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Sony MDR-1R Reviews

Positive Reviews


Overall a good headphone for listening enjoyment.


Pros: Good overall sound. Clear mids and clean treble with the Blu Tack mod

Cons: Bass has a little upper bass bump and lacks some extension, Mids are a bit forward, Hinge and wind noise issues are present on the go.

So here is my review of the MDR-1R.   Looks:     Its a good looking headphone. nothing to complain about. It is by far my best looking headphone, but that is easy to do :)   Build:   The build is good, solid feeling and not a flimsy feeling piece of plastic. There are a few issues though:   First the jack on the headphone to accept the cable has no means of locking the cable in or preventing it from getting slack, So make sure that you don't change the cable constantly, or you will have a loose jack and the plug can rattle. For me so far, this is a minor issue, rarely hearing the rattle if ever at all.   Second is the hinge creaking. This is...
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Sony MDR-1R compared to Sennheiser Momentum


Pros: Great vocal performance, especially female vocal. Relaxed, smooth presentation with good speed. Open sounding

Cons: Isolation, Not sheep skin leather, Cable jack problem

Source: iPod Touch 3G ALAC filled Amp: iBasso D12       Overall sound impression: As somewhat a treble head and one that crave for mid-range, I have always found getting suitable portable headphones rather difficult. Most are either flat out studio headphones unsuitable for portable use or simply more that I am willing to pay for a pair of portable. Aside from the ES series from Audio Technica and Ed8 from Ultrasone, the portable line up for audiophile has always been rather thin and sparse. Sennheisser bought me hope when they announced the Amperior but the price difference from HD25 left me wanting for more.   I got to try out the Momentum a few...
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Negative Reviews


smart looking under achiever


Pros: great style

Cons: lacks authority, timid baseline

a good solid headphone that lacks any defining characteristics. nice midrange, clean, clear presentation. however, without a deeper more "gutzy" well rounded bottom end i don't expect these cans to be more than just great decoration for my wall............

Too Mid-centric


Pros: Big stage

Cons: Jack connection feels flimsy, overall they feel fragile, Mid-centric

I Ventured to buy those headphones fater a massive discount in pre-christmas sales here in mexico, for $178 USD i consider them to be a great buy   The construction of those cans seems to be aluminum and plastic mix, the band is alumnum as well as the ear cups, the joints are plastic, overall they feel fragile, so I try to take great care of those, the good is that they feel very light. One minor gripe i have on those is the "jack rattler" the connection seems not got as deep as it should do.   They look pretty stylish, pretty conservative style, black with a red ring as accent and the sony logo on it, you are not promoting big brand names there, the cable seems to be...
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More Reviews


MDR-1R Initial Impressions


Pros: One of the most comfortable circumaural headphones

Cons: Feels fragile for its price, SQ is decent but strong competition for the same price

  OK, I have an "almost complete" impressions of the MDR-1R. If you guys are ok with something that's almost, but not completely done, here you go. sNaturally I'll be padding this post and updating it as I complete it and will inform readers of the update :-   Notes: No unboxing pix. Go see Jude's Gallery for it's unboxing.   Comfort And Design These are extremely comfortable headphones. Probably the most comfortable headphone I've ever worn. They are a true circumaural that encompasses my ear however, they're not excessively large (i.e. they're not like the Denons D2/5/7000, nor Fostex TH-900) and the pleather is really soft on the earcups as well as...
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Overall Rating is indicative of the used market price - not new price


Pros: Gorgeous aesthetics; Lightweight & sturdy build; Removable cable; Midrange texture; Speed.

Cons: Cost to price ratio; Fatiguing; Midrange recession; Odd sound signature.

The review was written from a $300 MSRP, they can be had like-new for around $100, my ratings reflect the used market pricing.     Pros: Gorgeous aesthetics; Lightweight & sturdy build; Removable cable; Midrange texture; Speed. Cons: Cost to price ratio; Fatiguing; Midrange recession; Odd sound signature. Tonal Balance: Forward upper-mids with odd unevenness throughout, slightly v-shaped Style: Closed circumaural Cost at Time of Review: $300   Reviewing Process I’ve been using the 1R as my primary cans for the past three weeks, using them rather heavily during the time with a wide variety of music and games. While I feel confident...
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A great set of phone, but where have I heard these before?


Pros: Comfortable beyond belief. Replaceable Cables. Sounds Just Like MDR-ZX700

Cons: Weak Accessory Pack. Cable Rattle Issues. Sounds Just Like MDR-ZX700

If I can describe these in one sentence, it would be this: "They are the very portable edition of MDR-ZX700 with replaceable input cables."   There in lies the rub. They sound nigh incredibly close to the MDR-ZX700 in all regards.  The overall balanced approach that worked for MDR-ZX700, with all its plusses and minuses, are back in near perfect form in the MDR-1R.  In essence, the MDR-1R is the refined version of MDR-ZX700.  So much that I am tempted to leave my review on that.  For all intents and purposes, the 1R = ZX700 sonically.  If anything the ZX700 may have a tad more in isolation, if that.  Or vice versa.     The refinement comes...
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warm, nice soundstage, looks nice.


Pros: warm, soundstage, balanced, mids.

Cons: nothing

these deliver a warm sound, which i prefer. still, sound is quite balanced. clear sound, open soundstage, crisp mids, looks nice, !comfortabe! sounds like what i like. didn't use these outside, so can't comment on isolation. as for the midbass hump, that just makes it sound warmer, which i love (personal preference).   some saying isolation isn't good. if isolation was good, i would give 5 stars.

Sony MDR- 1r Dynamat Extreme


Pros: imaging, soundstage, mids

Cons: mid centric (personal sound preference)

Preface Just as a disclaimer, everything mentioned in this review pertains strictly to the headphone POST dynamat mod- this is not a comparison nor a review of the original headphones.  If curious about the dynamat mod, refer to this thread: http://www.head-fi.org/t/665529/dynamat-mod-for-sony-mdr-1r   So, having owned these headphones for a while (200+ hours approximately) I felt it was time for a review. I performed the dynamat mod within 10 hours of use so I really don't have much to say about the original headphone except for slight impressions.   Accessories  So starting off with the accessories: 2 cables (one control talk, one regular) and a carrying...
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Sony MDR-1R: Great but let down by a few flaws.


Pros: Attractive and comfortable design, enjoyable tuning, natural soundstage. Cheaper and better than the Z1000.

Cons: Bass still a little loose, pleather isn't the most breathable, non-locking jack mechanism, jack rattle issue

Along with the summary below, I have made a review thread comparing the Sony MDR-1R with the Sennhesier Momentum, MDR-Z1000, Logitech UE 6000, Audio Technica ATH-M50 and AIAIAI TMA-1 here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/639948/review-closed-portable-circumaural-around-ear-headphone-comparison-m50-z1000-tma-1-s-momentum-ue6000-mdr-1r   I also made a Youtube review if you would like to get a better look and brief review of the MDR-1R's. Please check out my channel for more reviews!     A Short Summary   BUILD   The MDR-1R has a sensible and attractive build but there are a few issues. Firstly my pair has the jack rattle issue as reported by other...
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Its a very different experience


Pros: Strong Bass that doesn't muddle the clarity of music

Cons: steep price tag

Coming from balanced armature earbuds, I found this headphone a rather enjoyable transition.    I own the PIIQ2, Beats Solo HD, and this definitely fits into another category. The overall impression of the MDR-1R is it is very comfortable piece of hardware with a very warm sound signature, you can listen to this thing for hours and it won't hurt you unlike the XBA-30. However I believe this thing is driven by a dynamic driver, so the clarity is definitely not as good as balanced armature headphones.   The bass of this is definitely present, and I'm not a huge fan of bass headphones and I own a pair of Beats Solo HD. However compare to the Beats by Dr.Dre garbage I can...
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Good NOT great headphones....must try harder


Pros: Some nice deep bass notes. Big soundstage

Cons: Audio Technica M50s

No need to elaborate on what has already been said about these but I summarise my time with the Sony MDR 1Rs:   Pros: -Nice build quality -Removable cable -Deep bass (not too deep) -Big soundstage -Can be great for some electronic music   Cons: -Recessed mids -Lack the resolution you would expect for the price -Bass can feel out of control at times -Not enough *POW* -Can feel sluggish -At the price (and way below) there are much better all round and bass-centric alternatives   Good attempt but Sony must try harder. Not only are there great alternatives, like the Audio Technica M50s, there are many new players on the market and at this...
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Enjoyable and relaxing portables


Pros: Small and light. Good looking in both versions. Laid back signature with good midbass and forward mids.

Cons: Cable controlls is not the best, also the plastic would be better in metal.

I have always known that sony had some good headphones for studios. But as for the lower models I have heard before, they has not been much above some cheap Koss Porta Pro in the sound. So yeah I always stayed away from the Sony brand, until recently when I heard some z1000. I did like them quite alot for all the detail and the over all look(abit boring but simple). But they lacked some bass so I did put the thought off buying them, also very expensive in Norway. Then a picture popped up when surfing the net, some black Sony's. Loved the look on em, as for an over ear headphone Im going to wear in public, I want em to look nice. Read around and there seemed to be alot of...
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Nice cans for relaxing with or listening to at work.


Pros: Enjoyable, easy going, comfortable

Cons: Build is a bit plasticy

I've listened to these for ~30 hours now, and despite them being a little warmer than I expected I've come to really appreciate their easy going sound signature. The mid-bass is a little pronounced, but it's enjoyable rather than overwhelming - I certainly wouldn't describe them as a bass-head 'phone.   Despite the warm sound signature, there's still a very good level of detail that adds to the enjoyment of well recorded music. When listening to recordings that are a little rougher around the edges, the MDR1r still conveys the musicality and enjoyment, rather than throwing all the flaws in your face. Whilst I wouldn't recommend it for listeners who place accuracy above...
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