In today’s world, especially in Mumbai, where everything produces noise and absolutely no care is taken to reduce it, portable entertainment manufacturers are the ones left to finding the solutions. Polk Audio has gone the way of several other headphone producers; bring active noise reduction to drown out the noise. Like any new technology, this has taken a fair bit of time to iron out and we think they just might have gotten everything right this time with their UltraFocus 8000headphones.
OUT OF THE BOX
The Polk Audio are packed in a neat, hard carrying case that fits snugly in the cardboard box. The headphones are mid-sized although the earpieces are on the larger, therefore, heavier side. From the looks of it, with all the cushioning around the headband and the earpieces, they shouldn’t be uncomfortable like most other heavy headphones. The 8000s do look hi-end and you or anyone else call tell that just by looking at the back of the right earcup that’s got the standard iPod-controllability buttons on it. That’s something I personally haven’t seen on headphones, especially when it’s not on the wire like a remote. There’s a fair bit of metal that helps bring contrast to the otherwise cushiony exterior.
First and foremost, the 8000s use both active and passive noise reduction technology. The passive reduction is done by the tightness and build of the cushioning around the earcups while the active is a more complicated process that requires 2 AAA batteries in the back of the left earcup. The process of noise cancellation is simple enough, outside noise is brought into the headphones via an external microphone and played back out-of-phase through the headphones. This cancels out the outside noise through simple mathematics. The switch to enable this is on top of the right earcup.
These headphones have been built for Apple products like the iPod or even Apple laptops. The reason why Polk Audio specifies this on the box is because the buttons on the headphones can only control Apple products. The headphones would work in any device that sports an EP port, but you won’t have the controllability. The sensitivity of this pair is 110dB so be very careful when you drive these at high volumes as you can damage your ear. There are a whole bunch of accessories that are primarily adapters to allow the EP port on the 8000 to fit into various other ports like a mini-EP port found on some phones.