Sony MDRZX110NC Noise Cancelling Headphones

“Ugh, yet another thing. Why do you need these,” said Mrs. Roho, when I bought these headphones before a trip in 2016.

Why indeed. I certainly had no shortage of headphones, from super cheap airbuds to more expensive, accurate monitoring headphones for professional use. Why these?

Noise cancelling for cheap, that’s why.

If you’ve been on an airplane, you know they are loud. Super loud. Often in-flight entertainment gets drowned out, even with headphones given out by the airline (you’d think they wouldn’t hand out something that wouldn’t work, but alas, they do).

These are currently less than $40 on Amazon.com.They couldn’t possibly work well, right? Well… I think they do. Of course, I’m absolutely biased here because frankly I haven’t really used noise cancelling headphones before; so therefore my judgment is based on a simple rubric called “does it seem to reduce some noise.” And, well, er, they do. Noticeably so. So no complaints from me.

They fold up nicely, a must for something travel oriented. They adjust well and the battery life is fine. Other than probably less effective noise cancelling, what you miss out on is design niceties. The battery compartment is of the fussy “twist and hope the plastic bits align right” type, and it’ll pop off pretty easily if dropped.

The biggest design fault is the noise cancelling on/off slider and the tiny LED light that comes on. It is very easy to forget that you’ve turned on the headphones, and without any auto-shutoff, you can easily drain the battery far faster than you intend.

But hey, CHEAP. So we can forgive these design concessions.

Post script: my mother-in-law desired noise cancelling headphones for the flight back from the Japan trip we took as a family a few months ago. We were in a large electronics store, and wouldn’t you know it? I found these exact pair. I was able to suggest them with no hesitation, and saved her a ton of money in the process.

 

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