Pros: Wired sound is competitive with others in the same price range. Great midrange. Convenience. Portable
Cons: Flabby bass, The built in dac/amp could be clearer. Need aptX transmitter to get the best sound over BT
I'm well aware of what head-fi thinks of wireless audio technology but what do we have to lose from a ~200 USD phone that is wired(and sounds good wired) and also happens to be wireless? Be not afraid.
You get the option of great sound when you want it and also convenience when you want to be wire free. Aint nothin bad about that.
Disclaimer: I typically don't dabble in closed phones because there has never really been a need for it. I've owned my pairs of closed phones but mostly in the mid-price range, right around the range of the MDR-10RBT. This is a price range that I am the most familiar with when it comes to closed phones. This review is relative to the other closed headphones between $100-300 USD.
I originally felt this set of Sony's was going to fill a niche purpose in my life. That is for use in the school's library because IEMS make my ears sore after some time. I really only like IEMs for cycling. Even more so I bought these for watching movies during the times I can't be loud. It fills most of these purposes exactly to function and with ease. But that's not why I spent the money I did. You can get terrible sounding wireless phones for pretty cheap. I was going for real hifi sound combined with that convenience and for the price, the MDR-10RBT delivers as well wired as any other phone you might expect to pay as much for, and passed my expectations with how much I've seen people around bashing on wireless tech.
About bluetooth wireless:
It's imperative that an aptX transmitter is used with headphones that support it. I would not suggest getting a phone that doesn't support aptX. I am now aware of the difference in sound between bluetooth codecs and how the technology is evolving and that difference is significant. aptX is a supposedly lossless bluetooth codec(I will leave that argument for elsewhere). Through aptX the sound was while not on par with through a dedicated dac/amp, but still very good and well voiced. I think a lot of the criticisms that wireless technologies gets can, at least partially, be attributed to the built in amp/dac that is in the actual earcup. While some of it might be bluetooth, I saw no immediate problems with the sound while staying in line of sight of the device and within 20-30 feet. With that said, I see a clear market as bluetooth and wireless audio technology evolves and I feel that bluetooth headphones have the potential to sound very good indeed.
I would also like to point out this. I have had a lot of troubles searching for a reliable aptX transmitter to hook up to my tv. Apparently this is not a device with very much demand. Phones are the main source of aptX transmission which came as somewhat of a shock to me. I'm still on the search for a non-phone transmitter that is worthy of my expectations.
Bluetooth range is kind of hard to rate because it really depends on the transmitter.
The below impressions are with my home setup through Resonessence Concero HD, and either Decware Taboo II or Bakoon HDA5210mk3 amplifier. Ratings are relative to the price of the headphone. Consider the wireless sound on par with these impressions, except with slightly less fidelity due to constraints stated previously.
No noticable sibilance. Reasonable extension. Not very much air as expected from a closed phone and comparable to my most recently listened to senn momentum over ear with a tinge more clarity.
The highlight of this phone. Very good and clear midrange, leans towards warmth but mostly neutral. There is a sort of inviting/smooth sound to the mids that people would associate with warmth. I would not quite call this a warm sound but it leans in that direction to my ears. +1 over the momentums for me.
The upper lows are not very offensive but can sometimes bleed a bit into the midrange on bass heavy recordings. Some people may enjoy this sound but I am unfortunately spoiled by my home rig. I am also the kind of person who prefers less bass than a little bit of mud and louder in the mix. This is one reason I generally prefer the sound of IEMs. A lot of them are tuned in such a way. So I am being a little bit subjective compared to the rest of my review with the above. The deep bass has some issues though. It can be a little flabby and bloated which I think to some extent is to be expected in the ~200 range. I still like this bass better than the audio technicas that I had heard so long ago. I know the price difference is significant but they are a phone which many people have heard. From memory I would think the momentums had an upper hand on the low end.
Quite good stage width for a closed phone. Depth I would consider average for the price range. Placement of instruments is exceptional for such a headphone.
9/10 for the width, 8/10 for depth
8/10 Very Good wired headphone, good wireless sound, and great conveneince all for a reasonable price. No bashing needed.