Excerpt: Sony's MDR-NC500D noise-canceling headphones have their fans, and critics note that the Sony headphones work quite well at eliminating background noise. They are the first to use digital noise cancellation.
Pros: Well built, Plentiful accessories
Cons: Noise cancellation can't be switched off, Expensive, Tight fit may be uncomfortable, Bass is soft
Conclusion: Sony did a bang-up job with the MDR-NC500D. Our major gripes — inability to turn off the cancellation, a poorly designed monitoring feature, and no sound without power — are offset by the headphones’ sound quality, accessory bundle, and digital noise cancellation.
Excerpt: Record labels, hammered by ever plummeting CD sales, see a ray of sunshine in the recent minor renaissance in vinyl records, whose sales and production continue to steadily expand. The reason for this 33 1/3 RPM nostalgia?
Pros: Noise-cancellation is adjustable to your environment and a monitor switch is handy for temporarily hearing external sound. And external battery box is handy when the built-in batteries wear out, but they work nonstop for half a day without a recharge.
Cons: Handy external battery box adds to the weight and bulk of the protective carrying case as does the power brick also enclosed. Some bass sounds played at high volume cause ear splitting distortion.
Conclusion: Would I buy a pair? Unfortunately not, to me the £200 price tag is to expensive for a pair of headphones, even if they are as good as the MDR-NC500D. If you do a lot of travelling and money isn’t so much of a decision maker then you’ve got to have to buy these headphones.
Conclusion: The Sony headphones have a battery life of sixteen hours — enough for all but the longest long-haul flights — and if you supplement the integrated rechargeable batteries with a pair of AAs you can well get 28 hours out of them.
Summary: The Sony MDR-NC500D noise-cancelling headphones do a fantastic job of blocking out repetitive ambient noise. When listening to music they also acquit themselves well, with clear sound and a pleasant character.
Pros: Stylish and scratch-resistant exterior, comfortable padding, battery pack for extended use, good sound quality, noise cancelling works exceptionally well
Cons: Tight fit may annoy some, must be powered to work
Excerpt: Sony is making a lot of noise about its latest noise-cancelling headphones. The usual way this type of headphone works is that the device "listens" to the ambient noise and broadcasts a "mirror image" of the sounds into the wearer's ears, thus neutralising background noises.