2 expert reviews - 0 user reviews
We have collected 2 reviews of the Sony XBA-NC85D. Experts rate Sony XBA-NC85D 5.5/10. Reviewsor.com helps you find reviews, best prices, user reviews of the Sony XBA-NC85D and Sony Earphones.
Balanced-armature (BA) designs produce lower distortion and cleaner sound than conventional headphone driver types, which are essentially miniature speaker drivers. Sony currently makes 11 balanced-armature models, with the $499.99 XBA-NC85D noise-canceling in-ear headphones topping the line. Sony claims it's the world's smallest and lightest set of noise-canceling in-ear headphones, which sounds good on paper, but they fail to meet those expectations. I doubted the logic of Sony's design strategy as soon as I started to use the XBA-NC85D, and their sound quality falls well short of what I expect from a $499.99 headphone. With noise-canceling effectiveness marginal at best, I recommend staying away from the XBA-NC85D and spending your money elsewhere. The Sony XBA-NC85D is a noise-canceling in-ear model of headphones, and considering its $499.99 retail price, you might have expected that it would look great. No such luck -- the matte-and-glossy black plastic earpieces are big and chunky, but one boon is that they omit the bulky battery case that come along with most noise-canceling headsets. That's great, but since the Sony's earpieces contain the noise-canceling electronics and the rechargeable nickel-metal hydride batteries, the earpieces are unusually bulky.
Sony recently released its first line of balanced armature earphones, and the models span from gym-focused pairs to wireless models, from the affordable to the luxury-priced. Falling into the latter category, the Sony XBA-NC85D has a high price of $499.99 (direct) because it's the first-ever in-ear noise-canceling earphone pair that doesn't house its circuitry in a clunky shirt-clip box. A rechargeable battery gets its juice in a novel manner—you plug the earphones into a 3.5-mm headphone jack on an included USB dongle and charge from your computer. Unfortunately, the XBA-NC85D cannot be used in passive mode to listen to audio and it suffers from some distortion at high volumes that should never occur in this price range. DesignBecause the noise-cancellation circuitry is housed in the earpieces themselves, the XBA-NC85D's earpieces are a bit bulkier than a typical in-ear pair's. That said, the XBA-NC85D is not heavy, nor does it feel like the earpieces are tugging at your ears. The overall black plastic design is fairly simple, visually, with a thin red band demarcating the right earphone.
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