, but focuses on the sound around you. This allows you to “monitor” the area around you without having to take the headphones out of your ears (like if someone is talking to you). When this mode is active, the music/sound you are listening to (ie, smartphone, tablet, etc) is brought down in volume, thus focusing on the external sound over what you are listening to. A little different than what we are used to, but it works.
The noise cancellation is mild, so don’t expect something like Bose QuietComfort or 1MORE ANC in-ear headphones. It is there, so it’s better than having no ANC at all, however it would have been nice to experience a little more separation from your surrounding environment. This is where diving into it with high hopes gets dangerous. Although they aren’t as good, they are a fraction of the price of the other two mentioned.
The range of the headphones falls somewheres around average to slightly above average. You want to of course make sure you have the largest of the tips you can jam in your ear without reducing comfort–this way you can maximize your bass experience, which isn’t at all bad. These headphones would probably sound pretty good if they featured a triple driver configuration (maybe they might seek this route in the future). The highs are crisp and enjoyable and the lows are smooth and enjoyable. The mids are a little lacking, but still enjoyable. They are about the equivalence of taking a $30 pair of wired in-ear headphones, adding Bluetooth and slight ANC.
That last part is where the score comes into play. Right now the headphones are available on Amazon for only $46.99, which leads to a great score (which is the score we wound up giving them below). On their official website (Linner.io), they are listed as $89.99, which would have lowered the score a little if this was the same price across the board (all storefronts). So the score greatly favors their sale pricing (great!) versus MSRP (meh…).
There is also little to no noise while wearing them and moving around. Sometimes you can get sound traveling physically through the headphones as they move/rub across clothing or skin, which can be quite distracting. With these headphones, we experienced very little of this.
They come with three sets of tips and three sets of hooks to help keep them snug in your ear with while you are active (the “medium” pair of each comes pre-installed on the headphones). The tips and hooks are all silicone and more than comfortable in the ears. You also have some documentation, a USB to microUSB cable for charging and a cloth drawstring pouch for storing them in.
All-in-all, these are pretty good headphones. They are comfortable in every way, don’t have a lot of body noise caused by your body moving around while wearing them. The range is pretty good but not perfect, and they do have a decent amount of bass. Bluetooth range and battery life is decent as well. The ANC feature isn’t mind blowing, but they do at least come in at a better price for having the feature at all, which is great. Enabling monitor mode results in lowering the volume so you can focus on the sound around you instead of simply turning ANC off (which you can still do). This means you will be mostly using ANC more than not, but the other mode doesn’t take much to get used to and can be useful if you are too lazy to remove the earbuds from your ears. So yes, all-in-all, they are pretty nice–especially for the current sale price on Amazon.
Discount: For a limited time (expires 01/31/2018), you can receive an additional Holiday discount of %15 with promo code “ASC3WEVC” when checking out via Amazon thanks to Linner. It will work for both the Black and the Blue model (most links on this page will send you to the black model, for the blue model click here). Happy Holidays!
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*Average price is based on the time this article was published
- Talk time: Up to 13 hours
- Charging port: Micro USB
- Charging time: 2 Hours
- Voice Prompt
- Standby time: 400 Hours
- Sweat proof
- Bluetooth version: V4.1
- Bluetooth profiles: HFP v1.6, HSP v1.2, A2DP v1.2, AVRCP v1.4
- Operating distance: approx. 33ft/10m
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