Sony MDR-NC300D noise-cancelling headphones

Sony's latest in-ear headphones offer great noise cancelling but are bulky

Sony MDR-NC300D
  • Expert Rating

    3.75 / 5

Pros

  • Good frequency response, excellent noise cancelling

Cons

  • Bulky battery pack and large in-ear monitors, no rechargeable option, painfully expensive

Bottom Line

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.

Would you buy this?

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

Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?