Review of the Sony MDR-1000X Wireless Headphones



As flagship smartphones now come without a headphone jack, wireless headphones are starting to become an essential purchase. However, it is not easy to find a piece well-built and good performing set of headphones in the market, as most of this audiophile-grade equipment are manufactured with a standard audio cable. The MDR-1000X is a new addition to Sony’s line-up of high quality wireless headphones. It features state of the art noise cancelling and wireless audio technology that promises the best possible music experience. Does it live up to our expectations? Here’s our thoughts.

Design and Technology


The Sony MDR-1000X is made high quality materials to ensure durability and comfort. It is manufactured with a soft synthetic leather on the housing and earpads, and it fits extremely well on the head. This set of headphones also can be adapted to different head sizes with its retractable headband. To ensure the best possible noise cancelling properties, the earpads are designed to cover the whole ear, instead of simply resting on top of the ears. The earcups can also be folded to make it more portable for travel.



We can see that Sony has adopted a minimalist design for the MDR-1000X wireless headphones. There aren’t too many fancy designs or patterns, and the headphones only features a few quick access buttons. More specifically, there is only the power, noise cancelling and ambient sound dedicated physical buttons on the headphones. All the other media playback controls are found on top of the earpads as touch controls.


If you want to stop, play, skip through tracks, change volume, or activate the smartphone’s voice assistant features, you can simply touch or swipe on the right earpad. However, we do find that such controls do require some learning, and that is not as straightforward as actual physical buttons. Also, it could also be quite awkward to control the music and volume by touching the side of the headphone, and then waiting for audio feedback to ensure the correct response. Nonetheless, we do feel that such a button-less design blends in well for the whole minimal aesthetic theme of the headphones.

Noise Cancelling Features


Sony has utilized an active noise cancelling method to cancel out all the various kinds of noise from the environment, so that you can enjoy your music in its purest form. This is done by having two microphones at both sides of the earcups, which takes in the noise profile cancels them out accordingly.

Moreover, users can also customize the noise cancelling profile of the headphones to suit their diverse needs. With the “Ambient Sound” feature turned on, users can prioritize environmental sounds and listen to them as if they haven’t had the headphones on. The Ambient Sound (Normal Mode) feature allows the listener to hear every day sounds such as traffic, while having music in the background. Alternatively, the Ambient Sound (Voice Mode) focuses largely on the music from the source, but still allows you to listen to important voice announcements that are recognized by the microphone.

Understanding that users can find it quite troublesome to remove the whole headphones from the head to listen to important messages or to initiate a short conversation, Sony has invented the “Quick Attention” feature. With Quick Attention, users can intuitively place their hand on the right headphone housing to instantly reduce the music volume and listen to their sounds from the outside world.

Audio Performance


The Sony MDR-1000X is equipped with the best possible audio hardware for great audio performance. The headphones include a powerful 40mm driver with Liquid Crystal Polymer diaphragm for handling heavy beats and reproduce a full range of frequencies of up to 40mHz. Moreover, Sony has also included a digital sound enhancement Engine to upscale common compressed digital music files to make them sound better.

I had 2 other team mates to try on the Sony MDR-1000X headphones and to give their review and thoughts of the sound quality of the headphones. We all unanimously felt that the MDR-1000X is an impressive set of headphones. It had its focus on the mid-to-high range frequencies, which really brings out great music and vocals. It is particularly beautiful for today’s pop music and ballad styled songs, where every minor detail of both musical instruments and vocals can be heard clearly.



Together with the ambient sound feature, which makes listening to music slightly more natural than noise cancelled scenarios, it seems that we are listening the original singer who is standing right in front of you, dedicating a song just for you. It’s an experience that is unique to these headphones, which no other headphones manufacturers can replicate without proper audio digital/analogue sound engineering and research background.



These headphones sounded great, and we felt that they expressed the lower frequencies perfectly too. The drivers could deliver an impactful punch on the critical drums, performing feels of the “oomph” to listeners. Its bass is also clearly defined, and will not overpower the sounds of other frequencies. There is really nothing we can complain about on the sound quality of the Sony MDR-1000X headphone, and it is a well-balanced set of audio equipment that was able to focus and bring out the minute details of individual frequencies.


Conclusion



In conclusion, the Sony MDR-1000X noise cancelling headphone is a luxurious and high quality piece of audio equipment that brings real pleasure to your sense of hearing. It was able to weigh and produce sounds of different frequencies in excellence, while staying extremely comfortably on your ears. Speaking from the perspective of casual audio equipment reviewers, there were simply no faults that we can find in terms of the audio expression of the Sony MDR-1000X.

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