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Sony MDR-NC500D Noise Cancelling Headphones Review

Updated on November 2, 2012
5 out of 5 stars from 1 rating of Sony MDR-NC500D
Sony MDR-NC500D Review
Sony MDR-NC500D Review

Sony is well known for musical electronics goods like earphones, headphones, walkmans, digital sound systems etc. Sony MDR-NC500D headphones are of great quality which lives up to the famous Sony standard. MDR-NC500D headphones are equipped with active digital noise cancellation system. With the digital noise cancellation system the gadget mutes the outside noise for optimum music listening experience. It boasts of a noise cancellation efficiency of 99%. The system has also a frequency response range of 5 Hz to 24 KHz while the limit of human ear is 20 Hz to 20 KHz. The main problem with these headphones is lack of passive listening option and low battery life.

Design of Sony MDR-NC500D Headphones

Sony is also known for making good looking electronics goods. MDR-NC500D is a decent looking product from them. The headphones are light weight but look not very flimsy. There are urethane cushions over the ear pads which are comfortable to our ears. The big size of the cups makes it comfortable for bigger ears.

Digital Noise Cancellation System

MDR-NC500D claims to be the world’s first headphones with digital noise cancellation (DNC) system. The system works fine. There are three modes of noise cancellation in it; 1) Airplane, 2) Bus/Train and 3) Office. Though there is not much difference among these modes. It uses feedback type noise cancellation system, which means that it has the noise sampling microphone near the ear cup. In this way it can catch the outside sound which goes to our ears and cancels it. It converts the noise input to digital signal and uses software and microprocessor to detect and cancel noise.

Sound Quality

These headphones are good at producing high quality sound output. The system converts analogue input to digital and uses special algorithm to improve signal to noise (S/N) ratio. The high frequency tunes like the sound of a guitar sounds flawlessly. The midranges are fine and with no noise. The bass of the system is also decent.

Battery Life

Battery Life of Sony MDR-NC500D is around 16 hours. 16 hours are not enough for a headphone. It would be better if it could give 5 or 6 hours more. The system can be operated with two AA batteries. There is also an internal rechargeable battery.

Main Problems

The main problems with Sony MDR-NC500D are battery life and not having passive mode. As the system has a CPU and software system, the battery life is not too long for headphones. The system is digital and so there is no passive mode. You cannot listen to any music if the battery drains out. This can be a setback for many customers.

Sony MDR-NC500D Video


If you travel often then this headphone is for you because of its superb noise cancellation system. You can use it without turning the volume level in outdoors. In a noisy plane, bus or train the system works fine. The sound quality is also good. But for having longer playback times you need to carry a pair of AA batteries with it. Overall, Sony MDR-NC500D is a good product to buy.


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    • profile image

      Chris 5 years ago

      Sony MDR-NC500D sux!!

      Lost ear pad and I can't get it anywhere!

      $400 and it is now useless.

    • pinappu profile image

      pinappu 5 years ago from India

      Noise Reduction headphones are great for travelling but do not use them while jogging on a road :) @alocsin

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I do travel sometimes and am looking for a good pair of earphones. Thanks for pointing this out. Voting this Up and Useful.