Sony MDR-NC7 Review
The Sony MDR-NC7 is over-the-head style headphones designed specifically for noise cancellation. The headphones feature 38 mm driver units combined with Neodymium magnets to reproduce strong bass and clear treble sound. Many of us are often exposed to environments full of background ambient noise. Car traffic, factory equipment, and airplane motors all create constant low-frequency hums that give many people a headache during a long exposure. The Sony MDR-NC7 noise cancelling headphones create a frequency that cancels out this type of background noise and allows the user to enjoy music instead. It’s worth pointing out that these headphones are not meant to cancel out any sound occurring outside the headset. You will still hear loud sounds or talking of someone nearby, but they will cancel out constant noise which irritates our ears. The design of the MDR-NC7 Noise Canceling headphones is a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, they're fairly stylish. You can choose from either white or black, both of which feature understated silver accenting. The ear pads are quite different from regular ones, it is a supra aural type though with large pads like circumaurals, and completely covered with thin black leatherette material and small foam in the center. After prolonged usage there are chances of this stuff peeling off, it always does in all headphone brands. The earpad style offers a nice alternative to earbuds while still allowing the phones to be folded down compactly for storage and transport. Also included is a dual-pronged airline adapter for the rare instance that you find yourself on an older plane sporting those ports. On the other hand, comfort is an issue when it comes to the MDR-NC7 headphones. The main issue is that the headband is hard plastic and has no padding, it tended to chafe the top of users heads after about 15 minutes of wear. Also, the headphones are just a touch tight, and this combined with the on-ear style can put uncomfortable pressure on the cartilage of the ear during extended wear. Finally, the headband doesn't seem particularly durable, always a concern with budget models. The right earcup has a slot for single AAA battery, while the right one has an on/off switch. This switch is a simple slider switch, nicely integrated into the silver column on the earcup. The good part is that there is no external circuit, it's all integrated into the form factor of the earcups itself. The noise suppression ratio rating is 9dB, while overall sensitivity is 102 dB/mW. The frequency response is 30Hz-20kHz. The impedance rating is not mentioned. The noise cancellation in itself works OK; it makes the sound bit rounder at the low end and ups the volume. The awful pressure or "pull" experience by many when noise cancellation is on, is not really there, or rather it is in tolerable amounts. Low frequencies and continuous sound sources are negated, while random waveforms such as speech and high frequency noise are not completely shunned. One point worth noting is that the passive noise reduction of the unit is quite commendable, and this is good as the music can play when the unit is off too. Sound wise the bass is not so impressive. It has a very low envelope, but it tapers off after about 50 Hz. The high and mids are satisfactory, and it is when the drivers are pushing in full flow at its loudest, that you feel the true performance. There is no audible distortion, nor does the sound misbehave in any way when played at the loudest levels. Speaking of loudest levels, these headphones can surely go loud. Overall, the Sony MDR-NC7’s sound quality is decent, but does not have that Sony class to it - bass is not so strong, nor is the sound isolation. High frequency clarity and loudness are great though. If you're working on a super strict budget and must have some noise cancelling, the MDR-NC7 will do the trick.