What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Fri, 27 Mar 2009, 1:00pm

Sony MDR-NC500D

Tested at £190
60100
3

Hard treble and pudgy bass makes these cans tiresome with prolonged listening

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For

  • Reasonable detailing, good depth and weight, comfortable fit

Against

  • Harsh sibilant treble, pudgy bass

These headphones use digital noise cancelling to cut surrounding noise by up to 99 per cent, and artificial intelligence to work-out 'the best noise profile for your situation'.

The noise-cancelling is not as comprehensive as that marketing info suggests, but it's not far off, and the headphones are very comfortable on the ears.

The sound is decent. Basslines kick in with depth, and vocals are arresting. The problem is that deep bass is soft, while treble exhibits some tiresome hardness.