As an avid traveler, I have to fly quite often (traveling long distances is no other way, alas), and every flight I lamented that I did not like the hum in the plane. And if you fly for a couple of hours, you can be patient, but when the flight lasts 7-9 hours, you want to somehow isolate yourself from the surrounding reality. Therefore, recently I began to pay close attention to headphones with an active noise canceling system. Usually, such solutions are expensive, which, however, does not guarantee high-quality noise cancellation and, in the end, can bring more frustration than joy. So I decided to start small – with an inexpensive solution to try.
The choice fell on a device from Samsung of the Level line. This is Samsung EO-IG930 Level In ANC.
Not the freshest model, which for some reason is deprived of attention and not as promoted as other solutions from this manufacturer.
At the moment, on the Russian market, its cost fluctuates around 3 thousand rubles. You can find a little more expensive or a little cheaper. If you look at the overseas market, the price will be about the same, but you will still need to pay for delivery. Therefore, it makes no sense to buy a device abroad.
The headset comes in two colors: black, which is rather dark gray, and white.
I have a dark gray color. The shade echoes the color palette of other accessories from the company. I like this color more than just black, it looks more interesting.
The headset is delivered in a high-quality cardboard box with full-color printing and embossing. Inside there was another box of two plastic trays; on the upper part, in the recesses, the headset itself was placed so that you could immediately see all its elements. Be careful when removing – the edges of the grooves at the ends where the cable is threaded are quite sharp, and if you pull it sharply, you can damage the cable.
Inside you will find a set of interchangeable eartips in three sizes, including large, small and very small (the medium ones are already on the headset), as well as a pair of oversized ear holders (stabilizers). Another pair of smaller stabilizers is already on the headset. It is strange that there are four sizes of attachments, but only two stabilizers.
Also included are instructions and a microUSB cable for charging the noise reduction / amplification unit.
The headphone housing is a barrel on which stabilizers are put on, complementing the design and giving it a finished look. It is unlikely to be able to use it without stabilizers, so if you don’t like such structural elements in your ears, keep this in mind.
By the way, they sit in the ears perfectly and do not fall out with any sudden head movements. Do not stick out of the ears.
The sound guides are of traditional length and thickness, covered with a metal mesh serving as a sulfur filter.
The device reminded me of another headset from this manufacturer – Samsung Earphones Tuned by AKG EO-IG955. There is a clear continuity of design.
The same braided wire to the divider, only slightly thicker due to the presence of conductors for microphones in the headphones, as well as silicone wires without braiding in the section from the divider to the headphones.
A very similar remote, also slightly larger than in the IG95, because of this it fits well in the hand, but due to its flatter design and the absence of a tactile element in the center, it is less informative.
In addition, the clicks are not so clearly felt, which is why you have to look at the remote control to make sure that you are pressing the right button and that it is pressed. From me as from an inveterate kinesthetic for the remote control is a definite minus.
The microphone works pretty well. None of the interlocutors guessed that I was speaking on the headset. All noted the good speech quality and sound purity. Everything is good for this parameter.
The cable sheath is soft, so that the wire is practically not twisted into rings when worn, however, it has a memory effect. After being removed from the box, he straightened up only the next day.
Straight plug, silver, with a massive, gripping body. It would be better L-shaped, but this is generally not typical of Samsung headsets and headphones.
Next to the plug, there is a bulge in the form of a block with electronics responsible for active noise cancellation. At first glance, it seems that this block will greatly interfere and cling to everything. In fact, its rather compact dimensions, light weight and streamlined shape do not cause any inconvenience. A bit unusual, that's all.
For understanding size and scale.
The unit has a microUSB connector for charging, as well as an LED and a mode switch.
There are three provisions in total:
- Off – the headset works normally, without additional functionality.
- Talk-in – the mode of broadcasting ambient sound in the ear. In this mode, using external microphones on the headphone housing, ambient sounds are transmitted to the ear, thereby increasing the safety of using the headset. Useful, for example, when cycling, when you need to hear what is happening around. An interesting nuance lies in the fact that the headset not only broadcasts sounds to the ear, but also amplifies the mid frequencies, so this mode can be used in public speaking to better hear the speaker. It actually helps, it's proven – the sound becomes brighter, more detailed and more spacious. An unexpected effect.
- ANC (Noise Canceling Mode) is what it was all about. In this mode, the headset combats ambient noise by cutting out external sounds by creating a signal in antiphase. In reviews of this headset, you can often find comments that noise canceling does not work. I have to disagree with this. Noise cancellation works, and it is clearly felt. Only it works with one peculiarity – mainly low-frequency sounds are extinguished, including the hum of a running engine, dull rumbling sounds and parasitic noises of the city that follow us everywhere. At the same time, high-frequency and sharp, loud sounds are poorly damped. For example, voices are not effectively damped.
By the way, noise cancellation and sound amplification systems work without connecting a headset to the device. That is, the headset can be used separately from a smartphone or player.
From the point of view of absolute characteristics, it really may seem that the noise reduction system is not as effective as we would like, since it does not allow to completely isolate from the outside world. On the other hand, it performs well the main function – it removes hum and background sounds, which often interfere with concentrating on listening to music. Unfortunately, so far it has not been possible to test it on the plane (for which, in fact, it was purchased), but in mid-April I will definitely do it. There is a feeling that the headset will be effective in this role.
Since it is primarily a device for listening to music, sound quality is an important parameter.
In general, the sound can be assessed as good.
The headset has a good volume reserve, a good level of detail and depth.
My fears about the lack of low frequencies, typical for many Samsung music accessories, were not confirmed – there is enough bass here, and it is not empty, but elastic and strong. This makes me happy.
There is a slight lack of high frequencies, which is why the sound does not seem as juicy and sonorous as we would like.
It also lacks detail and clarity. I would like to be more transparent, academic. The disadvantage is not critical, but if we compare the sound, for example, with Samsung Earphones Tuned by AKG EO-IG955, then the comparison in terms of purity will not be in favor of the 'noise reduction'. 'Tuned by AKG' sound cleaner and more colorful, but the bass in them is noticeably less than in the hero of today's review. Here everyone chooses what is more important to him.
Considering the words that are often found among comments that a street headset should not have an academic sound, the sound quality produced by Level In will be quite sufficient. There are tops. There are many lower classes. The middle is traditionally rich. What else is needed for the happiness of an unassuming music lover?
The operating time in noise canceling mode is about 8-9 hours. For me, this figure is on average 8 hours. The unit is charged for about 40-50 minutes from the USB connector of the computer.
During operation with different devices, I noticed that when connected, for example, to a laptop, there may be interference in the form of crackles and hiss. When used with a smartphone, no such problems were found.
The headset is definitely worth its money. For three thousand you will get a reliable omnivorous headset with a good fit in your ears, with good sound quality, which can also cut off some of the street noise, increasing the comfort of listening to your favorite songs. And this model is very, very good as a device for calls. However, it should be understood that in this case the emphasis is more on additional functions and technologies than on sound quality. Therefore, if you are an avid music lover with a subtle mental organization of an audiophile, then, I'm afraid, this option is not for you. But if you need a headset with good sound quality, excellent speech quality, and even able to filter city noise, then Level In ANC is what you need.