Harman Kardon NC Noise-cancelling Headphones

The QuietComfort Line of Bose has been a winner for some time now for delivering quality noise isolation features so far no other in the competition has yet paralleled to the exact amount. However, while Bose falls off in a feature shortage (i.e., you cannot use the headphone when the battery, which works for the active noise cancellation, dies out) Harman Kardon’s new NC model (NC for noise-cancelling/cancellation) saves the day. Though at a slightly higher price of around $299, The NC of Harman Kardon should really keep up to what Bose has been missing.

The Harman Kardon NC is not really the best-designed over-the-ear headphone in today’s time, and with that familiar square-type ear cups (actually its vertically rectangular) and a seemingly brittle metal headband, you’d better be asking for an oldie model here. Being an over-the-ear type, the Harman Kardon NC looked pretty big and out-of-time especially if you got a smaller head, hence, smaller face. Interestingly, Harman Kardon included another set of headband in a slightly bigger size to cope up with bigger heads—which means the other one should be a little smaller. Depending on your comfort level, the NC at least sports that familiar head retention strap made out of fine leather to make the NC sit right on your head properly.

Aside from having a replaceable/detachable metal headband, thankfully the premium price also offers a detachable cable. Measuring 1.4 meters in length, the cable included in the package not only features an in-line remote for controlling music playback and answering calls with volume controls on Apple devices (sorry, Android users, this one’s not for you), but also has a well-made cable that terminates to a 3.5mm end. There’s no airplane adapter at least to the package I have, but the same packages also offers a well-made premium leather carrying case where you can slip the NC while folded flat. One downside of the bag—or of the headphone—is that you have to remove the cable over and over again every time to slip this piece to the bag, despite the fact that there’s an extra pocket for storing cables.

Being somewhat metallic in the overall construct, the Harman Kardon NC features a built-in battery that is no longer uncommon nowadays. The battery is said to be good for at least 40 hours of continuous playback, and it can be fully recharged via a specially-design USB cable. That said, one big inconvenience or risk with the NC is that you have to keep the charging cable intact and safe because you can virtually never find the right replacement for that. Nevertheless, unlike most active noise-cancelling features, the Harman Kardon NC can still keep up with your music whether or not there’s enough energy on the battery or not.

As with my first impression, the Harman Kardon NC is truly amazing in its noise-cancelling feature. Unlike some in the competition which when turned on adds some ‘processed’ effect to your music, the NC does the process in the most natural way possible. Though the feature may not totally put all the ambient noise away, at least it does a decent job in keeping those thugs and hums from machines away from your listening experience. And with the audio quality, the NC still maintained the usual Harman Kardon signature, though obviously the NC is not designed for a more bombastic bass experience. Vocals are, for me, the most distinct feature in the sound quality of the NC.

The Harman Kardon NC features a beautiful noise isolation feature and solid sound quality but in a higher price without the fashionable looks. Lacking a more universal USB cable means a big detriment to the package, but with the more natural comfort that it brings to listening to music, the NC is still a reasonably priced headphone you’d love to put on your list.

Harman Kardon NC Noise-cancelling Headphones Price in the Philippines: Approximately Php 13,500.00

You may also like: Harman Kardon SoundSticks III

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