By Lam Seng Fatt
Well, it was quite easy to confirm that the active noise cancelling feature of the Goldring NS1500 headphones worked very well because my missus was screaming at me for something I did not do and I did not hear a single word.
And yes, I also snapped my fingers inches from the headphones with the noise cancellation switched on and off. The snaps sounded softer with the switch on.
I actually spent some time figuring out how to insert the battery as there was no battery compartment that I could see. After several minutes pressing this and that, I resorted to what I should done in the first place – read the instruction manual.
It turned out that the top cap of the right ear cup could be rotated to reveal the battery compartment. Well, I must say it was nicely done and the fit was very good too. The single AAA battery can be used for about 40 hours and the headphones can be used with or without the noise cancellation.
The noise cancellation feature is rated at 89% reduction in linear noise pressure, 99% reduction in linear noise energy and up to 19dB logarithmic reduction in noise pressure. For those less technically inclined, just snap your fingers inches away from the ear cups with and without the noise cancellation on. Or turn them on when the missus is on the war path.
The headphones fit quite comfortably and the padded ear cups just about covered the pinnas and the pressure was not too uncomfortable.
The connector is a 3.5mm with a quarter-inch connector that fits over it. An airline adapter is also included along with a case.
Its rated frequency response is 20Hz to 20kHz and its impedence is 32Ohm which makes it easy to drive.
I used the headphones plugged into the laptop while I did my daily work.
Using J River v 17, I played hi-res 24/192 and 24/96 files. As reference, I used my son’s pair of Audio Technica headphones. After a while, I switched to listening to MP3 files on my HTC One smartphone.
From the outset, I have to state that the headphones sound better – and louder – with the noise cancellation switched on. Obviously I would recommend listening to music with the noise cancellation on all the time and turn the power off only when not in use. So if the battery runs out of power, replace it asap.
On the whole, the tonal balance is quite neutral. The bass is quite strong, the mids are smooth enough and the treble quite clear.
However, when compared with costlier headphones – I also used the resident Sennheiser HD600 – the transparency, space and soundstage size could be better. In comparison, the Goldring sounded a bit closed in.
Compared with another pair of headphones with active noise cancellation that I reviewed some time back – the Beats by Dr Dre Studio – the Goldring’s tonal balance is more neutral. If I recall correctly, the Dr Dre was rather bassy.
If you are in the market for headphones on the go – weighing less than 180gms, the Goldring is meant for mobility – the NS1500 should be in the list for auditions. Its good noise cancellation feature adds to the value.
Goldring headphones are available at CMY Audio &Visual.