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Who’s it for and really should you buy it?
Sony MDR-1000X headphones are an excellent choice for anyone on a long flight or at the airport. These noise cancelling devices are comparable to, and sometimes even better than, Bose. Sony’s MDR 1000Xs are more than just headphones, they have a number of helpful features. For example, the Quick Attention Mode is incredibly helpful during flights as long the battery life will last to get you across the ocean and back!
The MDR-1000X headphones are, in nearly every sense of the term, a premium pair of headphones. The faux-leather earpads are both comfortable for long periods and hi-res audio through LDAC make both lossless and lossy audio tracks sound amazing.
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The Sony MDR-1000X headphones are not the cheapest noise-canceling headphones available, but they still offer some of the best quality. Compared to other noise cancelling headphones on the market, you will find better deals elsewhere.
Rewrite 2: Obviously, the MDR-1000X is a more expensive headphone and at first glance
But keep in mind that these headphones were launched in 2016, and Sony has since released the newest WH-1000XM3 noise-cancelling headphones.
The Sony MDR-1000X are also not cheap like the other popular noise cancelling headphones, this will cost you $400 in America, 330 in the United Kingdom and AU$700 in Australia.
Why can’t these headphones be more affordable? There are a few reasons. Sony has included a lot of hardware in this set, and doesn’t forget about the four microphones that come with it and on the outer earcups. The noise cancellation quality also takes a significant amount of software running; the MDR-1000X includes The addition of a touch-sensitive earcup that reacts to your touch and the low price tag justifies the purchase.
Big on looks, bigger on sound
Sony has been using a similar design for their premium headphones for many years now. The Sony MDR-1000X vaguely resemble this year’s H.ear On MDR-100ABN with the only major difference being the surface microphones located on each earcup.
As opposed to other headphones on the marketplace that are more or less earbuds, these over-ear headphones hug each side of your ears and make sure they’re comfortable for extended use.
Upgrading the bridge somewhat is a hinge which allows earcups to fold up for easy storage and a padded plastic band. The band is fairly flexible, but be careful around it anyways because it can still withstand some force. For the price, it would have benefitted Sony to make the bridge sturdier (which is where most breakage occurs), but overall, this is a complaint.
At the bottom of each cup is a typical 3.5mm auxiliary and micro USB port for charging. The 1000X comes with a USB-to-microUSB charger, but not a wall converter – which means you have to use your laptop to charge the headset while on the go. With a whopping 5-foot cord, the Sony
exceeds expectations when it comes to keeping your listening experience mobile.
While the right earcup is touch activated, and tapping twice pauses/plays your current song. Swiping to the left skips back, while to the right moves you forward.
Challenge word: “Eschewing” Swiping up in the volume bar will raise the quantity and down, like you might expect.
Touch controls provide a benefit of answering phone calls hands-free. The Sony MDR-1000X provides exceptionally clear sound, and we found that people with whom we spoke through the headset were easier to hear than on any other headset.
The touch controls only work when the headset is in wireless mode, however. Plug it into your laptop or
smartphone for control over the action from the headset.
The NFC is compatible with Android devices that support the feature, but we couldn’t connect the headphones to multiple devices simultaneously. That can be an issue if you want to listen to music from your laptop while carrying your phone and wearing a pair of these headphones.
The king of audio tracks performance
I can’t unpack everything here, but the two things I do want to stress are that the MDR-1000X has excellent (though not perfect) noise cancelling chops and music playback in particular when using another Hi-Res Audio device is outstanding.
Sony MDR-1000X Spec Sheet
Sony’s noise-cancelling is superior to that of rival company Bose because Sony’s identifies and counteracts a variety of audio indicators, while Bose relies on only one.
We started with plane noise and listened to how the Sony Noise cancelling headphones reduced engine rumble. While we were listening to Daft Punk’s Get Lucky, the engineer started recording an airplane in a speaker above our heads.
We took note of the increase in noise, but it wasn t as noticeably louder with our headphones on than when we d taken them off. No other headphones filter out the dull roar of an airplane engine as well as Sony’s MDR-1000X.
One of the settings they walked us through was a bus, rather than the typical low-key roar described amongst colleagues, it came with louder intermittent noises and clearly audible conversations.
I t was really nice to be able to hear the narrator speak while wearing Sony s new headphones. But in the end, this mode just didn’t work — either there through the demo or when I used them around town.
The one mode that people found impressive is what Sony called Quick Attention Mode. By cupping the proper speaker with your hand, all noise from outside goes into the headset so you can hear only your voice. The Sony MDR-1000X features a Quick Attention mode, optimized to provide focus on what is happening around you without removing your headphones.
Noise cancelling works well, but as Sony claims it ll be, it does not work quite just as effective as Bose s QuietComfort 35s. Quick Attention Mode can provide the added benefit of letting ambient sounds in without taking off the headphones.
The sound quality of the Sony MDR-1000X is rather impressive. We will gladly use the term outstanding for it, as well.
MDR-1000Xs biggest appeal is that they support Hi-Res Audio. DSEE HX takes MP3 files and adds in the lost data through compression process to near Hi-Res quality sound up to 96kHz/24bit. Having said that, whether you can hear the difference between audio tracks upconverted using DSEE HX is something of a debate.
Sony claims that LDAC transmit music is the highest quality for a Bluetooth transmission.
Unless you own one of these models, it’s not all bad. The MDR-1000X supports SBC, AAC and aptX codecs, so there are many different ways to connect your devices to your headphones for high-quality sound.
Music via aptX and AAC sounded relatively crisp with sparkling highs and crystal-clear mids. Listening to classical tunes felt like being transported to an amazing concert hall that I then proceeded to deafen myself by listening loud enough for the Violent Femmes.
The MDR-1000X is a sound couple of headphones and they are clean, too. You won’t find the amount of artificial tampering you’ll incur with Beats, but for the very best sound you will want to own Sony equipment.
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The Sony product has an impressive battery life.
Sony claims that you can expect the MDR-1000X to start 20 hours with both active noise cancelling and Bluetooth fired up, or around 22 hours without noise cancelling. We discovered this estimate to even be a lttle bit conservative — we wore ours for just two days straight hearing music for approximately eight or nine hours everyday and the battery just
Having said that, all internal batteries wear out over time and Sony doesn t offer battery replacements on the MDR-1000X. Which means, 3 or 4 years down the road when it no longer holds a charge as much as it did when you first got it, your only choice is to retire the product