Customer Reviews


57 Reviews
5 star:
 (16)
4 star:
 (18)
3 star:
 (6)
2 star:
 (4)
1 star:
 (13)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for the Price
I've had these headphones for about 2 weeks now, and I wanted to put up a review for those considering buying them.

You have to understand you will not get $300 Bose quality for $75, but for the price these earphones are excellent.

PROS
- Lightweight and very portable compared to the over-ear models
- Good sound isolation just from the...
Published on December 1, 2009 by Devin

versus
45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good at eliminating low frequency sounds but moderate at everything else
I can only compare them to the Shure SE110 Sound Isolating Earphone I also have.

Noise on the street
- About equal. If it is raining the advantage goes to Shure since the nc33s struggle with the
high pitch sounds (water on the street by moving cars).

Subway-Metro
- Here they are about equal again. The nc33s do not block the...
Published on December 22, 2009 by K. McDaniel


‹ Previous | 1 26 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good at eliminating low frequency sounds but moderate at everything else, December 22, 2009
This review is from: Sony MDRNC33 Noise Canceling Earbuds (Black) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
I can only compare them to the Shure SE110 Sound Isolating Earphone I also have.

Noise on the street
- About equal. If it is raining the advantage goes to Shure since the nc33s struggle with the
high pitch sounds (water on the street by moving cars).

Subway-Metro
- Here they are about equal again. The nc33s do not block the announced station stops but once again
Shure does a better job of the high pitch sounds (breaks, metal friction ect . . .)

At Home
- I found the nc33 does a much better gob with low appliance humming and other such sounds
(refrigerator, washer, dryer, dishwasher, neighbours subwoofer, large trucks outside ect . . . )

On a Plain
- Here I give the advantage to the nc33s. This is mainly because the airplane sound is a low
constant sound. In this environment they clearly held the advantage and perhaps the claim of
90% reduction in background sound can be seen as accurate.

I cannot agree with other reviews that cannot tell the difference between when the noise cancelling is on or off. This is true of higher frequencies but not of the lower ones (airplane, appliance, truck engine ect . . . )
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for the Price, December 1, 2009
By 
Devin "Devin" (San Antonio, TX USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sony MDRNC33 Noise Canceling Earbuds (Black) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
I've had these headphones for about 2 weeks now, and I wanted to put up a review for those considering buying them.

You have to understand you will not get $300 Bose quality for $75, but for the price these earphones are excellent.

PROS
- Lightweight and very portable compared to the over-ear models
- Good sound isolation just from the fact that they go IN your ear, not over
- Noise cancellation is good
- Music is *crisp* You can actually hear the bass drum and other nuances that are usually lost.
- "Monitor" button lets you mute music and listen to the outside world without removing headphones (perfect for work interruptions)

CONS
- Cumbersome compared to other in-ear headphones (think iPod). The AAA battery pack is one the wire, and while this is necessary it does get in the way. If you thought iPod headphones got tangled easily, these are worse.
- Introduces hiss when you turn noise cancellation on

NOTE - Noise-cancellation technology does not kill all noise, it's better at eliminating constant noise, like engine noise.

I recently made a 150 mile road trip, and was noticeably more relaxed when I got done. The road noise disappeared and I listened to music. (Safe while driving? Maybe not, but I enjoyed it)

A friend has the over-ear Bose, and the Sonys are NOT that good, but there's a huge price difference. At the sub $100 price point I am happy with these headphones.

The thing I like best about them is being able to "tune out" at work and relax. You don't realize how much ambient distraction there is, and once you cut it out it's very peaceful.

Sony says these remove 90% of noise, to me it feels more like 70%

A solid buy, I recommend them.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Noise reduction on the Aircraft, January 10, 2010
By 
James Hocker "Hock" (Fort Huachuca, AZ United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sony MDRNC33 Noise Canceling Earbuds (Black) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
I've had this product for most of a year, I'm on an aircraft about 6 hours every week, and I won't leave home without them. They significantly reduce engine noise, allow me to mute all sound to chat with the crew, and allow me to control the headset volume. They are small enough for travel as they fit in my pocket, and they are sufficiently durable to have continued to provide great service over many months of use every week. The only negative for me is the cord tangles: I can put-up with that. Here's my final recommendation: I like them so much I purchased a back-up set.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hated them--now love them!, March 5, 2011
By 
M. Lucas (Maryland USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sony MDRNC33 Noise Canceling Earbuds (Black) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
The Sony MDR NC33 headphones are portable noise canceling headphones that Sony advertises as "reducing 90 percent of ambient noise." That's why I bought them in the first place.

There was a Sony Style store that was closing so they were selling their products at a significant discount. I am the type of person who tries before buying, but this particular headphone was not available for demo, nor did they allow me to open the box because of the closeout. Still, I was a little suspicious because I had a pair of Panasonic noise canceling headphones that did not work for jack! I had just visited the Bose store and tried the new QC15 noise canceling headphones--they were awesome, but for nearly $300 bucks, yougottabekiddin me.

My commute each day involving bus, metro, walking, and driving can take up to 5 hours, so I needed a pair of noise-isolating or noise-canceling headphones to reduce the outside noise so I could listen to my music and audiobooks in peace.

After about an hour of hemming and hawing about whether I should buy them from the Sony store because of the "all sales are final" aspect, I relented and immediately rushed home to try them out.

Well, let me tell you, after installing the AA battery (which was provided, thanks Sony), I turned them on and--wala, no difference in sound or noise reduction. I walked over and turned on the bathroom vent and played with the on/off switch several times, but again I didn't notice any appreciable difference. I went to our laundry room and the dryer was running, and again playing with the switch to see if there was any reduction in noise. Nope! I was robbed! I immediately called Sony Style customer support and demanded a refund or replacement with another product. They said they couldn't help me because the customer service department was closed and they'd have them call me later in the week. I didn't like that answer so I stewed and remained content for the time being. Since I had a few days before I gave them my what fer, I decided to bring these headphones along with me on my commute and see if they actually worked.

At o-dark-thirty in the morning, I boarded my bus and first tried these on without the noise canceling on. They were very similar to your average ear bud headphones, but certainly better than the standard Apple earbuds. I have a pair of Westone UM-1 earphones which I considered one of the better noise isolating headphones, and they did a much better job at reducing noise. Well, that changed after I turned on the switch. It took about 2-3 seconds for the system to work, but lo-and-behold, after the microphones, which are located at the top of the earbuds, began to capture the ambient bus noise, the noise canceling actually started to work!

The areas that these headphones isolate the best are in the steady low frequency noises emitted by buses, trains, and airplanes. They don't do such a good job at mid or high frequency noises. But those noises are reduced by the rubber ear tips with the good seal they create. The low frequency noises are reduced by the noise canceling feature of these headphones.

Needless to say I was impressed!

These earbuds come with the standard Sony style of being left-side biased, meaning that the earbuds connect on the left side vice forming a y in the middle of your body like most other ear buds. This is a kind of quirky design and I haven't yet gotten used to it. But it makes for easy identification of the ear pieces especially in the dark. The cables are a little more robust than their Fontopia headphones, but not as sturdy as Shure's earphones or the great flat design found in the Monster/Dr. Dre ear bud line. The sound is about average for a product like this. The mids and lows are a little muddy and the highs are not as bright as other more expensive earphones. The clip that attaches to the battery pack is a little flimsy and is designed too high for taller people. If you intend to clip the batter pack to your jeans pocket and you're around 6 ft. tall, it probably won't reach and you'll end up clipping it to your shirt. They come with 3 sets of rubber tips in various sizes. I did not find the tips to be as functional as foam tips and the rubber tips would often pop out of my ears while I walked around. So I replaced them with some JVC foam tips I had lying around and they do a much better job at sealing and remaining in place.

In comparing these to the Bose, they don't do the same job. The Bose are superior in every respect of noise canceling. The Sony NC33 earbuds were listed at the store for around $60 and with a 40% discount, I got them for around $36. I checked online and they retail for around $100, so I feel that I got them for a steal! You really can't go wrong with these ear buds, especially if your top priority is to reduce noise and remain portable. I would say that these are ideal for commuting. Though not as good in noise canceling as Bose or other circumaural noise canceling headphones. The NC33 are more than adequate for the job. The the portability aspect and the killer price make these a winner for me!

My scores on a scale of 5 (with 5 being the best):
Sound: 3
Comfort: 4
Quality: 4
Noise canceling: 4
Value: 5+ (if you got them under $50)

Overall, weighing heavily for the functionality of noise canceling and value, I'd give them a 4.5. Thanks Sony!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very good office focus tool, February 3, 2011
This review is from: Sony MDRNC33 Noise Canceling Earbuds (Black) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
First off, it's important that one understands what noise-cancellation headphones do. When on, they listen to your environment and instantaneously play frequencies which(to an extent) cancel out the frequencies which are produced in your environment(the cancellation frequencies are not audible). The currently available devices do not mute all sound.

From my experience with them, noise cancellation headphones tend to work best with low frequencies. As the pitch increases, the circuitry seems to be less effective, particularly as the volume of the sound increases(this is why noise cancellation headphones are kind of pointless for blocking out the noise one hears walking down the street- there are plenty of loud, higher pitched sounds all around.)

The result of these properties is that in an office environment, low hum machine noise is virtually eliminated, while higher pitches are reduced to a far lesser extent, depending on distance and volume.

These buds are even better for the office than your typical noise-canceling "cans" (including the Bose) for two reasons: First, they're buds, and buds on their own are "noise-isolating" even without the noise-cancellation circuitry. Second, the circuitry produces a perceptible noise floor(this is the sound one typically gets in headphones when you turn the volume up high while nothing is playing) which makes it even harder to hear chatter, yet is hardly noticable after a few seconds. It should be noted that you might be bothered by this noise floor sound, and if you think you'll be in an environment devoid of chatter, the Bose will be more effective with virtually no noise floor. If there is chatter however, the Bose will let that sound through quite clearly.

Overall, I find the noise isolation, noise cancellation and perceptible noise floor to be a triple threat against ambient machine noise and background chatter. Again, don't expect these(nor any noise cancellation headphones) to place you in an audio vacuum.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great sound, bad noise cancellation, September 4, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sony MDRNC33 Noise Canceling Earbuds (Black) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
I purchased these to replace my MDRNC22s, so my review is something of a comparison between these headphones and those, but I will try to give an objective opinion as well.

Being Sony, these headphone are well-built and don't feel like they would break too easily. I have even been able to lay down with these in my ears without discomfort or without feeling as though they would be broken or shoved into my ear canal. The sound quality is also very impressive--I honestly like the sound from these better than the sound I got out of Bose on-ear noise-cancelling headphones. These sound more smooth than both the Bose headphones and my previous Sony headphones yet they keep the bass power.

Having said all of that, the complaints of poor noise cancellation are quite true. On an airplane, these sound amazing and cancel out the noise of the engine pretty well, but in every other environment these cancel almost no noise at all. If I wear these outside and the Indiana cicadas are chirping, they are no quieter with noise cancellation turned on. Human speech as well sounds equally as loud with cancellation on as with cancellation off. The last Sony headphones I had cancelled out a MUCH higher range of sound, but occasionally had a light hiss, so if anybody is "on the fence" about whether to purchase these headphones or the other model, keep in mind that while the other model's cancellation is far superior, you may lose a bit of sound quality, and the other headphones sometimes gain a very grating quality when turned up loud. Also on these headphones, turning on noise cancellation almost makes the music sound quieter, whereas on the other MDRNC22s the sound seems slightly amplified.

All in all these headphones are slightly superior to the others in my personal opinion because of the improved sound quality. The noise cancellation could definitely be better, though. Still well-worth the money, especially here on Amazon where they are cheaper than most other retailers!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super alternative to the Bose QC15 that you can carry in your clutch, shirt or trouser pocket, February 14, 2010
By 
I Know (Plainsboro, NJ) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sony MDRNC33 Noise Canceling Earbuds (Black) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
Assuming you are not buying a NC Headset to drown out ambient noise in a workplace, home or bus, this monster delivers! Yes, the NC33 will reduce those some but if that's your goal your only real solution is the $300 NC-300D that is designed to handle that stuff. The NC33 is an excellent machine for noisy fans, washing machines, air conditioners and, of course, the #1 reason folks buy these - airplane engines. In short anything that has a low constant whirring noise.

The bass on these is a 10/10 while I would give it a 8 or so on the high end. Or maybe its just me, and I like my music a little crisper than it should be. I wonder if the fact that the diaphragms on these being in a plane parallel to the ear canal, instead of perpendicular, works like what putting a hand between your ears and the sound from the tweeters of a high end speaker system do...

Going back to overall performance - these phones deliver. Check out a track like Paul Liddell's Venus to experience the low low in-control bass with the crystal clear ring of triangles. Or immerse yourself in Runaway from his same album. Both are available on the indieheart.com podcast.

Also note that the NC33 addresses the hiss issues that the NC22 had and also improve battery life I understand. Plus, the noise suppression goes up from 75% to 90% now. Finally, note that you actually get marginally improved highs if you turn the NC off - so don't keep it turned on at home or in a quiet place, just because you paid for the feature! And that's another plus with these.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars They work well on flights, October 17, 2010
By 
Kevin Hutchinson (Puerto Escondido, Mexico) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sony MDRNC33 Noise Canceling Earbuds (Black) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
I was looking for a pair of noise cancelling headphones earbuds and these really do work. They're not perfect - ambient noise is reduced by 90% - but they are good. I first tried them at a train stop in front of a gardener with a lawn mower and was really impressed when the mower noise disappeared. I was equally impressed on an international flight. I'm sure Bose are better, but these are way easier to pack in a pocket, and are great value for money at under $60.

Some other things I really like about these headphones:
- They're comfy (3 earbud sizes means you choose the size that fits best)
- Small earbud opening doesn't easily catch ear wax
- They still work when the noise cancelling is switched off
- Battery life is very good with a single AAA battery (I'm using rechargables)

Some downsides are:
- The noise cancelling takes a tiny bit of brilliance out of the top end of the audio
- The cable is a bit longer than I'd like it to be (but Sony include a cable-tidy to wrap it)
- They reduce hum and buzz sounds better than higher frequency random sounds

Despite the downsides, I give these Sony earbuds a solid 4 out of 5. Glad I bought them.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sony MDRNC-33 EarBuds, February 6, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sony MDRNC33 Noise Canceling Earbuds (Black) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
The item arrived but Amazon made a mistake of sending only one when I actually ordered two of them.
One call to Amazon and the issue was resolved - missing item was sent by express overnight courier.
The earbuds give very good sound reproduction and the noise canceling function is only really appreciated when you are using it in a noisy environment like in a plane. I commute regularly and it is a "must have" for me - it really works like a charm in the plane!! Instead of putting the volume real loud to "drown" the environmental noise, I can actually lower the volume and enjoy crisp clear music. One thing though, if I contact the earbuds with any part of the plane like when I'm lying down, it somewhat lessens the noise cancelling function.
All in all, I'm very happy with this purchase.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good value if you understand the limitations, August 28, 2010
This review is from: Sony MDRNC33 Noise Canceling Earbuds (Black) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
I bought these just before a trans-Pacific flight with the hope that they would block out the noises on the plane. They mostly worked and I can't complain but you have to understand the limitations if you aren't going to be disappointed.

Just having the earphones in provides a certain amount of sound isolation so that ambient noise is diminished. Turning on the noise canceling feature reduces repetitive ambient noise (like engine sounds) even more but it won't, for example, filter out a clear conversation near you. Or announcements by the flight crew.

I tried a similarly-priced Panasonic product. Both products had active noise canceling but the Panasonic product didn't work as headphones unless it was turned on. With this Sony product you can: 1) plug them into a music source (MP3 player, smart phone, etc.) and use them as normal headphones, 2) leave them unplugged and turn on the noise cancellation to quiet ambient noise, 3) use the noise cancellation while listening to music, movies, etc. at a lower volume that you could with the noise. When the noise cancellation is in use (2 and 3, above), you can press the Monitor button to mute the music and turn off the noise canceling and hear what's going on around you without removing the earbuds.

Overall I wish the noise cancellation was a little more effective but they made two long flights much more comfortable.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 26 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.