JVC headphones cancel the noise — funk may still get through

Been longing for Bose's oh-so-comfy QuietComfort 3 headphones but can't quite justify spending more on your headphones than you did on your iPod? JVC just announced its own pair of noise-canceling phones that cost a good chunk less. The electronics in the HA-NC250 headphones constantly monitor ambient noise, canceling it out with a counter signal. JVC says this eliminates about 85% of noise, but it doesn't stop there: Each earpiece has a sound-insulation layer and specially designed ear cushions that do their part to keep any bongo players from disturbing you.

You only need one AAA battery to run the NC250s, and even without power they'll still serve as regular headphones. Weighing just 5.3 ounces and made with a folding design, they should be easy to stash in your carry-on. And the $200 asking price isn't too bad for the category, as long as they work. Listen for them this August.