Look & Feel
One thing that immediately becomes apparent when you wear these earphones is that the earbuds are really comfortable. The ones that came with my PDA for instance, hurt after only a few minutes of use and easily fell out of my ears. It's worth trying the different size ear cushions to feel which gives you the best and most comfortable fit.

Because the earbuds actually seal your ear, you will notice right away that a lot of ambient noise is blocked right there. So hopes for a near perfect noise cancellation once the active noise cancellation is switched on should be good. Or maybe not. More on that later.

There are some definite drawbacks to the design of the Sony MDR-NC11A. First of all, I wonder whose brilliant idea it was to use different lengths of wires going to the Left and Right earbuds. I see this more and more on this style of earphones and it's just a very silly idea. First of all, it means that you can never have the wire hang directly centered in front of you. Second, if you let the rectangular box that holds the noise cancellation circuitry and the AAA battery hang, its weight hangs on one ear only.

Another huge nuisance was that when the wires rubbed against my clothing, the sound traveled up the wire to my ears, and it is very noticeable. In fact, it was one of the biggest annoyances I experienced when using these headphones (amongst other things as you will read later on).


Finally, the earlier mentioned box with the MDR-NC11A's circuitry is small and light, and has a clip attached. It also houses the volume control and the On/Off switch for the noise cancellation circuitry.


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