Upon seeing the Sony MDR-NC6 headphones for sale for $35, I thought to myself, “Wow, what cheap noise-canceling headphones!” Having long ago spent $50 on a rock bottom pair of folding noise-canceling headphones, which, while indeed being bottom of the line, served me well for several years. I was intrigued to see what $35.00 headphones could do. They certainly did look more comfortable than the pair that had initially been wound up with.
All in all, they’re about what I expected. In terms of comfort, they weren’t bad while also not being celebrated. Their foam earcups were reasonably comfortable, although I was disappointed to find that the headband was too tight, meaning that the earpiece is pressed uncomfortably against the wearer’s ears. However, this proved not to be a problem until you’ve had the headphones on for half an hour or so.
As for the noise-canceling, although it wasn’t surprising, it was there and made certain situations much more friendly to listening to music. For those of you, they don’t understand what it is; noise-canceling technology is a technology by which headphones listen to the ambient noises surrounding them, create a sound wave directly opposite to what they hear, and play it through the earpieces.
The original sound and the sound’s counter wave cancel each other out, leaving you with silence, at least in theory. Although the noise-canceling capabilities of the Sony MDR-NC6 headphones did not prove to be amazing, it certainly did a decent job of knocking down the general background noise a notch or two, making it possible to listen to music on the subway.
While it didn’t come close to eliminating noise, as much higher-end headphones would of, it did make the music seem to sound a lot louder. Don’t buy a pair of headphones like this if you want to use them to block out noise, because to that end a well too much. We will not block out the engine noise of an airplane, or the sound of your neighbor’s lawnmower, but they will make it possible for you to listen to music in both situations.
Keep in mind that headphones like the Sony MDR-NC6 are the cheapest you can get by way of noise-canceling headphones. If you want the parapet headphones, spend the same amount of money and don’t get the noise-canceling feature, and you’ll thank yourself. Similarly, if noise canceling is a feature you care about, spend more money. Keep in mind that the Sony MDR-NC6 all for nothing more than entry-level noise-canceling technology.