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VINE VOICEon 30 December 2013
I would disregard reviews that comment about the noise cancellation effectiveness, these are no worse than most other noise cancelling headphones. The primary problem is consumer understanding of the technology and what the technology CAN and CAN'T cancel out.

Things it WILL effectively cancel out.

* Engine noise (Car/Bus/Airplane)
* Air Conditioning Noise
* Any other low frequency noises (rumbles), particularly fixed frequencies.

Things it WON'T cancel out.

* TV
* People talking
* Snoring
* Babies Crying.
* Everything else.

It's also worth understanding the difference between noise isolation and noise cancellation.. Isolation block noises by creating a plug. All in-ear headphones do this (with varying degrees of success, depending on design). Cancellation uses a microphone and electronics to create "anti-noise", a sound that is out of phase with the noise, which essentially cancels the sound out. This is tricky to do with high frequencies and random noise. Low frequencies and fixed frequencies a however can be canceled out.

Onto a very quick review.

As mentioned, this does work, battery life is as advertised when used with a decent battery. The leads are a sensible length, and it comes with a small cable tidy if the cables are too long. The cables are fixed into and out of the processing box. The Microphones are in the earphones themselves, so the box can be hidden away. If the battery is flat (or the unit switched off), then the headphones still work in passive (non canceling mode).

For the price, I am more than pleased with the results.

EDIT (April 2014): Tested these out on a 5 week world tour that involved 40+ hours of plane journeys, and I am overjoyed with them, it entirely canceled out the engine "drone" and allowed me to sleep and read without disturbance. I am still on the original battery ( a single Energizer Lithium AAA). I would recommend using this with these, as not only will you get insanely good batter life, the lithium batteries are very light, which is a bonus for something like this.
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on 12 October 2012
Mine seems to be a familiar story for these headphones. I originally bought them for an air flight to America but found that my other earphones (MDR-ED21LP groove earphones) did as good a job. I then put them aside until recently when I've been doing a lot of commuting by (noisy diesel) train and I've had mixed results.

First the good points:
1. They are comfortable to wear
2. Their noise *isolating* properties are very good.

The bad points:
1. The noise *cancelling* (for me) works very poorly. At first I couldn't hear any difference. After several trials, in the right circumstances I could spot a slight difference (some reduction in the lower register/rumble) but not enough to make this worthwhile. I normally listen to audio books so I loaded some music onto my ipod and tested again - same story.
2. The extra wires and battery unit makes it clumsier to use - more bits to get tangled together and extra weight in the leads to drag down if the battery unit becomes unclipped.

I'm still using them for their noise isolating propertoes but I paid extra for the noise cancelling and, for me, that wasn't money well spent.
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on 15 August 2011
very good and cheap too. blocks out a lot of low level Airbus A320 rumble, battery lasts for weeks (still not replaced) and all for a damned good price compared to previous efforts. 5 *'s.
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on 27 July 2011
I bought these earphones to replace my Sony noise-cancelling earphones that recently broke. (I bought my old ones about 3+ years ago and can no longer read the model number, so I can't say what they were).

Initially I was very impressed by these earphones as they were very comfortable in your ear, the earphone rubber parts are clearly labelled small, medium and large and the earphones are clearly labelled left and right. Also, they came with a plastic bit that you use to wrap the earphone cord around to shorten the cable length - something my previous Sony earphones did not have - and something that I definitely needed! So far, so good, as these earphones looked the part.

However, I am disappointed with the noise-cancelling part of the headphones - especially since this was the main feature I wanted from my headphones. When I first tested the headphones I didn't notice any change and I could still easily hear people talking and the noise of the tv. I thought that they were faulty and was about to send them back! But when I tested them against the noise of a stereo, I distinctly noticed that the stereo noise was reduced when the noise-cancelling feature was turned on. I use them on the underground everyday and they do block out most of the train noise and most of the voices, but they are not as effective at noise-cancelling as my previous Sony earphones. I find that I have to have the volume up higher than what I did previously with my old earphones, as this is the most effective way to ensure that I can still hear my music above the other noises of the underground etc. The noise-cancelling feature does work though as the volume is not up nearly as loud as it would be without the noise-cancelling headphones. I'm just disappointed that they are not as good as previous Sony noise-cancelling headphones, but I'm not sure there are many other Sony options at the moment.
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on 26 May 2012
The sound quality is great, and the noise isolation works very well. I use them when playing along to songs on drums, they work great. There are some negative points about it too though. The left ear chord is a lot smaller than the right for some idiotic reason which can make using them very uncomfortable. IF they were the same length they would be amazing, but they are not. Luckily i only use them while sat down, so it's not too bad, but i imagine walking around with them in would be a nightmare. So it's half 'n' half really. I've finally decided to get some Vic Firth headphones for drumming, but it's up to you. Hope this Helped.
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on 2 September 2013
I have compared these to three time the price Panasonic over the ear noise cancelling head phones and they are just as good. I have also compared them to black box c20 ear buds, also noise cancelling, they cost twice as much as these Sony's, they sound terrible in comparison to these, lack clarity and weak bass and also not as effective when it comes to noise cancelling. I highly recommend these. Great price point, supperb sound, rich bass, crisp highs and balanced mid tones and very effective noise cancelling.
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on 7 March 2014
Not cheap - although now down in price from what I paid by about 25% - but I would say that anyone who suggests that they fail to deliver does not understand their purpose. By combining a degree of sound isolation with electronically inhibited low frequencies they certainly worked for me on two Trans-Atlantic flights, hearing the degree of fade of the engine noise when the cancellation was switched on was very reassuring. For the price - full marks.
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on 26 January 2014
At best, switching the noise cancelling on subtly changes the tone of some background frequencies. It certainly never makes them any less audible. Under most circumstances there is no difference.
On the plus side they do fit into the ear very well, as a result they cut out a lot of background noise, much like sticking your fingers in your ears. This I assume is why people give these headphones good reviews.
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on 31 October 2012
Bought these as I did not want to spend hundreds of pounds on the premier brand. While on my first flight I switched them on without any music to see how well they work. After about 3 seconds all you can hear is a very low white noise sound. The engine noise completely disappeared. You can still hear some voices if they are close by but they are quieter as well. Once you switch on the music it all disappears completely. The sound quality from them alone is worth the £30 I paid for them. Rich sound with a deep base.

For me the fact they fit in your ear and Block noise is better than the premier brands that depend totaly on the noise cancelling technology. On some flights you dont even need to switch them on.

Most importantly the battery life is excellent and they still work as earphones with the battery flat or with them switched off. Again the expensive ones cant be used if the battery is flat so far as I know. (Check this before you buy any expensive ones) Carry one spare triple A battery and any plane will be long down before you use it up.

I am not a fan of Sony so for me to say that hurts!!.
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on 12 October 2012
I've tried these headphones in an office and on the airplane. In the office I couldn't tell any difference, while on the airplane I could tell a difference but it wasn't good or what I was hoping for. Sadly the sound quality is poor but at this price I'm not surprised. They also can get uncomfortable to wear after a while on long haul flights. I would suggest looking elsewhere.
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