Pros Delivers sound quality and noise reduction comparable to the industry standard Bose Quiet-Comfort Series but at a considerably more reasonable price.
Cons I'd agree with CNET about the cord but hey, you can always buy a longer one. Besides, I'm only using these for flights so the cord length is fine.
Summary I was going to purchase the Bose Q-3's until I discovered that they too were manufactured in China. Call me a sentimental fool but I still think that it is important to purchase goods made in the U.S. I then read CNET's review of the JVC's and had the opportunity to A/B the Q-3's and the NC250's. I really couldn't hear much of a difference between the two although the Q-3's did have a tiny bit tighter mid-range than the 250's. However, for $97.00 delivered (Quack Quack Distributors) vs. $350.00, I'll take them over the Bose anyday.
Pros Lightweight, good sound, strong comparison to Bose QC
Cons Nothing serious enough to note.
Summary By way of preface, I have been a professional classical musician, as well as student sound engineer and would love to be an audiophile but can simply not afford it. I am pretty picky about the quality of my sound. I tried many different sound canceling headphones in this price range before buying these ones. Previously I owned a set of Sony 'in ear' sound canceling headphones which I used for about a year before they broke down.
I have owned these for about 2 weeks, and 10 hours of use in travel environments. I paid about $125 US for them including shipping from an ebay retailer.
Overall impression: Good sound, pretty comfortable to wear, good build quality and feel, and the noise canceling works as well or better than others I have tried, with the right expectations for what it can and can not do.
I have seen reviews of these headphones on other sites that bash the sound quality, and I just don't get it. Granted they are not studio quality reference headphones, but if you need studio quality sound, you probably won't be wearing them on an airplane. The whole point of the noise canceling headphones is that you are using them in a noisy environment where sound quality will be poor in the first place.
In the two weeks since I bought these I have tried them on inter-city bus service and on several 4 hour+ flights. They are great. The noise canceling is great at cutting out the mid-low frequency rumbles, and the sound quality is just fine... admittedly when you use them in a silent environment there is a (very) slight bit of induced hiss when you power on the sound canceling, but in an aircraft or bus that artifact fades in comparison to all the background noise. Keep in mind that the noise canceling works best if the cups are sealed well to your ears.
I found I could cut the volume of the aircraft entertainment system in half with the noise canceling on, compared to listening with it off, and checked several times during the flights to compare my listening experience with the headphones powered on or off. It is actually surprising how quickly you get used to the sound suppression... it is shocking to turn it off and hear how loud a commercial airliner is. I find I am less stressed at the end of a flight with noise canceling headphones on, and this purchase was spurred on by the demise of my last pair of Sonys.
I did have the opportunity to try these against my Dad's three year old Bose QCs. We just ducked into the furnace room to get a feel for them in a moderately loud environment, and then tried them side by side in a quiet place for sound quality. Both of us came to the conclusion that there was nothing to choose between them, both in sound quality (from my basic MP3 player) and in the noise reduction... nothing but the price, as I paid less than 1/3 of what he did.
Overall great purchase for me, and I would recommend them to any frequent traveller or someone who has a cubicle next to the server room or air conditioner compressor.
Pros Great noise reduction. Comfortable to wear
Cons Careful ear placement required
Summary I requested these headphones for Christmas to help alleviate the slurping, loud talking, and general obnoxiousness of a cubicle neighbor at work. After trying them the first time, I discovered they did something even better: they completely eliminated the loud hum of my building's A/C system, leaving me able to hear myself think and actually enjoy my music.
With a flick of the switch all low frequency ambient noise disappeared. I was truly left in a quiet environment. Of course, high-frequency sounds are not eliminated, so you'll still hear voices (though muffled) or equipment beeps, etc., but since I use them at work I still need to hear my phone ring!
Not only does the noise-canceling feature work well, but the quality of the signal coming through is very high quality as well. The mids and highs are clear and crisp, and the bass is solid without being overpowering.
The headphones are very comfortable. I wear mine the entire 7-9 hours I'm working and barely know they're on. The only thing to be careful of, though, is that you place them directly on the ear, without any of the cup extending beyond the back of the ear's outside 'lip'. If you do, you'll get a slight cycling hiss, which I presume is from the noise-canceling mechanism. But place them carefully and correctly directly on the ear and you'll get high quality sound in a silent environment you only dreamt was possible.
Pros Inexpensive relative to comparable models. Really good sound quality for listening to music, especially with noise cancelling on. Noise cancelling effective. Very comfortable to wear over long periods. Can still listen to music when batteries dead.
Cons Lets in some noise when wearing glasses. Annoying crackling sound when using noise cancelling and batteries are running down.
Summary As I was traveling every week for work, I began looking at noise cancelling headphones to wear on my 4 flights per week. I compared these to the Bose QC-3 which a fellow traveler let me try and found these JVC HA NC-250 headphones to be a much better value. I found very little difference in performance between the two but at more than $200 less than the QC3 these wer hard to pass up. I found the noise cancelling ability of the QC3 to be somewhat better but the sound quality of HA NC-250 to be notieably better.
The HA NC-250s are a quality product and come with some nice accessories. They come with enough connection accessories to allow connection with most any type of source device. The hard hard sided case protects the headphones, has a pocket for other accessories and extra batteries, room for SD cards or small MP3 players, and fits nicely in an external pocket of my laptop bag.
The HA NC-250s noise cancelling feature requires 2 AAA batteries, as opposed to the QC3's unique proprietary battery ($50 for a spare), and you can still listen to source sound even when the batteries are dead (a la sans noise cancelling).
I found the HA NC-250s to be very comfortable but most of my flights were less than 2 hours. On a recent trip to Hawaii I was able to confirm that they are comfortably for longer use periods too. In fact, they were comfortable enough for me to sleep with them on while listening to music...with the noise canceling, I almost forgot I was 34,000 feet in the air.
I also appreciate the dynamic range and realistic (as realistic as MP3 can be) sound reproduction these headphones provide. They delivered solid bass when I was expecting bass, accurate reproduction of voices in the mid-range, and crisp highs with no hissing or buzzing.
I am very pleased with my purchase and highly recommend the HA NC-250 noise cancelling heaphones especially for folks who spend a lot of time in airplanes. I suggest anyone considering the Bose QC3 or QC2, do a side by side comparison with the JVC HA NC-250s. I think you will be pleasntly surprised.
"disappointed"on by jykarl
Pros comes in a nice case
Cons Ear pads too small, my ears started to hurt on longer flights.
Static noise coming out of the right ear pieced, couldn't decide what was more annoying the engine noise or the static.