Sony MDR-NC300D noise-cancelling headphones
Sony's latest in-ear headphones offer great noise cancelling but are bulky
- Good frequency response, excellent noise cancelling
- Bulky battery pack and large in-ear monitors, no rechargeable option, painfully expensive
Sony's MDR-NC300D noise-cancelling headphones lack the main advantage of other in-ear headphones -- portability. They sound great though, and the integrated noise cancelling is a boon for office work or commuting. We just wish they weren't so expensive.
Price$ 549.00 (AUD)
Sony's MDR-NC300D in-ear headphones are far bulkier than a normal pair of canal-phones thanks to active noise-cancellation circuitry and a power/control pack. Normal noise-cancelling headphones only offer acoustic (passive) noise cancellation, but the Sony MDR-NC300D's powered noise cancellation actively eliminates outside noise with inverse audio signals. This offers an eerily quiet listening stage.
Like Sony's other high-end audio products, such as the Sony MDR-NC500D headphones, the MDR-NC300D arrives in a sturdy and stylish box. Arranged inside are the headphones, a series of silicone ear-tips (colour-coded for different sizes) and a bevy of accessories including a leather carry case and an airplane plug adaptor.
We found inserting the Sony MDR-NC300D canal-phones relatively easy. If you have strange shaped ears you may find this difficult, as the body of the canal-phone is quite wide and flat. The rear of each monitor has a microphone to detect external noise (which is then equalised and removed by the noise-cancelling circuitry), but this didn't impede the ergonomics of the headphones.
Sound quality from the MDR-NC300D headphones is standard Sony fare. Like the MDR-NC500D, these in-ear headphones have the ability to equally represent treble or bass frequencies. Higher notes were sweet and slightly warm, with lower bass frequencies having a powerful feel to them. The integrated power pack has a toggle switch to adjust the tone of the sound, from normal equalisation to a flatter movie response and finally a more musical bass preset. The integrated noise cancelling works well, filtering out almost all ambient noise. We would have liked a way to switch it off for comparison's sake — as it stands you can only use the headphones with the noise cancelling activated, so if you run out of battery power that's the end of the road.
Our biggest gripe with the Sony MDR-NC300D headphones is the bulk of the battery pack. It reminds us of the chunky wired remotes Sony used to bundle with its expensive CD Walkman and MiniDisc products — it lacks the integrated shirt clip of these remotes though, so you'll have to find space in a pocket or put up with it dangling.
Battery life is 20 hours with a standard alkaline AA battery. This is reasonably long, so means you shouldn't need to change the battery too often, except if you accidentally leave the noise cancelling running overnight while not listening (like we did).
The Sony MDR-NC300D in-ear headphones are very capable and can provide immersive, musical sound and effective noise cancelling. They are a little too expensive for our tastes though and the bulk is a big minus.
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @Goodgearguide
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei P9 review: lifting photography to another level... sometimes.
- 2 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 3 D-Link Taipan AC3200 Ultra tri-band modem-router review
- 4 Dell XPS 13 (2016) review: Making the very best Ultrabook
- 5 Microsoft Surface Book review: The verdict on Microsoft's first notebook
Best Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- Apple slates March 21 event, with 4-in. iPhone likely on the stage
- Convoy International restructures business focus
- ASUS launches world’s first liquid-cooled gaming laptop
- Tablets replace books for kids back at school
- Dell agrees to acquire EMC for US$67 billion
GGG Evaluation Team
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.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTSenior Business Analyst - Enterprise DataNSW
- CCPMO ManagerVIC
- CCSystems Trainer - Networking/ RadioVIC
- CCITSM ConsultantNSW
- CCContract Programmer (JAVA/J2EE/SQL) 160628/P/133Asia
- FTProject Coordinator / AdministratorNSW
- CCAnalyst Programmer - C# FocusNSW
- CCAgile Product Manager/ UX, Web, Digital Project ManagerNSW
- CCSharepoint Developer | Air Force project | NV1 clearanceNSW
- CCAnalyst Programmer (J2EE/ SQL*PLUS/PL/SQL/PRO*C) 160617/AP/983Asia
- CCSenior Business Analyst- BPMN, Testing backgroundNSW
- FTEnterprise Technology Platform ManagerVIC
- CCSenior IT Automated TesterNSW
- CCArchitect (AWS)NSW
- CCIT Helpdesk Support- Remedy ticketing systemNSW
- CCData Warehouse Specialist- Power BI, SSAS DBA, Azure, SQLNSW
- FTSolution ArchitectVIC
- FTSolution Architect - Data/ InformationVIC
- CCSharePoint DeveloperSA
- CCIT Assistant (Lotus Notes/Technical Support) 160616/ITA/991Asia
- CCDynamics CRM DeveloperNSW
- FTContract System SpecialistAsia
- FTSystems Analyst - ERPNSW
- CCSpatial DeveloperQLD
- FTSolution ArchitectNSW