Pros: Quality of Noise Cancellation, EQ Modes, Comfort in the ear
Cons: Cable lengths are annoying, Expensive
After at least a year, I've finally got around to reviewing these headphones! So let's get started!
In The Box
When you buy these and open them up, you'll get as a present a set of these, with all of the trimmings. A nice leather case which can double up as a widescreen wallet, an airplane adapter for if you fly a lot, a battery for using the headphones, and about 8 or 9 different sizes of ear tips. Also, you get a cable tie, and a shirt clip for the NC box.
The fact that there are so many sizes of tips means that you can literally find your perfect size. Also, if you're like me and have one ear that's a slight different size to the other, it makes it easier to mix and match and it doesn't feel to uncomfortable. Although when it comes to noise cancelling, you should expect to get so many so you get a perfect seal.
See, now I have a huge problem with exactly how Sony've decided to design these headphones. The box that you put the battery into (and control the headphones with) is really big, and you'll probably need the shirt clip to use it. The cables then become a big problem, because the cable from the NC box to the earbuds is ridiculously long, meaning you end up using the cable tie for that. You then have a very short jack cable which would make sense if you already had a separate cable you wanted to use, like one with an in-line microphone and control. If not, then you could use the cable extension they give you, but for portable use that's way too long as well. Literally, after using two cable ties, I'm still left wrapping the earbuds around my neck twice, which doesn't make them that nice to wear.
Sorry, I really don't like the cables.....still, once you manage to fix the annoying cables, they are quite a nice pair of headphones to wear. The shirt clip could be stronger, but I use it in a button hole on my jacket and that works quite nicely,
Right, time to get into this discussion! (I've left my phone flat for this) Before I get too much into this, there are three modes for the headphones, "Normal (no words on the display), BASS and MOVIE." This is a really cool feature, meaning that you can choose to go for a slightly brighter sound, slightly darker sound, or to make sure voices don't hurt your ears. I'll be making references between them so you get the full picture:
The bass on these headphones is, at the best of times, quite good. It's not completely untamed, but it does sometimes get lost a bit. A track that I listened to on them sounded like it had a constant long bass note, where it was actually separate beats that rumbled quite a lot (my other cans helped me notice this). In "NORMAL" mode you don't get as much bass as you'd think from this description, but in Bass mode it does come out a bit more
Mids and Highs
These aren't sharp....they're actually a bit too soft in Bass mode, which is extremely annoying because you end up having to EQ in your treble (not too bad, but it makes them sound fake) However, you get a similar experience in Normal mode, with just an extra bit of a shift to the left of the frequency spectrum. The detail in the higher end (once you put it in a good position from your device) does sound very good, but the midrange sounds mixed in a little bit too much, with not a lot of variation for me. (Yet again, I had to EQ a lot in, especially in Bass mode)
Generally, these are quite good headphones, but I can genuinely say that if they didn't have noise cancelling and a smart box for a quick EQ, they'd be just above average for in-ear headphones. And Sony pitching these to us at £200/$300 is mean!