Pros: Light, "fun" sound, nice styling
Cons: Not the most comfortable, all plastic parts
I used the MDR-ZX701iP which is the same but with iphone controls.
Build Quality & Design: 4/5
I like to start off with this category because it is one of the first things you notice about the product. You see how it is presented and what it looks like. These have a simple yet elegant design in my opinion. They aren't flashy, but they also aren't unappealing like other full-sized headphones can be. The structure is entirely plastic, but it feels very solid and I'm not worried about it break or developing cracks like other headphones can. However, over time I imagine the plastic could end up being a weak point. The inline mic is a nice feature for those that want it, otherwise the MDR-ZX700 would be work just as well.
Accessories and Functionality: 2.5
I changed this category so that it not only measures the accessories that come with a headphone, but also how the headphones functions in its intended purpose and if the accessories are beneficial. For example, if a headphone is designed for portable use and for traveling, then it would be nice if it folded-up for storage, had a case for protection, and isolated well (blocked out noise).
In the case of the Sony MDR-ZX701iP it is obviously advertised as a portable headphone due to its compatibility with the iPhone. It doesn't come with anything besides the headphones and the tiny sheet of instructions that is included with every electronic purchase I've ever made. Immediately this is a bit disappointing, especially after the great case that came with the Koss TBSE. The headphones themselves do not fold up, and do not have a removable cable, both of which help increase portability as it allows for easier and safer storage. Also while a bit on the small size, these are full sizes, over-ear style which makes them just slightly bigger than others in the portable category. They do have a nice profile and are quite unobtrusive. The isolation is quite nice, as I felt like I was in my own world when the music was playing at a reasonable volume. I could not hear anyone around me and those around me could not hear my music. These are both important thing when looking for something meant to be used in public places. Overall, they don't come with anything extra and they lack some of the things that would have improved their functionality as a portable headphone.
At first I thought these were super comfortable. They have a very well padded, and nicely shaped headband. The ear pads, while pleather, are also very soft and feel nice. My initial impression was that these were going to get an excellent grade on comfort. However, as I've been wearing them, the issues in their design have become present. These have a bit of clamp on the head, but the soft pads prevent this from being an issue. The problem that I discovered is that the depth of the ear cups is a bit shallow, so my ear actually brush up on the inside and this is bothersome, especially for longer listening sessions. If the pads were maybe 1/4" thicker I think my ear would be good and the comfort would be greatly improved.
I enjoyed listening to these. Despite what the box says, these are definitely no "Studio Sound Quality," but they are fun nonetheless.
Bass: The bass is solid, and clearly a little more than neutral. It doesn't go quite as deep as others have tried, but the bass that is present has good impact (you can feel when the note hits). It is not the cleanest or tightest sounding bass, but it will appeal to most people.
Mids: I'm not sure what to make of the midrange on these headphones. It isn't bad, but it also isn't anything special. I think what I've noticed is that vocals seem a bit unnatural, making it clear that I am listening to a recording and not a performance.
Treble: The treble is the part that under performs The treble sounds recessed except for one spike, which I think might contribute to the slightly unnatural sound of the vocals. The treble that is present is nice and clear, but I felt like I was missing details in the music because of the lack of treble.
Additional: If you noticed in the photos, the drivers are angled in a way so that they are aimed more directly at the ear canal. I don't know exactly how this affects the sound, but I thought it was interesting.
Overall: 7.25 (7.75 MDR-ZX700) / 10
At the full retail of $150 I would say these are good, but there are other options worth looking into. If you don't need the iPhone capabilities though, the Sony MDRZX700 Headphones
can be found for around $90, and then these are a very nice option for the price. While not the most portable, they should hold up well enough if put in a backpack or worn around your neck. I may have said some bad things about the sound, but they are still quite a fun listen. They aren't accurate, but sometimes that makes for a better, more enjoyable headphone.
Worth a try if you like the design and can get them under $100.