The Harman/Kardon NC are well-crafted, well-rounded headphones that sound great, deliver decent noise isolation in noisy environments and are comfortable enough to have on the head for hours. They will not disappoint, even though they struggle a little with treble reproduction.
- Above average audio reproduction.
- Sturdy metal build.
- Very comfortable design.
- Sub-par treble reproduction.
- Large ear cups susceptible to damage.
The Harman/Kardon are stylish and very comfortable headphones. The square over-ear design of the ear cups is well-padded and molds well around the ears of most listeners. The interchangeable, metal headband is sturdy and the self-adjusting padding delivers a tension free, stable fit. The housing of the ear cup might be the one weak point in their build quality, but it is nothing to be worried about.
The Harman/Kardon are an eye-catching set of headphones. The square design of the ear cups is unique and looks great and the metal headband and joints look premium. The matte black finish on the ear cup housing, as well as the black reto-design padding on the headband, complete the two-tone color scheme and the old school esthetic.
The Harmon/Kardon are a pleasure to have on the head. The square over-ear cups fully encompass the ear and are very well padded, making them comfortable to wear for hours. The interchangeable headband design delivers a tight, painless fit that does not need to be adjusted between listening sessions, which is a definite plus.
Simple and efficient button layout. The inline controls of the cable are well designed and provide good tactile feedback for the call/music and volume buttons. There is a noise cancelling switch on the ear cup. However, it is a little difficult to reach at times, reducing its ease of use.
The Harman/Kardon NC are incredibly stable for over-ear headphones. The large square ear cups are broad enough to apply even pressure around the ear, preventing them from swaying when running. The headband has the right amount of tension and keeps the headphones in place during casual listening sessions or high-intensity activities. The audio cable will also detach if it gets hooked on something and won't pull the headphones of your head. Sadly, they're not designed for sports and might feel a little too bulky and heavy for some.
The Harman/Kardon NC are on the larger side for over ear headphones. The broad earcups lay flat to take up less space making these headphones somewhat portable. Unfortunately, they don't fold up into a more compact format and will occupy a decent amount of space in a backpack. They won't comfortably fit in a handbag and are far too big to fit in a pocket, even larger jacket pockets.
Comes with a soft, leather pouch that will shield the headphones from scratches and mild water damage. It also doesn't add much bulk to the headphones. Sadly the soft bag will not protect the headphones from hard falls, which is slightly disappointing given the Harman/Kardon's premium appeal.
Solid build quality throughout. The metal frame of the headband feels sturdy and durable. The joints are also made of metal, which makes them less susceptible to regular wear and tear. The ear cups are held in place by the solid frame and the padding used is soft. However, the housing of the ear cups is made of plastic and could crack if enough pressure is applied.
The Harman/Kardon NC have great audio reproduction that's rarely distorted, even at higher volumes. The bass is slightly overpowered but not to the point of sounding too boomy or bass-heavy, and the mid-range is well reproduced. Unfortunately, these headphones struggle with the higher notes, causing a poor representation of speech and vocals in audio, which depending on listening habits, may not please everyone.
Good performance. The overall bass response is rather hyped. The bump in high-bass could add a little bit of boominess to the sound.
Very good performance. The -5dB dip at 1KHz, however, negatively affects the intesity and balance of vocals/lead instruments compared to the lower instruments.
Poor performance. The bump at 12KHz (and above) adds excessive brilliance and airiness to the sound, but shouldn't be an issue for most. The main issue is the dip from 4KHz-6Khz, which weakens and dulls out vocals and lead instruments.
Very good performance, especially in low-bass, where low distortion is uncommon. Also, the rise in distortion at 100dB SPL remains within good values.
The Harman Kardon Noise Cancelling headphones have great noise isolation performance. They deliver strong, active noise cancellation that can handle the ambient noise of a regular commute quite well. The superb seal from the plush ear pads also provides above-average passive isolation that leaks very little sound. Some high-frequency sounds may escape the headphones at high volumes, but it's nothing to be worried about.
Good performance. Isolation in the bass region is average, but the mid and treble performance are very good. The treble isolation remains unchanged even with ANC off.
Good leakage performance. The profile is quite narrow too, from 2.5KHz-5KHz, which covers the higher harmonics of vocals/lead instruments and cymbals.
The Harman/Kardon NC only have noise canceling as an active feature. This makes them less versatile for other use cases except as noise canceling headphones, as they lack both wireless or an app, to enhance and customize their sound. On the upside, the rechargeable battery delivers a good 41 hours of continuous playback, but have no power saving features and take quite a bit time to charge.
The Harman/Kardon have a good battery life but take a bit long to charge fully. They last around 41 hours which makes them good headphones to use on a long flight or a road trip. Unfortunately, if you leave them on they will run out of battery because there is no auto-off timer and you can't use them while they're charging as the power and audio cables share the same port.
In the box
- Harman/Kardon NC headphones
- Extra interchangeable headband
- Audio cable
- Airline adapter
- Carrying case
- USB Cable