Conclusion: Sony's XBA-NC85D is the first-ever in-ear noise canceling earphone pair without an in-line box to house the circuitry, but it suffers from some deep bass distortion and a high price tag.
Pros: First in-ear, box-free noise-cancellation earphones. Offers solid noise canceling in loud environments. Quality audio performance with subtle bass response at moderate levels. Rechargeable via USB dongle.
Cons: Expensive. Doesn't output audio in passive mode. Distorts on deep bass at high volumes. Noise-cancellation circuitry emits audible hiss in certain scenarios.
Summary: The Sony XBA-NC85D is marginally effective at canceling noise and its disappointing sound quality does nothing to offset the exorbitant price.
Pros: The, noise-canceling in-ear headphones feature batteries conveniently built in to the earpieces that recharge with the included USB stick.
Cons: The build quality doesn't justify its ambitious price, and they fall short in sound quality and noise-canceling performance. Your music also dies when the battery runs out, and the tangle-prone wire lacks inline controls as well as a microphone.