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Sorry SONY, you should have picked a more attractive model to review your headphones.

Sorry SONY, you should have picked a more attractive model to review your headphones.

Back in July I received an email from SONY asking if I’d be interested in receiving and reviewing their new MDR-1R Headphones. I said yes and a few weeks later they arrived.

I’ve been using SONY headphones at The Zone pretty much since I touched down in Victoria back in 2003 (I rock Sennheisers for my live DJ sets for those keeping score).

I have pretty much always been a headphones guy…from as early as I can remember. I bought my first set of muffs in the 90s. They had an area on the cord that required a battery to activate the “bass boost.” It caused the headphones to rattler during the bone-crushing bass lines. Pretty much the worst gimmick. But the headphones sounded great drifting off to sleep listening to my REM or Alice in Chains records as a kid.

After I moved to Victoria, the headphones came with me. But in the series of moves and the complexities of life, those original headphones have evaporated. I bought a pair of SONY MDR-V150s for work at The Zone. And then I have bought that type of headphone for radio or home since. Great headphones for the price.

The new MDR-1R is a different beast all together. Off the hop, they look great. A vintage looking silver with a brown faux-leather ear muff. When you imagine what a high-end set of headphones should look like, you’ll get the MDR-1R. Its a sophisticated look for someone who isn’t 12 and sporting Beats. The Souls of my Shoes is a fashion blog (I think) and she really liked the look and feel saying, “The faux leather padding makes for a comfortable fit around the ears sealing in the sound, which is clear like a pair of Swarovski earrings; a big step up from those ear bud contraptions I’ve used.”

The head feel is light. The band doesn’t pinch your head and give you chipmunk face like some headphones can. The muffs pet your ears.

The sound is superb. But at close to $300, it should be. Wired says, “(…) the sound is crystal-clear. The separation of the various instruments, and the lack of bombastic bass you get with lesser headphones, pulls you fully into the recordings.”

I’ve using my headphones for about month now…they have come on a few adventures and they are standard issue on my walks. I tend to enjoy indie rock or lighter, brighter beats, and the response pops.

PocketLint talks about the sound quality of the MDR-1R, “the mids have a lot of that “clap”, while the higher frequencies – said to output as high as 80,000Hz – have plenty of sparkle too.”

The headphones have a 40 mm Liquid-Crystal Polymer film diaphragm which will allow the headphones to generate frequencies as low as 4 Hz (which humans can’t hear or feel, but I’m glad they’re there?) and as high as 80 kHz. 80 kHz is pretty insane and not really required… but hey anything higher than 20 kHz is going to quality in the audiophile territory and creates that “airy” feel in music.

The headphones don’t kick huge on the low-end…but they generally have a warm, neutral sound. When you read words like “sparkle” and “bright” in a review of the headphones…those words are great descriptions for what you’ll experience with the MDR-1R.

The cost of the SONY MDR-1R can be as high as $300, which puts them up in the premium headphone price point. But then… well look at that, SONY has them on their website right now for $200.

Thank you for sending me a pair of headphones SONY. I hope this review was helpful for you.

Go with yourself.

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