Harman Kardon NC
Harmon Kardon, www.getprice.com.au
Good-looking; two different sizes of headband
Not very portable or travel friendly; disappointing sound quality
Further to our recent round-up review of noise-cancelling headphones, we’re now adding this one to the mix…
Harman Kardon’s $326.99 NC features both a simple name and a minimalist design. If you’re a fan of Apple’s hardware, you’ll appreciate the look of the NC. Thin, metal trim surrounds rectangular black earcups, which are connected by a sleek metal headband. Harman Kardon provides two different sizes of headbands, so you can choose the one that better fits your head.
The NC may be good-looking model, but it’s definitely not the most portable or travel friendly headphone. Whereas many models will include a zippered, rigid case, the NC includes only a flimsy travel pouch. And while this pouch may not protect the headphones much, it’s necessary to protect your other gear from the headphones. The metal frame around the earcups has a hard edge that could scratch your laptop or other items.
Unfortunately, the NC’s sound quality disappoints. Midrange frequencies are overexaggerated, music sounds thin and spoken word audio is especially harsh and fatiguing. The noise-cancelling performance is also average – it does reduce external noise, but not as effectively as other models.
The NC is powered by a non-removable battery that you must recharge via USB – if the battery dies on a flight, you’re out of luck if you don’t have your laptop or a USB battery charger handy. The NC’s audio cable has an Apple-style, three-button inline remote for controlling playback and volume level, along with a microphone.
The NC works with or without the noise-cancelling circuitry enabled and the sound quality remains largely the same either way.
by Jim Metzendorf, Macworld