Pros Sony makes some really quality, comfortable, reasonably priced headphones. Unfortunately, these aint it.
Cons Why would anyone spend mega bucks on headphones that are going to break or wear out. Spend $20 for the Sony MDR-CD180 or similiar, at Walmart.com or other. They are heavy duty, completely cover the ears, keep sound in and noise out, and are very comfortab
Summary I needed a pair of noise cancelling headphones to work in a noisy server environment (lots of fans and stuff) and for listening to movies and music on airplanes. I wanted something small and ultra-portable. So I went for these little guys. They are a snug fit, which cuts out a lot of background noise right there (it comes with 3 sizes of earplug). They also have active noise cancelling which helps cut down low frequency background noise, like fans and airplane engines. This works by using a little microphone next to the speaker part, so it can sample the background noise and insert a noise 180 degrees out of phase with it. The new noise helps cancel the old noise. Of course, if there is no background noise, it just adds new noise, so don't turn on the noise cancelling unless you need it. I used them all day for almost 3 months in a very noisy server room, and on 3 plane rides. They do work. When you turn on the noise cancelling, you can hear it attenuate some of the low background frequencies. But don't expect miracles. I tried a seatmate's can-type headphones (Akai I think) and they worked about as well as these Sony earbuds. They were cheaper too. Of course, they were bigger and more noticeable than earbuds. Being earbuds, they can be uncomfortable to wear at first. I got used to them after a couple of days though, and I slept with them on the plane a couple of times. For my last trip they put me in a cabin full of kids, and there was no time where one of them wasn't screaming. It was a 15 hour flight too. My earbuds were a godsend. Of course, earbuds will never block as much background noise as the big, heavy, over-ear "can" type of headphones. It depends on how much noise reduction you need, and how important size is to you. They are expensive though. I paid around $100 US. If you don't need the noise cancelling, don't bother, because the other downside is the AAA battery holder and white noise generator. That is a little triangular thing that catches on stuff as you carry the earbuds around, and adds a bunch of extra cord. The generator does have an amp built into it though, which is great on airplanes when you need extra volume. Another potential downside is the soft rubber earplugs. I think they could deteriorate over time. However, mine are fine so far, and I used them almost daily for three months.
Summary I bought it because of its active noise cancellation. But find out that the ear bud design filter noise more effective than the active noise cancellation. Only some low frequencies noise could be cancelled. And I open the case and tune the 2 VRs to find the best cancellation for my ears.
Pros Ear buds fit well, fairly good sound, small & lightweight
Cons Some noise cancelling is happening, but much mid-frequency noise is merely masked with white noise. Cables to ear buds are fragile; mine broke within 1 month