I tend to avoid device-specific accessories these days. My reasoning is simple. You see, I find myself changing my phone and tablet frequently, and I want accessories that will outlast any specific device. The Sony Digital Noise Canceling Headset MDR-NC31EM is an exception. They are specifically designed for the Sony Zperia Z2 phone and tablet, and I’m impressed. Here’s why.One of the standard features of the Sony Xperia Z2 is its built in noise cancelation technology. This technology means that the phone itself does the processing of ambient noise to cancel it out and deliver a quieter environment. Use them to listen to music, watch a video, or simply enjoy some quiet. They do a great job with all of it.
Some versions of the Sony Xperia Z2 smartphone ship with the headphones included. (The tablet does not include the headphones.) Unfortunately my Xperia Z2 were imported and did not include them. I turned to Amazon and made my purchase.
These earbuds look like ordinary earbuds but they are specifically designed to work with Sony’s newest super-phone and tablet. The devices have the technology for noise cancellation built into them so that, with the right pair of headphones, (that is, the Sony Digital Noise Cancelling Headset MDR-NC31EM) the noise cancellation process takes place automatically without the need for overly bulky, battery-powered headphones.
The trick is that each of the earbuds has a small microphone that listens to the ambient sound, and then, from the device itself, the noise cancellation process takes over. It works incredibly well.
Here’s what Sony has to say about the Sony Digital Noise Canceling Headset.
No noise. Just music: When you’re travelling, the MDR-NC31EM will effectively block out engine and other noises around you and leave you with the best of your music. High-comfort fit earbuds complement your listening experience and let you enjoy your favourite songs video and other entertainment for hours.
Precision listening: Block out all the noise around you wherever you are and listen to your music in all its detail. This digital noise-cancelling headset will give you full-range audio with deep bass, a strong medium register and clear highs. Excellent audio for all types of music.
Hands-free calling: When a call comes in you can use your MDR-NC31EM to enjoy the call. Your hands are free and you have excellent call audio.
Video Review of the Sony Digital Noise Canceling Headset MDR-NC31EM
That noted, I also need to point out that the headphones are incredibly comfortable and sound great. They ship with a number of inserts so that you can find the right fit and seal for your particular ears and the audio quality is excellent. Better still, if you’re not happy with the sound out of the box, both the phone and tablet include a number of settings so you can tweak the audio to your liking. Finally, it’s worth noting that when you look at these earbuds you won’t see anything different right out of the gate. A close examination of the plug however will reveal the fact that there are four different bands (5 poles). This additional band is where the noise cancellation technology steps into the equation. The downside of this is the fact that, as the product page reveals in the fine print, “… call handling is only possible when the MDR-NC31EM is connected to a device with a 3.5 mm 5-pole audio.” Right now those devices include the Sony Xperia Z2 and the Xperia Z2 Tablet.
I wish my phone had shipped with the noise canceling headphones in the box (Judie’s did), but I am certainly not unhappy about making a purchase since they are comfortable, sound excellent, and they do a phenomenal job of shutting out the world. This extra bit of technology is reason enough to buy this phone, if you are torn between it and another Android flagship model. Learn more here.
Source: Personal purchase of the Sony Digital Noise Canceling Headset
What I Like: Comfortable; Sound good; Noise cancellation works exceptionally well
What Needs Improvement: Only serve up the noise cancellation with the Xperia Z2 phone or tablet