The design of the MDR-NC7 Noise Canceling headphones is a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, they're fairly stylish. You can choose from either white or black, both of which feature understated silver accenting.
Also, the earpad style offers a nice alternative to earbuds while still allowing the 'phones to be folded down compactly for storage and transport (Sony includes a soft black pouch for such occasions). We also appreciate the inclusion of a dual-pronged airline adapter for the rare instance that you find yourself on an older plane sporting those ports.
On the other hand, comfort is an issue when it comes to the MDR-NC7 headphones. The main issue is that the headband is hard plastic and has no padding, so we found that it tended to chafe the top of our heads after about 15 minutes of wear. Also, the headphones are just a touch tight.
During audio testing, we were fairly underwhelmed by the performance. Namely, bass is deficient, and the noise-hushing capability isn't the greatest. It did an OK job canceling some of the low-end hum coming from a nearby server, but we've heard better.
Sound quality on the whole isn't fantastic, nor is it terrible; it's certainly passable for the price range. Audio sounds clear, and highs are present with a reasonable amount of detail. If you're working on a super strict budget and must have some noise canceling, the MDR-NC7 will do the trick.