Hi all, new here but have been searching/reading a few older threads on noise cancelling headphones and the 490NC here already. Many seem to have greats words about the 490NC though I've also read somewhere that they're offloading the 490NC for the newer Sony 1RNC. I have an AKG K28NC (pic in my dp!) bought a number of years ago which I believe was AKG's first iteration of noise cancelling headphones. It was also my first pair of 'expensive' headphones. The sound is beautiful and the noise cancelling works great. I find the NC to be very handy when travelling and so am inclined to purchase another noise cancelling headphone. That said, I haven't decided whether that is definitely the case and so I write to seek the help of the community My dilemma in summary: whether to get a pair of NC headphones again, OR will the sound quality of a similarly priced non-NC headphone be so much better that I would rather enjoy the better sound at home with non-NC headphones and resign to listening to aircraft engine noise with the stock standard airplane headphones when travelling. (I only travel maybe 3 or 4 times a year but in the past have found the K27NC to be a huge benefit on the plane) So being a happy customer of AKG I'm eager to get another pair again. There are so many great comments about the 490NC and that it being a better proposition than the 495NC. Just from reading reviews, it's the 495NC's travel case which makes the 495NC seem so attractive. People seem to say 490NC even outperforms 495NC when NC is turned on? Unfortunately I haven't been able to find any shop to test out either these AKGs. In fact, I've been finding it hard to find stores that stock AKG nowadays.. (I'm in Hong Kong). Also, online reviews tend to review the NC headphones to NC headphones, so I'm wondering how the sound quality of a pair of NC headphones compare with a similarly priced non-NC headphones? I know the purpose of the headphones would be a bit different (travelling/home), but for example WhatHifi says that the K550 and K701 are both very good in sound, and their price is around similar to the 495NC. Is the sound detail significantly better? (I note they would need an amp, which I do not currently have). If they are so much better then I might consider losing out on the alternative proposition of listening to music/watching movies quietly on the plane. If it helps, I enjoy listening to a range of pop music, as well as a splash of orchestral (I pretty much like any stringed instrument, especially violin, cello and some non-electric guitar) and a little bit of piano Thanks!