The Sony MDR-NC8 deliver surprisingly decent sound reproduction. However, they are flimsy, below-average headphones with terrible noise isolation and subpar build quality. They feel cheap and are hard to recommend.
- Decent audio reproduction.
- Earcups don't leak much sound.
- Very poor noise cancelling.
- Flimsy, weak build.
- Lack in bass is noticeable.
The MDR-NC8 feel and look cheap. They are extremely flimsy, lack severely in build quality and do not offer any in-line controls. They also feel uncomfortable because of the lack of padding and tension on the weak headband which is very disappointing.
There's nothing that really stands out with the design of the MDR-NC8. They look bland and utilitarian but also but also a little cheap because of the low-grade thin plastic used. They come in a matt black color accentuated by a glossy finish at the hinges and a subtle SONY branding on the back of oval ear cups. The headband is thin and not padded which does not help with the already bland esthetic.
The padding on the ear cups is soft and the MDR-NC8 are lightweight. These are the only benefits to an otherwise uncomfortable set of headphones. The lack of padding on the headband and the overall flimsiness of the headphones do not feel good on the head. The stereo audio cable is not detachable and can get in the way, as they link both ear cups which can be frustrating.
Button layout is non-existent. There is only one button and its to switch on/off the noise cancelling. The MDR-NC8 offer no in-line controls so you will have to pull out your device every time you want to turn up the volume or skip and stop a tracks which is very disappointing.
The Sony MDR-NC8 are not stable headphones. The headband is not tight enough to keep the headphones in place during physical activity. They sway a lot while running and are not ideal for the gym. They also have a non-detachable cable that will pull the headphones off your head if it gets hooked on something.
These headphones are fairly portable. They fold up into a compact design that will easily fit into larger bags and purses. However, they're not portable enough to comfortably carry around on your person. They also do not come with case or pouch, which is a little disappointing
These headphones have surprisingly decent audio reproduction. The relatively flat audio profile is flexible and works well with vocals and instrumental tunes. They do, however, lack bass, so listeners looking for a deep low end to go with their Hip/hop or EDM will be disappointed. Distortion is also a concern and is noticeable at mid-to-higher volumes.
Decent performance. The bass response is flat down to 80Hz but the roll-off in to the low-bass region means that these headphones don't have a lot of thump to them.
Very good performance. The bump in the mid region makes these headphones very slightly forward sounding.
Poor, inconsistent performance. The dip surrounding 6KHz noticeably dulls the presence of vocals and other lead instruments. On the other hand, the peak around 8KHz makes sibilant material slightly sizzly and hyped.
Very high distortion. The 90 dB SPL result is worse than some other headphones' 100 dB SPL performance. Distortion at 100 db SPL at 70Hz is 10%.
The MDR-NC8 have very poor performance when it comes to cancelling ambient noise. The active noise cancellation changes nothing in the amount of ambient noise that get into the earcups and their padding does not add much passive isolation either. The MDR-NC8s won't leak much sound but are definitely not recommended for use in noisy environments or for travelling.
Amazingly, the active noise cancelling on these headphones doesn't seem to be doing anything. The passive isolation is also sub-par, only starting to isolate at around 400Hz. It does best at 5 KHz, where it provides -20dB of isolation.
Good leakage performance, which is expected of on-ear headphones. Listening to music at average volumes should not be an issue, but the profile is relatively broadband. It ranges from 500Hz and up to 4Khz.
The MDR- NC8 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 features or an app, to enhance and customize their sound. On the upside, they have an incredibly long battery life at 88.5 hours with a single fully charged AAA cell.
The MDR-ZX110NC have great battery life that will easily deliver above 80 hours of continuous playback. They use a AAA battery but thanks to the long battery life you won't have to swap out the battery as often. Unfortunately, like the MDR-ZX110NC they have no power saving features, but can be used passively when the battery runs out.
No compatible app.
In the box
- Sony MDR-NC8
- Airline adapter
- AAA Battery