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Sony Mdrnc22/Blk Noise Canceling Headphone (Black)

3.3 out of 5 stars 106 customer reviews

Available from these sellers.
  • Black in Colour
  • Monitor Switch To Mute Audio & Turn Off Nc Temporarily
  • Up To 75 Noise Reduction
  • 13.5Mm Driver For Better Sound Quality
  • Slim Battery Compartment
3 used from $98.95

Technical Details

  • lightweight

Product Description

The MDR-NC22 Noise Canceling headphones are compact and comfortable bud-style headphones that can reduce noise by 75 (12dB at 200 Hz) and the 13.5mm driver units produce powerful sound.

Product Information

Product Dimensions 10.5 x 4.7 x 1.7 inches
Item Weight 5.6 ounces
Shipping Weight 5.6 ounces
Manufacturer Sony
Domestic Shipping Item can be shipped within U.S.
International Shipping This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
Item model number MDRNC22/BLK
Batteries 1 AAA batteries required. (included)
Customer Reviews
3.3 out of 5 stars 106 customer reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #6,739 in Electronics > Headphones > Earbud Headphones
#59,614 in Electronics > Portable Audio & Video > MP3 & MP4 Players & Accessories > MP3 & MP4 Player Accessories
#64,454 in Electronics > Home Audio & Theater
Discontinued by manufacturer Yes
Date first available at Amazon.com January 15, 2007

Warranty & Support

Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here


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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Anderson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 24, 2007
Verified Purchase
I recently compared the Bose QC2 headphones (an obscene $299) with the cheaper Sennheiser PXC-300 ($159.99) and the new Sony MDR-NC22s ($70.00). The Sennheiser's are a smaller design that does not completely cover your ear and comes in a smaller case, which is more convenient for travelling. The Sony's are an in-ear solution, and have the smallest case. All have active noise canceling.

I did my testing in the rear of an Boeing 737. The rear is generally the noisiest location in an airplane. My primary testing criteria was which headphone reduced overall noise the best. I also listened to see which headphone allowed me to listen to music and audio programs (podcasts) at the lowest volume level. I was really hoping that one of the cheaper options would be better than the Bose, but they weren't.

The Bose knocked out the most airplane noise and allowed me to listen to music at the lowest volume level and still hear it. The Sennheiser was next, and the Sony was last. The Sony also suffered from a noticeable hiss noise which you could easily hear on audio programs and music played at a low volume.

In short, if you want the best, it is still Bose. If you want to pay a little less and don't mind that you're not getting the best, the Sennheiser is a good choice. The Sony is a good choice only if you can't afford the Sennheiser and you want to play music LOUD.
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My wife has one of the original Sony noise-cancelling earbuds, which were bulkier and more expensive but work quite well. I ended up borrowing them all the time for plane trips, so as we were traveling together, I got a pair of the updated version.

A few general remarks about active noise cancellation. It works quite well on monotonous low-frequency noises (read: airplane engines), but will be pretty useless against "the sound of eight crying babies" (for you Simpsons fans out there). The Sonys are in-ear, so if you can achieve a good seal in your ear canal you get passive damping in those frequency ranges.

Also, pretty much every active noise-canceller I tried introduces a bit of white noise in the treble range --- generally only noticeable if you don't play music through them.

Furthermore, don't expect active noise-cancellers to give great sound unless you're willing to pony up big bucks. I tried the $350 Bose® QuietComfort® 3 Acoustic Noise Cancelling® Headphones (which cost five times as much) and while they sound as good as any ANCHs I've ever tried, they can't hold a candle for sound quality to my trusty $40 Sennheiser PX 100 Collapsible Headphones.

Engineers have a saying: "better, cheaper, faster --- pick any two". For headphones one could paraphrase it to: "good noise cancellation, hi-fi sound quality, affordable --- pick any two". Allegedly, the new
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I purchased the Sony MDRNC10s many years ago and have used the 11s as well (each of which is a predecessor to this model, with, I believe, the same specs--it's the cosmetics which have changed over time). They are nice and indeed eradicate a noticeable portion of low-sound rumble on planes and on the street. I find that I arrive at a destination from a flight less tired, with using these.

Having said that, I've also compared them in-flight to a set of Shure E2C in-ear earbuds with no noise-cancelling electronics (generally available, including at Amazon.com, for $70-$100). I've found that if I fit the Shures with the Shure triple-flange ear pieces (also available here, and which indeed can be fit onto the E2Cs with a small amount of effort, in a couple of minutes, even though not designed for the E2Cs), they exceed the "noise-cancelling" results of the Sonys. With the benefit of being smaller and even easier for travel (no separate electronics case) and no need for battery power. Plus, the Shures are well-recognized good earbud phones off a plane as well, for everyday use, and get great customer support from Shure, a leader in that area (as distinct from, unfortunately, Sony, which will leave customers high-and-dry, in my experience, and whose products, I also unfortunately have found, tend to break down over time while products from other companies will last longer). The only thing to be aware of is that the triple flanges really do go into the ear canal, more so than with the Sonys--some people may not like that, and I have found that the flanges indeed can tickle my inner ear every so often.
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First: I have read some reviews on the NC22 complaining about "weak noise cancellation" and "hiss".

Current noise cancellation technology works on specific frequencies (in the low range, but not very low), on specific types of noises (continuous or cyclic) and has a limited effect (15 to 20 dB).

The circuitry does induce a subtle hiss. And here's why: since neither the earbuds or the noise cancellation can block high frequencies effectively, this hiss, which is made of white noise, helps to mask unwanted sounds. This same principle is used on white noise generators to make an environment seem less noisy.

Of course, for US$ 150 you could get an over-the-ear which will block all sounds so it will have no hiss. But the NC22 goes for less than half their price and is much more discreet to use in the metro or in a bus.

How loud is that hiss anyway? Well, my laptop fan is louder than that (I have tested). If the hiss becomes an issue, it means that the environment is so quiet that you can certainly turn the noise cancellation off.

Plus, if you listen to music instead of just putting the earphones on, the hiss will become unnoticeable very quickly. This is because the brain will ignore weak, continuous sounds in the presence of louder, variable sounds.

But not all hiss is induced by the earphone. Some is residual noise. Objects cutting through air (airplane, trains, cars) will generate noise in a wide range of frequencies. The lower frequencies are cancelled, but the higher remain, and that sounds like a hiss. About that, there isn't much to do, except wait for the next generation of affordable noise cancellation circuits.

I have used the NC22 in a carpool, in the metro, in the bus, in an airplane, and for walking.
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