Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sony MDR-NC500D Noise Cancellation Headphones - Worth the buy?

sony mdr nc500d noise cancellation headphones
With the holiday season approaching I thought it is time to write a review on one of my favorite gadgets - The Sony MDR-NC500D Noise Cancellation Headphones. I always am on the lookout for headphones that offer an alternative to Bose. Sony boasts that the MDR-NC500D is the world's first digital noise cancellation headphone. Let's take a look at how it actually performs.

Well first things first - these headphones cost a cool $400. A little bit on the high side if you ask me. But then, if you are a frequent traveler or just a techy savvy person and definitely on the lookout for some quality noise cancellation headphones, this might just be the right product for you.

A quick look at the technical specs:


* Headphones Type Headphones - Binaural
* Headphones Form Factor Ear-cup
* Headphones Technology Dynamic
* Connectivity Technology Wired
* Sound Output Mode Stereo
* Active Noise Canceling Yes
* Response Bandwidth 5 - 24000 Hz
* Sensitivity 102 dB/mW
* Impedance 40 Ohm
* Diaphragm 1.6 in
* Magnet Material Neodymium

Remote Control

* Type None


* Connector Type 1 x Headphones ( Mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm ) , 1 x DC power input


* Cables Included 1 x Headphones cable - 5 ft , 1 x Audio cable - 1.6 ft
* Included Accessories Carrying case , Battery adapter


* Power Device None
* Battery Headphone battery - Rechargeable - Lithium ion

What's Good?

Sony is a leading brand when it comes to portable music devices and headphones. So it really lives up to its name with this product. The sound quality is very good although the bass could be tuned better. The microphone which provides the feedback for noise cancellation is placed inside the headphones which makes it even better since the "noise" to be canceled out is closer to the ear drums. The design is solid and appealing. The earcups, which fold flat for storage, are ensconced in a strong, lightweight magnesium alloy that's just 0.6mm thin and trimmed with a chrome ring.

Quite a few features are found on the right earcup. For starters, there's an audio input analysis key (more on this shortly), a monitor button for muting playback, and a switch for turning the headphones on, which automatically activates the noise-cancellation function, as well. There's also a very nice hard-shell case with compartments and straps for all the included accessories, as well as a quarter-inch adapter and a nifty airplane adapter with one retractable plug.

Also, you may have noticed the "digital" designation in the product name. This refers to the fact that the headphones use a digital equalizer combined with a software engine in order to cancel ambient noise and reduce stress on your ears.

The Bad

The striking flaw with this headphone is the inability to be used without the noise cancellation function. As I wrote above, the headphones automatically turn on the noise cancellation feature when in use. So this renders this headphone totally useless if your battery runs out. Also, the bass could be tuned a bit better than what is being offered right now.

So what next?

Overall this is a nice noise cancellation headphones to purchase if you are looking for rich music and good noise cancellation features. You can purchase the Sony MDR-NC500D right here!