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Sony Intro:

Extending the range of wireless and noise cancelling headphones already available from Sony, the 1000X is the first to let you own your listening experience by tailoring the noise cancelling features to your ears with a ‘Personal NC Optimizer’ function. And showcases for the first time ‘Quick Attention’ mode that lets you place the palm of your hand to the outside of the headphone ear cup to have a conversation with someone, without taking the headset off. These unique listening experiences are brought to you by newly developed SENSE ENGINE.

SENSE ENGINE is a new technology from Sony that integrates unique audio signal processing and analyzing techniques. This technology provides a superior listening experience for every single sound, including music and ambient sound to each user’s taste.

These are also the first headphones with the DSEE HX built in to upscale compressed music from any source to near High-Resolution Audio sound quality, even in wireless.

 

Video Review

Introduction

Headphones are becoming the standard form of listening accessory that most users prefer. And with the heightened popularity of active noise cancellation devices, more and more companies are coming with their own line of high-end headphones designed to meet the needs of seasoned audiophiles.

Such is the case for Sony’s MDR-1000X, which is designed to offer active noise cancellation to help you enjoy your tunes better. Let’s be honest, in terms of active noise cancellation it’s always Bose who sets the standard – but Sony’s MDR-1000X headphones doesn’t mean it won’t go down without a fight. Let us have a look.

Manufacturer’s Specification:

  • Dynamic type: Closed, dynamic
  • Driver unit: 40 mm, dome type (CCAW Voice Coil)
  • Diaphragm: Aluminum coated LCP
  • Frequency response (HZ): 4 Hz – 40,0000 Hz
  • Sensitivities (DB/MW): 103dB/mW(1kHz)(when connecting via the headphone cable with the unit turned on); 98dB/mW(1kHz)(when connecting via the headphone cable with the unit turned off)
  • Magnet: Neodymium
  • Impedance (ohm): 46 ohm (1kHz) (when connecting via the headphone cable with the unit turned on) ; 14 ohm (1kHz) (when connecting via the headphone cable with the unit turned off)
  • Volume control: Touch sensor
  • Cord type: Single-sided (detachable)
  • Cord length: Headphone cable(approx. 1.5m, silver-coated OFC strands, gold-plated stereo mini plug)
  • Plug: Gold-plated L-shaped stereo mini plug
  • Usage time: Max. 20 hours(NC ON), Max. 22 hours(NC OFF)
  • Charge time: Approx. 4 Hours
  • Wearing style: Circumaural
  • Unit of microphone: Electret Condenser Microphone
  • Direction of in-line microphone: All direction

Design and Specifications

The MDR-1000X comes in matte black finish (also available in beige) with the ear cups covered in soft synthetic leather. Similar to the Parrot Zik 3, these headphones also feature embedded touch controls for adjusting the volume and skipping tracks.

The MDR-1000X features microphones placed inside and outside the ear cups that enable it to measure noise to give the best noise cancellation. It also checks the shape of your ears and your head and tailors noise cancellation that fits to you – this technology, called Sense Engine, is Sony’s own way of providing the best sound quality for the MDR-1000X. It also lets you adjust the settings to filter outside noise so you can still hear voices instead of everything else.

The MDR-1000X also features Digital Sound Enhancement Engine HX (DSEE HX) that up scales compressed audio like MP3 and bring them close to the quality offered by high-resolution audio. As such, Sony also offers LDAC support, which is the company’s proprietary hi-resolution audio format. But you would also need a music player that supports LDAC which only exists on Sony-branded audio devices.

Aside from the touch sensitive controls, the MDR-1000X also has physical buttons for activating certain functions, all of which are spoken by a voice prompt to let you know of the status. There is also a 3.5 mm cable so you can also use the headphones in wired mode.

Setup

Bluetooth is the primary point of connection for the MDR-1000X so it is automatically compatible with all devices that has the connection. I tried pairing the headphones with various devices and everything connected without any problem.

Performance

I primarily used the MDR-1000X with an iPhone 7 Plus for testing, using various hi-resolution iTunes files that are either streamed or downloaded.

Sound output was excellent, and there were varying levels of warm tones that engulfed my audible senses. Trebles were clear and detailed and there was a subtle level of low frequency effects that somehow matched the Bose QC35.

On the noise-cancelling front, Sony does a great job of making the MDR-1000X isolate background noise. I’ve used the headphones outside from the bustling streets of Dubai to the crowded metro stations during rush hour and it managed to block out noise every time. Impressed is probably the right word to describe the MDR-1000X’s performance.

The MDR-1000X charges via micro USB and it managed to give more than 20 hours of battery life – translate that to real world tests and I got more than a week’s worth of regular usage before it needed to be charged again.

Supplied Accessories

  • Carrying Case
  • Plug Adaptor for In-flight Use
  • Headphone cable (approx. 1.5 m, silver-coated OFC strands, gold-plated stereo mini plug)
  • USB Cable

Pros & Cons:

Pros

  • Great Sound performance
  • Comfortable fit.
  • Decent battery life.
  • Decent Noise Cancelling.

Cons

  • Touch controls take a while to get used to

Conclusion

The Sony MDR-1000X offers a decent set of features and manages to output great sound and active noise cancellation – easily performing at par or dare we say even better than most of its competitors. Highly recommended.

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