Published on February 26th, 2009 | by James Smythe0
Sony X Series Noise Cancelling Technology
The Sony X Series walkman is now available to order on Amazon. The NWZX1060B 32GB version is currently listed at £229.99. The NWZX1050B 16GB version is available for £179.99
In the next few months we should be seeing the release of Sony’s new flagship X series Walkman. From its features it looks like it could be a real winner for Sony with its 2 best features being the 3-inch OLED touchscreen and the built in noise reduction.
The OLED screen should provide far better picture quality than the likes of the iTouch and should improve battery life.
More interestingly the noise reduction /cancelling is a feature that has not been built into a player before and should help give Sony some kudos points compared to Apple. If you look at current noise cancelling earphones they are expensive and have a bulky battery pack. The cheapest I could find we could find were the Sony MDRNC22 earphones which are £49.99 on Amazon so you are basically adding 50 quids worth of features into your player straight away and you are also losing the annoying battery pack.
However there is one issue that has been raised about this technology. Basically noise cancelling works by picking up the background noise then playing the opposite sound and therefore cancelling them out. So for noise cancelling to work properly it needs to be picking up accurate background sounds. This would not be the case if the microphone for the noise cancelling was built into the player itself. I am assuming the majority of people carry their MP3 player in their pocket so this would have a completely negate the noise cancelling effects.
We contacted Sony to find out exactly how the noise cancelling will work on the Sony X Series Walkman and we received the following reply:
“In the X series, there are two noise cancelling microphones which are built into the L&R headphones. Therefore the noise cancelling measurement is taken just outside the ear.
Most noise cancelling in-ear headphones have the electronics/ battery built into the cord, but the mics are in the earbuds themselves. The X series has the electronics built into the Walkman itself, reducing the bulk of the headphones and removing the need for a separate battery.”
So it looks like the noise cancelling wont be completely gimped, however it does look like you will be forced to use the Sony supplied headphones if you wish to use the noise cancelling technology.
It is a bit frustrating to be restricted to one set of headphones, and I am guessing replacements won’t be cheap however in Sony’s defence I am not entirely sure it is physically possibly for everything to be contained within the device as the sounds the mic picks up will be completely wrong. Sony have also stated they will be high end earphones so you won’t be getting some crappy cheapo ones like Apple.
Even though I will reluctantly be forced to use the supplied I still think their is a good chance I will buy one, and hopefully Sony will allow us to review one first!