Talking tech since 2003

I purchased the Sony MDR-NC40 headphones almost on impulse because the price was really unbeatable, plus I knew I had a trip coming up to test these out on. These ultra-light noise-cancelling headphones retail for $100, and claim to reduce up to 90% of noise. I took a trip to Colorado Springs and Denver over the long weekend, and documented my experiences with these headphones.

We did drive to Colorado Springs from Albuquerque, NM, roughly a 5 hour drive. I was driving for most of it, but I did test these out when not driving. They cancelled out all the noise from the air conditioning, but let the sound of voice in just fine. In other words, they cancel out white noise and you can still hear voices. That does include the radio or conversations going on in the car so be aware. I find that to be a plus, because if someone needs to tell you something you will still be able to hear the voice, though it is faint.

I did listen to a lot of music and podcasts at night in the hotel with these. They do sound like $100 headphones. The sound is great, but there are some flaws. The bass is just fine, as it is not too overpowering, yet you can still feel the pump. The high’s are clear and crisp, and the mid’s delivery is solid. The overall sound is full, but there are times it gets a little “tinny”. I also noticed they sound horrible if the noise-cancelling feature is off. That is a huge downside, because if you run out of AAA batteries you better be prepared for poor sound quality.

The comfort level on these headphones are fairly high. The padding is minimal on the headband, but it was not a problem as these are very light headphones. The padding on the ears are very soft and comfortable. I had no problem wearing these for a couple hours at a time.

Overall, I am very pleased with the NC40’s after this trip. They performed very well, and I will have a full review coming up after a few weeks.


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