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Decoka DK100, Overview
Disclaimer: The Decoka DK100 was sent to us free of charge in exchange for a review.
Not too long ago if you mentioned Active Noise Cancelling headphones, chances are you were referring to a Bose product. Not so anymore, as more and more manufacturers are joining the race and innovation has never been higher in the ANC niche.
Linner, an audio company that specializes in producing affordable ANC earphones, is one of the latest manufacturers to join in the fun, producing a cheap yet classy looking set of headphones simply named the Decoka DK100.
Design and Fit
The first thing I noticed about the Decoka DK100 is the design of the Noise Cancelling control box.
Where most manufacturers go with some variation of a rectangle, Linner opted for a circular design. The result is an interesting look for the NC headphone, one that we haven’t seen so much of yet. While it’s not exactly ground-breakingly daring, it’s different and will probably attract some fans based on that alone.
That said, the circular design doesn’t quite change the problem that comes with most ANC headphones because the control box is still, well there, intruding on an otherwise simple, yet stylish design.
The good news is it’s really close to the headphone jack and because of the flat round design, you can easily slip it into your pocket with your device.
Another advantage to the positioning of the control unit on the lower part of the cable is that it doesn’t add weight on the upper part of the cable, which prevents it from pulling on the earbuds itself.
Moving on, the black color chosen by Linner adds a little gloss to the headphone and should be appreciated by many, I certainly did.
The eartips used are silicone and come in three sizes so you shouldn’t have to worry about finding the right fit and with it, a proper seal.
Speaking of, the headphone comes with ear hooks as well (three sets to be precise), so you never have to worry about them falling out your ears and they add just that little bit of extra tightness to the seal.
Between the eartips, ear hooks and the light plastic materials used to build it, the DK100 is very comfortable with no obvious flaws in that department.
Moving on to controls, the DK100 houses all the necessary ones in all the right places. An in-line remote houses the mic and the buttons controlling volume, audio play/pause, and incoming calls.
The ANC power on/off button is housed on the rounded control box and a monitor button on the other side of the same box.
Also on the control unit is the micro USB connection that’s used for recharging the unit. A cable is included in the package.
One of the biggest reasons I was so eager to test these earbuds is Linner’s claim that they cancel out 97% of ambient noise. To settle that for you as early as possible, they don’t.
As hard as it is to measure that claim in the first place, I think it’s safe to say after testing them they aren’t quite Bose standard in terms of ANC and even they don’t cancel 97% of ambient noise.
Slight exaggeration aside, the ANC is actually quite good, even putting aside the price; I have to say I was impressed. The quality of ANC wouldn’t be out of place in an earphone three, even four times the price of the DK100.
The ANC is easily able to cancel out the normal office chatter should you wish to shut yourself out. Noise from the subway, cars, buses and planes are impressively shut out with only the loudest managing to filter through and even then in a muted unobtrusive manner.
The monitor button mentioned above is a very handy feature (one that I’ve come to like a lot), for example, when you quickly want to react when someone is talking to you. It simultaneously turns off the ANC and lowers the volume. Once that conversation ends, you can dive right back into your heaven of solitude by pushing the button again.
In terms of sound, the DK100 features a balanced sound profile, with all three major frequencies fully represented.
Bass is full and responsive and manages to fully engage the listener, the mids and highs are tight and stable, aligning with the bass perfectly.
Another thing I want to mention is that besides a small lowering in sound volume, there was no noticeable degradation in sound quality with ANC turned off. Meaning that even when the battery dies, you can still enjoy these babies without the ANC.
Speaking of the battery, it’s lithium rechargeable and it gets to a full charge in about 2 hours.
According to the manufacturer, a full charge gets you 20 hours of playback with the ANC turned on. Of course, this all depends on the chosen volume level, but I’m happy to report that this number is quite accurate.
While Linner may be a little-known brand, the brilliance of their product cannot be ignored.
And yes it’s true that they haven’t reinvented the wheel with the DK100’s but what they have done is put together an earphone that is more than functional at a price where most would expect the bare minimum.
Using the DK100 will give you the feeling that Linner didn’t cheap out on anything, from the ANC to the materials used to make the housing, which, while plastic, doesn’t feel like they would spontaneously self-destruct like most headphones you’ll find at this price point.
As a bonus, because of the ear hooks, you can easily use these earphones while exercising without any hassle. Just don’t turn the Active Noise Cancelling on if you’ll be exercising around traffic.
All things considered, this would be a pretty good investment for anyone wanting a pair of ANC headphones without forking out premium Noise Cancelling headphone cash.
Please feel free to ask any questions about these little gems in the comments below!
If you’re looking for a premium like Active Noise Cancelling earphone without spending premium cash, the Decoka DK100 is an astonishing package!