JVC HA-NC80 review: JVC HA-NC80

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CNET Editors' Rating

3 stars Good
  • Overall: 6.3
  • Design: 6.0
  • Features: 6.0
  • Performance: 7.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good The JVC HA-NC80 headphones are relatively inexpensive, and they include a dual-prong adapter for in-flight use, as well as a travel pouch.

The Bad The JVC HA-NC80's earcups are on the small side, making the headphones uncomfortable to wear for extended periods of time. The noise-canceling feature affects only low frequency sound.

The Bottom Line Frequent fliers operating on a tight budget should consider the JVC HA-NC80 Noise Canceling Headphones, but those with sensitive ears might want to steer clear.

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JVC is a decent brand to consider if you're looking for noise-canceling headphones but are working with a limited budget. The company's HA-NC100 headphones, for example, are comfortable, offer solid sound quality, and can be found for less than $80 online. At $49, an even cheaper option is the JVC HA-NC80. These 'phones aren't as comfortable as the NC100s, but they get the job done.

The HA-NC80s' completely circular shape and relatively small 2.5-inch diameter are no doubt responsible for the uncomfortable fit. However, the headphones aren't overly tight--and the earcups have some cushy padding--so those with less sensitive ear cartilage may find them suitably comfortable. The cord is plenty long at 5 feet, but it doesn't retract like that of the HA-NC100. The HA-NC80 headphones fold up flat into a semicircle--it's not the most compact design we've seen, but JVC does include a travel pouch for transport. There's also a dual prong adapter for in-flight use and a AAA battery for the noise cancellation feature.

The JVC HA-NC80s fold up into a half-moon shape.

As is indicated by the product name, the JVC HA-NC80 headphones offer an active noise-canceling mode. JVC asserts that the 'phones offer as much as 75 percent noise reduction. We have no way to measure that accurately, but the HA-NC80s did a good job eliminating the noise from our office ventilation system, as well as some hum from a nearby server. The headphones actually have two modes for reduction: Low, meant for bus and train rumblings; and Wide, which will take care of that pesky airplane engine noise. In any case, neither mode will block out higher-frequency noises, such as the clickity-clack of a neighbor's keyboard.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Weight 5.8 oz
  • Sound Output Mode stereo
  • Additional Features foldable
    gold-plated plug
    noise canceling circuit
  • Type headphones
  • Headphones Form Factor ear-cup
  • Connector Type mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm