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Sony MDR MA300

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

Sony MDR-MA300 Over the Head Style HeadphonesAnyone try these out? I was going to get the Metrocity headphones but these look like they may be better. They are 49.99 at amazon right now and just came out not to long ago.

post #2 of 29
Thread Starter 

I went ahead and ordered a pair. Should be here Wensday I will just leave impressions then I guess.

post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 

I mainly just wanted a pair of really comfortable HF. I know sony does this well so I figured I would give them a shot.

post #4 of 29

I tried them today and they are really comfortable for long listening sessions, they offers crisp clear soundquality for the price and i will recommend them.

post #5 of 29

those are out of my league tongue.gif

post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 
Out of your league? What do you suggest then?
post #7 of 29

Are they open back designed?

post #8 of 29

Just got these from the local Sony Store (not their flagship store at Culver City, go figure that one out).  Not a review, just impressions at this point.  

 

These are about an hour or two into its burn in phase.  Keep in mind that, however, that I'm not a big burn-in proponent/believer.   This is un-equalized output from a Sony Walkman, NWZ-E465.  

 

These are open air/open back design. The drivers are on hinges, so they will move back to match angles with your earlobes.  Unless your ears are super huge, it should fit in the cup.  Cup material is lined with a little rough cotton materials with foam covering the drivers proper.  It's softer than the materials that's used to cover the MDR-SA1000/3000 but not as soft as say the HD595.  Like cheaper lower-end Sony's they use dual cord entry.  The top of the headband lacks any padding.  Disappointing and adds to a bit of discomfort in what is a pretty comfy and cool headphones.  With any good set of open air cans, there is zero isolation in or out.  

 

Housing is huge.  I mean HEUG.  It's good 3 to 4 inches thick.  

 

The driver housing is in an open back.  I'm not sure if I will want to classify this as an full open cans though.  The driver housing outside of the ears is covered/closed.  So, the drivers are not fully open.  It's better to consider these as semi-open, I suppose.  I'll have pictures up here for you to decide shortly.

 

Soundstage so far is somewhat disappointing.  It's more along the lines of 2D, flat, and doesn't extend outside of the cans, though I'm at this point inclined to blame my tracks than the cans...  I need more materials that exploits soundstaging to see if I'm just over-reacting.  (My Walkman currently lacks the tracks that I test headphones with, so...)

 

It has quite a deep bass profile.  For an open ended cans, the bass extends quite a bit way deep.  Like Subwoofer deep.  Not controlled mind you, but flabby, wet, farty bass.  "Why so Serious" from Dark Knight soundtrack has a deep bass only movement around 3:30.  The headphone does handle the bass in that it actually can play the portion.  However, it adds an artifact (an audible tick) where there shouldn't be (I've listened to this track quite a bit on other phones and sources).  Perfect for watching movies, as I'm watching The Dark Knight and it fits perfectly.

 

Aside from one bit of brief, passing sibilance, I've not noticed any obvious.  Mids seems to be a bit recessed, but as I said, I don't have my reference tracks on my Walkman to say this one way or another.  Female vocals seems to touch off sibilance a bit more.  Dido's vocals seems to have a bit more edge to it than she normally does.  

 

There seems to be a veil over the high end of the cans.  Again, these are about 3-4 hours old at this point so I've no clue if this will change as it gets broken in.  Sibilance as well.  Seems to take EQ quite well for now.

 

I have to say that the MA300 is somewhat middling in its performance. I don't know if I want to keep these.  These are good entry Open Air cans.  But anything from Grado would smoke these.  Likewise, the HD5xx line from Sennheiser or Sony's MDR-SAxxxx line offer better performance.  The latter now can be had as low as $70 at their flagship store, and right now, is money better spent than MA300.

 

I know there was a theory floating around that Sony just took the XB drivers and slapped them in open housing.  AT this point, I'm inclined to agree.  Lazy move if it's true.


Edited by Damage - 5/23/12 at 11:19pm
post #9 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Damage View Post

Just got these from the local Sony Store (not their flagship store at Culver City, go figure that one out).  Not a review, just impressions at this point.  

 

These are about an hour or two into its burn in phase.  Keep in mind that, however, that I'm not a big burn-in proponent/believer.   This is un-equalized output from a Sony Walkman, NWZ-E465.  

 

These are open air/open back design. The drivers are on hinges, so they will move back to match angles with your earlobes.  Unless your ears are super huge, it should fit in the cup.  Cup material is lined with a little rough cotton materials with foam covering the drivers proper.  It's softer than the materials that's used to cover the MDR-SA1000/3000 but not as soft as say the HD595.  Like cheaper lower-end Sony's they use dual cord entry.  The top of the headband lacks any padding.  Disappointing and adds to a bit of discomfort in what is a pretty comfy and cool headphones.  With any good set of open air cans, there is zero isolation in or out.  

 

Housing is huge.  I mean HEUG.  It's good 3 to 4 inches thick.  

 

The driver housing is in an open back.  I'm not sure if I will want to classify this as an full open cans though.  The driver housing outside of the ears is covered/closed.  So, the drivers are not fully open.  It's better to consider these as semi-open, I suppose.  I'll have pictures up here for you to decide shortly.

 

Soundstage so far is somewhat disappointing.  It's more along the lines of 2D, flat, and doesn't extend outside of the cans, though I'm at this point inclined to blame my tracks than the cans...  I need more materials that exploits soundstaging to see if I'm just over-reacting.  (My Walkman currently lacks the tracks that I test headphones with, so...)

 

It has quite a deep bass profile.  For an open ended cans, the bass extends quite a bit way deep.  Like Subwoofer deep.  Not controlled mind you, but flabby, wet, farty bass.  "Why so Serious" from Dark Knight soundtrack has a deep bass only movement around 3:30.  The headphone does handle the bass in that it actually can play the portion.  However, it adds an artifact (an audible tick) where there shouldn't be (I've listened to this track quite a bit on other phones and sources).  Perfect for watching movies, as I'm watching The Dark Knight and it fits perfectly.

 

Aside from one bit of brief, passing sibilance, I've not noticed any obvious.  Mids seems to be a bit recessed, but as I said, I don't have my reference tracks on my Walkman to say this one way or another.  Female vocals seems to touch off sibilance a bit more.  Dido's vocals seems to have a bit more edge to it than she normally does.  

 

There seems to be a veil over the high end of the cans.  Again, these are about 3-4 hours old at this point so I've no clue if this will change as it gets broken in.  Sibilance as well.  Seems to take EQ quite well for now.

 

I have to say that the MA300 is somewhat middling in its performance. I don't know if I want to keep these.  These are good entry Open Air cans.  But anything from Grado would smoke these.  Likewise, the HD5xx line from Sennheiser or Sony's MDR-SAxxxx line offer better performance.  The latter now can be had as low as $70 at their flagship store, and right now, is money better spent than MA300.

 

I know there was a theory floating around that Sony just took the XB drivers and slapped them in open housing.  AT this point, I'm inclined to agree.  Lazy move if it's true.

I agree 100% with all your points. Overall I didn't like the sound and ended up returning these the 50$ price tag was not worth it.

post #10 of 29

Got 'em for $39.95 at Futile, er FUTURE Shop. I agree as well. Don't do a lot wrong nor do they do much right. Bass is overly prominent. Why is there so much bass on so many headphones these days? Is bass the audio equivalent of sodium and trans-fats?


Edited by Beagle - 6/12/12 at 8:05pm
post #11 of 29
^nothing wrong with lots of sodium, unless you're eating way over 7k+, or have a problem with sodium.

I eat 5-6k sodium on a daily basis, and it's w/e. Transfats are horrible news, though. I'd be more worried about artificial ingredients, and preservatives, than sodium.

Sent from my LG-VM670 using Tapatalk 2
post #12 of 29

2012-06-16 03.19.48.jpg     2012-06-16 03.20.14.jpg     2012-06-16 03.20.51.jpg     2012-06-16 03.21.16.jpg     2012-06-16 03.21.25.jpg     2012-06-16 03.21.35.jpg     2012-06-16 03.21.49.jpg

 

GALLERY: MDR-MA300

 

Displaying the "floating dynamic angled driver" system. Also, the unpadded headband was a bit too much for Yours Truly, so I added a Beyerdynamic snap-on Padded Headband, which works out very well for these cans.

 

 

 

Hello Head-Fi'ers,

I've been intrigued by the new MA seris of MDR Sony Headphones since I read the press release about the MDR-MA900, -500, -300, and -100 from Sony Europe's site.

There's a thread going on about the MDR-MA900 which has some positive information, and leaves many questions.

That said, I was still very curious about them since I had tried to buy a pair of MDR-F1 (which was "replaced" by the MDR-MA900 during the month I tried to order the F1's from Japan, and the F1's were all recalled by the Distributors to Sony (according to Bluetin Japan, and GeekStuff4U, anyway).

That bit of preamble settled, there's a few differences that deserve mentioning.

The MDR-MA900 is made with Magnesium Alloy and Aluminum, with a Full Open system (there are ports in the rear back of the "cups" that allow for enhanced spatial cue information/imaging to be transmitted). All but the MDR-MA-900 share a open cup, non-rear-ported system but have the drivers in a floating PVC rubber surround.

The floating drivers and rubber surround act as a floating individualized angled driver fitting mechanism. As you can see in the pics I've included of the MDR-MA300 that I shot, the driver will smoosh down against your ear offering a customized angled driver position that precisely matches the position of your ear's angle.

This in itself is a neat trick and makes the headphones sound pretty nice. Aside from that, with an amp (E11, E17, or SENSE G3-T7 OTL Tube) I'm getting quite nice sound out of the MDR-MA300. More on SQ after a bit.

The MDR-MA500 & -900 use Neodymium Magnets that are more powerful than the Ferrite Magnets in the MDR-MA300 and -100. That said, the Ferrite Magnets in the MDR-MA300 are up to the task of sounding good with an amp, but are somewhat harder to drive than anticipated. I'd be curious to see how the MDR-MA900 (which is now very tantalizing after experiencing the MDR-MA300) will perform and sound.

I must agree with the prefailing consensus running in the MDR-MA900 thread regarding the cloth pads and the comfort level: these are quite simply possibly one of the most comfortable cans in a series of comfortable cans that I have had the pleasure of leaving on my head for hours at a time. Another note regarding comfort, for those of you that like the long cord experience you wont be disappointed, for those of you that try these cans and prefer the short cord experience I feel you may be reterminating the stereo plug to a more manageable length, or figuring out how to open the cups an recable. I havent bothered peeking inside the cups.

I did notice that this model did NOT have an "Acoustic Bass Lens" and so I crafted a pair of my own out of some material that works well to tone down high frequency in my DIY tuning efforts (a type of microfiber with thick pile, rather than felt) and gave them a whirl. I'm not so convinced it made much of a difference on these 40mm drivers, but then, it really wansn't necessary to begin with. Bass was plenty adequate when it was in the song.

On to some notes about Sound Quality and Sound Signature. Well, I have to say I'm MORE than pleased, especially at this price range. I like them more than most of the phones in my current stable, including the ESW9A (though that particular phone is special for reasons every ATH-ESW9 owner knows).

The MA series has a very very pleasing sense of space, and a really nice positioning of note. Best of all is the generalized how to say this... "tone" you get from the songs and notes in the songs. There is also a refreshing sense of dynamism I think MuppetFace described as "notes appearing vaporously" which I connected to as a sense of certain segments of the songs decreasing and increasing in a more correct proportional volume to where they'd be in space in a real venue. Anyway that's the best description I have for an effect I consider special with this set of phones, and, MuppetFace; if I have misinterpereted what you intended while describing your experience with the MA-900 I apologize, feel free to expand on it and correct me.

That aside, I'd like to mention the "dynamically angled driver" system. It works very well, its like the drivers are suspened on airbags/airbag-pillars/pillows of PVC (or some kind) of rubber that are air cushioned and just softly conform the driver's angle to your head. No annoyance, no grating, nothing like that. The fabric material Sony chose for the MA series really is soft and comfortable, with no itch, thankfully. I think it's pretty ingenious to get angled drivers (along with the enhanced acoustic positional cues) in a dynamic custom fit that will adjust with your head's position.

I've listened to quite a wide genre variety from Ambient to Rock to Jazz to Electro, Fidget, Dubstep, Pop, and some Movies with the MDR-MA300, and they are good for almost everything I throw at them. I'm impressed by that versatility. Definitely not picky. And for fifty bucks you could do a LOT worse.

That said, if you wanted the MDR-MA900 (top of the MA Line, I believe they are finally stocked in places like Sonystyle.com, bhphotovideo.com, jr.com), but if you want the next model down, which is similar to the MDR-MA300, however does have the Neodymium Magnets for the drivers, I've seen them listed on eBay, or you could try pricejapan.com or another forwarding service. I haven't seen the MDR-MA500 too widely listed.

There hasn't been too much information posted about the MA series, so I thought I'd share.
 

post #13 of 29

Thanks for the MA300 review!

 

The issue when comparing the MA300 and MA500 to the MA900 is that the MA900 is so much different than the others. The MA900 weighs less than the MA300/500. The geometry appears to be unique as well, as the MA100/300/500 all had a similar fit.

 

When I demoed the MA500 at the Sony Store, my impressions weren't great, but I still want the MA900. Unfortunately, Canada doesn't sell the MA900, so I'll have to bite the bullet and import it.

post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by colgatetotal View Post

Thanks for the MA300 review!

 

The issue when comparing the MA300 and MA500 to the MA900 is that the MA900 is so much different than the others. The MA900 weighs less than the MA300/500. The geometry appears to be unique as well, as the MA100/300/500 all had a similar fit.

 

When I demoed the MA500 at the Sony Store, my impressions weren't great, but I still want the MA900. Unfortunately, Canada doesn't sell the MA900, so I'll have to bite the bullet and import it.

Welcome,

 

What didn't you like about the MA500? I'm really considering planning for an MA900 purchase (I just got the SENSE G3-T7 OTL Tube amp, and some tubes, so my budget is shot for a while), but I'm almost hungry to hear the MA900 after being impressed by "testing out" the MA300 and having the F1 recommended to me by quite a few folks over the past few years.

post #15 of 29

It's not that the MA500 wasn't bad, it just didn't impress me. I thought the soundstage and airiness, which was supposed to be its selling point, wasn't all that great. It sounded like a closed headphone to me.

 

However, this might actually be a good thing in disguise. The other Sony headphones that were on display were the XB700 and the V750DJ, and those two headphones wowed me at first with their bass. Headphones with a flatter frequency response tend to do poorly in loud demo environments, so the MA500 might actually be better than I think. I can understand why hifiguy said that you need to sit down with these and listen to them for a while before coming to any final conclusions.

 

In any case, the MA900 should sound much more wide open, so I have my hopes for it.

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