Goldring NS1000 - A mini review

Dodgy_Geezer

Well-known Member
Ok, so I've had time to try the Goldring NS1000's quite comprehensively now and hands down, for £50 quid (see thread here), they're an absolute steal. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that you won't find any better noise reducing headphones at this price. Here's the lowdown:

Contents
The headphones come packaged in a square box housing the carrying case that has everything else inside meaning you can't actually see anything until you open it up. The case itself is a sturdy oval affair finished in matt black nylon and with a smart "Goldring" badge on the front. A side zip opens the case to reveal a soft velvet interior with a support to hold the headphones snug and securely. A velco mesh style zip bag attaches to the other side of the case and contains the supplied AAA Energizer battery, gold plated 6.35mm stereo adaptor, gold plated airline stereo adaptor and a gold plated 3.5mm cable that looks exactly like an Ixos cable but is branded Goldring.

First Looks
The Goldrings are finished in black and silver and certainly look the part with excellent build quality and a classy understated design that doesn't scream "look at me!". The top of the headband is padded and has "Goldring NS-1000" printed on it whilst the cups, that can be rotated through 90 degrees from the headband, have a Goldring "G" emblem finished in shiny silver. Adjustment is possible on either side of the headband using a series of small notches to select the size required. Each heavily padded cup can also rotate inwards across its own hinge but only for about an inch, there's resistance after this and I didn't want to force it so I don't think it can be turned completely to face the ear cup out for monitoring.

The left hand cup has a small switch on the outside with a small blue LED above to indicate when the noise cancelling is active. The 3.5mm cable also plugs into the lefthand side cup and because it's not fixed to the headphones, you can change the cable as required for a longer length or thicker cable. The right hand side cup houses the battery that is easily installed by sliding the cover to the left to reveal the battery compartment. Although this may seem like a very minor point, one of the main reasons I wanted the Goldrings is because the battery is housed in the headphones rather than a separate battery compartment like the cheaper Sennheiser's. This means that if you want to use the headphones purely for noise cancelling, there's no additional wiring to mess around with.

The supplied headphone adaptors are standard albeit very welcome gold plated models but surprisingly, the cable is a wonderful Ixos clone and a welcome addition from the usual cheap nonsense that comes bundled with audio kit. Similarly, it's a nice touch that Goldring supply an Energizer battery rather than the bog standard alkaline cell you find being sold by the dozen for a quid.

In short, a lot of care and attention has gone into the packaging and contents and it shows. You can really feel you're using something special that'll last and the case in particular is streets ahead of what's supplied by Bose and Sennheiser for similar cans.

How do they wear?
As mentioned, each cup is heavily padded and the Goldrings are very comfortable to wear, even for extended periods of time. A major reason for this is because the headphones are of a closed back design and have cups that fit over and around the ear rather than sitting directly on the ear itself. And because the cups on the Goldrings are shaped to fit around the ear very snugly, they're slightly offset from the line of the headband meaning that once you put them on, they don't move as the headband is perfectly aligned to the right place at the top of your head and stays there. Another minor point but you wouldn't believe the number of cans I've got where the headband ends up slipping down your neck or slides around the top of the head messing up hair that took ages to do!

How do they sound?
I use the Goldrings mainly for flights (my regular trips abroad involve are no less than 6 hours flying) but also for any domestic journey where noise cancelling is important. I have several other headphones for casual use at home, mixing tracks or listening to music so my review is more biased towards performance with noise reduction enabled rather than without.

First things first, on a flight, these cans are par excellence. Even if you're on a rickety bi-plane like the one in the opening credits of Raiders Of The Lost Ark, these Goldring's are serious when it comes to noise cancelling. Because the cups fit over and around rather than on your ear, just slipping these on without activating the noise cancellation yields impressive noise attenuation from the roar of the aircraft. Switch on the Goldrings though and you're immediately taken to a new world where the engine noise just fades way to almost silence as you don't actually hear any buzzing or humming to indicate the circuitry is active. I've tried these whilst sitting near the wing of a Boeing 747 where the engine noise is loudest and they're simply wonderful. The inflight entertainment usually has to be turned up to at least 75% volume to hear anything above the engine noise but with the Goldrings, even a 30% volume can sound loud.

Voices and mid-range frequencies are clear and music comes across as dynamic and balanced carrying none of the muddiness that sometimes affects noise cancelling headphones. Bass has less impact when the attenuation circuitry is switched on but I think this offers a more natural sound as the Goldrings are bass heavy otherwise. Treble is tight and controlled at the top end regardless of attentuation and overall, the sound from these cans is clear, full of body and neither harsh nor restrained when the noise reduction is activated. I bought the Goldrings to use whilst on a plane and they've exceeded my expectation unreservedly!
:D

Comfort is another area where the Goldrings score highly. The padded cups are easy on the ear and because they sit around rather than on the ear, there's no discomfort or fatigue. I've had on the Goldrings for 7 hours straight and only removed them a few times just to marvel at the noise cancelling performance. In comparison, I'd say they're as good as the Bose QC3 when it comes to comfort and vastly more comfortable than the Sennheiser PCX250's which I found tiring after a few hours.

Attentuation is just as good on the train or in a car. Even the Tube which offers a considerably louder proposition was tamed by the Goldrings including the nasty bit on the Central Line where the track squealing is enough to make your ears bleed. Air conditioners and office fans are brushed away with contempt with noise reduction active and if you live in a block of flats or are staying in a hotel, traffic will melt away once you switch on the Goldrings. As with other noise cancelling headphones, TV sound cannot be blocked comprehensively as it has a much wider frequency but the closed back design of the Goldrings are still passable to reduce the noise to a muffle without switching on noise reduction.

The Goldrings are surprisingly good when used as a normal pair of headphones where noise cancelling is not required. Bass response is excellent and the mid-range has a fuller body that picks up the detail in the frequencies despite having a somewhat "heavier" sound than with the noise cancelling activated. Again, I'd say they're on par with the Bose QC3 and actually better if you prefer this type of "heavier" ambience. Overall, I prefer using the Goldrings with the noise reduction on as I like the more natural sound it offers but either way, I doubt you'll be disappointed.

A quick word about battery life, I've not been able to accurately measure how long a single standard alkaline cell lasts but it's good for around 40 hours use. It may depend on the type of noise being attenuated but the bottom line is 40 hours is more than enough. The Bose QC3 have a rechargeable lithium-ion battery with similar performance but this is proprietary and I'd much rather have the standard disposable AAA type that Goldring uses which can be replaced in-flight if required.

But Seriously
Any downsides? Well, after having used the Goldrings extensively over several weeks, I'm struggling to come up with any. The only very minor gripe I can think of is that the creaking of the hinge can occasionally be heard through the ear cups. It doesn't distract or annoy but it might be the type of creak that you don't notice at first but that when you do, you can't stop not hearing it. This affects most closed back headphones at some stage and it didn't bother me so until they come up with oil-dampened hinges, I guess there's little that can be done about it.

Summary
In all my 15 odd years of buying audio kit including amps, speakers, CD players and even subs, I'd rate these as a best buy based upon performance, price and features. Fifty quid for a pair of noise cancelling headphones on par with the Bose QC3 is phenomenal. That the Goldrings also excel at ordinary listening without noise cancellation makes these a must. Regardless of if you're a frequent (or infrequent) flyer, a casual listener, late night gamer, music connoisseur or simply have just a passing interest in noise cancelling headphones, the Goldring NS-1000's should be top of your audition list.
:thumbsup:
 
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Member 266567

Active Member
Thanks for the great review.

I agree that they really are very good headphones, with and without the noise cancelling. They are VERY similar to the Audio-Technica ATH-ANC7, which are also excellent and in my opinion a little better put together.

In my experience, when using the NS1000's with an iPod, they do benefit from being driven with portable headphone amp (via Line Out Dock cable) with the noise cancellation off. They seem just a little bit too much for the humble iPod headphone output to cope with.
 

Neil Hawkes

Active Member
But Seriously
Any downsides? Well, after having used the Goldrings extensively over several weeks, I'm struggling to come up with any. The only very minor gripe I can think of is that the creaking of the hinge can occasionally be heard through the ear cups. It doesn't distract or annoy but it might be the type of creak that you don't notice at first but that when you do, you can't stop not hearing it. This affects most closed back headphones at some stage and it didn't bother me so until they come up with oil-dampened hinges, I guess there's little that can be done about it.

I wondered if mine had a problem re the hinge, now I know it's normal!

Excellent review, agree with just about everything. Highly recommended, especially at the cut price offers that seem to spring up on a regular basis.


Cheers,
Neil.:thumbsup:
 
J

Jon Bradbury

Guest
Thanks for the informative review! On the basis of this I bought a pair and having tried them I think they are bass light. However, I have also read that the drivers could do with burning in and once this is done the sound improves.

Would anyone care to comment on this?

I also have a pair of Bose QC3s and there is no comparison, the Bose headphones are superior in almost every way save price. Although to be fair QC3s deliver less detail and a much warmer sound. I have yet to test the Goldring's noise cancelling abilities on my daily commute. I also noticed the hiss, and that it appeared to be louder in the right hand can.
 
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Uriel

Active Member
I think the NS1000s are a fairly neutral headphones, at least in active mode. They are pretty source and amp sensitive though. I've been lucky enough to find that they really shine out of my old Sony hi-fi amp. They're just not the same straight out of a portable player or amp. The difference can be subtle. It's things like note decay etc, where I notice the difference.

The bass is deep and well controlled but not prominent. They do lack warmth in comparison to some other headphones but I think they give a very realistic presentation. For that reason, I really like them for orchestral, vocal and acoustic music.
 

BrynTeg

Distinguished Member
£50 quids??????? where
 

Uriel

Active Member
play.com

Edit: They come on offer from time to time. Looks like they're full price at the moment.
 

KENNEDY!

Standard Member
this really is a fantastic review. Was umming and ahhing about these last night as I want a pair of NC headphones to get with my xmas money. Was either these or the Pioneer folable ones.

Thanks for your help, decision made!
 

wezzoid

Novice Member
Ive had the Goldring NS1000 for about 4 years from new. They're excellent except for one thing - the ear cup pads recently split badly on the inside edge of both cups, and the foam now tries to fall out. This is with moderate, even light use IMO. It's a shame because they don't seem to be replaceable or even repairable, and other than this problem the headphones would probably go on forever.
 

Dodgy_Geezer

Well-known Member
Mine are still going strong after nearly 10 years :) The outside is a bit scuffed but apart from that, they still work good as new.

Unrealistic to expect something like cans to last forever so as long as you've had a good innings, maybe look for a replacement?
 

shankinggolfer

Novice Member
Hi, can anyone help me by letting me know how I change the battery in my Goldring NS1000's, please? I've had them for about 5 years and never had to change the battery until now, but having lost the instructions I just cannot see where the battery is located!! I've flipped off the two outside covers to the ear cans, but it's not there, and am at a loss to locate it anywhere else!!
 

JayCee

Distinguished Member
Hi, can anyone help me by letting me know how I change the battery in my Goldring NS1000's, please? I've had them for about 5 years and never had to change the battery until now, but having lost the instructions I just cannot see where the battery is located!! I've flipped off the two outside covers to the ear cans, but it's not there, and am at a loss to locate it anywhere else!!

Read the second paragraph of the “First Looks” section on post no 1.
 

Dodgy_Geezer

Well-known Member
Hi, can anyone help me by letting me know how I change the battery in my Goldring NS1000's, please? I've had them for about 5 years and never had to change the battery until now, but having lost the instructions I just cannot see where the battery is located!! I've flipped off the two outside covers to the ear cans, but it's not there, and am at a loss to locate it anywhere else!!

Hello mate,

Welcome to AVF :thumbsup:

Here's a picture to help, mine are still going strong but if you only use them occasionally, don't leave the battery in as it'll end up leaking.

DG
 

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Giblets

Active Member
ive got a couple of questions as the plastic on the arms on my pair has now split, I’ve repaired them with duct tape! But am sure they will need replacing soon.
As such, couple of questions, how do people consider these standing up against newer noise cancellers (sound quality and noise cancelling). And what are people replacing them with (sub £100)?
 

Dodgy_Geezer

Well-known Member
Mine are still going strong after all these years :)

Take a look at the AKG N60NC, you should be able to pick these up for £100 and they're really good too if not better.

I've tried others but they were wireless Bluetooth, which is the way the market seems to be going, and sound quality was rubbish.
 

Giblets

Active Member
Cheers, I managed to get a pair of Sony WH-1000mx3 for Christmas, and the noise cancelling especially is amazingly better. The Gold rings deal with monotonous drones a bit, but the Sony’s deal with a much broader spectrum. Appreciate they are 2-3price and many years newer. But a world of difference
 

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