Comfortable and stylish noise-cancelling headphones
- Stylish and scratch-resistant exterior, comfortable padding, battery pack for extended use, good sound quality, noise cancelling works exceptionally well
- Tight fit may annoy some, must be powered to work
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.
Price$ 799.00 (AUD)
The Sony MDR-NC500D headphones are suitable for music listening or movie watching, and they pack in some high quality noise-cancelling technology which makes them great for commuting or long-haul plane trips. Sound quality is good and the headphones are well constructed, but they are expensive.
Sony has taken a leaf out of the Bose QuietComfort 3 school of headphone design, with an over-the-ear ear-cup design that lets the headphones nestle comfortably on the head without looking too ridiculous. The cups are finished in a glossy, deep black which lends a sense of class and occasion — these headphones look like they're worth every penny of their $799 sticker price.
The noise cancelling of the Sony MDR-NC500D headphones is exceptionally good. In the PC World offices there are a multitude of keyboards tapping away, not to mention the constant drone of myriad computers and the air conditioning. The headphones’ noise cancelling blocked out constant ambient noises entirely, as well as significantly lowering the clatter of keyboard strokes. It can be quite uncanny, however; we found it difficult to adjust to the different air pressure when wearing the headphones.
Thankfully this is solved by listening to any audio — once there is music playing the noise cancellation is much less invasive and unsettling. The headphones do a good job of reproducing audio, with strong and punchy bass response as well as smooth, sweet treble.
The Sony MDR-NC500D headphones have a relatively even frequency response, with no particular emphasis to either bass or treble. Bass response in our test rock music tracks was powerful but restricted to lower notes, giving music a significant kick rather than bloating or sounding muddy. We prefer this as it gives music presence and richness without detracting from mid-range or higher frequencies.
Mid-range frequencies had plenty of detail and gave a warm tone to our music, with guitars and male vocals sounding rich and involving. Treble was also well handled with brass music, and female vocals sounding clear and airy.
The Sony MDR-NC500D headphones have a wide soundstage, with significant separation noticeable between musical instruments. Music and other audio had an enveloping, immersive quality that made it very engaging and easy to listen to.
There is not much we don’t like about these headphones, apart from the painfully high price tag. They do a great job of blocking out ambient noise.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- EC says LCD screen cartel is active globally
- Sharp to increase LCD panel production on higher demand
- Dick Smith report says Australians keen to switch to digital radio
- Samsung, Numonyx to develop PCM specifications
- Faster SD cards could reach devices next year
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- Best phone of the year 2016
- TV of the year award 2016
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCExchange EngineerNSW
- TPBusiness AnalystQLD
- CCSolution Designer and DeveloperNSW
- FTSoftware / Web Development ManagerNSW
- TPApplications Project ManagerQLD
- TPBusiness Analyst | HealthQLD
- FTSystems AdministratorVIC
- CCInfrastructure Project ManagersACT
- TPBusiness AnalystQLD
- CCBusiness Analyst-Shared Service Contact Centre or Call CentreNSW
- CCPowerOn Mobile SpecialistWA
- FTLevel 2/3 Application Support SpecialistQLD
- FTNode.js/API DeveloperNSW
- CCSAP Hana and UI5 ConsultantsACT
- CCAgile Iteration ManagerNSW
- CCSoftware TesterACT
- FTWeb Developer/ DesignerSA
- FTAngular DeveloperSA
- CCSenior PMO Coordinator, FinanceNSW
- FTProduct LeadVIC
- FTFront End DeveloperVIC
- FTSolution DesignerVIC
- FTSenior Consultant/ArchitectNSW
- CCData ScientistNSW
- FTLevel 1/2 Service Desk AnalystQLD