The Good The Sony MDR-NC200Ds are compact noise-canceling headphones with a creative design, deep bass, and adequate noise cancellation. The headphones fold up to fit into a convenient carrying case and can still play music without the noise cancellation engaged.
The Bad Slight, but audible hiss with noise canceling on, and the headphones lack an integrated microphone for making calls.
The Bottom Line If you can't afford Bose's QuietComfort noise-canceling headphones, the attractively designed and more affordable Sony MDR-NC200Ds are worth your consideration.
Sony MDR-NC200D (Black)
The first thing you'd probably ask me if you were going to buy these active noise-canceling headphones is whether they're better than the theor models.
The short answer is no. I found the Bose headphones slightly more comfortable to wear, and they effectively block out more noise than the Sony headphones. On top of that, I'm more partial to their sound, but those Bose models cost $300 and $350, while the Sony MDR-NC200Ds come in at $200. The price difference is significant, and enough to make the Sony NC200Ds a decent value by comparison. Not a bargain, but decent.
What'd I like about them? They're relatively compact, lightweight and good-looking. In that sense, they're more like the QuietComfort 3s, which are also an on-ear model, meaning the padded ear cup sits on top of your ear and doesn't envelope like an over-the-ear model such as the QuietComfort 15. The build quality here also seems tough enough for daily commuters, and the headphones fold up to fit into a nicely designed protective storage case (it's included along with a two-pronged adapter for airplane use).