Great Headphones; Not So Portable...

May 24, 2005
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Comfortable (like a dream). Excellent sound. Noise cancelling is superb for price range.

Cons:NC unit is too large and cumbersome. Cord is too long for portable use.

The Bottom Line: Great, comfortable noise-cancelling headphones but not as portable as they seem.

Ever since I tried on a pair of my friend's noise-cancelling headphones attached to his iPod I was in love with the idea of cancelling annoying, ambient noise.

I purchased a pair of Maxell's HP-NC-II headphones at Best Buy for about $60CDN. I was mainly looking for a pair of noise cancelling headphones that were somewhat portable. The collapsing feature of the HP-NC-IIs were what sold me on them.

First, I must say that these headphones sound great. Using the noise cancelling feature the bass does sound fairly artificial but it isn't anything that really bothered me.

Second, these are extremely comfortable headphones. I've yet to experience anything so comfortable in my life (although I haven't worn any of the higher-end Bose or Sennheiser headphones). Everything is padded in really soft and cushy material which makes wearing these heaphones a dream especially for longer periods of time.

Regrettably, however, I had to take these headphones back. I found that the noise-cancelling unit (which is about half-way down the headphone cable) was just way too large to make the headphones practical for wearing as I commute to school on the train/subway. The unit, which houses two AAA batteries, is silly looking because it's so huge and I found it really annoying and always getting in the way. The cord, while of good quality, is also really long and got in the way all the time.

Maybe I'm just too fussy and I know that there are noise-cancelling headphones out there with bigger control units but this one was just too large for my liking.

Don't get me wrong, these are excellent headphones, the noise-cancellation works very effectively for their price range and the closed design eliminates noise in itself. Even with noise-cancelling turned off a lot of noise was eliminated just by design. My only reservation with these headphones is portability. I found that I was deceived by their collapsing capabilities, the cord length and the size of the control unit just made it way too awkward for me to use during a rush hour commute. These headphones would be ideal for use in an office for long periods of time or on a long plane flight but if you're going to be moving around a lot, look for something else.

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