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Goldring NS1000 / Active Noise Reduction Cancelling Headphones
Pros: Very effective noise cancelling, good design, comfortable, fold down into hard case. Multi compatible cable.Cons: Noise cancelling system sometimes hisses the in the left cup. Can get uncomfortable after a LONG time using them.So I was lucky enough to get these very cheap from Play.com. They seem to be on there a lot of the time at around the £55 mark, compared to their RRP of £160, this is a real steal personally. I think that is something like around $85-90? Again, compared to what is probably a couple of hundred dollars upwards brand new. It might be different across the pond.First impressions:Well packaged and protected. Inside you also have the hardcase which is a great bonus due to the velcro pouch inside for storing accessories and cables etc.First impressions of the audio were also good, even before they were broken in at all as well.Audio quality: I am quite impressed by the audio quality of these headphones for the price. Although the mids can be a tad muddy and the bass doesn't always shine through, the quality is still very good. The main advantage is that they don't need much power to drive them, so you can achieve decent sound quality from most sources, although obviously you get more kick and punch from an actual amp. I did compare them to other noise cancelling headphones, namely the Bose QCs as my friend got conned into buying a set. I would definitely take the Goldrings over the Bose in this case. I also had the audacity to try out some NC Monster Beats as they were on show in HMV. I nearly cried at them. They didn't come close, considering price they were asking for them. So yeah, definitely a good level of audio quality over all, but definitely keep NC on all the time.Design: the design is pretty standard stuff, solid headband, swivelling over ear cups, single sided cable on the left (the cable is also detachable which is great if you can find one with a small enough jack as you can then extend it without needing extension cables). I do find them very comfortable as I like my travel headphones to grip quite hard (in comparison to my K701s which are blatantly my hi fi HPs). The leatherette ear pads are very comfortable in my opinion as is the leather covered headband which feels sturdy and firmly reassuring but doesn't grip your skull in a pincer grip. This combination does make them good for bumpy car and bus trips as they don't take off when the going gets tough. Obviously there are occasional creaks for the swivel cups but the main reason I marked down the design is the plastic does feel a bit tacky and cheap in some ways, finished in a slightly shiny finish although the matt black on the cups is a nice tough in contrast to the blue LED. I have had one small piece of plastic come away from the headphone too, but that was nothing a dab of super glue couldn't fix.Noise cancellation: the NC is truly great. I think it's rated at -20dB but don't take my word for it. However, it is very effective. Headphones greatest bane is sub sonic and low bass rumble in the real world which can demolish a good deep track. The NC here seems to focus on filtering out unwanted bass but does a great job of it. Obviously, it isn't dead silent, but for example, a noisy bus engine is filtered away to a gentle wash of mid range in the very distance, even when near to said bus. I used to despise NC systems as I found they made music very clinical, but actually, the sound is still very natural, even with the NC. So again, effective NC. One small issue I mentioned in the overview; there is a slight hiss in the left can.Overall: a great entry level NC headphone at a truly affordable price if you can get for it sub £60 like on Play.com.