I just purchased a pair of Alessandro MS-1 headphones for $100. I can say with some certainty that there is zero chance that these $150+ noise cancelling headphones are even in the same league of sound quality. Of course, they are open headphones and not only don't block noise, but emit noise. Still, it really is crazy how much these noise cancellers cost for such mediocre sound quality.
I wish NYT had included some quality IEMs like etymotic, shure, super.fi, westone, etc.