The Harman/Kardon NC are well-crafted, well-rounded headphones that sound great, deliver decent noise isolation in noisy environments and are comfortable enough to have on the head for hours. They will not disappoint, even though they struggle a little with treble reproduction.
The Harman/Kardon NC make for good everyday headphones. They have a good design, they isolate well and have an above-average audio reproduction. They handle most use cases and environments well enough to be versatile.
Above-average for critical listening. They have a good sound quality but poor soundstage due to their design.
Decent for commuting. Noise isolation is good enough for moderately noisy commutes. They're comfortable and have a decent control scheme.
Above-average for sports use. They're comfortable and remarkably stable for an over-ear design. They also have a good controls scheme. However, they're a bit bulky.
Suitable for office use. Noise isolation is enough to cancel the chatter of a busy office, and they don't leak too much.
Above-average for home theater use. They have no latency but a relatively short audio cable. They would be a good option for watching movies on a tablet or PC but won't have the range to watch TV from your couch unless you have an extension cord for the audio cable.
The Harman/Kardon are an eye-catching set of headphones. The square design of the ear cups is unique and looks great and the metal headband and joints look premium. The matte black finish on the ear cup housing, as well as the black reto-design padding on the headband, complete the two-tone color scheme and the old school esthetic.
The Harmon/Kardon are a pleasure to have on the head. The square over-ear cups fully encompass the ear and are very well padded, making them comfortable to wear for hours. The interchangeable headband design delivers a tight, painless fit that does not need to be adjusted between listening sessions, which is a definite plus.
Simple and efficient button layout. The inline controls of the cable are well designed and provide good tactile feedback for the call/music and volume buttons. There is a noise cancelling switch on the ear cup. However, it is a little difficult to reach at times, reducing its ease of use.
The Harman/Kardon NC are incredibly stable for over-ear headphones. The large square ear cups are broad enough to apply even pressure around the ear, preventing them from swaying when running. The headband has the right amount of tension and keeps the headphones in place during casual listening sessions or high-intensity activities. The audio cable will also detach if it gets hooked on something and won't pull the headphones of your head. Sadly, they're not designed for sports and might feel a little too bulky and heavy for some.
The Harman/Kardon NC are on the larger side for over ear headphones. The broad earcups lay flat to take up less space making these headphones somewhat portable. Unfortunately, they don't fold up into a more compact format and will occupy a decent amount of space in a backpack. They won't comfortably fit in a handbag and are far too big to fit in a pocket, even larger jacket pockets.
Comes with a soft, leather pouch that will shield the headphones from scratches and mild water damage. It also doesn't add much bulk to the headphones. Sadly the soft bag will not protect the headphones from hard falls, which is slightly disappointing given the Harman/Kardon's premium appeal.
Solid build quality throughout. The metal frame of the headband feels sturdy and durable. The joints are also made of metal, which makes them less susceptible to regular wear and tear. The ear cups are held in place by the solid frame and the padding used is soft. However, the housing of the ear cups is made of plastic and could crack if enough pressure is applied.
Comes with one 1/8"TRRS-1/16"TRRS cable with in-line mic, call/music control and volume up/down.
Good performance. Isolation in the bass region is average, but the mid and treble performance are very good. The treble isolation remains unchanged even with ANC off.
Good leakage performance. The profile is quite narrow too, from 2.5KHz-5KHz, which covers the higher harmonics of vocals/lead instruments and cymbals.
The Harman/Kardon have a good battery life but take a bit long to charge fully. They last around 41 hours which makes them good headphones to use on a long flight or a road trip. Unfortunately, if you leave them on they will run out of battery because there is no auto-off timer and you can't use them while they're charging as the power and audio cables share the same port.