Sony MDR-10RNC

Noise canceling headphones with in-line remote and microphone

  • Sony MDR-10RNC


  • Sony MDR-10RNC

    Earcups swivel for easy storage

  • Sony MDR-10RNC

    First-class comfort and sound

  • Sony MDR-10RNC

    Ideal for frequent travelers

  • Sony MDR-10RNC

    Significantly reduce background noise


Our take on the Sony MDR-10RNC

by David Brown

Great sound in the air or on the ground

Sony MDR-10RNC noise-canceling headphones

The MDR-10RNC headphones make long flights a pleasure with their powerful noise cancellation.

Noise-canceling headphones aren't just for airplanes. But that's certainly where they excel. It takes powerful active circuitry to neutralize the loud drone of an aircraft. That's what the Sony MDR-10RNC headphones do exceptionally well. With their supremely comfortable memory foam pads nestling your ears, engine noise all but disappears so your music can take center stage. There are three noise canceling modes — plane, train, and bus. One press of the button on the left earcup and the headphones choose the appropriate level of noise cancellation based on the ambient noise in your surroundings.

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Making the most of your music

Just beyond these headphones have formidable noise-canceling prowess, doesn't mean they skimp on sound. Running these headphones in noise-cancelation mode activates Sony's S-Master™ digital amplification, which brings more impact and dynamics to your music while minimizing distortion. There's also a built-in digital equalizer, which helps keep your music sounding well-rounded and balanced. Because once you get rid of those outside distractions, you'll be able to hear all those musical details rise to the surface.

Remote cable for Apple® and Android™

The MDR-10RNC headphones come with two miniplug cables — one with a remote and one without. The remote cable lets you take calls and control music playback with your Apple® or Android™ smartphone. Android users can download Sony's free SmartKey™ app, which allows you to customize the remote's button for various functions, including volume control.

Ready for that 10-hour flight?

We've auditioned some really comfortable headphones over the years. But we're hard-pressed to remember any that are more comfortable than these Sony 'phones. We wouldn't hesitate to use them just to block noise on a plane with no music playing. Designed for frequent travelers, they include an in-flight adapter and a rugged travel case. Because they operate on a single "AAA" battery, it's easy to keep an extra stowed in the case. If you're stuck at 30,000 feet with a dead battery, you can still listen in passive mode and keep the music going throughout your flight.


  • comfortable, lightweight, around-the-ear design
  • active noise-canceling circuitry minimizes external noise
  • headphones can automatically select from three noise-cancellation modes (airplane, bus, train) to suit your listening environment
  • digital EQ and Sony's S-Master™ amplification delivers well-balanced sound with high-end clarity and low-frequency impact
  • 49" miniplug cable with in-line remote and microphone lets you control music and take calls with an Apple or Android smartphone
  • 60" standard (no remote) miniplug cable for use with other listening devices
  • download the free SmartKey™ app for Android to customize the in-line remote's button functions for your smartphone or tablet
  • 20 hours of playback from 1 "AAA" battery (included)
  • passive mode lets you keep listening if the battery runs down (noise-canceling function is disabled)
  • 40mm dynamic drivers
  • carrying case and airline adapter included
  • frequency response: 6-24,000 Hz
  • sensitivity: 101 dB (powered listening)
  • impedance: 50 ohms (powered), 24 ohms (passive)
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
Fit Style Around-the-Ear
Earcup Type Closed
Noise-canceling Yes
Bluetooth No
Frequency Response 6-24k Hz
Sensitivity 101 dB
Impedance 50 Ohms
Weight 8 ounces
Cord Length 60" + 49"
Airline Adapter Included Yes
iPod Control Yes
Volume Control No
Built-in Microphone Yes
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Over-ear noise-canceling headphones
  • 5' Straight audio cord (right-angled 3.5mm plug)
  • 49" Straight Smartphone control cable with in-line microphone/1-button remote (right-angled 3.5mm plug)
  • Airline adapter
  • One "AAA" battery
  • Accessory pouch
  • Semi-hard zippered storage case
  • Operating Instructions
  • Limited Warranty sheet (US)
  • Consumer 1 Year Warranty sheet (Canada)
  • Online product registration sheet

Scratch & Dent items may be missing non-essential accessories. In some cases the manufacturer's accessories have been replaced with generic equivalents.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.


Overview: The Sony MDR-10RNC Hi-Res stereo noise-canceling headphones combine comfort, precision noise canceling technology, and portability into one package. The headphones can cancel out up to 99% of ambient noise. The plush and soft earpads give you hours of comfort, and provide a wrap-around feel with acoustic sealing for excellent sound quality. The headphones come with two straight audio cables, including one with Smartphone Control, and a semi-hard zippered storage case.

Noise Canceling: Utilizing Dual Noise Sensor technology, the MDR-10RNC headphones can cancel up to 99% of ambient noise to bring out the most in your music. Noise sensors located on the inside and outside pick up environmental sounds. When you power on the headphones, the internal noise canceling circuitry analyzes the sounds from the microphones and the built-in full digital S-Master amplifier sends an equal, but opposite, canceling signal to the headphones. The AI (Artificial Intelligence) Noise Canceling (AINC) function automatically selects the most effective noise canceling mode:

  • NC Mode A: Noise typically made in an airplane
  • NC Mode B: Noise typically made in a bus or train
  • NC Mode C: Noise typically made in an office environment
Note: NC Mode A is automatically set when the headphones are first turned on. You can reset the noise canceling mode by pressing the AINC button if the ambient noise has changed.

Swiveling Ear Cups: The ear cups on the MDR-10RNC swivel out to let you listen to external sounds or carry on a conversation. When not in use, the swiveling ear cups fold flat for easy storage in the included pouch.

Drivers: The MDR-10RNCs have newly-developed 40mm HD driver units that deliver accurate and balanced sound with powerful lows and extended high frequencies.

Beat Response Control: Today's high energy music with its driving bass notes is demanding for headphones. The MDR-10RNC's Beat Response Control is a special acoustic design that helps control airflow and diaphragm movement to give you tight, deep bass response.

Battery Power: The MDR-10RNC's Noise Canceling circuitry is powered by one "AAA" battery (supplied). The supplied alkaline battery provides approximately 20 hours of battery life.

Passive Mode: The headphones will operate in Passive Mode when the battery is exhausted. The noise canceling function, digital equalizer, and S-Master are not active when the headphones are used in Passive Mode.

Detachable Cords: The headphones come with two detachable cords. These tangle-free cord are terminated with a right-angled 3.5mm miniplug that fits into most smart devices, even with a hard case. A plug adapter is provided for using the headphones aboard an aircraft. You can choose between the following cables:

  • Smartphone Cord: This 49" straight cable includes an in-line microphone/one-button remote that is compatible with most smartphones. The one-button remote lets you play/pause your music, and answer/end calls, while the built-in microphone lets you make hands-free calls. With the downloadable SmartKey app for Android, you can customize the functionality of the in-line remote.
  • Audio Cord: This 5' cable is for audio listening only--no in-line remote or microphone.


  • Frequency Response: 6 Hz - 24 kHz
  • Driver Units: 40mm, dome type
  • Impedance: 50Ω at 1 kHz (power on) / 24Ω at 1 kHz (power off)
  • Sensitivity: 101 dB/mW (power on) / 100 dB/mW (power off)
  • Total Noise Suppression Ratio: Approx. 22 dB
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Sony MDR-10RNC Reviews

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5 out of 5

Fabulous Noise Canceling Headphones !!!

Written By Charles, Gering, NE. on Sunday, August 24, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
Love them while mowing on my Cub Cadet 3100 GT.
Nothing vad about these headphones.
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"Coolness Factor"
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5 out of 5

Sony MDR-10RNC

Written By BBS, North Carolina on Thursday, July 10, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
Great headphones with a neutral sound for those that listen to a range of music and artists. Well mannered highs that aren't overly bright, warm mid-range, and controlled punchy bass. Very impressive product.
Warm expansive sound stage once they break in.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Sony noise cancelling headphones

Written By JOHN, Canada on Wednesday, February 05, 2014
I was cutting grass and wanted to cancel out the sound from mowers and trimmers. They kind of worked as they did some but not all reduction of background noise and the sound form ipod and iphone was clearer. Many work environments are noisy so long term exposure to noise can have a loss of hearing result.
They worked to some extent. Should be an industrial version to attach to hardhats.
Three main limitations: 1. I moved around quite a bit and they got shifted about by my hat and sunglasses. They seemed to be a nuisance. They seemed to work better when I was still on a mower. I quit using them as they got to be too time consuming. 2. The AAA battery had a habit of going dead every 10 hours or so. I had to carry an extra and replace it regularly. 3. They worked. They also resulted in an isolated feeling.....it is important from a safety aspect to be aware of traffic etc.
2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Sony Headphones

Written By Anonymous, Fargo , ND on Saturday, January 25, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
Could have a little fuller sound but, still excellent for the price.
Clear, crisp sound.
A little fuller bass would be better.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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"Coolness Factor"
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