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Can you really block out ambient sound with Noise Canceling Headphones?
By, Steve Hartfelder Diamond Case Designs, Inc.

Sony MDR-NC6 Noise Cancelling HeadphonesMy recent trip to the CEDIA convention in Denver gave me the opportunity to try out a new gadget that I have been anxious to play with for some time, a pair of Sony noise canceling headphones. I have been intrigued by this category since my cousin had me slip on a pair of his Bose headphones and I was very impressed. I don't travel too much so I was not interested in spending Bose dollars but I did want a nice pair of headphones. My budget led me towards the Sony MDR-NC6 headphones.

First, the concept of noise canceling deserves a mention. The idea with these headphones, as opposed to standard headphones, is to cancel out ambient room noise allowing your ears to focus more on the music and less on distractions.

To create the noise canceling effects, the headphones are powered through the use of a AAA battery (which was not included). The battery slips into the small compartment just above the right ear. The headphones then turn on or off through the use of a simple switch.

The first test was simply turning the headphones on and off without music playing. It was very interesting to "listen" to the noise canceling effect. How or why these things actually worked is beyond me but sure enough the ambient noise on the plane was definitely reduced. I found myself clicking the switch on and off several times just to make sure I was hearing a true difference, and I was. I even passed the headphones over to Dave (co-owner) and he shook his head positively in approval. Based on this test alone the headphones could hold some value for simply reading without listening to music.

Sony MDR-NC6 Headphones in PackageNext I plugged the headphones into my iPod and started cranking some tunes. I listened to a selection of Elton John, Rush, Carrie Underwood, No Doubt, and Styx. While I'm sure many of you are already criticizing my musical selections (which I won't take offense to) I don't think anyone would question the performance of these headphones. The music sounded great and had a full-range sound to it. The voices seemed more present (than with the Apple earbud style headphones) and had a more defined clarity.

Carrying Case and Airplaine AdapterThe headphones come with a handy carrying pouch with a small adapter that allows you to plug them into the funky airplane style connectors that have dual inputs. I guess the only complaint I have for the headphones is the very reason I liked them so much - their size. Traditionally, I have used earbud style headphones that fold up very small and require little room in your carry on bag. While those headphones are certainly convenient they don't sound very good and tend to fall out of my ears. The Sony headphones are definitely larger in size but they make up for it in their performance, acoustics, and ability to reduce ambient noise.

While there are definitely bigger and better headphones out there, I think these are a great solution for the money.


Headphones Available For Purchase On-Line, $50

If you would like to purchase these headphones they are available through our on-line store for $50.
Click here to order.

Diamond Case Designs, Inc. - 655 N. Shepard St. - Anaheim, CA 92806 - (800) 616-5354 - www.diamondcase.com

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