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Not the best

A Review On: Sony mdr xb 1000

Sony mdr xb 1000

Rated # 126 in Over-Ear
See all 7 reviews
Review Details:
Audio Quality
Comfort
Design
Value
Purchased on:
Price paid: $275.00
AgentCOPP1
Posted · Updated · 7728 Views · 7 Comments

This is just a short review for the monstrous XB1000 if anybody wants some opinions on it. I realize I'm a little late to the party, but hopefully this thread can go onto Google caches so future people can make an informed decision.

 

***Disclaimer: This is all opinion-based, but I'm pretty sure my opinions are true. Otherwise I would be an insecure jack wagon***

 

I received the headphones about a month ago and have had enough time to thoroughly gain a (somewhat) accurate opinion on these. Previously, I had owned the MDR-XB700s which are the 1000's not so little cousins, and being quite satisfied with them, I decided I might as well go ahead and step up the game with the huge 70mm drivers that the 1000's are famous for. Well let me tell you this much, when you receive them in the mail, pictures really cannot do you justice to explain how tremendously huge they are. They are bigger than the width of my palm, and the dictator-sized cushions that Sony lavishes you with are initially extremely comfortable, and are sure to give you lots of strange looks, should you go around town with them (which you probably shouldn't in the first place).

 

Amp: Fiio E09K desktop amplifier

Source: Android HTC Rezound (with radio turned off to prevent RF interference) @ 320 KBPS MP3. I know I know, get over the fact that I don't have a DAC people.

 

20 hours of pure white noise applied

 

Build: These headphones are built very sturdy and have an almost complete metal construction, unlike the 700s which consist of a plastic backing to the actual speakers, while still maintaining a metal band. The complete black look with this odd cube(ish) design on the 1000s is very visually impressive, and it gives them a very urban feel. I haven't really felt like any part of the phones was designed poorly, in such that something might break. They feel very robust and sturdy, which is something I think is a big plus for these.

 

Comfort: While the huge pillows that rest on the side of your face was initially a very good idea, I think Sony might have really done too much with this one. While they are very comfy for a while, the sheer weight of these monsters start to become extremely noticeable when you wear them for any length of time. The headband has very little padding at all, which is slightly disappointing. I've played games with them before, and after about 2 hours of wear, it becomes almost a burden to see these things in your peripheral vision all of the time. If you try to sleep with them on, forget it. You can't turn your head anywhere except for a straight on 90 degree position (to your actual pillow).

 

Sound: This is really what you all have come here for, isn't it? Well this is a little bit complicated to explain, and it's probably best to just break it down step by step in accordance to the appropriate frequency ranges as most reviews seem to do.

 

Lows

 

The lows on this thing are some of the deepest and most lush sound lows I have ever experienced. It can almost be compared to having two huge subwoofers placed directly next to your head. That is how crazy it is. I looked up a bass test on YouTube and did one of those, and holy mother of God, it is so extreme that these headphones were successful in *literally* shaking my head. The drivers on these things are so ridiculously huge that they were almost jumping off my head. It could handle deep sweeps very well (and with ease, might I add), and seemed to handle rough tracks to play very well. It really is just to leave it at this: just think of a really good set of subwoofers in someone's car. That's what these are like. I think that this is the most refined bass in the entire XB series, and it is most certainly noticeable once you first try these out. It manages to be very tight, and is very good with any song that has lots of bass.

 

Mids

 

This is where we begin to lose it a little bit. I'm not the best at explaining mids, so just bear with me. Since such a disproportionately huge amount of emphasis is placed on the bass, I think the mids are kind of lost in the shuffle and seems like they are almost forgotten about. Voices are sometimes extremely hard to hear, even with the best equalizing, and really aren't that good at describing a tracks more "feel-good" tones. While it is still possible to equalize a song so that you can hear more of your favorite ranges in the mids, it always seems kind of off and not exactly right. For example, when a guitar player is shredding out a really sick solo (think Still Got the Blues by Gary Moore), you can't really feel that crunchy, spine-tingling resonance that Gibson Les Pauls are trademarked for making. It's like you're always thinking about the bass on these headphones, because it's always present and noticeable. Not good.

 

Highs

 

This is where I have by biggest gripes. I think that the highs are almost completely washed out by all of the other frequencies. Sibilance (the sound produced by pronouncing an "s;" live around the 2-4K range) is a huge problem with these. No amount of vain contesting with the EQ is able to get rid of this problem and it leaves you always cringing whenever the singer sings just the wrong words, or the drummer hits just the wrong symbol. This is something I've noticed almost directly out of the gate, and is probably one of the single most outstanding acoustic design flaws with this set. If highs are what you crave, you might as well be better off buying some Bose QC 3's *gasp*.

 

Overall impression: I don't know if it was intentionally designed this way or what, but it seems as if this set is produced solely for dubstep, house, rap etc (the stuff with bass). In no way, shape or form are these good for anything like classical, rock, country, pop, Lady Gaga (I consider her to be a completely separate *terrible* genre), or anything of the like. If dubstep or rap is all you listen to, these headphones are great! However, anything else and you will be left in want. Just a word of advice, it is imperative that you use an amp with these because even though they have a relatively low impedance, the 70mm drivers command lots of energy flow to be able to move all of that air.

 

So, what did I eventually do with these? Sold them.

 

I hope you all have an excellent morning, noon, afternoon, day, night, midnight, or double sun set if you so happen to live on Tatooine.

7 Comments:

Based on the review , it's a good thing that sony discontinued them, lmao
Sony Inc. is losing money by the truckloads, it is cutting on expenses and laying off employees, but the company keeps spending on the 'research' and 'development' of [what kind of sound engineering research and development was done on these headphones ?] the frankenphones like these.
Some executives of Sony should be committed to a mental asylum. If the top brass of Sony wants to start earning moneys for the outfit that used to represent the top quality in the audio world in the years bygone and if they want to regain the aura and prestige that the company used to have then why they don't simply bring back MDR-R10 ? They will not have to start from scratch and spend more money and time in creating and putting a new product on the audio market. MDR-R10 model needs just a bit of a tinkering with and the production lines could start rolling in a few months. Why are Sony directors and executives not smart ? Right now there is not an ace of a headphone in their card deck.
Now, it is good to mention that the Sony xb 700 had the same issue with the highs... there was a simple mod that you could do to them [which actually removed a piece of material from behind the driver, reducing the reverb and cleaning up the highs... A LOT] that being said... these are a niche specified can <3 as I like my XB700 and look forward to modding and trying the XB1000... but yea.... not the best line of cans ever >.>
These headphones are just designed for electronic music lovers. Darker sound for loud listening, for that club feeling. Many people say this bass is hard to find elsewhere until Audeze's headphones. It's sad that some people can't understand it...
this is reference to zorin's comments, i recently received the mdr r1 and listen, i'm not sending them back; well actually i did, they sent me a duplicate set by accident or whatever, ...... its a long story, anyway, i'm keeping the r1 just for its street shiek, in brown, but the sound is only let's say "very good" doesn't compare to tight as a nuns a.. street aces audio technica ath es9wa or es10. i'm would be willing to go totally Yoko Ono on my headphone collection just audio technica and sony, with a sprinkling of sennheiser (i'm waiting for some refund money to reenter my account to purchase the amperior) but as far as sony goes the sign at the head office reads: "gone fishing" i guess on what seems a decade long sushi expedition.......(i like the looks of the new xb800, but reviews are at this point scarce, seems sony likes it as such, but what little i've read or heard seems to suggest a thoroughly mediocre headset, or even slightly less......
just to clarify, the point is i really want to be in sony's corner, i love the idea of sony electronics, probably because when i was young they set the standard, hell they invented portable audio! and in the end apple has taken it all away......
Buddy, I wrote 'MDR-R10 and not MDR-R1. It's O.K., sometimes I am not sufficiently attentive as well.
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