I took part of our no-class Tuesday to go to Ginza with some buddies. We checked out the Sony Showroom, which was chock-full of pretty, expensive technology.
One device I'm sad I didn't get a photo of was Sony's MCR-NC500D headphones, which claim to be the world's first to offer "digital noise canceling." I have no idea what this entails, but I normally have a pretty clear idea of what noise canceling means: you turn it on while vacumming, flying, driving, operating a forklift, or doing something else with loud, droning noise on a pretty set frequency, and it makes it a lot quieter.
Not these babies. The sound quality was pretty good, but the guy in the store unplugged them from the music player and turned off the noise cancelling switch. "Listen," he said. I listened; I could hear the world around me, minus the natural isolation over-the-ear cans give you. He turned the switch on. Two seconds later, nothing. Absolutely nothing. Actually, I could hear him speak pretty well, but it sounded as if we were in a perfectly quiet studio. No buzz from the noise-cancelling, just perfect silence. On the other hand, they were $380 dollars, so hopefully this technology trickles down soon.
Watch the full slideshow below, or click on any of the pictures for the captioned flickr set.