Minimise ambient sounds with these new noise cancelling headphones
Sony is touting its latest set of MDR-NC50 noise cancelling headphones at those who listen to music outdoors or on flights.
If you're new to noise cancelling headphones, it's important to understand they won't block out all external sounds.
Instead, they monitor ambient noise, such as the drone of an air-conditioning unit or an airplane's engine and eliminate up to 80 per cent of it.
And in our tests, Sony's new headphones performed their noise cancelling task admirably. It's an odd sensation when they're first turned on, similar to that when you dive underwater, however it doesn't take long to get used to it.
Indeed, they worked so well, we enjoyed using them even without listening to music on a train journey. Announcements were still audible, but the ambient noise was effectively dealt with.
Along with noise cancellation, audio quality is obviously important. The MDR-NC50 manages to combine reasonable, but not outstanding bass with clear undistorted treble, even at high volumes.
If the AAA battery residing in the right earpiece runs out (Sony claims up to 30 hours life per battery), the headphones will still function perfectly well without the noise cancelling feature switched on.
However, they sound far better with noise cancelling turned on, especially when listening to music.
A mute button sits on the outside of the left earpiece and will turn off both the audio feed and noise cancellation when depressed.
Sony claims the MDR-NC50 has an 'ear conscious design' and we certainly don't have any complaints. The padded ear-pieces cover the entire ear and the head band can be adjusted to suit.
The only real drawback is their size, meaning you may not want to carry them with you on a commute. A carry case is included, but even with the earpieces folding inwards they're bulky - the 290g weight doesn't help either.
But if you're a frequent flyer or want to cut out ambient noise in the office, the MDR-NC50 is a decent set of noise cancelling headphones.
Pros: Effective noise cancellation; comfortable design Cons: Bulky; expensive Overall: A quality set of noise cancellation headphones, but the bulky design won't suit commuters
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