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We found a good balance of reviews of the Sony MDR-NC500D headphones. Prolific headphones reviewers at CNET and What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision look at the NC500Ds, while consumer testing magazines Which? and ConsumerReports.org include them in their latest comprehensive roundups. Users at Amazon.com weigh in, too, though opinions there are split.
Sony MDR-NC500D Digital Noise Canceling Headphones, Jasmine France, April 15, 2008
CNET's Jasmine France gives the Sony MDR-NC500D headphones a good rating in this balanced review. She says that while the Sony headphones have good noise canceling and overall sound quality (though bass is "mushy"), they're not the most comfortable headphones around. The MDR-NC500D headphones are expensive, too, but France feels that this is compensated for somewhat by accessories such as a rechargeable battery pack and AC adapter. CNET awards the Sony MDR-NC500D headphones 3.5 out of 5 stars.
2. Which? magazine
Headphones, Editors of Which?
Britain's Which? magazine tests 56 headphones in their latest roundup, with the Sony MDR-NC500D headphones earning a Best Buy designation. Very good noise cancellation and plentiful accessories are highlights. Sound is described as "good," though testers note slight pressure on the ears and say the ear pads tend to get hot and sticky.
Headphones, Editors of ConsumerReports.org
ConsumerReports.org tests and ranks a variety of stereo and noise-canceling headphones, including the Sony MDR-NC500D. Ratings judge sound quality, sensitivity and isolation, but discussion is brief.
4. What Hi-Fi?
Sony MDR-NC500D, Editors of What Hi-Fi?
British audiophile magazine What Hi-Fi? takes a very short look at the Sony MDR-NC500D noise-canceling headphones. The reviewer says that while the noise canceling doesn't quite live up to Sony's claims, it's still very good, and the headphones fit well. But sound is only "decent": "The problem is that deep bass is soft, while treble exhibits some tiresome hardness." What Hi-Fi? awards the Sony MDR-NC500D 3 out of 5 stars.
Sony MDR-NC500D Digital Noise Canceling Headphone (Black), Contributors to Amazon.com
Only about 35 users post reviews of the Sony MDR-NC500D headphones, and there is little consensus. The overall rating is 3.5 stars out of 5, with a nearly even distribution between good and bad evaluations. Fans praise their noise canceling, but detractors say Bose QuietComfort headphones are superior.