Friday, January 2, 2009

Noise Canceling Cans: JVC HA-NC80 headphones.

Those of you who know me, know that I normally do not take a shine to most types of noise canceling headphones because I have so far not been able to come to terms with the noise artifacts that are so often associated with such headphones. In order to make me sit down and listen and actually write a review on a pair of noise canceling headphones means that the manufacturer has done something right and that I have been impressed with what I have heard. The JVC HA-NC80 headphones are in that category.

The HA-NC80 offers both "wide" and "low" noise cancellation modes. The "wide" mode targets a wider frequency range than the "low" mode, and cancels the type of noise typically found in a commercial jet cabin. The "low" mode cancels a slightly narrower and lower frequency range, one associated with the noise generated by trains and buses. The HA-NC80 deliver up to 75% noise reduction, and also comes with fully padded closed earpieces which help to block ambient noise, and the padded soft touch headband ensure that they'll remain comfortable throughout a long listening. It also offers a flat foldable style so that they're easy to carry or pack, and comes with a carrying pouch and a dual-plug adapter.

Whilst I have not tested them on a jet yet, I have tested them with the "low" mode on my commute home to day on buses and trains and can confirm that they have been extremely effective without any of the usual low noise sort of hiss artifacts normally associated with such devices. The audio reproduction has remain true and pure and enjoyable.

The HA-NC80 uses a single AAA battery, has a 4.9-foot cord and weighs less than six ounces. They will be available at a suggested retail price of $59.95.

JVC long recognized that the nature of background noise varies from one environment to another and the need to adapt noise cancellation for different ambient backgrounds, and therefore in their wisdom developed dual-mode noise canceling circuitry so the user could choose the most effective mode for the particular circumstances and conditions In addition, to help block ambient noise the headphones utilize fully padded, closed earpieces. I have seldom put my endorsement on noise canceling headphones, but these are a pair at a reasonable price which I have found to offer reasonable sound reproduction whilst on the go and the size are not exceptionally large like some of the other NC headphones out there.

The down side is that the ear cups are on the smaller side and do not fully cover the ears and are not good for long sessions, but bear in mind these are designed for portable use. All things being equal, one must consider the price range and weigh up the performance and I would say that that they offer true value vis-a-vis performance.

  • Up to 75% noise reduction (more than 12dB at 300Hz)
  • Dual noise cancel mode - "wide" and "low" -
  • Flat foldable design
  • Powerful neodymium 30mm driver unit
  • Frequency Response: 10 - 22,000 Hz

  • Headphones Type Headphones - Binaural
  • Headphones Form Factor Ear-cup
  • Connectivity Technology Wired
  • Sound Output Mode
  • Active Noise Canceling Yes
  • Response Bandwidth 10 - 22000 Hz
  • Sensitivity 103 dB/mW
  • Diaphragm 1.2 in
  • Magnet Material Neodymium

Remote Control

  • Type None


  • Connector Type 1 x Headphones ( Mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm )


  • Cables Included Headphones cable - Integrated - 5 ft
  • Included Accessories Carrying pouch , Dual-prong adapter


  • Power Device None
  • Battery 1 x Standard battery - AAA type

Parameter Review Results:
  • Bass Extension: 6.o
  • Bass Impact: 7.0
  • Bass Quality: 6.5
  • Mid Quality: 6.5
  • High Quality: 6.5
  • Soundstage: 7.0
  • Detail: 7.5
  • Portability: 6.0
  • Isolation: 3.0
  • Comfort: 6.5
  • Durability: 5.5
  • Value: 9.3

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