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Xperia's Z2 noise cancellation system & Sony's in ear buds

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

The Z2 has been announced and it will be sporting with a proprietary noise cancellation system, when paired with Sony's earbuds.

What do you think? Any worth it? Your thoughts?

post #2 of 13

Noise cancellation system in Sony X-series walkman worked well - in my opinion. It's great feature in noisy environment. It adds a little hiss but that's practically the only downsite (and still not that audible in noisy environment).

It should be quite good audio device. DAC in Z1 is good enough, not that far from Note 3, Galaxy S4 or HTC One series.

And you can always pair it up with external DAC/Amp or just Amp.

But to put 16GB of ROM in a flagship device is definitely irritating choice. Even with microSD support.

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

I have recently turned to Spotify (as at my age I can barely hear over 15KHz!) so storage wouldn't be a main concern at all (although I'd certainly buy a 64GB memory card :D).

I wonder what DAC will the Z2 use....

post #4 of 13

Surely from Qualcomm - they have great DACs (for smartphones that is). I'm streaming via Wimp (they also have lossless) so memory for music is not that big of deal for me either... but for rest it is - apps, photos, movies. You'll get only 8 or 9GB from this 16 and not everything can be saved on microsd.

Noise cancellation will work only with stock IEMs - so there's potentially another problem. They're not bad - especially for bassheads but you have no other choice. (if you wnat to use noise canc.)

All and all it should be great device. We'll see what HTC has to offer in 1 month and then we can decide.

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

I am used to 16GB with my Galaxy S2, enough for me. Yes, apparently the Z2 seems to be a strong contender. Let's see what happens in the next month :-)

post #6 of 13

i wish the Z1 Compact would come to the U.S. while i love my S3, i don't want to go any bigger than 4.7. the Z1 Compact seems to be the perfect size, since i don't use my phone viewing videos that much anymore, so going down to 4.3 would be fine and would make one handed use easier.

post #7 of 13

The bundled headphones with the Z2 they showed off at MWC look extremely like the existing NC headphones that come with some of the mid-higher Walkmans NC33. Performance is comparable to the EX300.

Nice thing for Sony to stand out on.

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by shch13 View Post

The bundled headphones with the Z2 they showed off at MWC look extremely like the existing NC headphones that come with some of the mid-higher Walkmans NC33. Performance is comparable to the EX300.



Good stuff?

post #9 of 13

So so excited for this. My three year old dinosaur Samsung is in need of a replacement. Looking forward to getting rid of Samsung's bloatware. Was trying to decide between the Z2 / S5 / Note 3, but after looking at the S5 vs the Note 3 and both being pretty close in performance, what I want is longer battery, a great display, and a great camera and a great portable player with a Micro SD card slot. They all meet all of these requirements pretty equally, but these IEMs + no bloatware + better waterproofing + better camera of the Z2 is going to be my next phone. Excited is an understatement. 

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Not to mention the finishing quality. Smokes away Samsung
post #11 of 13

Yeah, seriously. That glass and aluminum is absolutely gorgeous over the all plastic. The holes in the back of the Samsung look so unbelievably tacky in my opinion. The gold S5 looks like a band-aid http://www.gizmobic.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/BhQwHHUCQAAVYm5-320x205.jpg. While it won't be as big of a fingerprint magnet, I would still prefer the Z2. I also plan on probably getting a case like this http://www.etsy.com/listing/169011754/artist-designed-sony-xperia-z1-wallet?ref=related-0 for the Z2 unless I can find a durable case for it unlike those absolutely horrid PVC printed cases like this http://www.etsy.com/listing/170786999/sony-xperia-z1-case-rabbit-mint-d2116?ref=sr_gallery_2&sref=sr_de051a48ee9b02ff77b5b78e6a881055b002910bca8e710162989975c69f34a7_1393439477_14761053_case&sref2=MTcwNzg2OTk5%3AY2FzZQ..%3AMTQ3NjEwNTM.%3Ac29ueSB4cGVyaWEgejEgY2FzZQ..%3AdzE.%3AMTM5MzQzOTQ3Nw..%3AMjoxMzkzNDM5NDc3OkNDTDZDOFRkcnRMcHAzZG1fWUpYNGVkU3YxRnQ6aHRpTjBMclppUEZyNFZDM1JCMkp2X1hKZHVjMzo4MTMzNDk3MGNhNWNkYmUzMmZjNDViYWQ1MDZlYzVhMzhlNDQ0ZDQz%3A84c436c2b8a34bf022387751a412f727dcffae32&ga_search_query=sony+xperia+z1+case&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=US&ga_ref=auto3&ga_search_type=all that offer next to no protection. If I could find a nice case with some rubber shock absorber for the Z2, I will definitely jump on one of those. I'll be keeping my fingers crosses for sure. Like this "tough" case for the S4 http://custom.case-mate.com/diy#category/samsungS4 I would buy one so fast for the Z2 and wouldn't mind paying over $50. 


Also, I have no idea how to make links less awful, or if there is a way, sorry. 

post #12 of 13
I have the Z2 with the earbuds. I must say they work very well. There is a little buzz when no music is playing (only with NC on) but once the music starts playing you don't notice it. I can't tell the difference in music quality between NC on or off, either, sounds just as clean and clear either way.

The only downfall is that the microphones pick up wind, a lot. This means that when walking down a street with traffic and wind, you often get a better experience by having the NC off. The earbuds do a pretty good job of isolating by themselves anyway.
I'm not sure if this is an issue most NC headphones have (as I've never had any before) but I feel it could have been somewhat avoided (or at least lessened) by having the mics more at the back, or by having little plastic protectors in front of the mics (not huge ones, obviously). Or if Sony had at least added a button to the cable to switch NC off and on that would have made them more enjoyable to use.

Having said that, it isn't a crushing issue for me. As I said they isolate quite well anyway.

As for actual sound quality: They sound good, nice and flat and clear, though maybe a little relaxed on the highs. They have decent instrument separation and timbre, but a somewhat narrow soundstage (but I kind of expect this with IEMs). The phone, too, has very nice sound quality. Not quite as good as my C5D (as one would expect) but easily close enough for a more convenient setup.

Oh, the earbuds can also be used as stereo mics. I thought this might allow for some low-budget binaural recording, but so far that doesn't seem to be the case (I guess because each mic isn't directional enough).
post #13 of 13

I have the Xperia Tablet Z2, with Verizon 4G LTE, and bought the noise-cancelling in-ear headphones, the MDR-NC31EM. I did not get them free, as the first 1000 Verizon customers did. I was too late, but I bought them online anyway.


In short, they are surprisingly good. 


I usually use Denon noise-cancelling headphones, AH-NC800s and when I travel light, the AH-NC732s. And I was prepared to find the Denons were totally superior in every way. But...the Sonys held their own.


Two quick areas of discussion: facts, and opinions:




The Sonys are as small as earbuds. No batteries, no big zippered case, no big over-ear cups. Tiny. Light. The noise cancelling circuitry is handled by the tablet, so the headphones are light and easy to carry.


Most full-size noise cancelling headphones are big. My Denons are big. They do a great job, powered by one AAA battery, and carried in a nice, large, zippered custom case, with an internal pouch for cords, batteries, airplane adapters, 1/4" adapters, etc.


The Denons work with any audio source, with an 1/8" output, or using the adapter, a 1/4" output. They will give you excellent sound with anything you have. Phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, home theater, headphone amps, even airplane audio. Not many airlines still use the double-plug audio jacks anymore, but Denon includes the adapter anyway. 


However, the Sonys only work with Sony tablets and phones that have the proprietary noise-cancelling circuits. The headphone plug itself has five metal bands - one or two must power the noise cancelling. That's awesome, but only Xperia products will have a headphone jack that accommodates that array of bands. Use them with anything else? No noise cancelling. no bass, no real tone, not really usable at all. Because again, they are not made for all types of products; they were created for just the latest-generation of Xperia phones and tablets.  


The Denons are $300 - $400. The Sonys around $60.


OK, that's that. 


Now my subjective opinions:


The Sonys do provide noise cancelling. You hear it when you plug them in. The roar of daily life is quickly muted, substantially. Of course, so do the Denons. But on my condo balcony, the Sonys blocked the sound of passing cars better than the Denons. I was very impressed.


Using the Sonys, I hear my breathing, like Darth Vader. Because they're in-ear? Also, I can hear cord movement. None of that happens with the Denons.


Using the Denons, I hear the plastic frames creak when I turn my head. I don't with the Sonys. Plus, with the Denon 800s, if I lean my head against an airplane headrest, they cause a roaring sound...I shift position and it goes away. Not with the Sonys.


Both have nice bottom end. I hear low, low bass hits on both. Neither gives me the hits a nice subwoofer would, obviously, but for headphones both give plenty of bass, even the very low end.


Overall, I find the soundstage, the tone and the dynamic range of the Denons is better. They produce vibrant sound, but it's quite smooth and enjoyable. The Sonys produce very clear, detailed sound, but I would not call it smooth. Rather, very defined, bright with lots of bass.


For me? The Sonys are great, and they will be my first choice when I'm traveling light. When I travel with only the Xperia tablet Z2, they'll be a fantastic addition. They're great. And I would even buy a second pair, one at home, one to travel with.


But when I have the Xperia tablet Z2, and a laptop, and room in my bag, I will bring the big Denons. They are comfortable, and have great sound. And they'll work with all my audio sources.


So, the Xperia noise cancelling headphones are not a replacement; they are an addition. They help me expand my options, which as a regular traveler is something I greatly appreciate.


Hope this helps.

Edited by HD_Dude - 7/26/14 at 7:37am
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