Great Headphones; If You Can Afford It.

A Review On: Sony MDR1RBT Premium Bluetooth Over The Head Headphone, Black

Sony MDR1RBT Premium Bluetooth Over The Head Headphone, Black

Rated # 2 in Wireless
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Review Details:
Audio Quality
Comfort
Design
Value
Wireless Range
Purchased on:
Price paid: $498.00
CalebG
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Pros: Interesting sound, easy Bluetooth setup, comfortable in cool climates

Cons: Interesting sound, sweaty ears in hot climates

I recently got the 1RBT because I had a couple of Sony vouchers, and I have to say, while I am still uncertain of it's full retail price, I do really love this pair of headphones. The retail price is $498 Singapore Dollars.

 

Sound

My experience with headphones were on the lower-end Grados and AKGs. With a total listening time of less then 10 hours; electronic music sounds good in general, with a nice not overly pronounced bass like the XB series, but can be via equalizer settings. With rock music, comprising of guitars, bass, drums, keyboard and vocals, each instrument are defined, but somehow they all seem to want you to focus on them, which can then lead to fatigue. While defined, they also seem somewhat... muddy, if that makes sense. They just lack the "sparkle" like you would hear in a set of Grados. Perhaps this will change as it burns in. I do not get this problem with electronic music. The headphones boasts about an amplifier and sound engine, but I'm quite sure these are not in use when plugged in via cable, this is because, once a cable is plugged in, it will automatically turn off, and will not turn on if a cable is already in.

 

2-week update: After about 2 weeks, it seemed that the sound has become more... smooth. Much less fatigue, bass thumps with enough impact but yet doesn't drown out everything else, and it sounds great no matter the volume level, an issue I noticed with the AKGs I had.

 

Bluetooth Sound

There is a noticeable difference between wired and Bluetooth, but the Bluetooth's limitations do get more pronounced based on various genres of the music. Electronic music generally is not affected too much unless you cranked the bass up via equalizer for example. But it's hard to describe the effect Bluetooth has on the music, it sounds as if there's a layer of static affected a specific range of frequencies, so it isn't that noticeable, but at the same time, it IS there, so you end up trying to find it (and do) when you get used to it.

 

2-week update: Surprisingly, the headphone burn-in time did affect Bluetooth sound as well, or perhaps I got used to the static sound I was talking about; I used it with BT more then I do so with it plugged in. The one thing I would like to point out is that I have no issues with skipping tracks and the like. It is paired with a Nexus 4 most of the time. 

 

Comfort

Like many, I found that these are one of the most comfortable over-ear headphones I've ever gotten onto my head. But like have also said, it can get quite hot. And coming from a tropical climate, "quite hot" translates to "sickeningly hot and sweaty" if you find yourself without air-conditioning or just walking in the sun for a prolonged period of time. That aside, this pair of headphones seem to automatically "fit". Perhaps you might need to push it back or forth based on your own personal preferences, but it sounds the same, regardless. 

 

Bluetooth Functionality

It can't be easier to pair up the headphones to a device, especially if your device in question is a phone with NFC capabilities. With Bluetooth, I got a lot more control then I thought I would have. Play/pause, previous/next track, rewind/fast forward and volume. The mic can be used for calls, and having used it twice, it "works", but not well in noisy places.

 

Build Quality

Many have pointed out that most of the parts are plastic. Yes, they are. But at the same time, they feel extremely sturdy. Don't toss it around of course, but with most parts made of matte rigid plastic, you can be sure that it *could* take a few knocks and is probably more scratch resistant then those glossy, fingerprint-prone boutique headphones. Being made mostly out of plastic also ensures it's light, an important factor for those who are always on the move. Cable input jacks are covered with a hard but somewhat flexible rubber/plastic cover then snaps back into place. The only issue here is that the cable input itself does not have a locking mechanism, which means that anything more then a light tug would have it unplugged. It uses your standard mini-USB input for charging; that's great, as by now, unless you are a staunch Mac user, you would have at least 20 lying around in various places in your house/office. 

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