TDK NC-150 noise-cancelling headphones
TDK's budget noise-cancelling headphones have poor fit and construction, and mediocre sound quality
- The cheapest active noise cancelling we've seen
- Poor comfort and passive noise cancellation, active noise cancellation introduces hissing and rumbling noise, poor sound quality
TDK's NC-150 portable headphones have poor noise cancellation and are also let down by low quality construction and mediocre sound quality.
Price$ 59.00 (AUD)
TDK's NC-150 is the cheapest pair of headphones we've come across featuring active noise-cancellation circuitry. We don't believe these headphones do a particularly good job of cancelling out ambient noise, though, with an uncomfortable low-frequency rumbling noise introduced. Fit and overall sound quality are not spectacular either.
The TDK NC-150 headphones are constructed of cheap plastic and with a lot of lateral flex in the headband, and they do not feel sturdy during normal wear. The headband is adjustable and the ear-cups have a large range of vertical motion, but the headphones have a low overall clamping force, so outside noise is still easily audible. The thick, Y-style headphone cord is quite heavy and unwieldy and we would have much preferred a fabric-sheathed cord like that on the TDK EB 900 in-ear headphones. A switch on the right ear-cup activates the internal noise-cancellation circuit, with the system's power supplied by a single AAA battery in the left ear-cup.
With noise cancelling disabled, we think the TDK NC-150 headphones have decidedly mediocre sound quality. Treble notes are muffled and mid-range frequencies are bloated, and the music has a very distant feel with poor levels of detail. Switching on the noise cancellation provides a noticeable boost to treble frequencies, increasing clarity significantly, although it has the downside of also brightening treble which leads to harshness at higher volumes.
The stereo soundstage of the TDK NC-150 headphones is average with noise cancelling disabled, providing a reasonable estimation of positional audio. Activating noise cancelling closes the soundstage in slightly but audio is still distinguishable between channels.
With no music playing, the TDK NC-150 headphones' noise cancellation introduces background hiss and a low-frequency rumble that is disconcerting. Background noises are lessened, but we do not like the side effects at all. While we like the effect the powered noise cancellation has on music playback, the rumbling side effect with no music playing is worse than having no noise cancellation at all.
TDK's NC-150 headphones are well priced — you can find them for under $50 on the street. While they sound reasonable with noise cancellation activated, the negative side effects are detrimental to long-term listening pleasure, and we wouldn't recommend them.
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @Goodgearguide
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Smart LED Bulb LB130
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Lexar® Portable SSD
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Huawei Mate 9
Google Daydream VR headset
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Surface Pro 4
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HP Pavilion x360 13”
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
- Apple's AirPods could deliver audio with multiple wireless protocols
- First look: Nuheara IQbuds smart Bluetooth ear buds do more than just music
- Convoy International restructures business focus
- Beats Solo2 headphones go wireless for $399
- Astro A38 review: A staggering price to pay for convenience
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
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.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- 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
- FTDatabase Modelling SpecialistACT
- FTSystem EngineerVIC
- FTConsultant Business AnalystQLD
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Sales & Marketing Modules)VIC
- FTTechnical Consultant MS Dynamics AXACT
- TPSenior IT Business AnalystNSW
- TPProject Support OfficerQLD
- FTBusiness AnalystNSW
- TPChange and Communications CoordinatorQLD
- CCSecurity Analyst - multiple rolesACT
- CCFront End DeveloperNSW
- CCProject SpecialistVIC
- TPSenior Test AnalystQLD
- CCCloud Security Solutions Architect - Finance - Contract - Sydney CBDNSW
- TPTechnical Business Analyst - DigitalQLD
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- FTSnr SOC Security Coordinator - Perm - North Ryde areaNSW
- FTSenior Full Stack .Net Developer - Internet of ThingsNSW
- TPProject ManagerOther
- TPAnalyst Workplace SupportVIC
- FTPMO Coordinator-Permanent Opportunity-Education/Government Background EssentialNSW
- CCBusiness Analyst/ Iteration ManagerVIC
- CCUnix AdministratorNSW
- CCTest AnalystQLD
- TPSAP Helpdesk SupportACT