Nearly 4 out of 5 attendees at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show who participated in the

Hear the Difference® Challenge preferred Able Planet Clear Harmony™ over Bose® QC15.

WHEAT RIDGE, CO (May 22, 2012) – Able Planet Incorporated, manufacturer of one of the best selling active noise cancellation headphones in the world, announced today that its Clear Harmony™ active noise cancelling headphone was preferred over Bose® QC15 by nearly 4 out of 5 attendees who participated in the Hear the Difference® Challenge at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show.

The Hear the Difference Challenge is a Blinded Consumer Preference Survey that compares heavily marketed consumer headphones against products with patented LINX AUDIO manufactured by Able Planet. Headphones were “masked” for Double Blinding, meaning both the investigator and survey participants were unaware of the Manufacturer. Testing was conducted by an audiology center technician from the professional staff of the Family Hearing Centers in Colorado. The launch of the Hear the Difference Challenge was performed live on Spike TV where both of the CES show hosts expressed a preference for Able Planet over Bose.

The Hear the Difference Challenge continued for a 4 day period on the showroom floor at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. A randomized and counter-balanced presentation order was implemented to control for “order effects.”  A total of 225 attendees participated in the survey; 10% female, 90% male. An Apple iPod® player was used as the music source. A live version of a pop music song was used for all participants.

To ensure equal treatment of the audio signal for each of the products tested, a standard electrical Y splitter was used to route the music equally between the Able Planet and Bose headphones. The splitter was connected to the iPod to allow headphones to share music at an identical playback volume setting. Headphone ‘A’ connected to one side of the splitter and Headphone ‘B’ to the other. The order of listening experience (i.e. headphones ‘A’ or ‘B’ assignment) was randomized.

The test procedure was designed to confirm whether the participants could Hear the Difference between patented LINX AUDIO vs. a heavily marketed competitor, and whether the participants had a preference for the sound quality of one headphone over the other. Volume was set using the iPod volume control and was held constant at a “Medium Comfortable” level. Participants were seated and approached unseen from the rear as the investigator positioned the headphones comfortably over the ears. Participants were not permitted to touch headphones prior to preference selection. Investigator left headphones on for 10 second intervals, switching between headphones at least 2 times. Investigator switched between headphones up to 6 times, and stopped switching at the point where a preference had been made. The individual test was concluded when the participant cited a preference for headphone A or B. Notes as to specific preference properties were recorded when given. Investigator recorded findings in Preference Log, which included primary function from CES registration form.

The results proved statistically significant. The survey proved that Clear Harmony with patented LINX AUDIO was greatly preferred over Bose QC15, which is heavily marketed, worldwide. No subjects found the task difficult or uncomfortable. Only 1 of the 225 subjects indicated she could not declare a preference.   A similar result was found in smaller subsets identified as Engineers, Buyers, or Press Professionals, all favoring Clear Harmony with patented LINX AUDIO.

The ideal performance for high end audio is the accurate reproduction of the “Live” experience. Current audio technologies struggle to replicate this experience, because fuller sounds can mask high tones making speech and music sound muddled. Winner of Best in Category at the International Consumer Electronics Show LINX AUDIO® recreates The Live Sound Experience™ with full rich bass sounds, clear high tones and intelligible speech that enable you to Hear the Difference, and it increases the perception of loudness without increasing volume, which may lead listeners to “Turn it Down™” to safe listening levels to help preserve hearing.

“Active noise cancelling headphones have been on the market for decades.” said Able Planet CEO Kevin Semcken. “Recent advancements in ANC technologies have led many world leading brands to introduce ANC headphones, and many of these products claim to reduce ambient noise by as much as 99%. As a result, the differentiating feature in ANC headphones is no longer ANC performance, but sound quality. In 2006, LINX AUDIO won Best in Category for Embedded Technologies at the International Consumer Electronics Show. Since then, no company has taken home more CES awards for ANC headphones than Able Planet. And, the Hear the Difference® Challenge confirms why LINX AUDIO is one of the most award winning technologies on the market today. Audiophiles, Engineers, Retail Buyers, Press and those who simply love music, prefer The Live Sound Experience™ created by award-winning LINX AUDIO.

About Able Planet

Expert in Audiology and Speech Language Sciences, Able Planet was founded on a hearing technology that enables people with profound hearing loss to distinguish hard to hear sounds, many of whom have reported to be able to hear new sounds for the first time in their lives.   Over the past 7 years, the company has become a leader in audio and communication devices through the development of products and technologies that not only address hearing impairments, but are also preferred by experts in consumer audio. Today, Able Planet designs and manufactures products that enhance sound quality, clarity and speech intelligibility for all people. And, while the company continues to focus developments on products that connect people with hearing loss to the world of sound, it is equally as motivated by technologies that help preserve hearing for those with normal hearing. All Able Planet products are based on proprietary Hear the Difference® technologies.

Michael Zucconi

Able Planet


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