Skip to main content

Sony MDR-NC500D review

Sony's MDR-NC500D headphones are reasonable by the standards of noise-cancellers, but they're far short of the quality offered by the best Tested at £190.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

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


  • +

    Reasonable detailing, good depth and weight, comfortable fit


  • -

    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.

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

Read more about how we test