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Sony MDR-NC10
6 Reviews
rating  3.67 of 5
MSRP  199.00
Description: Noise canceling ear-bud headphones


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Reviews 1 - 5 (6 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by dbd a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 30, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I generally agree with the previous reviewers' comments about this product. However, I will not buy this again and am very hesitant to buy anything from Sony. There are serious design problems with the unique connection plug and socket which transmit the audio signal through the cord between the player and the noise cancelling unit. This connection gets loose so that the full signal is not transmitted through.

I started having problems with this just after the warranty had expired less than a year after purchase, so I had to get a replacement set from the Sony service center as they don't repair them, paying another $40 in the process. The new unit has developed the same problem - I even tried replacing the connecting cord at a cost of another $50 with little success (and was told by their service people who ordered this part for me that Sony doesn't take returns). But they did fix the connection problem at the time. However, the problem has reappeared and the unit has become unusable because only part of the audio signal is transmitted.

I can assure readers that I did not abuse the unit or handle it roughly. On the contrary, knowing how delicate such devices can be, I handle all my equipement with great care.

Initially I was very hesitant to buy this unit because of its price and goofy-looking ear pieces, but becuase I use public transit daily for 2 hours and love to listen to music, I decided to invest in them, hoping to enjoy them for five years or more (with my misplaced confidence, as it turns out, in the Sony name). I would have gone for KOSS if they had an equivalent product available -I have used their excellent PortaPro and other models in the past and KOSS provides superb post-sales service.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $180.00

Purchased At:   Sony Store



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Terra Ungomis a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 10, 2001

Bottom Line:   
I actually went out to purchase Sony's MDR-EX70LP headphones but changed my mind when I saw that these were in stock (they aren't officially available in the UK).

They were bigger than I expected but once I put them in my ears I was impressed at how comfortable they were and how much sound (across all frequencies) they blocked out without even having activated the noise circuitry. Activating it then reduced a lot of the remaining lower frequencies.

Without playing music I was still able to hear higher frequencies (people talking etc.) but once I started playing music through them almost every other noise disappeared. I tried them out in a busy music store, by a main road and on the tube (subway) and was extremely pleased by how much more bass I could hear compared to my previous headphones. I actually had to deactivate the bass boost on my minidisc player because the bass is so rich.

One of my neighbours has a tendency to play very loud music and these were great for blocking that out completely.

My only two niggles are (a) the oval silver shapes that look like earrings when you're wearing the headphones and (b) what do you do if the rubber seal on the earpiece splits? It seems to be permanently attached so I don't see how you would replace it (mine only came with instructions in Italian and Portuguese so this question may be dealt with in the manual).

Aside from that, the sound is great and I love them. If you travel a lot or just want to block out the world (or noisy neighbours) then I thoroughly recommend these headphones.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $170.00

Purchased At:   Tottenham Court Road



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Rob a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: August 10, 2001

Bottom Line:   
I have to first comment on the first two reviews of this headphone. Virtually all noise-cancelling headphones currently on the market are designed to cancel out LOW FREQUENCY ONLY so it's unfair to downgrade a product based on what's it's supposed to do. After using this headphone on my oversea flight I have to say this headphone worth every penny if you travel a lot - particularly on airplane where majority of noise come from low-frequency engine.

Strength
1. Excellent sound insulation
2. Comfortable ear-buds - more so than my four previous SONY earbuds
3. VERY portable - despite its size as earbuds
4. Awsome bass response
5. Clear, neutral midrange
6. Noise-cancelling box acceptably small

Weakness
1. Bass can be too powerful at times
2. High frequency could be a little bit more extended
2. Pricy - Make sure you buy it in Japan or other Far-Eastern countries because the average selling price is $80-100 compared to $150-$200 within the U.S.
3. Can feel kind of weird after using for a while with the amount of isolation it produces

Overall, this is one of the better earbud headphone I have used, without considering its noise-cancelling circutry. If you like lots of bass for a small package, this headphone delivers. With noise-cancelling circutry on, it works well on airplane and is VERY EASY to carry around when travelling. I give it 3 star value for its price and 5 stars for overall portability, noise-cancelling ability and sound quality.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $100.00

Purchased At:   Japan Tax Free Shop



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Rex a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: January 24, 2001

Bottom Line:   
The special ear-buds can fit inside your ear to mechanically cancel over 2/3 of the surrounding noise mechanically. Turning on the noise-canceling unit, which is powered by a single AAA battery, you find that it has practically limited effect on noise concelling but this make the output more powerful and clear. Though not as good as some other open-air headphone with similar price, its noise concelling effect worths when u are on a bus, train........ An open-air headphone certainly cannot "perform" well in such noisey environment so NC-10 wins.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1997

Price Paid:    $85.00



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Boris a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 23, 2000

Bottom Line:   
I bought these recently to try to make it a little easier to sleep on my commute to and from work. I was hoping that these headphones would allow me to get rid of the loud, annoying conversations that usually take place in the NYC buses and trains, the vehicle noise and also let me enjoy the music from my RIO 500 MP3 player a bit more. The $150 price tag was somewhat off-putting at first but I figured that, as with standard audio equipment purchases, you should spend about as much on the speakers (or headphones in this case) as on the rest of the equipment. The RIO cost me a not-so-meager $250 so I felt that in this case it was justified.
First thing I noticed about these headphones was their enormous size. I was accustomed, after several years of Sony's fontopias, to tiny ear-buds that practically disappear in your ears. These headphones stand out like a Mickey Mouse hat. Not to be too concerned about aesthetics, though I am, I decided to still give them a shot at what they were designed to do, get rid of noise.
Upon inserting them in your ears you immediately experience some of the noise-cancellation, though not through any fancy electronics. The ear-buds are quite different from what I have seen before. These fit snuggly in your ear and have the effect of earplugs you would wear if you were to operate a jackhammer. A little disconcerting at first but I soon got used to it. Turning on the "real" noise-canceling unit, which is powered by a single AAA battery, you find that it has practically no effect. I switched the unit on and off a few times but found no difference in the amount of background noise I heard on a street corner. Once I got on the train this changed. The low rumble of train does seem to be lessened to a degree when the unit is switched on versus just the effect of plugs. On the bus, with its even lower frequency engine and wheel noise the effect is more dramatic. When there aren't any loud mid- and high-frequency sounds around, especially with eyes closed, the world around you seems to disappear. This was probably the best effect I found with these headphones. On an airplane, I would imagine this would probably be even more effective.
Despite their lower-frequency-canceling abilities, I probably wouldn't recommend these headphones to anyone other than people having trouble sleeping on a plane or a long bus ride. On a train they just can't defeat the clanking wheel-against-rail noise. In addition they also make you look rather goofy and add a second box to have to clip somewhere on your person.
I eventually returned the NC10s and waited until the release of Sony's MDR-EX70LP. These cost about a $100 less, have similar noise-dimming silicone plugs and come in a nice case (which I lost after a month) that may allow you to keep them from being damaged for a bit longer. The EX70LP have smaller drivers, 9mm versus NC10s 13.5mm, and do sound a bit worse but are still acceptable for casual travel listening.
By the way, the NC10s do sound pretty damn good but if that's the only thing you're looking for you could probably find it elsewhere for less money.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $150.00

Purchased At:   J&R World NYC




Reviews 1 - 5 (6 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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