17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely First Class
These headphones are absolutely spot on, from the sound, design, functionality, accessories and all the way down to the packaging they come in.
The headphones come in a lovely hinged box which slides out of a cardboard sleeve. The headphones come packaged with the earcups folded flat and in the high quality mock leather soft shell case. Fitted between the...
Published 11 months ago by Thom
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Comparison with Bose QC15
I already owned the Bose QuietComfort 15 headphones, which are the same price as these, and wanted a second pair of noise cancelling headphones to use at another location. So I thought I'd try this Sony pair, based on the positive reviews.
In terms of build quality the Sony are superior. They look and feel solid, metallic and professional. Alongside them the...
Published 14 days ago by Hawfinch
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely First Class,
This review is from: Sony MDR1RNC Noise Cancelling Prestige Headphones - Black (Electronics)These headphones are absolutely spot on, from the sound, design, functionality, accessories and all the way down to the packaging they come in.
The headphones come in a lovely hinged box which slides out of a cardboard sleeve. The headphones come packaged with the earcups folded flat and in the high quality mock leather soft shell case. Fitted between the headband and the earcups is a small soft bag that contains the accessories - 3.5mm cable with iPod/iPhone inline remote, a plain 3.5mm cable, USB charging cable and airplane adapter. It's a quality set of accessories and it's nice to have both a plain and iPod compatible cable. The other half of the box contains the instruction manual (in about 50 languages languages), the warranty and registration information leaflets. The instructions are as fuss free as they need to be and detail nicely how the iPod remote works, charging the battery and other bits of sensible advice about the noise cancelling feature.
The cables have grooves running from end to end which work well in preventing tangled cables. The 3.5mm ends are sturdy enough. Some people have noted there is a loose fit between the supplied cables and the jack on the headphones, creating a ticking noise when walking moving that can only be cured with a slice of rubber or bit of blu-tack. I haven't encountered this and the jack and cable seem well fitted to me. Maybe Sony have made a small change since launch. The USB cable is pretty ordinary, as is the in flight adapter. As I've noted with other high end/pricey rechargeable headphones, in the case of these Sonys £449 RRP, a charging dock would be a nice addition at this price point.
The headphones themselves are beautiful, and strike what I think is a perfect balance between a classic headphone design and some of the more contemporary designs (i.e. Dr Dre beats style headphones) without looking cheap. The red accents work really well against the graphite and the chrome parts add a feeling of genuine quality. The construction on these is largely aluminium for the ear cups, unlike their bluetooth and passive brothers (MDR1RBT and MDR1R) which are plastic. The Noise Cancellers certainly don't look budget..
They fit beautifully, the earcups are large and encircle the whole ear easily. The padding is very soft, not quite as soft as what I've seen on the Parrot Ziks but the Sonys have a reassuring "firmness" that forms an excellent seal. The headband provides the perfect amount of tension and is well padded and doesn't dig in to my head at all. The length of the headband can be adjusted easily, maybe a little too easily for my liking and I would prefer more of a click as I move the notches but this is all very minor stuff. They really do sit very nicely on the head. The only piece of concern is for those with larger/protruding ears is that there is a small hard ball that protrudes out of the driver behind the mesh. This should line up directly with the ear canal but for some people it might not and could be a bit annoying. This protruding piece seems to contain the internal microphone used in the noise cancelling, placing it as close to the ear canal makes technical, if not ergonomic sense.
Now to discuss the sound and noise cancelling capabilities. These shouldn't really be described in terms of "with noise cancelling on and noise cancelling off" but rather they should be discussed as "Active" and "Passive" because Active mode, as well as Noise Cancellation also turns on the S Master Digital Amp and Digital Sound Enhancement Engine which claim to restore lost waveforms and higher frequencies lost in compressed music. You can definitely hear this working when you flip the switch to Active mode.
In passive mode the headphones sound very good for a noise cancelling set operating without its fancy circuitry and amplifiers. They do sound different to their Bluetooth and Passive brothers with a bit more low end grunt and a thicker sound to the low mids. The bass is a little unfocussed and a bit boomy, meaning the individual notes on quieter bass lines are harder to pick out. The trebles and mids have a good amount of punch and clarity but suffer slightly from the very thick mid-low range. This all gives a sort of warm "fuzzy" listening experience, like a bigger and thicker set of Bowers and Wilkins P5s. Passive mode is still a decent listening experience but the sound changes wildly in the active mode as if it were another set of headphones completely.
Hitting the active mode switch (bottom side of the left ear cup, easy to find/feel for) my first thought was "where did the bass go??" The difference is that the active mode really brings the bass under control - it's tight, it's focussed and it's not murky nor dark. It's lean and powerful. That thick lower mid drops away quite significantly as well. I will say the bottom end of these headphones is less pronounced than I expected given these headphones were tuned in conjunction with Skream/Magnetic Man and designed for "modern music". The cups certainly don't bounce around on your head like the Beats Pros do but when the bass is called on it still delivers a good growl, especially right down at the deepest lows where Sony's "Beat Control" must be working.
The real highlight of the active mode has to be the clarity it brings to the mids and highs, which I believe is partly due to the reduction in that thick mid-low region and a boost the amp gives, it's impossible to tell what effect the noise cancelling circuitry really has on the frequency response but my reasoning with noise cancellers is always that they are designed to block out the low frequencies with low frequency anti noise so some of the low end must be given up to this task. Guitars really crunch and solos soar, vocals come right to the front of the soundstage. Complimenting the tight bass the treble and mid response really help to grind out dirty basslines - you can then begin to see the pedigree of these headphones as designed for modern music. It really makes you appreciate these parts of the music more. Only slight gripe with all this treble and mid boost is that it does take a while to get used to when you switch from passive to active mode but it's all clarity and no noise that you are hearing. Now that I've been using these for a good 1.5-2 hrs a day for a month I've noticed the treble and mids settle down a little with use and the initial sense of harshness has disappeared. However, as with these things it could just be me adjusting to the headphones.
The noise cancelling is good and I've now given them the back of the bus treatment where they have proved themselves as a solid bet. They also work great on ambient traffic. I must say the frequencies ithe Sonys will block out tend to be in a lower and narrower range than those of comparable headphones (therefore leaving some more of the mid range uncancelled, such as the glug of an engine ticking over still there). Testing them against a slightly rattling extractor fan the rattles were almost unscathed by the noise cancelation but the low hum was completely eliminated. Other headphones, Bose QC15 and Parrot Zik, on the same fan have done a better job at eliminating the mid range rattle. Sony do say the headphones have 3 built in noise cancelation modes that are automatically selected depending on the sound environment. There is some hiss from the headphones when the noise cancelation is on, but it is quite slight and you'll only notice it if you're in a quiet room and once music fires up it it's gone. I do however feel Sony could have done a slightly better job on the noise cancelling here as the premium over the regular passive MDR1Rs is huge. They could have made them a bit less hissy and they are useless at blocking anything in the mid-high range. Maybe I'm asking for too much, but I certainly don't feel I'm getting the "99.7% Noise Cancellation" Sony claim (whatever that is benchmarked against, more of an advertising ploy I think).
Comparing to other sets out there the Sonys sonically blow the socks off Beats, Bose QC15 and Parrot Ziks. If you're really keen on noise cancelling you might want to go for the Parrots as I thought these were excellent when I owned them for a week before they fell apart. The Bose set are always a good bet but I think they are overpriced for the thin sound they produce. I prefer these Sony's to the B&W P5s by a good length too as the Sonys have better bass, and meatier mids and highs and a host more detail helped by them being full over ear cans. The Sonys may not be the most accurate set of headphones as the trebles and mids might be a little too pronounced for some listeners but they're certainly the punchiest and clearest set of headphones I've heard amongst the current £200-£500 range.
The one real problem with these is the price. These things aren't cheap, £450 RRP is too much. £350 would be a more sensible amount as they are physically and sonically superior to the comparable Bose QC15 model which usually sells at around £280. I reckon in the months to come these could be got for under £300.
In summary these Sonys are a great option if you want a punchy, detailed and crystal clear sound and want to benefit from noise cancelation. They also look and feel really fantastic.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Comparison with Bose QC15,
This review is from: Sony MDR1RNC Noise Cancelling Prestige Headphones - Black (Electronics)I already owned the Bose QuietComfort 15 headphones, which are the same price as these, and wanted a second pair of noise cancelling headphones to use at another location. So I thought I'd try this Sony pair, based on the positive reviews.
In terms of build quality the Sony are superior. They look and feel solid, metallic and professional. Alongside them the Bose look slightly plasticky and cheap. However, a consequence of this is that the Sony are very noticeably heavier. I found that this makes them more tiring to wear for long periods and also gives them a tendency to shift position as you move your head. The ear padding on both the Sony and the Bose is soft and generous, but I was aware of more points of contact when using the Sony, so for long term use I would prefer to wear the Bose.
For audio quality the Sony has maybe a slight edge but I did not have any strong preference. Both are adequate. Neither is the best you are going to find in this price category, since the high price is largely for the noise cancellation feature.
Comparing the active noise cancellation, the Bose is unquestionably superior. Both headphones focus their noise cancellation on the low frequencies, and this is where I noticed the biggest difference. I'm sitting by a window overlooking a busy road and if I put the Bose headphones on, the traffic noise is eliminated, with the exception of the loudest vehicles, and these are quietened to a whisper. With the Sony the traffic noise is definitely reduced but every vehicle is still quite audible. I'm actually surprised that the Sony headphones are being seriously compared to the Bose for noise cancellation. They're just not in the same class.
My advice is, that if your top priority is audio quality, don't buy either of these: there are audiophile headphones in this price range that will outclass these. If you need the noise cancellation feature, get the Bose.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the best headphones, I've ever owned.,
This review is from: Sony MDR1RNC Noise Cancelling Prestige Headphones - Black (Electronics)So I've been saving up for these pair of headphones for a while now and only just managed to get enough money to buy them. And I have to say, I got it out of the box and tried the sound straight away. What I noticed was the bass was a bit low for my liking but then I just went on the sound setting and turned the bass up and that seemed to have solved the problem!, The Digital noise cancelling is what really impressed me with these headphones. I own another pair of Sony headphones which are MDR-V55 which are also really really good for the price but they didn't really block out that much noise and did get a little uncomfortable after a couple of hours because my ears didn't really fit all that well, it was comfortable but just about. But with THESE!, holy mother of god these are comfortable! I can easily wear this for 24 hours! Possibly the most comfortable headphones I've EVER tried. My friend's collects all of the Beats by Dre, I tried them out but found them to be rather uncomfortable.
If you want great noise cancelling, great sound, great bass (may have to mess around with the setting but worth it in the end), GREAT COMFORT. I recommend these. Yes the price should of been a little lower but I didn't have to pay much because i had Amazon vouchers which I was given as gifts so it ended up being cheap for me anyways!. I also recommend you go to your nearest electronic shop and tried these out first. I went to PC World to try the MDR-1R which is the cheapest version without noise cancelling and everything and they were pretty decent as well!.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh my God! These are good.,
This review is from: Sony MDR1RNC Noise Cancelling Prestige Headphones - Black (Electronics)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)For years I've put up with cheap headphones, ersatz purchases at stations when I'd forgotten yet another pair of cheapo `fones. Occasionally I splashed out for a pair with "gold" connectors but in the main they were rubbish and the music they played sounded rubbish too. Recently my eyes were opened to what portable music could sound when I got my hands on a really decent pair of very advanced headphones. Proper, over the ear, sound cancelling headphones. Music was different. Warmer, bigger, better.
They were great.
These are better.
A LOT better. In fact they sound utterly amazing. They drip design, quality and the relentless focus on the sound delivered. The step towards sound perfection beyond my other `phones is as great (or greater) as the step from under-a-fiver cheapies to the pair of German techno-phones I wear on the daily commute. The sound is rich. The bass is deep, warm and defined. The top lines are clear and bright. Physically they are big. The bins are distinctively large and encompassing but comfortable. The sound cancelling is unbelievably good, deadening TV, conversation and background noise ruthlessly. The phones have an internal battery rechargeable from standard micro-USB chargers. The usual set of cables are supplied and the carry case is a work of art. The geometry is easily adjustable to any head and the cabling is light and of appropriate length from head to pocket and these phones are explicitly designed for the ipod-ipad-iphone trilogy of devices (though they and the controls work fine on the Galaxy S2 I tote around) but with standard connectors these phones would be great with a longer cable for the home audiophile. They also look great.
I can't see how these headphones could be bettered from a sound perspective. In fact ignore the qualifier, I don't see how these can be bettered at all.
5.0 out of 5 stars First pair of real headphones,
This review is from: Sony MDR1RNC Noise Cancelling Prestige Headphones - Black (Electronics)Having never spent any real money on headphones I decided to dive in at the deep end with these headphones after having read countless reviews and seen what else is on offer in this price bracket I decided to take the plunge.
Upon receiving the item the product simply oozed with quality and a premium feel.
The headphones came packaged in a box which contained a faux leather carry case, unlike other headphone cases this case had a certain rigidity to it and I knew this case would be more than adequate for protecting the headphones during travel. The headphones themselves come beautifully presented in the case and the case also contains an accessories pouch, the bag contained two cables (one standard and one iPhone cable) along with a micro USB to USB cable along with an in-flight adapter.
The headphones themselves are some of the best looking "cans" I've ever seen with metal parts along with red accents and for the cups being able to fold flat is a useful feature for when you are wearing the headphones around your neck.
Most importantly, the sound quality. These headphones are my first pair of premium headphones and the sound quality on these cans is something I simply didn't know existed. From the variety of songs that I do listen to, I am taken back by the detail in the sound and hearing instruments in the music which I didn't even know existed. Sound quality is the the most important factor when purchasing headphones and these headphones are truly amazing.
Another important area is comfort, the synthetic leather on both the cups and headband is well padded and ensure I can wear the cans comfortably for hours on end, without any discomfort (despite having rather large ears).
Having had the headphones for approximately 2 weeks I haven't truly had the chance to fully experiment with the noise cancelling feature but when using it, background noises (particularly low frequencies) seem to disappear while other higher frequency sounds seem to become higher pitched. I'll be updating this review when I get the chance to use these headphones during travel.
All in all, the headphones are almost everything I would want from great sound to great looks they do seem to be the full package. Despite, some reviews of people complaining of a "ticking" sound when wearing the headphones and walking I have not experienced it. However, if I really want to criticise the headphones it would be the lack of the ability to "daisy chain" the headphones with another pair of headphones. Other headphones particularly the Beats by Dr. Dre are known for this feature and it would have been a nice addition. But that is just me being overly pedantic.
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for home and office environment,
This review is from: Sony MDR1RNC Noise Cancelling Prestige Headphones - Black (Electronics)These headphones are very comfortable and effective. I work in a noisy open plan office and with noise cancelling on my colleagues voices seem very far away :) With music playing on a low volume, the background noise of the office is almost completely gone. Peace. Excellent at home too for cancelling out the hoover, washing machine etc. TV also to an extent. They come with a nice case and selection of cables. My only criticisms would be the size of the headphones (rather large cans!) and the cables are all rather short. So, to recline on the sofa and watch TV with them on, I would need an extension.
5.0 out of 5 stars Seriously satisfied and zero complaints,
This review is from: Sony MDR1RNC Noise Cancelling Prestige Headphones - Black (Electronics)I got these for my recent birthday to replace a 10 year old cheap (but quite adequate) Maxell noise cancelling headphones. I do have a lot of sony products (TVs, surround sound, cameras, camcorders, playstations, etc.) one can always trust they just make a well thought out, well designed system. The headphones are extremely comfortable around the ear. Ergonomics, check! As a hobbyiest musician, sound has always been of the utmost importance to me. The speakers are neutral and transient and do not incorrectly color any type of music I have listened to (everything except house, techno and heavy/thrash metal). I have yet to try the noise cancelling on a plane, but will do so a transatlantic flight in a few weeks when I will get back to this review. In short. seriously satisfied and zero complaints.
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally a good pair of Headphones with noise cancelation,
This review is from: Sony MDR1RNC Noise Cancelling Prestige Headphones - Black (Electronics)I must say, since I need to travel frequent I've been considering a pair of noise cancelation head phones. Problem was not always the prise, but the quality that they provided.
I've tried quite a few times the test pairs in a lot of shops and the results were:
Bose - although it kills a lot of the noise it always felt like I'm gone puke the moment I turned the noise cancelation.
Cheaper Bose models didn't make me feel sick but were either not as good for noise cancelation or it did not fit me.
Philips - didn't make sick but I could still hear a lot of ambient noise (hence the price, half of the Bose)
Sennheiser - where not really comfortable around the ear too. As for nosie cancelation, 10 min in and started to feel a bit sick again.
Other brands similar stories to the above.
So back to the Sony MDR, I was quite sceptical at first because of my experience until not, but hey I decided to give them a shot. First thing I liked the design, really nice feel on of the leather everywhere. Second thing that was really nice was that they fit really good over my ears so for a long use (e.g. 12 hour flight) no problem with the earlobe because there is no pressure on it.
The noise cancelation fits me really well. Clears the room of all ambient sound and stronger noise. First time I tested it my reaction was "wow, did I just teleported into a library!" You can hear the voices of people around you, a bit muffed but if you need to pay attention you can do. 12 hours of flight and at the end I didn't have the buzzing of the jet engines in my head (yey).
Sound quality is really good for what I listen to. The low frequencies are very well audible (I'm not an acoustic expert so I cannot give more than that). There are not squeaks when you move your head or you lean against something. The detachable cable is really a good touch.
What I miss mostly is that there is not volume control on the cable but that I can make myself so not a big loss here, would have been nice though.
The pack is really nice, comes with a case for the headphones also with two cables, one for normal use and one for the i products (which I would probably throw away). Also comes with an adapter for an airplane.
In general there are parts Sony can improve but I am really satisfied and I would reccomend it.
5.0 out of 5 stars The best that Ive had.,
This review is from: Sony MDR1RNC Noise Cancelling Prestige Headphones - Black (Electronics)Where do I start with these headphones? I've had many headphones over the years and I have to admit that these are best that Ive had. These were bought to replace a pair of Bose QC15 and until then I thought that nothing could touch them. Once you handle these, you'll instantly see that the build quality is pretty substantial. However that build quality does come at a price, and that is the weight. I would say that they are probably twice the weight of the Bose's, but with the soft leather foam and sponge ear pieces, I can listen to these all day and not suffer from fatigue. As to the sound quality, they pee over the Bose's with the noise cancelling off, but certain sounds are bizarre with it on. e.g., If people are talking behind you, they sound like robots with the NC on. Other bonuses compared to the Bose's are that they still work when the battery runs down; the battery is rechargeable via micro USB cable; two cables are supplied, one for standard mp3's players and one with a mic/ remote controller for iPhones. they may be steep in cost, but when compared to other high end headphones, they not that bad.
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Cool...!,
This review is from: Sony MDR1RNC Noise Cancelling Prestige Headphones - Black (Electronics)This item was tested in a local technical issue with several other products featuring same abilities. Sony MDR1RNC was the winner.
I decided to try it.
The power supply and endurance of this divide is incredible. It lasts several days of using and the re-charging is easy with the charger of your iPhone, iPad and iPodTouch.
Sony is perfect for my music ambience. It produces deep bass and clear highs and all of this is in a good balance.
The noise canceling feature works fine too. It doesn't take it all away, but changes it in a level that won't disturb you anymore.
I have found the best way to use it in a low level of music in a noisy environment - bus, train and airplane - if not boosted all away...
IMHO The Best of The Branch.
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