Sony MDR-1000X: Tech review
Quietly does it with Sony's new headphones
Our Technology Editor reviews the Sony MDR-1000X headphones
Price: €429 Compare prices
Rating: 4 Stars
I use noise-cancelling headphones all the time: I find they help restore calm and concentration in a sometimes cackling world.
So I'm pretty impressed with the technical standard that Sony has reached in its newest 1000X headset, a wireless Bluetooth active noise-cancelling model. This thing is incredibly quiet. Once on your head, at least 80pc of all you can normally hear is muffled right out. It works especially well for ongoing external rackets such as loud hums or whirs. It also works reasonably well for human voices, which are harder to deaden because of their intermittent, piercing nature.
The market for these headsets is fierce. And for €400, you're getting into Bose Quiet Comfort territory, which is the market brand leader. So it's just as well that Sony has loaded up on some other tricks. One is the ability to pause sounds temporarily when you touch your finger on the side of the speaker. This is intended as a shortcut for when someone comes over and asks you something or you walk into a shop and need to talk to the person behind the counter.
Another nice touch is what Sony calls 'Sense Engine': a variety of personalised adjustments you can make to the noise-cancelling features.
The quality of the audio is top notch, too. Sony has packed a lot of its latest drivers and audio quality in, and you can hear it in the results.
As you'd expect, there's a microphone on board, which means you can make or take calls when paired to a phone. And it comes with a nice case and a 3.5mm lead for non-wireless connections.
The headphones aren't absolutely perfect. I found that when I swivelled my head, the position of the cups budged a small bit, letting in some external noise. But this is a minor quibble. With really nice leather, these headphones are an excellent choice if you want decent noise-cancelling cans.