I have a problem. It’s an incredibly first-world problem, because it’s one where no amount of gear is ever “enough”. Literally the week after I ordered my brand new Audio Technica ATH-M40X, I was already scouring the internet for a brand new pair of wireless headphones with active noise cancellation (ANC).
And it’s not like I’m some big audiophile. My ears are decidedly plebian in the sense that I know what I like and I know what I don’t — there isn’t really a super deep spectrum. Nevertheless, that didn’t stop me from wanting to get the best ones there are.
After weeks of reading, listening and researching, I managed to narrow down the list to a few prime candidates. Sony’s original MDR-1000X headphones were not at the top of the list. Then, everything changed when I got a hold of the WH-1000XM2.
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Recently, I’ve been obsessed with wireless noise-cancelling headphones. More specifically, I’ve been obsessed with Bose‘s QuietComfort 35 headphones with active noise cancellation. They’re comfortable, light, sound great, and look so dapper. But, one could make the case that, Sony has the better pair of ANC cans with the MDR-1000X and its successor, the WH-1000XM2.
Sony’s headphones are definitely the better value proposition and they’re a lot more high-tech but I’ve always preferred the QC35’s fit. Now, though, there’s a second contender and it’s JBL’s Everest Elite 750 NC headphones.
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Xiaomi has produced a couple of impressive value for money earphones that sound better than the ones that come with your phone. With several smartphones going jack-less including Xiaomi’s very own Mi 6 flagship, the Chinese brand has finally introduced its first ever USB Type-C in-ear headphones.
Not only it supports the new interface, Xiaomi has also added active noise cancellation for a better music experience.
We have a hypothesis, Sony Ericsson Xperia phones, especially the Xperia arc, play and ray all have one exceptional feature — all three devices make very clear phone calls.
We based this on our experience with the three devices and comparing it with the many other devices that we’ve reviewed. Time and time again, the dual-mic Xperias shine through in the call quality department.
Calls on the dual-mic Xperias are always loud and clear in any situations. Another thing that we’ve notice is that the Xperia emit this faint but noticeable feeback of your own voice in the speaker so you know that the phone’s microphone is picking up your voice clearly. It’s difficult to describe in words but those of you who are using Xperia arc, play or ray, the next time you’re on a call try to listen to the feedback, you can hear yourself in the speaker.
It sounds weird but it is something you need to experience to understand and appreciate.
Anyway…based on this, we set out to put our hypothesis to the test. So, we took an Xperia ray, an iPhone 4 and a Plantronics Discovery 975 Bluetooth headset and made calls in different environments to test the active noise cancellation feature on each device. Here are our findings.