12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
. . . is another man's cork-lined room. I have an expensive pair of Bose noise-cancelling ear buds and although the sound quality is superb there is still plenty of ambient sound that leaks through. These, on the other hand, might even tempt Proust out of the house--the ambient sound elimination is like being in an isolation box. Indeed, it's almost spooky how well these work. As for the sound quality, I'm a big Bruckner fan and his symphonies (especially the Seventh) sounded particularly rich to me. I'm not into heavy bass-driven music, so it is possible that Eminem might come across a bit tinny but then again I'll never know.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2014
I'm sorry Sony, I really like you but you cheated on me by making these terrible ear buds.
This model doesn't cancel any noise. Forget the 97.5% claim, that is untrue. Maybe 5% on a good day. Very disappointing, especially considering these are a high-end product. These replaced the older version in my go-bag, but the older version worked much better.
* Lots of fitting options
* Doesn't cancel ANY noise (at least not any airplane noise)
* Uses internal battery that you can't easily/quickly recharge when it runs out on the airplane. Old version with replaceable AA battery was better.
* Sound quality is so-so (and I'm being generous)
* Travel case is cheap
* No display to tell you what mode it is in or even if it is powered on. Has an LED but reading it's signals is like learning sign language.
My wife uses the over-the-ear version (from Sony) and they work fine. These stink.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2014
When I first picked these up and put them in, I was appalled, they sounded like the speakers you'd find in a novelty singing gift card, not the $500 headphones I had paid for. I happened upon the trick by accident, had left them running at high volume overnight, the batteries were dead in the morning, so I gave them a charge and put them back in for my morning commute via bus. The audio quality AND the noise cancelling had both increased dramatically, I've since gone though 7 or 8 charges at the highest volume I can give it without distortion and they finally sound amazing. I don't think I'd pay what I did for them again, but they sound like a $300 pair of BA based headphones now, better than a $5 novelty card in my book.
For those who've bough these and were disappointed, give them a good 80-100 hours of burn-in at high volume, seems like the membrane loosens up, giving the relatively weak BA voice coil system a fighting chance at getting the lows into your head.
Very good sound
Good noise cancelling
Good battery life at moderate volume levels
Reasonably comfortable (with some adjustment)
Long, loooong burn-in time (80+ hours continuous run time)
Instruction manual does not warm users that they will sound like crap until they're burnt in
Good fit was difficult to achieve
No option to use headphones without battery
No in-line controls
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2013
I had given only 3 stars due to NC is weak and there is cord noise rubbing the body.
I have other NC earphone from audio-technical & bose. This you can hear the music without the noise on train, bus and plane.
Otherwise the sound quality is very good. But the bass is not heavy like those beats headphone.
Not suitable for those that like heavy bass.
8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
First things first- I am a bit of an audiophile, and somewhat picky about music and sound. I am the kind of guy whose main music library is all encoded with lossless FLAC files, and yes, I can tell the difference between lossy and lossless encoded music.
I received these headphones as a free trial. My "regular" noise-cancelling headphones are a pair of Bose Quiet-Comfort 3 headphones.
---The Good Points
* The headphones come with a nice carrying case, and the headphones, the USB charging adapter and even my iPod Shuffle all fit in with a minimum of gyrations.
* The headphones charge via a USB adapter, and the adapter has an easily visible orange LED to indicate when charging is underway and completed. The power adapter seemed to load its own USB driver...no idea what that was about.
* The total charging time was a little over 3 hours, and the headphones lasted at least 8 hours listening at a moderate volume.
* The sound quality was very similar to my Bose headphones. Very bright treble response, somewhat limited in the bass and fair in the midrange. Sony specs these as having a frequency response of 5-20kHz-but makes no mention of the linearity of that response.
* I normally listen to a mixture of classical (think Beethoven, Mozart), classic rock (Rolling Stones, Grand Funk). I am especially fond of strong vocals (Meatloaf, Whitney Houston). The Sony headphones performed well with the classical and vocals, but were a little lacking on the bass heavy rhythms of rock. I did find the high midrange/low treble to have a harsh "edge". A violin solo always seemed to have some slight harsh overtones.
* I could hear a definite difference in the sound quality of MP3's versus lossless music-an indication of pretty good treble response.
* Based only on sound quality, I could listen to these headphones for a reasonable length of time....not always the case with me and headphones/speakers.
---The Not-So-Good Points
* Headphone cords come in two lengths-too long and too short. These are too long. Sony ships a little bracket designed to wind up the excess cord. This didn't seem to work very well for me.
* These headphones come with 3 different ear pieces. None of them seemed to fit comfortably in my ear-all seemed a little too big. I assume you are supposed to insert them a little deeper into your ear than I was willing to, but they just didn't feel comfortable no matter what size inserts I used.
* The earpieces did not stay in my ear. The ear pieces are heavier than usual, which makes them even less likely to stay in place. Also, while the cord is very long, the "split" is rather close to your ears, and the power switch is on the left side. The problem is that there is not really enough cord to keep the weight of the power switch supported, except right at your collar. The little clip that Sony provides seems to thin to clip around any of my clothes.
* There are 3 different noise reduction modes, which are automatically selected. No matter what, I could not get the unit to go into any mode other than "B- Bus or Train". The others are Airplane and Office mode. I tried it in my office (a typical phone/computer environment), and near a loud room fan (trying to simulate a jet).
* The biggest problem- they just didn't seem to reduce any noise, and did seem to induce a hiss. My first experiment was to put the phones in my ears, and not connect any input to them. Turning them on gives a slight, but clearly audible hiss. Over the hiss I could still hear all the normal office noises, a TV played on low volume, and the "whoosh" of a cheap window fan. The sound was maybe attenuated a couple dB, but not enough to matter. As a rough estimate, I'd say they had maybe 25% of the noise reduction capability of my Bose headphones.
Turning up the volume didn't really eliminate the hiss, it just faded into the background. One of the true joys for me of the Bose headphones is listening to classical music-where an instrument bursts out from total silence. I never got that feeling from these.
* The instructions seem overly complex...and I believe a technoprobe might find them slightly intimidating. They are also sometimes less than clear. For example, I pushed the power button numerous times waiting for it to flash out the status code for the noise reduction mode. Finally I noticed the little LED's on the actual ear pieces.
* The power button seemed overly small and fussy, and was too close to my ear.
* The unit seemed somewhat "flimsy". Not that it was constructed poorly, just that I would be surprised if the relatively thin wires held up to the rough handling of travel. There are no signs of stress relief any any of the connections.
* Compared to the Bose headphones, which are roughly $100 less, I just don't see the value of these. Yes, they are smaller and take up less space, but I just would not expect them to hold up to jostling around in a carry on. The noise reduction was very limited-bordering on non-existent, and the headphones just weren't comfortable for me to wear. There was a very annoying hiss present at all times.
* If I had paid the retail price, I would have returned them ASAP. To be honest, I am not 100% sure that the pair I reviewed weren't defective.
5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2012
I have to try to use this headphones since 6 months that I bought, with several PMP ( ipod,sony walkman, cowon and samsung galaxy player) for to have all arguments and give a chance, but the result ALWAYS was the same: 1- the sound is terrible ( the worst bass ever and poorly clear) 2- noise cancelling function is a joke 3- Price ( that hurts!) is needlessly high for the function: Never again i¨ll buy a sony headphones, in the market exist very much better option in a 1/5 of the price of this piece of trash. My patiente has been broken