Sony MDR-NC6 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Sony MDR-NC6 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Noise cancellation technology works as advertised. Crips highs. Punchy midrange and decent bass extension. Very easy to fold-up and take with you. Includes plug adapter for home stereo and airplanes. Not very expensive. Free shipping from Sony.

Ear pads are not the most comfortable. Headphone fit is somewhat tight making long listening sessions painful. Major impedance swing with the power on/off. Sound quality is not as good as we would have expected from Sony.

For $50, they represent an okay buy in the noise cancelling category. The build quality is good, but they were far too uncomfortable to be used on a long-flight, even if the noise cancellation technology works. Sennheiser and others make models worth trying as well.

Check the Amazon website here for more information on this product.

Sony MDR-NC6 Noise Cancelling Headphones: Quiet! We're Trying to Have a Political Discussion

The MDR-NC6 do a good job blocking out external noise, but they hardly the most comfortable headphones we have ever tried.

Is the world that noisy that we want to shut it off? I have had this discussion with people who swear by noise cancelling headphones, as I sit each morning and enjoy my morning coffee in a little café in Teaneck. I get the same responses from everyone; noisy children, obnoxious people on the train, rude people on airplanes, and overbearing relatives who cannot shut up at the dinner table. Not that I am advocating the use of headphones at the dinner table, because the moment I see an image of a family sitting at the dinner table enjoying dinner while wearing wireless cans, I am going to pack it all in and move to the hills.

The dinner table is for political discord, self-deprecation, and being told that your haircut looks stupid.

Ozzy can wait for later.

Unless the discussion involves political donations to Ozzy’s presidential campaign.

Noise cancelling headphones are for those moments in-between when you really need quiet to focus on what matters most; music, money, and making enough to afford nine nights at expensive spas in the desert.

Sony offers a rather interesting collection of noise-cancelling headphones, with the MDR-NC6 as the entry-point. Built with Sony’s usual standards for style and durability, the MDR-NC6 are sturdy, and a good value for the asking price. They are easy to travel with thanks to their flat-folding design.

The problem with these headphones is that they are so uncomfortable. The ear cushions did not sit properly on my ears and I found the headband to be quite tight on my head. If the targeted audience for these is travelers and commuters, they really need to work on the comfort issue. On a $50 pair of headphones, I would expect the level of comfort to be higher.

The MDR-NC6 are designed to reduce ambient noise and create a quieter environment to enjoy music. They synthesize ambient sound with an anti-sound signal that is created by the noise cancelling circuitry, which in theory reduces ambient noise by 10 dB at 300Hz. The claim seems reasonable on paper, and I did notice an appreciable decrease in external noise while listening to them. They also operate as passive headphones when the noise cancelling circuit is not activated.

Are they going to drown out the little kid in 21A who is kicking the seat of the fortunately drunk schlep in 20A and screaming for some toy that his parents left behind in Jersey?


The MDR-NC6 are not the last word in midrange purity, but I think that most people could deal with their overall sonic presentation. They try very hard not to offend, which makes their sins, ones of omission. The treble, while not the sweetest I have ever heard on a pair of headphones is not strident at all and airy enough to make most pop recordings sound quite good. Do they have the detail of the Grado SR60s? Not even close, but it is acceptable for a headphone in this price range.

The bass response is good, but it lacks the grip to makes its visceral impact more impressive. The snap is missing.

Overall, the MDR-NC6 does a solid job at noise-cancellation and are above average in the sound department. Some improvements to the headband and ear cushions would make them a far better headphone.

Where to Purchase:

Check Out the the Amazon Website Here.

Technical Info:

Brand: Sony
Model: MDR-NC6 Noise Cancelling
Type: Open air, dynamic
Driver units: 38 mm, dome type
Power handling capacity: 100mW
Impedance: 20 ohms
Sensitivity: 106 dB/mW
Frequency response: 30 – 15,000 Hz
Frequency range of active noise attenuation: 40 – 1,500 Hz
Cord length: 59 inches
Plug: Gold plated L-shape
Battery: 1 AAA Battery
Weight: 5.3 oz
Price: $49.99

See the Amazon website for Sony MDR-NC6 Noise Cancelling Headphones

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