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Sony has new headphones, MDR-1R - Page 9

post #121 of 2704
Quote:
Originally Posted by shabta View Post

Looking forward to finding out more about the noise cancelling version. I really want to find a noise cancelling phone that cancels noise like the bose (or at least close) but actually sounds good. Had hopes for the MU2 but the noise cancelling isn't very good...

 

X2
post #122 of 2704
Quote:
Originally Posted by shabta View Post

Looking forward to finding out more about the noise cancelling version. I really want to find a noise cancelling phone that cancels noise like the bose (or at least close) but actually sounds good. Had hopes for the MU2 but the noise cancelling isn't very good...

I don't see Active Noise Cancelling ever sounding perfect. Bose, even though their headphones aren't very good, does know quite a bit about sound, and even their ANC leaves gaps artifacts in the music.

post #123 of 2704

Seems like the MDR-1R is ready for the battle of the new portable headphones.

post #124 of 2704

I really hope it can stand out among the rest. But i'm not gonna get my hopes too high.

I would love to hear the other makers as well and compare them, but its near impossible for me to do so, in Singapore, the culture here makes it difficult for me to go into a store, try out the different headphones and walkout without being judged and spite upon. 

I still need more time with the 1R and z1000 to decide which to go for. I do not own any ios devices which renders the line remote of no use for me. I guess i'd just have to wait till a retail version of it is out in my place to take my time and try them out.

P.S the boxes of the headphones are not final, might be a glossy finish. 

post #125 of 2704
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paddlebash View Post

I really hope it can stand out among the rest. But i'm not gonna get my hopes too high.

I would love to hear the other makers as well and compare them, but its near impossible for me to do so, in Singapore, the culture here makes it difficult for me to go into a store, try out the different headphones and walkout without being judged and spite upon. 

I still need more time with the 1R and z1000 to decide which to go for. I do not own any ios devices which renders the line remote of no use for me. I guess i'd just have to wait till a retail version of it is out in my place to take my time and try them out.

P.S the boxes of the headphones are not final, might be a glossy finish. 

 Your contribution to this thread is very valuable right now. Not many people with first hand experience at this point. Thanks. My last question is which of the two (1R and Z1000) has the better resolution/transperancy for vocals (which one sounds more "real" or "live"). I think you said earlier that the Z1000 has a more "clear" sound so I'm trying to find out exactly what you mean. I really don't care too much about the rolled off bass of the Z1000. I own the DT1350s, LCD-2s and both give me so much bass that I sometimes feel bass fatigued. I'm looking for something non-fatiguing and smooth with great midrange transperency for long term listening.

post #126 of 2704

Hi M13, 

I appreciate your feedback : )

To address your question on the 1R and Z1000, i personally feel that that the 1R gives me the "singing right infront of you" feel, i also listened to a track of teresa teng's 'He ri jun zai lai' which i could clearly hear her lips. ( I hope i make sense here) and the strings were very detailed, i could hear the vibration of the strings. I just got off the Z1000, listening to the same track, and my opinion is that her vocals feel more 'alive' in a some way which i cant really point out.

I'm not too familiar with the term "bass fatigued", much apologies.  

Please don't take my word for it, I am in no way a professional when it comes to audio listening. I'm just putting out my opinions here. 

Hope it helps in some way.
 

post #127 of 2704
I just think it's amazing that the 1r can be compared in sound with the z1000, which costs twice as much smily_headphones1.gif
post #128 of 2704

Okay, I had a chance to listen to the MDR-1R and and MDR-1RNC.

 

Full disclosure: I was invited to Sony's corporate HQ in Sydney to play with the new Sony gear announced at IFA. I'm part of a social media / focus group feedback initiative Sony has in Australia. Essentially, a group of social media 'sharers' who get product discounts and early access perks in exchange for gathering some pre-production feedback / market research / exposure on social media. I'm not paid to give opinions or reviews, or even requested to do so, but at the same time Sony chose people who have a soft spot for the company and who are likely to share geeky gadget news with friends anyway. :3

 

Anyway, with that out of the way, I got to spend a good 40 minutes or so with the MDR-1R. All listening was done out of my iPhone 4 with 256k AAC files, and I brought along a Z1000 for comparison.

 

 

 

 

MDR-1R

 

First impressions, the headphones look exactly like they do in the pictures, but the earcups are actually larger than the Z1000, especially with regard to the earpads. While it's a stylish understated design, you do not get the impression that they necessarily went for high fashion over function. It looks more like they took the Sony V6 design and tried to make it 'street style'.

 

The 1R is well built, but very obviously plastic. The slightly glossy silver arms that attach to the earcups on the black/red I think look a little cheap, but everything else is nice. I much prefer the silver/brown combination; to me it looks classier. I am surprised that the silver/brown is only available on the cheapest model, considering that I would imagine executive types would spring for the NC model.  While we weren't told pricing for the headphones, the 1R does not exude the same premium material feel of the Z1000's. Again, everything seems solid and nice, but obviously its not magnesium.

 

The 1R's headband appears to feel the same as the Z1000's though, and actually in terms of wearing comfort the 1R is better by quite a bit. The Z1000 is already a decently comfortable headphone, but the earpads have quite a small surface area and the clamping force is quite high. The 1R has a much broader surface for the earpads, they are much softer pleather, and clamping force is spread out around the ears. Actually, the earpads are what seems like the most oldschool part of the design; they are soft and rumple easily compared to the Z1000's earpads.

 

So how do they sound? I only had a relatively short period with them (I totally had to check out the 84" 4k TV!) and only the Z1000's to compare with, these are pretty early impressions. I am pretty sure they were the final production samples. They had the same "not for sale" stickers that appear in all the previews floating around. My impressions are going to be a bit vague and perhaps even a bit contradictory, since I did not have a chance to listen to a huge number of tracks.

 

With the above in mind, I do think that everyone can relax; the Sony's 1R's are not terrible bassy fart cannon Beats knockoffs. 

 

The overall tone was pretty neutral, with an overall tilt towards the lower mids and perhaps an overall darker tone. They are not obviously treble-shelf dark like something like the LCD-2, and they are definitely not warm and fuzzy like something like the B&W P5.  The signature is tastefully done; bass is present but cohesive, punchy and not domineering. The Z1000 actually sounded more coloured than the 1R's; the Z1000 has a more energetic lower treble region, with a brassier, clearer 'bell' tone to the sound. The 1R is comparatively less peaky in the treble; vocals and treble overall sound drier. However I did not get an impression that one extended further in the treble region than the other. 

 

The biggest difference between the Z1000 and the 1R was in the bass. The Z1000 has a terrible bass response; playing back this sound test, the Z1000's bass is flabby and uncontrolled. You can distinctly hear the driver distorting and messing up the transients on the frequencies from 20-100. The 1R was much, much better. Bass rumble started at 20hz to my ears and went up smoothly and cleanly all the way through, with no obvious bloat anywhere on the rise to 200hz. This doesn't mean that the volume of the bass didn't increase up to 200hz (I didn't do enough repeat listens to work out whether that was the case) but it is certainly a smooth rise.

 

The other big difference between the Z1000 and the 1R is that the 1R sounds much cleaner than the Z1000. This is perhaps due to the Z1000's well documented distortion issues, but the actual effect was that the Z1000 sounded more congested and wooly compared to the 1R. This is despite the Z1000 having a more forward lower treble. On that basis alone I would choose the 1R as the technical winner.

 

The 1R did not have recessed treble, but sibilance should not be an issue with these headphones. Actually, nothing really leapt out at me about the 1R's. They sounded pretty competent and enjoyable, without any particular exaggerations. They had a cohesive and decently wide soundstage. I didn't hear any issues with plastic reverb or internal reflections, but those nuances would probably take a longer listening session.

 

So overall, early impressions, I was pretty positive about these. I did think that the 1R was more neutral and a technically better headphone than the Z1000. The Z1000 has a nice tone particularly for acoustic music, or female vocals where the treble gives everything a distinctive tone. The 1R seemed more like an all-rounder. Pity about the build, as I would pay more to have a 1R that felt as good in the hands as they sounded. If I had to name a figure for what I would pay for the sound, I would say $250 - $300. (I would pay $150 for the Z1000 sound and $350 for the build). I do think that these are going to be popular, just because they are a neutral headphone that works well from a portable source. They do NOT sound like 'upgraded Z1000's', despite apparently having similar drivers. The signature is different enough that I think some people might still prefer the Z1000.

 

MDR-1RNC

 

I only actually played around with these briefly, so I'll keep my comments brief as well. The biggest selling point of the NC model is, predictably enough, the noise cancelling. It is amazing being in a crowded room, and turning on the NC to suddenly have all the voices suddenly become very tinny and distant. It really does help to enjoy the music when there is less environmental noise to distract you.

 

As suggested by the earlier posted specs, the in built amp also turns on and off with the NC. Here's my biggest issue: while it's nice to hear more of your music with the NC on, the actual tone of the sound changes completely when the NC is turned on. Everything takes on a much harder edge, with a kind of irritating rawness to the sound. When you turn off the NC, the tone becomes much more like the 1R. However, my initial impression was that the RNC did not sound as good as the 1R, which would be expected.

 

My hesitations about the 1R's plastic build also apply to the 1RNC, but even moreso considering that the RNC would be priced much higher and I would imagine be more targeted towards jet setting executives. Then again, everyone knows the company that took NC to street-style headphones right?

 

-------

 

So, I don't think that Sony is trying to do anything earth shattering here. The MDR-1R seems like it will be a pretty good headphone, though I really would need to compare it against more contenders to really test the validity of that statement. Nonetheless, I do think that everyone should quit worrying that Sony has just given up on the idea of making a good sounding headphone and gone hole hog for the STREET STYLE DUBSTEP CANS WUB WUB WUB WUB WUB. It seems more like they just made a good headphone that doesn't stuff up the sub-bass.

 

I might end up getting a pair of these to play around with a bit early, so here's hoping to more impressions later! 

post #129 of 2704
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_recording View Post

Okay, I had a chance to listen to the MDR-1R and and MDR-1RNC.

 

 

 

 

...

 

 

 

 

I might end up getting a pair of these to play around with a bit early, so here's hoping to more impressions later! 

 

 

Nice impressions!

Thanks for the information.

post #130 of 2704
Great impressions a_recording that's very helpful info and I look forward to more impressions if you do get a pair. Too bad the 1RNC doesn't sound as good as the 1R when NC is off at least. I was hoping, for the price tag, that the SQ as well as NC was up to par.

And thanks for initial impressions paddlebash!
Edited by roma101 - 9/4/12 at 7:23am
post #131 of 2704

Thanks for the impressions a_recording!

 

I was almost sure that Sony wouldn't succumb to the "BEATS" sound signature... glad to hear this.

post #132 of 2704

thanks a-recording. Any news on the release date of the new walkm series in AUS?

post #133 of 2704

I love this community!  The thing's not even out yet, and someone here's already crawled up inside it and come out the other side.  Thanks a_recording!  biggrin.gif

post #134 of 2704

Thanks for the impressions a_recording. Do you have any idea how the noise cancelling compares to the bose or any other NC headphone ( i have heard most of the big ones...)

 

As  far as I am concerned if it has better sound than the bose, which it sounds like it might, then I am in if the NC is good.

post #135 of 2704

So, I got to ask. These seem like a suitable set for portable use?

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