Guest blog by Corey
I was pretty pleased to be asked to review these Sony headphones. I commute for work and like to listen to music during the journey.
First of all, a quick try on and then to the set-up. They are, I’m pleased to report, very comfortable to wear and it seems easy to use. I was a little sceptical as I didn’t have high hopes that it would pair up using NFC (Near Field Communication – this technology removes the need for wired connections and complex set-up sequences. Simply touch your NFC-enabled smartphone or other compatible devices to the equipment and you are ready to go) but it did just that. It has a built-in battery with a micro USB charger, and supports passive playback with zero battery, so this is a huge plus.
The major feature of these headphones is that they have digital noise cancelling (NC). You can easily switch NC on or off. It’s this feature, however, that I’m excited about so I’ll be commuting in them to put them through their paces.
When you put them on, it already filters out a lot of noise without powering on just because it’s an over-ear design. To put the headphones to the test here’s my experience in different situations, after testing them for a couple of weeks.
– Walking on the street: Makes cars and even buses very silent. It’s also very clear that you’re listening to something and in your own world so I find that no strangers unnecessarily start a conversation with me!
– In the office: As I said, it filters out a lot of noise even without NC but turning on NC gives a little more benefit. I couldn’t hear somebody asking me to make a pot of tea – several times!
– In a train: The trains I travel on are fairly quiet but NC is still beneficial.
– In the underground: NC works well for monotonic sounds, so it filters out a lot of the background noise which is pretty loud down there. I use the Tube to go to work, so this was one of the main reasons why I was keen to test these and it does allow me to listen to music, even when the music is quieter than the world outside. I could also still make out the lovely rhythmic, non-monotonic “clickety-clack” sounds of trains, which is not entirely cancelled out.
– In an airplane: Planes of course are very loud, but luckily the sound a plane makes is very monotonic and this headphone is absolutely marvellous at cancelling that out. I haven’t had the opportunity to do a huge number of trans-Atlantic flights (I did offer in the interest of a fair review) but on the short flights I took I could easily imagine having a quiet sleep on a plane, otherwise unimaginable to me without NC. Really awesome.
One more word about usability. Most of the controls are pretty intuitive but certain button combinations, or keeping buttons pressed for a certain amount of seconds will bring you new functions. The LED’s blink in different rhythm and colours to tell you specific messages so ensure you READ THE MANUAL – you’ll get the most out of these headphones if you do.
All in all, I really love this product, especially for this price and this feature set, I think this beats the much coveted QC25 (I have briefly tried that before and I don’t remember much of a difference, but I’m not an audiophile, mind you). Don’t just take my word for it though – get your own pair of Sony MDRZX770BNB.CE7 today or find your local store for more information.