Reviews by Damage


100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Bluetooth, Active Noise Cancelling, Passive Mode, All for Under $175
Cons: Bloated Bass with Stock Pads, Merely decent ANC, Recessed Mids, Standard Package lacks accessories.
In the past, Sony's released ANC headphones, and Bluetooth headphones of a line of headphones (MDR-1R/10R).  However, this is the first Sony headphones that combines both ANC and Bluetooth in a single package for less than $200 in a single headphone.  And, to be frank, I don't know any headphones that's sub $200 that has all of that and more. So, with less than $200, you can get yourself one of those fabled all in one headphones that has all of the techie bulletpoints.  Bluetooth? Check.  Noise Cancelling? Check.  APTX? Check.  AAC support? Check.NFC for easy pairing? Check.  Sound quality?  Well... let's dive in.
It is a sleek package.  It is, first and foremost, a bluetooth 3.0 headset with APTx and AAC codec support on board.  With both BT and ANC active, you will get about 13 hours or so on a single charge, though it seems to last a  tad bit longer with my Galaxy S3.  To be honest, however, I've never drained the battery fully.  So it should last a full day at the office or the intercontinental flight.  Oh, and since it runs off of rechargeable batteries, you don't have to mess with spare AAAs with Sony's other ANC headphones.  
Speaking of ANC, it uses the Digital ANC engine off of other high end ANC headphones from Sony, and for the most part, does the job. However, the ANC is better on the MDR-10R.  Both are substandard compared to Bose QuietComfort, but very few ANC can match Bose in that regards. Sound quality with ANC active or inactive, thankfully, doesn't change TOO much on this.  If anything, it becomes touch more sibilant with active ANC.  Bass slightly more flabby perhaps.  But it isn't totally unlistenable mess either.
On the accessories, the Standard MDR-ZX750BN model comes with 3.5mm cable and a USB calble for charging.  The Costco version comes with hard carrying case, 3.5mm cables, 3.5mm cable for mobile use, USB cable, and USB AC Charger.  And it costs about good $30 less ($169 vs $199).  I don't think I need to tell you which model is the better of the two.  
Ah, and did I mention this thing is Supra-Aural?  Does this make a difference?  Yes it does.
Audio: Bass, with additional side of bass.
With the stock pads?  Well, it's heaps better than MDR-10R.  However, it's very reminiscent of the infamous MDR-V600.  Or maybe even the old Beats Solos with better trebles.  In other words, it's a bassy mess.  With the stock pads, these are supra-aural.  The stock pads are quite thick, and helps to reflect bass back from the drivers into your ears.  It has to be designed with that in mind.  The drivers are tuned for bass side of things, and the pads further enhances that, to the point where it becomes a bass head can.
Replacing the can does tone down the bass quite a bit to a more manageable point.;  When the ANC/BT is active, the treble can become quite harsh.  I'm not sure if it's the onboard codec. ANC amp function or what else that's going on.  It's probably to compensate for the bigger bass as a supra-aural can.  Mids are quite recessed, though not as nasal nor congested as this would imply.  Rather smooth if you can find it. If you can find it.
So, to remedy this situation, replace the earpads, and transform them from Supra-aural to circumaural with either V6 or ZX500 pads or the like.  It is slightly smaller than the replacement earpads but it'll stay on there.  Trust me.
Once you've done that, the sound becomes much better.  The mids are less recessed, but still so.  The bass tones down some.  Everything becomes more balanced as ZX cans ought to be.  It's more in line of ZX500 rather than ZX700 in terms of things.  A little colder than both, Better presence vs. MDR-10R.  Nowhere near MDR-1R or ZX700.  Bass tuned tracks will be very bassy, and its presence is quite pronounced.  But it's clean, crisp, if a tad overbearing.  Trebles, as stated, can be quite sibilant, when ANC/BT is active and the volume is towards at the high end of things.  Set the volume of the cans rather than the source and you should be ok.  On passive (no ANC) it is less harsh and sibilant but still retains a bit of that harsh edge.  
Oh, and holy crap this thing is revealing.  You may pick up on smaller details here and there that you may not have noticed on other headphones.  Maybe too revealing at times.  You will pick up some of the background noise bleed in, especially when listening to some podcasts where the recording environment is not controlled.  I didn't expect this from a $200 set of all in one type headphones.  From other headphones, definitely.  
Soundstage is quite wide, if a bit 2D. But on this 2D plane, it's quite large front to back.  Again a bonus from these. I'd been happy with decent separation, but I'm getting actual separation and placement.  Not bad at all... That is if you remember to replace the earpads.  Without it, you get a bassy and sharp mess.  Some of it applies but you get quite better performance as a Circumaural set.
It at times punches above its weight.  It shines with instrumental genres, soundtracks, and audio tracks with less emphasis on bass in the mastering process. At times, this thing punches well above its weight.  At other times, it gets lost and muddied by being too bass happy.  I don't quite know what to make of this.  A bit of comparison with the 7506/V6s are warranted, as this thing reminds me quite a bit of it.  
For pete's sake, make sure to order the damn V6 pads.  Good Gracious.
Specs (Direct from Sony)
TypeClosed, Dynamic
Driver Unit40 mm
Sensitivity102dB/mW(NC ON)
Power Handling Capacity100mW(wired)
Impedance40 Ω at 1 kHz
Frequency Response8 Hz - 22,000 Hz
CordSingle-sided, flat
Cord LengthApprox. 1.5 m
Power Source / Battery TypeBuilt-in Lithium ion Rechargeable Battery
Battery Charging TimeApprox. 2.5 Hours
Weight (Without Cord)Approx. 230 g


100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Comfortable beyond belief. Replaceable Cables. Sounds Just Like MDR-ZX700
Cons: Weak Accessory Pack. Cable Rattle Issues. Sounds Just Like MDR-ZX700
If I can describe these in one sentence, it would be this: "They are the very portable edition of MDR-ZX700 with replaceable input cables."
There in lies the rub. They sound nigh incredibly close to the MDR-ZX700 in all regards.  The overall balanced approach that worked for MDR-ZX700, with all its plusses and minuses, are back in near perfect form in the MDR-1R.  In essence, the MDR-1R is the refined version of MDR-ZX700.  So much that I am tempted to leave my review on that.  For all intents and purposes, the 1R = ZX700 sonically.  If anything the ZX700 may have a tad more in isolation, if that.  Or vice versa.  
The refinement comes in its design. For one, the earcups hinge out flat for easier transport.  Also, the cable can be replaced with simple 3.5mm <-> 3.5mm cable.  And unlike the 10R, you can damn well use any cable you want. There is a bit of cable rattling issue, but that's easily ignored for the most part, especially in portable environment where you'll be more immersed in listening to the music than the rattle.  It is quite comfortable and perhaps, a bit more sturdier thanks to its metal cups and bands, though bands are still plastic.  Sturdy as they may be, full metal build would've been better perhaps.  The carrying bag is nylon/pleather composite.  Hard carrying case would've been appreciated given its initial pricing.
In the end, though, all looks and refinements aside, it is still MDR-ZX700.  And given that the ZX700 is 1/2 the price and sounds uncannily like MDR-1R, I'm not sure whether or not to recommend these or the ZX700.  Is the fact that they travel lot better than ZX700 and has replaceable cable worth the extra $100?  That question is ultimately left up to you.
I'm intrigued by these.  I already own the ZX700's and wanted to grab the NC versions of the 1R's for use on flights.  After reading your review I wouldn't necessarily want another pair of ZX700 sounding headphones as I prefer the more exciting sound of my MDR-V6's over those.  Anybody know of what I should look at next?
I've a/b them myself for the past week or so and yeah there's notably more bass presence on the 1R. It's easily discernible especially when using a bass test. The ZX is pretty anemic down in the 20-40 range but the 1R has a slight rumble. Same goes for the teble energy, ZX drops off dramatically while the 1R retains more sparkle because the peak at 10k isn't as big. Cymbals have more energy to them testing various tracks. Soundstage is also not close, although the pads and housing have more to do with this. ZX is more congested while the sense of space on 1R is impressive for a closed can. All in all, I think the ZX is good for the $120 or so it was released at and spectacular for what they go for now. The 1R is an improvement in sound although you're right it is a similar albeit not exact replica of the sound. I think the slight improvements in sound (mids not as dominating for example) and the huge improvements in comfort are nice, although unsure if it's worth $300. I paid $199 for mine and I think it's a fair price. I like both of these better than the Momentums for example.
@jwong77 Consider the MDR-ZX750BN, but replace the earpads with the V6 earpads.  Otherwise, it's a terrible bloody bass mess.  Competent ANC (similar to 10RNC), Bluetooth, and somewhat less refined sound signature, but for what it is and what it comes with, it's not bad at all.


100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Comfortable, Punchy and tight bass
Cons: Scratches easily, Veiled Mids and Trebles due to sheer amount of bass
I'll come back and put a full review up, suffice to say these have a lot of bass, coming from the XBA line.  They are by far the neatest looking cans that Sony's released, but fragile indeed, as the cups scratch easily.  In fact, this would be the first set of headphones that I have scratched, and I've had a lot of headphones in my time. But unlike most celeb endorsed headphones, you can do single ear monitoring.  So for real DJs that spins the vinyl and must match up the beats, I think these will work quite well as its presentation emphasizes the bass and the beat.
Lots of bass up front, but very tight and punch, and doesn't really get messy and flabby unless you EQ your source to massive bass levels.  However, in all of the bass the midrange sounds disappears into the background.  There's plenty of treble details to pick up, but again, it gets lost with the overwhelming bass, relatively speaking.  Its presentation is very much a check shaped presentation, extra emphasis sub 250Hz, and a curious notch around 3kHz that your EQ may or may not be able to handle.
The large earpads are quite comfortable but gets very hot in short time.  It's advantageous if you're north of Arctic circle or do not like Active Noise Canceling.  It does isolate quite nicely.  However, the large earpads trap heat like no other.
For the street $100 (may have to wait for a sale and/or coupons), it's better than most other celeb endorsed headphones, which also tend to go with the check shaped presentation. But your money is probably better spent elsewhere.  
The headphones IMO look drop dead horrible. I mean, take a look at this, then look at their better-in-all-respects offering, the MDR-1R. 
But really, a headphone endorsed by Simon Cowell?! I'm willing to bet he hasn't seen these, considering his taste for beautiful cars. I'm also willing to bet that he hasn't heard these, because you know how he complains. And I'm willing to bet that he hasn't used these professionally, since he most likely would be using the (wait for it) Sony MDR-7506.


100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Very comfortable, excels at certain genres
Cons: Bass hump kills a lot of details, recessed vocals and darker than average presentation
Oh wow, I actually have a set of headphones that I can review that was released quite recently.  And by those, they are the MDR-10R family.  Released in Sept. 2013 at MSRP of $200/$250/$300 ish for normal, Bluetooth, and Noise Cancelling Editions, they have gone down to more affordable and reasonable price of $100 (10R)/$150 (10RBT/RDC)/$200(RNC), pending your local retailer availability of course.

Their heritage isn't tied to the nigh legendary MDR-R10 as its name would suggest. For the record, the Sony MDR-R10 is considered the magnum opus of Sony Headphones (not unlike the Sennheiser HD800s) but to the previously high end MDR-1R.  And they all can probably trace their lineage back to Qualia 005 and the MDR-SA line of headphones, boasting some ridonkoulus frequency response number.  Not as ridiculous as Qualias and MDR-SAs, but take a big grain of salt with those numbers.  So, these are in essence, Sony's take on the Bose's On-Ear Noise Cancelling phones, the QC15, the Audio Technica ANCs and the like, and not the Beats (those would be the Cowell endorsed X10s and the XBA lines).  How do they compare to the mid-range headphones?  Let's roll and find out.

Note: This reviews both 10R and 10RNC(RDC in this case, but the two are essentially the same, see below)

Aesthetics:  Sleek.  Sleekest from Sony in quite a while.  Understated black with red and silver trim.  There's a all white model for 10R.  A perfect match for your white iPod from 2006.  

Otherwise, these are quite nice looking.

Ergonomics: Much comfort, such soft, wowowowow.

Sorry for channeling teh Doge there for a second, but it is quite comfy and soft.  Memory foam like padding on the ears and on the band covered by faux leatherette that's heaps better than ones used in cheaper headphones.  Time will tell whether or not these will peel off like cheap vinyl covering.  But so far, so good.  Nowhere near as plushy as XBAs but won't trap heat like XBAs either. But I wish Sony's would really wise up and use velours for their higher end headphones, 10Rs included.

Because the padding is leather, it will trap heat.  Other than that, the headphones are really nice for extended wearing.  Also, the drivers do turn 90 degrees towards your body, in case when you need to remove and listen to your surroundings.  That's a very nice touch.

Handling:  Most portables shouldn't have an issue driving either or to satisfactory volume levels.  The 10RNC requires AAA for noise cancelling but will work without, at reduced sound quality and volume, with volume being the most noticeable trait negatively affected.  I think I have a reason as why this is the case, which you will see below.

Sound: In a word dark.  It will warm up eventually but not as much as other Sony cans you might be used to.

Bass: There is a prominent mid-bass hump, I think around 100-200 Hz area.  You can see the measurements from, and they bear this out on other two MDR-10R line of family (RBT and RC).  And I suspect this is very much the same on these two models.  Much as I might, it's very hard to tone down the bass via EQ on the walkmans and what not.  I suspect this is more of the function of the source rather than the headphones, but at the same time, it doesn't take that well to EQ either.

To be sure, it's not the wet, flabby, out of control bass you might think of.  It's thick and juicy, but at the same time, it's not flabby.  However it overwhelms, in the manner reminiscent of MEGABASS that Sony portables were known for.  (Whatever happened to MegaBass anyways?)  It does work quite well for portable mobile use, and makes the music fun.  But if you're seeking something that is more accurate to the source, you will want something else.

Midrange: Fairly behind in terms of things.  Slow and veiled at times.  It's more veiled with female vocals compared to males, it seems.  I've read nasal and what not on other reviews, but I didn't hear a hint of it.

Treble: Can be veiled at times, especially pre-burn in (mental or otherwise).  It will eventually open up and reveal more detail.  Initially, it's quite veiled and very much gets lost in the bass bump.  Once it's broken in, it will reveal itself, but it's still behind the veil of the 100-200Hz bump.  That bump makes it hard to pick out some of the details, especially in genres that demand mid to treble details, including Jazz, Classical, and Movie Soundtracks.  But if your source can accommodate for such, you will find heap of details.


Noise Cancelling: Competent, with bit of self noise added it. There are two mic drivers per ear, one towards the outside/bottom of the driver housing and one inside the driver itself.  Idea is to take the noise sample of outside and inside the driver (where there will be some noise seeping in) and try to match the profile to one of several profiles built in.  It works well enough in office environment, as well as ATH-ANC7b.  That inner mic does protrude a bit, and as a comfort measurement, the driver padding employs a thicker cloth to cover the driver.  I suspect this does color the sound a bit more, but it's nothing that is too different from other models to be really noteworthy.

When ANC is inactive, there is additional veil over the trebles along with the expected loss of volume.  It's not as bad as some ANCs that won't either active or have really terrible sound output (like ATH-ANC27... those are horrid without ANC).  But it's nothing home to write about either.  If anything, the thicker cloth works against unpowered mode, I'd wager.

My MDR-10RNC (purchased at Costco) came with single cable, a carrying case, the aircraft adapter.  I understand that the standard 10RNC comes with 2x cables, one for smartphones and one for standard listening.  Speaking of cables, though it takes standard 3.5mm to 3.5mm cables, one of the end is really narrow (think original iPhone cable), so that the cable is more or less proprietary, unless you're willing to do some work to mod existing cables.  Bad move, as the MDR-1R nor X10 suffers from that.  Why they did this for 10R family is... baffling.  Also, the 10Rs comes with a ballstic nylon pouch whereas the 10RNC has a hard carrying case.  Again, these are $200 MSRP, so Sony could've easily thrown in a hard case at most few bucks.  Sure, slightly better than normal pouch but a carrying case would've been nicer.

Final Thoughts: These are very dark sounding headphones, the darkest that Sony's produced in recent memory.  The closest match I can think of is possibly Sennheiser HD555/595s or the like.  Actually, strike that, they remind me of extra bassy MDR-SA1000s.  There's plenty of detail to be found, if you can dig it out from all that bass.   For $100~$150, these are competently priced  and performing, but not as well as some of the more well known and established $100 sets.  I think you know where I'm heading, right? (the usual suspect of Senn 518s/558s, the very much value positioned Superluxes and the Meelecs, and occasional AT-M40s/50s, Sony's own MDR-ZX700s and 7506s/V6s just to rattle off several off top of my head)

So, are you prepared to dig in?  

Grade: B- (3 stars as above)

Recommended Genres: Classicals, Soundtracks (cinematic).

Note: The MDR-10RDC was reviewed, which seems to be Costco exclusive.  They are 100% identical to MDR-10RNC, just differing in Accessories and packaging since all you're missing is the smartphone cable, and well, it's not worth additional $30 that Sony's asking for.  Go to Costco and get this for $169 (or $139 if there's still that $30 instant rebate).

I don't have access to 1Rs, but from what I can remember listening to store demo, it was a lot more balanced in its approach vs. the 10R.  You will want to use some sort of EQ, treble booster if you're on Apple devices.  You will want to refer to the measurements and boost up mid range accordingly.  Amping helps some what but not enough to make a difference (at least with E11).  
Finally, the 10RNC does offer up slightly better trebles but still has very recessed mids like the 10R.  
Agree on the unfortunate naming on 10R.  If this were made by other company, it would be considered pretty darn decent to slightly better than average.  But Sony's done a whole lot better for cheaper.  But there are no other headphones that are this comfy.
I bought these headphones just for the noise canceling feature. It needed some break in but not as much as my HD700.

When I changed the battery, I now get crackle noise in the right channel. This happens regardless whether the cord is pluged in but only happens when the ANC is engaged. I am going to try a different battery. If not I will return back to costco.

It is unfortunate as I am on vacation when they failed. This happened after the included battery died. So I only got about 10-12 hours of actual use.
I bought this headphones but it got damaged from Headband holder 
does anyone can help me for that because it is much expensive