The Sony MDR-NC100D are on the high end costing in the neighborhood of $200. While cheaper than other in-ear noise cancelling earphones, is it capable of competing with more expensive options performance-wise?
Sony MDR-NC100D Review
Design and Features
The Sony MDR-NC100D can come in three styles/colors, pink, black and silver and all white. Along the cord is the noise cancelling remote that has an on/off button, a shirt clip on the back and a monitor button.
The cord itself is comfortably long so you won’t have to strain your neck when your device is in your bag or pocket.
Some people may appreciate the built-in clip but for others, it’s just added bulk on the pocket.
The perfect balance of noise cancellation and audio quality is like a holy grail for earphone brands and unfortunately, Sony wasn’t able to attain this delicate balance with the MDR-NC100D.
The audio quality is superior on this model and can even compete with more high-end brands like Bose. The sound is crisp and clear which makes for an enjoyable music listening experience.
The noise cancellation function however, is not up the level as the Bose 20i’s. When used in situations with lower frequency noises such as human chatter and ambient noise, NC-100D’S noise cancellation work well. However, when used where high frequency outside noises are prevalent there appears a noticeable hiss. Not all people notice it, but it has been reported.
The monitor button works like a sound remote control. It pauses the sound and the noise cancellation when pressed so you can have a conversation or listen to your environment without having to take the earphones out of your ears. Unlike a remote control however, the music will not pause and will keep on playing, you just won’t be able to hear it.
One inconvenience on the NC-100D is that the control box does not contain any volume control buttons. As mentioned earlier, it only offers a switch and the monitor button which means that you still have to take out your device from wherever you’re keeping it if you want to adjust the volume.
Are They Worth It?
With a price tag on the high side, the NC-100D are less expensive when compared with headphones like Bose’s QuietComfort series but keep in mind that there are also other brands that offer the same functionality for less money.
If sound quality is absolutely imperative for you when choosing a noise cancelling earphones, the MDR-NC100D will not disappoint. The audio is what you would expect from a Sony product, noise cancellation or not. However, if you’ll be using the noise cancelling feature a lot, be prepared to hear a bit of hissing.
The Bottom Line
The usefulness of the NC-100D for you will depend on what you’ll use it for. Generally, it is a good choice for an earphone if you’ll be mostly using it to listen to music while traveling or commuting and the noise cancelling feature occasionally.
If noise cancellation in an in-ear headphone with great audio quality is what your looking for then you will better off spending some extra money and going with the Bose 20i.