The Sony MDR-NC8 deliver surprisingly decent sound reproduction. However, they are flimsy, below-average headphones with terrible noise isolation and subpar build quality. They feel cheap and are hard to recommend.
The MDR-NC8 feel and look cheap. They are extremely flimsy, lack severely in build quality and do not offer any in-line controls. They also feel uncomfortable because of the lack of padding and tension on the weak headband which is very disappointing.
There's nothing that really stands out with the design of the MDR-NC8. They look bland and utilitarian but also but also a little cheap because of the low-grade thin plastic used. They come in a matt black color accentuated by a glossy finish at the hinges and a subtle SONY branding on the back of oval ear cups. The headband is thin and not padded which does not help with the already bland esthetic.
The padding on the ear cups is soft and the MDR-NC8 are lightweight. These are the only benefits to an otherwise uncomfortable set of headphones. The lack of padding on the headband and the overall flimsiness of the headphones do not feel good on the head. The stereo audio cable is not detachable and can get in the way, as they link both ear cups which can be frustrating.
Button layout is non-existent. There is only one button and its to switch on/off the noise cancelling. The MDR-NC8 offer no in-line controls so you will have to pull out your device every time you want to turn up the volume or skip and stop a tracks which is very disappointing.
The Sony MDR-NC8 are not stable headphones. The headband is not tight enough to keep the headphones in place during physical activity. They sway a lot while running and are not ideal for the gym. They also have a non-detachable cable that will pull the headphones off your head if it gets hooked on something.
These headphones are fairly portable. They fold up into a compact design that will easily fit into larger bags and purses. However, they're not portable enough to comfortably carry around on your person. They also do not come with case or pouch, which is a little disappointing
The build quality for the MDR-NC8 is abysmal. They feel cheap, weak and look extremely susceptible to breaking. The hinges are loose and the headband is super thin and not padded. The ear cups flimsily move about without much force and would not withstand more than a few drops.
The MDR-NC8 have very poor performance when it comes to cancelling ambient noise. The active noise cancellation changes nothing in the amount of ambient noise that get into the earcups and their padding does not add much passive isolation either. The MDR-NC8s won't leak much sound but are definitely not recommended for use in noisy environments or for travelling.
Amazingly, the active noise cancelling on these headphones doesn't seem to be doing anything. The passive isolation is also sub-par, only starting to isolate at around 400Hz. It does best at 5 KHz, where it provides -20dB of isolation.
Good leakage performance, which is expected of on-ear headphones. Listening to music at average volumes should not be an issue, but the profile is relatively broadband. It ranges from 500Hz and up to 4Khz.
The MDR- NC8 only have noise canceling as an active feature. This makes them less versatile for other use cases except as noise canceling headphones, as they lack both wireless features or an app, to enhance and customize their sound. On the upside, they have an incredibly long battery life at 88.5 hours with a single fully charged AAA cell.
The MDR-ZX110NC have great battery life that will easily deliver above 80 hours of continuous playback. They use a AAA battery but thanks to the long battery life you won't have to swap out the battery as often. Unfortunately, like the MDR-ZX110NC they have no power saving features, but can be used passively when the battery runs out.
The Sony MDR-NC8 mediocre and cheap everyday headphones that do not excel in a particular use case. Their isolation is not efficient enough for traveling or the office and their sound is an average at best.
Not intended for pure critical listening. The closed back design and small earcups limit the soundstage these headphones can create. Their audio reproduction is decent with instruments and vocals but lacks bass and detail.
Poor for commuting. They don't block or cancel enough noise for loud environments.
Mediocre for sports. These headphones are lightweight and not too bulky. However, their not tight enough to stay put during physical activity and the non-detachable audio cable gets tangled a lot.
Mediocre for office use. They have low leakage and won't distract your colleagues. But they also won't block the office chatter because of the weak noise isolation.
Mediocre for home theater use. They're lightweight and decently comfortable. They're also wired, so they have negligible latency when watching movies. However, their relatively short audio cable may be an issue depending on your home theater set up.