Sony MDR-1RNC ActiveNoise Cancelling Headphones – 3 Month Review


Welcome to my review of the Sony MDR-1RNC Active Noise Cancelling headphones which include Sony’s S-Master Digital Amplifier, DSEE (digital sound enhancing engine) and active noise cancellation. These headphones are Sony’s flagship prestige over the ear noise cancelling headphones that come with a RRP of £499. I have provided a link to Amazon at the end where you can buy these for under £200 at the moment.

To ensure this review was fair, I have used these for 3 months before scribbling my thoughts down on paper. Headphones benefit from a burn in period of around 20 to 100 hours.


Sony don’t scrimp with the box contents. You get a lovely carry case, an iPhone cable or a straight cable, flight adapter, manuals, micro usb charging lead and a little pouch to put all the accessories into which in turn fits inside the carry case.

You will notice the headphone pads from the photo above. These are the most comfortable to wear headphones I have ever worn. You will also notice the headphones fold flat to fit inside their carry case.

Before I carry on let’s take a look at the full specifications –

– Type – Closed
– Diaphragm – Liquid Crystal Polymer Film Diaphragm
– Driver Unit – 50mm
– Frequency Response – 5-24,000Hz
– Impedance – Power ON 51 ohm, OFF 19 ohm (at 1kHz)
– Sensitivities – Power ON 103 dB/mW, OFF 100 dB/mW
– Cord Type – PCOCC 1.2m
– Capacity – 100mW
– Magnet – Neodymium
– Weight – 330g
– Usage – 22 hours



Sony describe the MDR-1RNC headphones as noise-cancelling headphones with Dual Noise Sensor and Digital Sound Enhancement Engine that eliminate 99.7% of all sounds. What actually happens is that when you turn on the noise cancellation the microphones quickly access your environment and automatically adapt the level and type of noise cancellation accordingly. So for example, when I was on a plane its adjusted the noise cancellation for aeroplane engine noise. If you had screeching cars, barking dogs and train noise this all would be removed/reduced. All rather clever stuff.

On this particular flight I was next to the editor of Oxygadgets who had the top of the range Bose noise cancellation headphones. So the obvious thing to do was to compare which headphone a) sounded better and b) removed the most engine noise. We both agreed the Sony did a better job on both accounts, although on just noise cancellation it was fairly close.

Music is about the whole experience brought together in its purest, most natural form and these headphones have been created by music-lovers, then tuned by musicians to give you that in-the-club, at-the-concert feeling and natural sound. They come with liquid crystal polymer film diaphragms and a specially engineered, ultra wideband HD driver which helps deliver precise mid to high range sound and powerful lows. Beat Response Control is included. This features an enlarged air vent,boosts bass while pressure-relieving cushions fit snugly around the ears, sealing in sound.

Finally the S-Master amplifier and Digital Sound Enhancer provides a natural sound with a spacious feel by restoring high frequencies and low amplitude audio lost through compression. So plug these into your iPhone or other mobile device and experience really impressive sound without the disturbance of background noise.

The headphones come with two types of headphone cable, one with iPhone controls and the other without. The iPhone cable has controls for music and taking calls, all of which work really well and calls sounded clear on both ends.

As I said in the beginning I have had these for three months and over time the sound quality has improved more and more. The frequency range is impressive, but more importantly these are a musical and enjoyable headphone to use and directly from your mobile phone. Their comfort is legendary so I found myself wearing these for hours and hours at a time. In terms of bass, if the music has bass, the MDR-1RNC deliver it. Vocals and mids are good too. I do think the S-Master amp and DSEE technology work really well with MP3 or downloadable music which is heavily compressed.

All in all these are might impressive and a highly recommended choose for people that travel and want to remove background noise.

Sony MDR1RNC Noise Cancelling Prestige Headphones – Black on special offer at Amazon UK

2 thoughts on “Sony MDR-1RNC ActiveNoise Cancelling Headphones – 3 Month Review

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