These light, folding headphones won’t snuff out the Bosses of the world, but iLuv manages a pretty compelling offer with its i913 Noise Canceling Headphones. The company takes its Bluetooth connections very seriously, and in that respect these headphones are an option that road warriors can’t afford to ignore.
The cans pair easily with compatible cell phones and MP3 players. An optional Bluetooth dongle (bundled with the $189 iLuv i903) lets you use the phones wirelessly with non-Bluetooth devices (like the iPod). Simply plug the dongle into the headphone port on any device that has one, and set both it and the headphones to pairing mode.
Wireless transmission isn’t worth much if the resulting sound is poor, but these headphones have passed many tests – quite easily. The sound reproduction was treble-heavy, as is often the case with Bluetooth devices, and there is some low frequency distortion at high volumes, but the headphones should be good enough for everyday business and recreational use. Bass was present in good measure, and the details of audiobooks and a variety of music genres come through with clarity.
We’d like a more rugged build for gear meant to be schlepped from city to city; the folding joints on this headset feel especially susceptible to damage, and in general the physical heft isn’t commensurate with the high price tag. A stiff case would alleviate our fears, but iLuv skimps on protection. That’s not a deal-breaker, but those who tend to beat on their travel bags should shop with care.