You can rarely find in-ear headphones with noise cancellation nowadays. This is a rather niche market, even though there’s plenty of demand. And yes, if you do want something with a pretty good or more than decent sound quality, you have to pay some big bucks. AKG and BOSE introduced some new models in this regard, and the AKG K391NC claims to be one of the best on the market in that perspective.
Design and build quality
The AKG K391NC has a rather attractive design, even if it’s pretty simple at its core. You have the metallic end of each piece that makes it interesting, and then you also have a plain black cable that stores an inline remote control and microphone. These connect via the 3.5 mm connector so that you can use them on a computer, phone and just about any other device. There’s no external compartment for in-ear noise cancellation, which is a problem for other earphones. However, here you can find a good build quality and nice visuals as a whole.
AKG stated that the unit got around 40 hours of playback per charge. It’s a decent amount for sure, and it just goes to show exactly how good value you can get from something like this. Another thing to keep in mind is the fact that the passive mode is less powerful when compared to the active mode.
That doesn’t matter a lot because the earphones remain free of any distortion even at the highest volume setting. It just works well to listen to music here, and at the same time, the bass is good too. We tested AKG K391NC headphones in different music genres and some songs with a bit harder drumming brought in some serious bass. Purists will have a bit of a problem because there is a modified level, and that’s something to avoid. However, there’s some value to be had in there and that’s what you want to get.
As for the noise reduction itself, this is functional but not mind-blowing. There’s a good amount of passive noise reduction, but you can hear a hiss from time to time. Not a bad thing, but it does draw in some of the value, which is a bit unfortunate to be honest.
What is in the box?
The AKG K391NC box includes just about everything you want from a unit like this. You have the headphones, silicon sleeves in three different sizes, two cables for various smartphones, flight adapter, carrying pouch and a warranty card from the manufacturer.