Sony MDR-NC500 Digital Noise Cancelling Headphones : Excellent noise cancelling headphones

I bought these having seen c5’s gadget show review, as my main intended use is to reduce the sound level of traffic noise reaching my ears when at home and when out and about. The ai noise cancelling ability of these headphones, though just short of 100%, is all thats needed. With these headphones i can listen at much reduced volume and remain blissfully unaware of the 40 tonne artics, monsterous agricultural tractors, and many other noisy vehicles passing by. The build and audio quality are superb. It is remarkable how easy it is to identify the sound of individual instruments in an ensemble and pinpoint their position within the sound stage. For me, the equilisation is spot on, faithfully following a wurlitzer’s deep pedal notes to the lowest, and a violin’s unique voice to the highest. The cushons around the phones are soft and yeilding with a characteristic similar to that of memory foam. The phones and their soft case are much smaller than i had imagined from some reviews here. I can confirm that there is no audible hiss with these headphones, and for me there is no perception of what i can only describe as “inaudible pressure on the eardrum” which has caused me listening fatigue with other noise cancelling headphones.

Not much to write about the sony headphones, other than that there are really good. I love that i’ve bought them. Greetings a good customer at amazon.

I was very skeptical about any noise canceling headphones and i did a lot of research before i finally decided to shell out my hard earned money on sony mdr-nc500d digital noise canceling headphones. Is it expensive or what?) well i was not totally disappointed in a way. The device lived up to expectations in every way except for the part of the 90% noise cancelation claimed by sony. Anyway i decided to buy it after reading so many reviews and all to figure out how they really cancel noise and what makes this particular one better (not to mention its price) than most of all in its class such as bose, audio technica, etc so i could overcome the stress of chatty noisy colleagues in my office. It did cancel everything except their voices only up to some level (boy, i really wish it could cancel their voices totally as well but unfortunately not and i have read that the technology to totally cancel the voice as well is still in development). All said and done i give this device 41/2 stars just because it is somehow lacking in the lower frequency department of its hi-fi audio rendition i. On the bass side even though sony puts it at 4hz. It is not that very deep and tight as you would expect it to be from a headphone of this caliber and price.

They cut out vasts amounts of outside noise. They produce a very decent sound whether listening to speech or music. Unlikely to get mugged as they are very subtle in design. They feel well built and are comfortable to wear for extended periods.

I bought a pair of the sony nc500d headphones in tokyo in 2009 – simply because they were the only ones that were using digital noise cancellation, and when trying them in a busy and noisy tokyo electronic store, they really stood out as being uncannily quiet. Frankly the noise cancellation of these just blew me away. I’m pleased to report that they’ve been in frequent use ever since – mainly by me. I have also used a pair of bose qc3’s and qc15’s for a number of long flights and train journeys, since these are owned by family members too. Probably the best comment i may make is that there is always a challenge in my ‘finding’ the sony nc500d’s since they seem to be preferred by all here. I’ll try and be as objective as i can in why i think that might be, but both the bose qc’s are good too. We are talking smallish differences between the qc15 and the nc-500d in my opinion, bearing in mind that they are of the same over ear design. The ‘on ear’ qc3’s are ok, but cancel less external noise in my view, and so are my least preferred. Sound wise the qc15’s are reasonably good, as are the sony nc-500d’s though they may be slightly lacking in bass punch in direct comparison. My view on this however is that you don’t buy nc headphones for audiophile quality – you buy them to isolate background noise and get as good a sound as possible once that’s done.

I got these to use in an open plan office with lots of chat. The case keeps them good and i have had a lot of service without fault except that the little blue ‘on’ light has stopped working so i sometimes leave them on by mistake and drain the internal rechargeable battery. Comprehensive package with an (alkali) battery pack for backup in case the internal batteries go down. I’ve not had to use it as the main battery lasts for ages. In all honesty, for office use these do not give noticably better noise reduction than the cheap set i had before (and broke). This may be because my ears adapt to the quiet at any level. I used them on a long haul flight and the plus side was the good case but the down side was the space the case takes up in hand luggage.

In order to test these headphones before i bought them i went to my local apple store, they had the bose quiet comfort 3’s, quite comfort 15’s and these the sony nc500d’s. The apple store is always a noisy place, loads of people + background music. First the qc3’s – before i tried them i thought that these would be my favourite, they are a brand that is clearly linked to top of the range performance and quality and i liked the style. However, when i tried them on i found them really uncomfortable. The only way i can describe them is that although they cancelled a lot of the noise i still felt like i could feel the noise. Think of it like this, if i go into a loud environment like a night club or if you have every experienced concord taking off at heathrow, you often don’t so much as hear noise but you can feel it battering your ear drums. When i wore these headphones i could still feel my ear drums flexing, in fact it felt worse. My wife describe it like someone trying to stick a straw down your ear to suck out the innards. Not to mention that i could still hear quite a lot. Initially i wasn’t as keen on these as the qc 3’s but again as they were bose i thought they would be amazing. Although these cover the entire ear the noise cancellation was almost the same as the qc3’s. Although they were more comfortable. They just didn’t work well enough. Finally, these the nc500d’s.

I bought these headphones for long-haul flights and i’m very happy with them. I find them useful because they decrease background noise so that i can now listen to the in-flight entertainment without having to increase the volume too much. I did not compare them with other brands but they were definitely better than the noise cancelling headphones available in business class. When fully charged they last more than 10h so there is no need for extra batteries.

  • Best Noise Cancelling Headphones – by a country mile
  • Very pleased with my replacement MDR-NC500D
  • Stylish but is it worth the money?

Sony MDR-NC500 Digital Noise Cancelling Headphones

Product Description, Digital Noise cancelling analyses your surroundings for optimum reduction of ambient noise
It’s Your Music and Yours Alone, Let’s face it, hearing people talking or cars hooting while you’re listening to your music is a bit irritating. You wear headphones because you want to enjoy all of your music and nothing else. So it makes a lot of good sense to get a set with noise cancelling technology, right? Digital Noise Cancelling headphones actually scan your surroundings to pick up any ambient noises, then create the right frequency to push back at these sounds in order to cancel them out. Very clever.
These headphones cut out idle chit-chat about Eastenders and office politics on the train, put a dampener on squealing brakes and banish completely the sound of dogs barking on the other side of the park. Which means you are left in peace with your music and you won’t even have to crank up the volume.

MDR-NC500, Take your headphones out of their luxury case and slip them over your head. Now load up your music and listen. All you can hear is the music. With 99% digital noise cancelling that adjusts automatically to your surroundings and powerful 40mm drivers, these really are as good as they get.
Cars hooting, dogs barking, people chatting. Irritations of the past. Slip on these headphones and you’ll hear nothing but your music. They enclose your whole ear for complete isolation so nothing gets in and nothing gets out. Artificial intelligence analyses where you are and adjusts noise cancelling to suit – up high in the city, down low in the serene countryside. Of course, you can override noise cancelling at anytime by touching the monitor switch which is really useful when you’re waiting for your flight to be called.
Sound quality is immense. A high powered neodymium magnet gives deep bass, dynamic vocals and crystal clear treble. Every note perfectly reproduced. These headphones are also very comfortable to wear with a padded headband and pressure-relieving urethane cushioned earpads. Use them at home or on your travels for hours on end.
The rest of the range,
MDR-NC7, No need to suffer the irritations of background noise. Slip these folding phones over your head and you’ll cut out up to 87% of ambient sound. Ideal for commuting and travelling on trains and buses and supplied with a carry pouch for simple storage when not in use.
Supplied with carrying cases for convenient portability on the move
MDR-NC13, Small and comfortable with a variety of ear buds for a secure fit. Place in ear, fire up your track of the day and sit back in peace. Less background noise to worry about. 87% less noise in fact. Plus you get up to 100 hours of listening time. Supplied with in flight adaptor, AAA battery and carry case. We’ve thought of everything.

MDR-NC40, You want light, you want powerful. You want lots of comfort and as little background noise as possible. With a 30mm driver and a handy folding design, these headphones are your ideal travel companion. You can even pause noise cancelling to catch platform or boarding announcements. Don’t panic if the battery does run out, NC40’s will still function as passive headphones so you aren’t left music-less.
Ready to go right away with an AAA battery included and a high quality carry case so you can easily take your headphones around. They’ll fit snugly over your head with nice soft pressure-relieving urethane cushions for a comfortable fit. Leaving you to enjoy your music and nothing but your music.
Make long or short journey’s a stress free experience with digital noise cancelling
MDR-NC100, You like the simplicity of an in ear design but you still want pure sound. These lightweight headphones have Artificial Intelligence so they automatically adjust noise cancelling settings to your surroundings which means you get the most effective reduction of outside noise at any given moment. Hit the monitor button to tune into your surroundings at any moment, don’t want to miss that boarding announcement!
Don’t you just hate hearing people chatting and dogs barking while you’re trying to listen to your music? These headphones cut out 80% of ambient noise so you can focus on your favourite bands. You’ll get pure natural sound with a 13.5mm neodymium driver, S-Master amplifier and equaliser plus a great fit with three different sized noise isolation ear buds. Comes in white or black with a handy carry pouch and plane adaptor for in flight use.

MDR-NC200, Big powerful driver and a convenient two way folding design. That means a powerful set of headphones for your holidays. But it gets better. Up to 98% noise cancelling and a monitor button that lets you hear what’s happening outside at any time.
Ever heard of headphones with artificial intelligence? That doesn’t mean they can walk and talk by themselves but it does mean they can analyse your surroundings at the touch of a button and select the best noise cancelling frequencies. Clever, eh? And quiet too. So if you are listening to your music in the countryside, away from any ambient noise, your phones will turn off noise cancelling and save your battery.
If you do run out of battery power, no problem. They’ll work fine passively, just like any headphones with noise cancelling so you don’t have to stop enjoying your music. Being light and foldable with a carry case supplied, they make ideal travelling companions. They’re also very comfortable to wear with a padded headband and pressure-relieving urethane cushioned earpads. Music to your ears.

Buy on Amazon

I was really excited on purchasing these headphones, and i tried them on a trip to the western usa. They are very clever, and, at their best, work superbly. However, they are large, and i felt the pressure on my ears. More frustratingly, the set i had had a fault that caused a rattle in my right ear. Incredibly, the set for which i exchanged the original had the same fault. At that point i gave up, and purchased the well known bose qc3. They are much lighter weight, far more comfortable, and i far prefer them. And the set i bought worked fine first time.

In short, the noise cancellation on these headphones is quite amazing, you’ve got three manual modes and automatic one. Virtually eliminates low frequency hum and reduces mid and hi-frequency one as well. Works great in noisy office space, they’re quite comfortable to wear as well. Sound-wise they’re not audiophile quality but still pretty good. Noise level from electronics is also low. The only cons is that you cannot use these headphones in passive mode. Owned sennheiser pcx250 before and while they’re not bad sony mdr-nc500 is in my opinion much better, definitely worth the price tag.

I had the bose qc2 (no longer available), which broke after 4 or 5 years (leather disintegrated, plastic eventually snapped). The sony are very similar, and look equally flimsy. — sony are better in that: you don’t get the “pressure” on your ears that you got with the bose (when you switch them on); and the noise-cancelling is slightly better (but still not perfect) in a plane or the server-room. — sony are worse in that: the on/off button is harder to find with the phones on your head; the batteries are built-in rechargeables (bose used a aaa), although you can wear a battery powered charger which is included (i have not tried this, as it looks awkward). — nice things shared by both: the cord can be pulled from the phones (nice if you step on it, so that it doesn’t snap); they are comfortable around the ear (but get sweaty after some time). The sony sometimes makes odd noises, in my case it hisses if i turn my head too much to the left,particularly in the bus. All in all, i am happy with them. I chose them over the bose/sennheiser/other because the suddenly dropped significantly in price on amazon (they are back up now), and i would have bought any of the others had they done the same.

Maybe jordan needs to get their ears tested, these headphones are simply awesome. I agree wholeheartedly with all the superlatives others have left, the bass, middle and top notes are fantastic. The digital noise cancelling is wonderful, no more noisy kids on the train to suffer. I can’t hear my wife moaning about the hi-fi being too loud, in fact i cant hear her moaning at all, now that’s a bonus for us married chaps loli listen to all genres of music and played them through the sony mdr nc500 they all reproduce a great sound, however the ultimate response was to the dab radio, wow.Words failed me, but there was a huge smile spreading across my face when i was enveloped into top-sounding music through headphones of brilliant quality.

These headphones are quite simply the bomb. I cannot understand the negative reviews, i have had them for around 5 months and use them on a daily basis for commuting as well as frequent flying and i can honestly say i have never had an issue with comfort or quality. At times you do get a whop whop whop effect however i find that its easily remedied by switching to ai mode. The nr on flights is tremendous and in general these make a mockery of the quiet comfort series. Battery life is superb and build quality is strong. If i had a critiscm it would be that they are big headphones but to be fair thats far outweighed by virtually eradicating annoying commuters.

Like ’em but after a couple of years, the noise cancelling is not working.

Have now had my sony digital nc500 headphones for 6 months and have tried them on 2 long haul air flights, one 10 hr coach ride and in the garden whilst mowing the grass. On the air flights the results where amazing and the adaptors fit the plane sockets. They totally eliminated all the various noises and made listen to the movies a real pleasure as the volume need not be set to max with distortion. In fact after 9 hrs continuous use you do not want to remove them because then cabin noise seems so loud. Have tried all kinds of earphones, headphones etc and have never found anything very long term comfortable as i wear specs, but these sony phones are just right. On the 10hr coach ride they did exhibit a low frequency booming sound, this could be minimised by the right nc selection, but to be fair the journey was on an extremely bumpy road with loud panel thumping noises, all other noise was eliminated and was still possible to hear mp3s in comfort even if the journey was not. In the garden the tractor grass cutter noise is reduced to a very acceptable level without having to have my zen mp3 player set to max. They come in a very nice travel case with adaptors, charger and if required battery pack, i am now going to get another set for my wife thereby eliminating the need to take 2 different charges when traveling. Overall they are very impressive, but i have not compared them to any other nc headphones so can not say how much better than other makes. Could ramble on about the features but they all be done by other reviewers, so if you can afford the price get them.

First off i have read both existing reviews and am a little suprised at the negative one. Anyway i have tried these out purely as an upgrade to my existing headphones i use for travelling with and quite simply i’m stunned at just how good the noise cancelling ability is. The box says 99% and to be quite frank i thought this a little bit of marketing nonsense, but having tried them in a noisy enviroment – the ability to remove outside sounds was almost spooky. Over the last few years i’ve had previous (expensive) sony noise cancelling headphones, panasonic and currently sure types. I’ve also tried both of the bose ones on the market as well. All are now redundant if you can afford these. Sound quality is excellent but that is expected at this price – maybe not audiophile at home level, but way superb for flyers or those who need to get rid of background noise. Not small it has to be said, so if using them on aircraft you have to accept a level of inconvenience. As far as i’m concerned on a long haul it’s a small price to pay for almost total removal of engine and wind annoyance.

  • Best Noise Cancelling Headphones – by a country mile
  • Very pleased with my replacement MDR-NC500D
  • Stylish but is it worth the money?

Sony MDR-NC500 Digital Noise Cancelling Headphones

I fly long haul quite regularly and felt the price was worth the investment considering what you pay for a business class ticket these days. In simple terms they work and are comfortable just a shame airlines charging you thousands of pounds per flight cant upgrade their own phones that cancel the noise they make.

Having tried these on in the apple store and saw how effective they where i brought a pair. There of amazing quality and would be perfect for anyone trying to play guitar because the noisecancelling allows you hear to what is being outputted through the amp without background noise from your strings. Also these are great on the train where i can hear nothing. Although it says 99% noise cancelling if your music is fairly quiet you are likely to hear background noises, but if your music is up about half way or more your in a world of your own. They fit nicely on your ears and on your head, nice comfy fit.

I was amazed at those headphones, the sound is pretty good, but what impressed me the most was the noise cancelling. I didn’t know that my office was so loud :p i wish i could have kept them, but unfortunately maybe my head is a bit too big, but they were hurting my jaw after a while of wearing them. Luckily i could send them back thanks to amazon. I would recommend those headphones to anybody who want awesome noise cancelling headphones.

I replaced a pair of bose with these as i wanted to try something new. For my needs big mistake, the sound is great but if you want portability ( i am on planes a lot) then the carry case is a lot more bulky and having a charger (for me) is not as convenient as using a normal aa battery. I have re sold mine and will go back to bose.

These are very expensive headphones, yet if you are suffering from percussive, intrusive and constant unwelcome noise you can do no better than buy these. The soft leather pads caress and enfold the aching ears in a rich, warm embrace that holds you entranced. Automatic and manual modes of noise cancellation, with buttons easily manipulated, help enhance the experience of being ‘saved’ from the horrors of unwanted noise irritations. I did not buy them to go on planes, trains or into office environments, i just wanted peace and quiet in my flat and these achieve that with flair. They do not render all sounds redundant, an occassional dull ‘bump’ will be heard beyond the foam pads, but they certainly enable me to be free of the nightmare of the ‘domestic noises off’ that i am subjected to. The sound of music is crystal clear and wearing them for prolonged periods is no problem, in my opinion, as the weight distribution seems perfect. Easy to charge up (except i had to buy a us-uk adapter for the us 2 pin charger, that irritated when you pay good money out i expected one to be in the box). So overall, i am very pleased with the performance and the build and look forward to many months of smooth, silky sounds of silence and fine music without being bombarded by ugly, intrusive, unwanted noise from others.

I know found myself lowering the volume when listening to music as the headset eliminates noises. It is almost a magical experience when the world around gets quieter. I tried the bose and the sony is just as good for a fraction of the price and it comes with more accessories.

These headphones do as they say and cut out a remarkable amount of background noise. They are fairly comfortable to wear, i had them on for five hours on a recent flight to hong kong with no problems. The only reason for not giving five stars is that tracks with a lot of bass do not come over well. There is a little bit of distortion at higher voulumes.

I bought these a few weeks ago and have waited to give them a good test before doing the review. I have already owned a pair of bose qc2’s for a couple of years and wanted to get another pair of noise cancelling headphones so the wife and i both had a decent flight during our recent holiday. First problem though was trying to find a pair of sony’s for a listening test, impossible to locate a pair. Sony centres at three locations in the midlands were useless with one ‘specialist salesman’ saying they did not exist and trying to fob me off with a cheaper pair. Other sony dealers said they were only taken in stock at the store for actual orders. So i gambled and bought a pair via amazon and saved a fortune from sony centre prices. Without a doubt the sonys feel to be far better built than the bose. With that comes the weight, the sony’s are heavier and for me their fit is much closer to the surface of my ears. Bose units fit better with no inner material touching my ears. Both seal to my head equally well.

After several hours of trial use, i gave up in exasperation and returned the first mdr-nc500d to amazon for a refund. It was my misfortune to have received a defective set of headphones. Sound was sometimes distorted and if i moved my head or walked about with them on, then i experienced an occasional thumping noise. I used the headphones in different rooms and turned other electronic equipment off – in case there was emc interference problems. However, i have had no problems with the replacement headphones. The sound quality is excellent with a wide frequency response. I can now hear sounds and instruments that i had previously been unaware of. Noise cancelling is very good – better than the expensive denton and blackbox offerings i trialled – but nowhere near the claimed 99%. Using the bathroom extractor fan as ‘test noise’, i was pleased with the level of attenuation. The headphones have an excellent build quality and arrive complete with a travel bag, accessories and clear instructions.

I have recently bought these headphones after suffering with rubbishy airline ‘phones and mp3 player earbuds for years. Soon after purchase i took a 12 hour flight to asia and more recently a 4 hour flight to istanbul. It takes a lot to impress an old cynic like myself but these earphones are a revelation – they really do reduce the engine roar to a murmur that is almost relaxing in itself. Still comfortable during a steady 3 to 4 hour listen to an audio book – and for the first time in years i actually fell asleep on a long-haul flight – that along with the reduction in constant engine (and cabin) noise contributed to a marked reduction in jet-lack east and west. I have another long-haul to africa coming up and these are the first things that get packed into my laptop case – even ahead of the laptop. The sound quality sounds fine to me and infinitely suyperior to the weedy mp3 earbuds but maybe will not satisfy the more demanding music nerds out there – but who needs perfection at 39000 ft?. (except of course where the aircraft mechanicals are concerned).

Still working great many years on – good old sony.

While it’s not medically proven i think this product has cured my fear of flying. Great for frequent travellers and does an excellent job of cutting out airplane engine and ambient noise around you. Much better than bose product and on a par with similarly priced sennheisers. Really comfortable, and look superb.

I have used these headphones since they were released in japan. I bought mine in japan after a demonstration by sony at narita airport, consequently i have used them many times over the years in several environments. Long haul flights are much less tiring when you’ve traveled with these on. The battery seems to last a lifetime and you soon forget you’re wearing these headphones. What is very telling is when you are at home in the quiet and you put these on and then flick the power switch. The microphone is inside the headphones next to the ear, so the node for cancellation is just where it needs to be, keeping the sound inside the ‘cans’ quiet. There are some derogatory comments from some people here, but i have lived with these and i don’t recognize any of the comments. They have a good flat frequency response and they produce a clean and vibrant response that compares well with my grado sr80i headphones (which you can’t use on flights or public spaces due to sound leakage).

I’m also very suprised by the negaitive review. Especially seeing as i decided to upgrade from my boss quiet comfort 3 after having a demo of the nc500’s at t5 and reading some more reviews. These headphones are simply amazing. Whilst the quiet comforts were cumftorble, many things annoyed me i. The way the nc function reduced with battery life (which isn’t particularly long for a two way journey) and being unable to use them once the rechargable battery died. No question, if you can aford these / justufy them, go for some for the mdr-nc500. Here’s a review i found helpful before finally deciding to purchase:comfortdoesn’t matter how great a pair of headphones sound, they must be comfortable to wear especially when they’re canceling out noise on long haul flights. My first comfort impression: they’re surprisingly light when wearing. Usually big over-the-ear headphones are uncomfortably heavy; but not these. The ear-cup padding is relatively thin and firm, but still comfortable. The padding on the top head strap has this same firm feel and is more than adequate. A month ago on a sf to paris flight, i wore these headphones for a continuous 10 hours before i started to notice discomfort. So i can safely say they pass the comfort test. Sound qualitynow i’m no audiophile, but i do enjoy a crisp vibrant sound.

Bought these headphones specifically for long flights. Wore them uk to australia was a bit concerned the rechargeable batteries would run out so took along some spare aa’s but they were not needed. Sound quality was excellent although i would dispute the claim that they cut out 99% of outside noise they managed to cancel out the noisy kids two rows in front to an extent that i hardly noticed them. Just left them on when the movie finished and enjoyed a blissfully ‘almost’ silent sleep’would thoroughly recommend these headphones and i certainly wont be flying without them.

These headphones look good, and produce excellent sound. Although its quite expensive. I did not really find any difference between the 3 modes of noise-cancelling.

I think these headphones are great, although they do not block out all of the surrounding sounds, they do contribute greatly to a better listening experience. Although whilst commuting you do find yourself turning the volume up slightly, and the reason why i got these in the first place is so i could reduce the volume of my music. So to not damage my ears in the long run, and to carry on enjoying music. The quality of the sound is good i suppose, although recently i have tried the bose noise reduction headphone and they are by far superior, in comfort sound and noise reduction capabilities. But for the price of the sony’s, they are well worth the money. Check the bose headphones because i have tryed them and they are exceptional. Bose quietcomfort 15 acoustic noise cancelling headphones.

Bought these as a replacement for my bose earphones. The bose phones worked well, but finally disintegrated due to the plastic swivels that link the cans to the headband breaking up. This is due to crappy design and the very brittle nature of the plastic that bose use. The sony product looks and feels good, except that the small size of the three little switches on the rh can means that you have to take the phones off to operate them. The only other design comment concerns the carrying case. This is huge and rather unwieldy, lots of velcro tabs to try and keep the various leads under control, a nightmare to repack when sorting your stuff out at the end of a long flight, makes it much more likely that you will lose something. The performance is good, noise reduction is very good, but emphatically not at the absurd 99% level claimed in the blurb. Where are the modern ‘weights and measures’ people when you need them?. Anyone with ears older than 25 will have no reservations on the quality of the reproduction – excellent. Summing up – buy them, but sort out the carrying case and just leave most of the junk in your desk drawer, you can power the phones via the aa adapter.

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