Why you should trust me...
My husband, a super techie, surprised me with a pair of (over-ears) SONY h.ear on NC wireless headphones in Viridian Blue as an early Mother's Day gift. Other than the possibility of earning very little income from affiliate links*, I was not compensated in any way for this honest review. I have used these headphones both indoors and outdoors, during commute and while working in the busy, crazy NYC for over 11 hours now. Plus, though I'm not a "super techie," my T&D blood runs thick. (Tech and Dork... :P)
As of May 1st, 2016, you can purchase these headphones for $348 (USD) from Amazon: http://amzn.to/1SE52OO. Other over-ear NC headphones are priced similarly, some cheaper such as the Bose QuietComfort 25 at $299 (USD) (though they aren't wireless). The Parrot Zik 3 is priced at almost $400 (USD) and they are wireless. I will not compare the SONY h.ear on NC Wireless to these other headphones because I have only tried and used the SONY ones. I can't really comment on the price since I didn't buy these myself. I can definitely say that I'm very appreciative of this fancy gift!
Solid and Sturdy
Most people don't know how clumsy I am. I've dropped my phone in the toilet before, fallen down a couple flights of stairs, and twisted my ankles countless of times. The hubby puts a cover or case on literally everything and anything that can break in my hands: our iPad, my iPhone, our remote controls. I'm also banned from driving.
Crammed like a sardine during rush hour in the subway trains, I've hit my new pair of headphones against walls and other commuters. I see nary a scratch on its surfaces. I haven't dropped them yet and they also appear toddler-proof (for now!). I can honestly say that these headphones appear very solid and sturdy. You can bend, pull, and twist them and they don't appear to "bend out of shape." LOL. Of course, if you're very strong and are bent on destroying them, I'm sure you can crack them... But why would you?
Sleek and Stylish
Viridian means green. Viridian Blue means greenish blue. I'm reminded of dark, reflective emeralds or jade. I've never seen such an eye-catching color before. You can choose from four other colors: Lime Yellow (looks more like lime green), Charcoal Black (standard, boring, but still sleek), Cinnabar Red (some will call this orange), and Bordeaux Pink (meaning magenta...). I would not trade in my Viridian Blue set for any of the other colors, though the Lime Yellow was quite a temptress! You can easily adjust the size of the headphones and make them fit comfortably over your ears and head. If you don't adjust them at all, a big-headed toddler like my son could wear them... (He's addicted to them, by the way!)
While I'm unable to compare its active digital noise canceling capabilities with those of other headphones in the similar category, I have to say that I can no longer live without canceling out the noises of my crazy busy commute in the city. Just a few days ago, I had no idea that there was a train behind me on a platform. When I removed my headphones to adjust them, the noises from the train shocked me. Imagine a hundred hairdryers pointed at you. That's what the train sounded like as it lingered in the station, and then it roared away. My eardrums suffered. I almost had a panic attack. How did I survive so long in this noisy city?
I can't hear myself typing noisily on the keyboard to complete this review. On Fridays when I'm stuck in a cube as a consultant on a floor with hundreds of other workers, these headphones will be a godsend. (Thankfully, on other work days, I have my own huge office. That's the perks of a professor!)
My hubby pointed out that these headphones don't block out human voices as well. I noticed that they don't block out the sound of wind either; I was walking against the wind and the sound of wind whipping against my face and headphones was very distracting, until I turned up the volume.
Now even when the headphones are off, with them covering your ears, you immediately muffle out the noise around you, thanks to the shape and size of the headphones.
Quite a Treat
Without having to deal with wires, I can simply slip these headphones over my head (like a headband!), turn them on, and tune out the crazy, noisy world around me. Never again will my wires get me stuck at subway turnstiles, or tangled up with another commuter's possessions. All I have to do when I put away my SONY h.ear on is to fold them up nicely, and encase them within its beautiful hard, domed carrying case. I slip it right into my handbag and don't have to worry about tangled wires.
When you need to answer a call, just keep the headphones on. They have built-in microphone(s) so you can easily answer your calls using these headphones. You can't text with them, of course!
Personally, I can't stand in-ear headphones, so I can't offer an argument as to why you should convert to using over-ear headphones if you're a fan of in-ear ones...
After wearing them for an hour, I felt no discomfort on my head. No headaches. It is harder to wear sunglasses with these headphones and I did have to remove earrings.
Charge it up and you may be able to use them for over 20 hours before having to charge them again. I've used them for over 11 hours now and they have not run out of juice yet.
Update on May 6th, 2016: Maybe I'm clumsy, but I do have to nitpick here. Every now and then, as I'm folding and/or unfolding my headphones, and I pinch my fingers! And it hurts a bit! Maybe it's just me, but I might have to follow up with SONY about this!
To Wrap Up...
With great sound quality, almost magical noise canceling capabilities, sleek, sexy and stylish, these headphones will make any owner proud. An amazing gift for music-loving techies, especially those who work in the city and crave for some zen and peace during busy commutes. Will definitely help preserve the sanity of those who work on loud, noisy floors in cubicles. I'm in love with my SONY h.ear on NC wireless headphones MDR-100ABN, and there's no going back to a wired headphones or headphones without NC capability.
Though these headphones aren't perfect (nothing is after all), I have to award them with a 5 out of 5 Pandas rating! Head to a SONY store and test them out. Let us know what you think!