Lindy Cromo NCX-100– the Durable Din Damper
Given the popularity of travel these days, people increasingly want to go places but resent having to wait around and get bored in the meantime. Airport departure lounges can’t hold a candle to the actual resorts themselves if we’ve booked judiciously, and the experience of being on planes themselves tends not to feature heavily in the text on postcards. Trust me, I used to be a postman.
Therefore, we can appreciate the protective bubble afforded by closed back headphones to enable us to pretend that it’s all a bad dream, with noise cancelling cosseting us like silken pillows. The Lindy Cromo NCX-100 is one such aural nursemaid; so let’s check for those spoonfuls of sugar
Design and appearance
The Cromo NCX-100 has a modern design not dissimilar to many headphones we tend to see around on the street, with stylish metallic chevrons on each side. The headband, when extended, reveals a similar metal-effect innard.
Durability & build quality
The NCX-100 gives a good impression of sturdiness without being too heavy. However, the NCX-100 does have weight enough to make it feel substantial, it’s not likely to fly away with a gust of coastal wind.
The outer plastic has a matt rubber coating making it grippy, with a headband pad reminiscent of a vinyl seat in an ice-cream parlour; comfortable but with an eye set on longevity.
The Lindy Cromo NCX-100 sits and encloses the ears with a bit of pressure on them, but the generously upholstered earpads make it quite comfortable. The headband pad mentioned above does the rest.
With leatherette earpads, there is always the potential for moisture to build up on skin below but the porous material in the inner part of the earpads mitigates against this. No discomfort was found during testing.
Suitability for intended application
The noise cancelling feature of the NCX-100 makes exterior noise that much thinner and reedier, but expectations should be realistic. When trying the noise cancelling feature on the headphones with a pure tone (a sine wave at 60Hz), the tone was still audible but a lot of the ‘body’ was taken out. The effect is more marked when combined with isolation (sound being stopped by the physical housing of the headphones) and masking (the ears’ tendancy to be distracted by the music) which reduces the perception of outside sounds further.
Voices from across the office had a similar reduction in the lower frequencies, reducing mumbling to whispering.
To further enhance the protective aural bubble, the ‘Bass Mode’ adds a little more of the low-end along with the noise-cancelling, and should please bass fans!
Isolation for the wearer is fairly good, though no better than the average over-ear headphone. For companions of the loud-music lover however, things may get interesting; particularly if they’re listening to Mary Poppins show tunes. Beyond a certain volume level, the earcups tend to vibrate and transmit sound in buckets (or spades).
The Lindy NCX-100 is definitely suited for portability – that much is clear before the headphones are out of the box. They arrive in a very sturdy carry case and can be folded up for storage within it, saving space in luggage. Not that you’d be too keen to take them off your head of course, as they do entertain!
Bass (e.g. punch, low extension):
In its natural state (with features turned off), the Lindy NCX-100 gives a bass level in good proportion to the rest of the frequency spectrum. It’s well controlled, and goes down low. The NCX-100 is not bass light; it hits the right note with what many people want in terms of bass. With the noise-cancelling feature on, its level is brought down a little bit but is still there in spades – but if that concerns you there is always ‘bass mode’, which while including the noise-cancelling, gives a much fuller representation of low frequencies.
Mids (e.g. vocals, acoustic instruments):
Mid-range is slightly recessed but still very present and clear. Vocals are easy to follow without being too prominent or strident, and echo/reverb applied gives a great sense of space. Harmonics are similarly represented giving life to guitars and brass.
Treble (e.g. high hats):
Treble is as good as headphone in this price range; it is usually where compromise creeps into designs but Lindy have done very well as high hats and percussion are given decent treatment without sounding too forced or raspy. A good comfortable listen – no fatigue has been experienced in an hour or two’s enjoyment.
Soundstage & Separation
The closed back design belies the width of the audio, which appears to be shoulder width when listening to a live performance, not headphone width. Separation is equally impressive, The Lindy NCX-100 places players in a piece of classical music in their respective positions and renders all those unplanned sounds as bows scrape strings and
woodwind keys click.
Music genres good for and why
Despite being a great all-rounder as I found when trying genres from rock to classical, I found the NCX-100 very well suited to dance music and rap. The slight emphasis on bass and treble makes it the perfect fit for anything designed to get the listener moving, but the relative presence of mid range makes these headphones excellent for anything which is thrown at them.
- Sturdy carry case included
- Microphone cable included
- Other types of male to male 3.5mm stereo cables compatible
- Comfortable to wear
- Can still be used if battery power is exhausted
- There must be something!