So, the noise cancelling is, quite simply, superb – but that’s only half the story. The other half of the equation is sound quality and here the HN-700s don’t perform quite so well. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the sound quality from these headphones is awful, but it’s just not as good as it could be. What you’re getting is a slightly muffled sound, with an emphasis on bass resulting in a definite loss of clarity. Now opinions vary on the type of sound that is preferable – personally I look for ultimate clarity in headphones, so that I can pick out every nuance of the music, something that my Sennheiser PX 200 headphones manage with aplomb. Benny on the other hand prefers more bass in his music and is willing to accept a slight loss in clarity to facilitate this, hence his choice of a pair of Koss portaPro headphones. But we both agreed that the sound quality from the HN-700s wasn’t quite good enough to satisfy either of us.
But all opinions must be taken in context – and sitting in the TrustedReviews office and listening to music isn’t the context in which the HN-700s should be judged. With this in mind, both myself and Benny agreed that if we were on an aeroplane or on a loud train, we would choose the HN-700s over our usual preferred headphones.
Of course buying a pair of headphones just for use in noisy environments could be an expensive luxury, especially if they cost as much as the Bose set. Thankfully Creative hasn’t gone down the Bose route and has made the HN-700s remarkably affordable at £32.50. For that sort of money, I am very tempted to buy a pair for myself and I can’t give a much better recommendation than that.
Creative has produced an excellent set of noise cancelling headphones at a very attractive price. Sound fidelity isn’t perfect, but in a noisy environment you’ll forgive the slightly narrow sound envelop for the ability to hear your music in the first place. With two members of the TrustedReviews team ready to put their cash on the table for these headphones, you know that Creative has got it right.