SONY BALANCED ARMATURE XBA-NC85D
Sony, $549.95 sony.com.au ★★★★ These earbuds are far from ordinary. Most noise-cancelling headphones are battery powered, creating an awkward situation where a metal tube hangs from your ear. Sony has created a solution in the XBA-NC85D earbuds by packing small rechargeable batteries into the earpieces to cancel out external noise for up to 20 hours on a single charge. Simply plug the earbuds into a USB adapter and computer whenever a boost is needed (they don’t work without batteries). The $500-plus price tag of these earbuds also buys you crisp music delivery with minimal distortion, a frequency response from five to 20,000Hz, and three types of noise cancellation, aimed at silencing aircraft, bus and general office noise.