Sony MDR EX1000


New Head-Fier
Pros: A vivid, dynamic, and open-sounding small earphone that performs technically on par with mid-range full-size headphones.
Cons: Sibilant due to technically limited design choices.
This is a technical review of the earphone Sony Mdr-Ex1000 (Exk for short). This earphone from 2010s features some unique designs. With balanced performance across the hearing range and an open-sounding neutral tuning it is not hard to understand where all the praises over the years are coming from. In this review we try to discuss what the nature of this earphone is and some of the characters that makes it stand out.

I. Sound quality:

Openness in Sound-staging:
The tuning of the Exk is a diffused-field neutral one. It has a open sounding sound stage. This manifest itself most apparently in the vocals, where the voice of the singer is diffused naturally into the surrounding. That is, instead of being forcefully focused into an area as with some IEM with poor sound staging, the vocalist sounds like he/she is singing in the environment the record is made: be it an open-field or a studio.

Detail and separation:
For detail retrieval, it suffice to say that the Exk is very detailed. As compared to the highly revealing BA IEMs, the Exk has less micro-details. However, the detail retrieval is good enough that the decay of string instruments for example is nicely reproduced. In good recordings the detail reproduction is good enough to reproduce the bouncing of the sound of say string instruments on the piano in an orchestra setting. In busy passages different tracks are reproduced reasonably independently from each other and so there is no mixing or muddling of different musical elements.

Natural vocal timbre:
This is another one of the Exk's strong point: the timbre of vocals are excellent. Vocals, female or male, are both nicely bodied. You can feel the presence of the vocalist and localize it as a sound source in the music space. It sounds like someone is actually singing on stage, instead of an abstract voice being just there. This is still the case for even female treble. Thanks to the balanced tuning of the earphone it has the appropriate thickness at the mid-range and the sufficient detailing capability.

Tonal variations and dynamics:
With great sense of detail and realistic vocal, the Exk sounded romantic when the music is so. The vocal is intimately distant from the listener, offering a personal and emotional performance. With more dynamic tracks, the presentation does not lose its excitement. With its technical prowess it jiggle several tracks with ease while keeping the base beat snappy. Acoustic track reproductions are sympathetic, as the tonal variation of the vocalist is captured and nicely reproduced. In every case the music reproduction is vivid and exciting.

Defined bass note:
The bass from this earphone is impressive, especially considering that it is a small earphone. Bass notes are well defined and well-modulated. What it definitely not is a boomy sound with no definition. One can hear the different pitches in the bass, even when many different tones of bass are simultaneously being reproduced. With a good seal the quantity of bass is enough for the earphone to be entertaining and at the same time keeping the neutral tuning.

Complete package:
For the practicalities, the unit weights at at 9 Gramm, 1/3 as massive as the modern Sony flagship IER-Z1R. It comes in a relatively small size, with a quality genuine-leather carrying case for on-the-go. The cabling is of high quality, with the conductor being 7N oxygen-free-copper. It is supple, nice to the touch and tangle free. The audio jack is nicely machined and polished, with an especially robust gold plating that keeps its shine despite frequent use. The way this earphone fit to the ear is unique: the horizontal plane of the earphone sits perpendicular to the ear cannel. Aesthetically the fit is exotic when seen from untrained layman's (non-audiophile) eyes. Nevertheless it still managed to sit comfortably in the ears without popping off, making long hours of listening enjoyable. One thing to note is that the bright-red felt lining in a black leather box with gold accent from the plated audio plug is a reminder of some of the legendary Sony headphones, like the R10 for instance; it adds a sense of prestige and luxury to the mix.

II. Technical limitations:

There are resonance peaks in the treble range of the frequency response, causing sibilance. The technical design is to be blamed, but it is understandable.

From the unique technical design, the actual driver of the earphone is placed horizontally relative to the axis of the ear cannel. For those experienced with speakers they would know that the acoustics of the listening room will have a detrimental effect on the sound quality. One of these effects are room modes. Rooms, or any enclosure or chamber for that matter has its own resonance frequencies. When the sound wave inside hits those marks, a peak in the frequency respond is produced. To make matter worst one could try placing a speaker close to and against the wall, that way the sound wave from the speaker did not get to dissipate and so would bounce off even more sharply from the hard wall creating all kinds of annoying resonance peaks.

An analogy would be for someone to speak from a tube. It sounds unnatural in that it is peaky and sibilant.
This is exactly what is going on with this pair of earphone. From the design point of view, due to the technical limitation at the time, in order the achieve a wide chromatic range (the range of notes an instrument can produce), the designers had to settle for a large driver unit. This lead to the need for the horizontal driver placement otherwise the driver won't fit in the ear. (Imagine a flat-head earphone being too big to fit in the ear), forcing a placement of the driver such that it produces its sound perpendicular to the ear cannel. In terms of speaker placement this is analogous to placing the speaker against and facing the wall.

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In practice, some tracks would sound sibilant. Treble in general, cymbal hit for example, are less natural sounding when compared to the vocal reproduction. They sounded not as realistic as could be. The listening experience is not deal-breakingly bad unless one choses to focus on the sibilance, in which case it can become very annoying. It is perhaps worth noting that with better recording or source equipment with better treble control and smoothness, the sibilance issues get alleviated ever so slightly.

All in all, it seems fair to say that if this is the trade off for a balanced performance across a wide frequency range, one would arguably take it as the engineers did back when they design this earphone.

III. Conclusion:
We would like to end this review by noting the general merits of this earphone. Perhaps the most fitting, modern description of the Mdr-Ex1000 as an IEM is that it is a vivid, dynamic, and open-sounding, light-weight small IEM that performs on par with mid-range full-size headphones. It has a neutral tuning, with good performance across the whole hearing range. The sonic performance is great with detail, separation, a realistic and well-bodied vocal reproduction, and well-defined bass notes.

Tonally speaking, it sounds dynamic and vivid. It keeps the presentation exciting if needed be, passionate where appropriate, and romantic when the time is just right. For some this is the most valued quality of any piece of audio equipment: the Magical ingredients to sounding good.

As an audiophile, one will realize at some point in the journey towards Audio Nirvana, that Nirvana does not exist. There does not exist a system that is perfect in every sense of the word; there have to be some imperfections. In the case of the Mdr-Ex1000 it was its peaky upper-end and hence the distortion in treble and sibilance. It is up to the reader to decide if the whole package of this earphone and what it offers would outweighs its shortcomings or not.

The Mdr-Ex1000 (my personal unit)

The Mdr-R10 (courtesy to Google Image search)
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Pros: One-of-a-kind presentation: massive soundstage, solid imaging, great instrument separation
Phenomenal bass and lower mids quality
Strong resolution and clarity
Tuning flaws easily solved by EQ
Cons: Awkward fit and no isolation
Massive 5.5 kHz treble spike
Lack of treble extension
Source (recording/mastering) dependent


The Sony MDR-EX1000 was first released in 2011 along with its siblings the MDR-EX800st and the MDR-EX600. While the EX600 and EX1000 are now discontinued, you can still find the EX800st as the Sony MDR-7550 being sold as a studio monitor. Used prices for the EX1000 run about $350 for a set in good condition. It's close to impossible to find them new now although if you're willing to search and gamble on Taobao that option is available. Personally, I've owned a set of the EX1000 for over two years and it currently serves as my daily driver.

The EX1000 and EX800st gained quite the reputation over the years for its host of quirks. For those who are newer to the IEM scene, here's a short list of them with some of my thoughts on the matter:
  • 16 mm dynamic driver. It is the essentially biggest DD in an IEM you can get. The EX1000 has a LCP (liquid crystal polymer) coated driver while the EX800st uses a ML (multiple layer) diaphragm. What are LCP and ML you may ask? Good question, only Sony knows. LCP and ML describe how the drivers are built but not what it is built out of. Likely it is some kind of proprietary material. You can see term LCP being used to describe the driver of other Sony headphones.
  • Very little isolation. Both the EX1000 and EX800st are vented IEMs. There's some confusion over whether they are open back or not but I believe they are better categorized as vented. The large vents on these IEMs means they effectively have among the lowest isolation of any IEM. Wind noise a serious problem when walking down the street with these.
  • Awkward build and fit. These IEMs are constructed with a side-firing mechanism to accommodate their massive driver. This leads to a strange shell shape and awkward fit. Despite that, it's rather comfy. The over-ear cable style lets the IEM kinda hang and float in your ears. I like to describe it as the comfiest non-ergonomic IEM I've tried.
  • Speaking of the cable, it uses a proprietary connector pin with a screw-in locking mechanism. Many people get MMCX or 2-pin adapters at some point as cables with their connector pins are both expensive and rare. The cable itself is subtly awesome and one of the best stock cables implementations I've seen. Their earhooks are seriously great: they are readily moldable and retain their shape like wired hooks but are significantly softer and easier to handle. The cable has effectively no cable noise or memory and is very supple. Accessories wise, you get a ludicrous 10 sets of tips and a case.
  • The shell of these IEMs is made from magnesium but many people report theirs of paint chipping especially in humid conditions. I don't really have this issue but it's common to see it on used EX1000's on sale.
  • Last but not least is the infamous 5.5 kHz treble spike. I'll get to this in my review but for many people, this will be the killer.

Overall Sound Thoughts:

I bought the EX1000 blind as my first mid-fi IEM without knowing what to expect other than its cult-like reputation. The night I got them, I listened to it for about 10 minutes before going to sleep. I was not too impressed. Coming from the Tin Audio T2 which has a tuning that I greatly enjoy, the EX1000 felt like a step back. Tonality was not ideal. Overall resolution and clarity were a definite step up but lacked the "wow" factor the ER4SR had for me. The soundstage felt wide but I didn't pay much attention to it. I went to bed disappointed. But over the next week of listening, the EX1000 rapidly earned its place as my daily driver.

The EX1000's tuning is competent but not stellar. Despite other reviewers describing the EX1000 as bright, I think it's closer to balanced that leans warm. It also has an awful 5.5 kHz spike that just does not play nicely with certain tracks. Its strength lies in its one-of-a-kind presentation through its massive soundstage and sense of openness. And while the EX1000 does fine enough for low-level listening, it begs to be turned up thanks to a lack of shoutiness and its diffuse, open sound.

Accordingly, how good the EX1000 sounds greatly depends on the quality of the recording/mastering of the track you listen to. Badly mastered tracks often seen in rock and metal will sound mediocre. On the other hand, well recorded tracks, especially orchestral or jazz works, are absolutely stunning. If you listen to a lot of instrumental music, the EX1000 is a must try.

While the bass quantity is relatively tame ("neutral flat") and the frequency response does lightly roll off around 30 Hz, the quality of the bass is the star of the show. As they say in certain circles: there's no replacement for displacement. The 16 mm DD on the EX1000 delivers an outstanding bass response that few, if any, other IEMs are able to match. The bass is full bodied and meaty and has a certain sort of texture to it. What this texture is exactly is unclear to me; it may be from some kind of distortion (despite a <1% THD) or resonance or something. I don't know. Regardless of what it is, the bass feels satisfyingly visceral, especially when it comes to subbass rumble. It's a significant upgrade compared to almost everything else. It's deliciously addictive.

That's not to say it's perfect. Compared the other "best-of-the-best" DD in the Sony IER-Z1R, the EX1000 doesn't hit as hard or as authoritatively enough. Despite its large 16 mm size, the EX1000's driver is by no means slow but does lack a sense of speed and finesse compared to BAs. Instead, it strikes a very careful balance between preserving the weighty impact and realistic decay of a massive dynamic driver while preventing it from sounding sloppy and slow. It balances between boomy and punchy, with enough refinement to cut cleanly through bass lines. The timbre of bass focused instruments feels realistic, especially when it comes to instruments that want to sound large such as the floor tom and bass drum.

Overall, the EX1000 embodies the idea of quality over quantity when it comes to the bass. Despite a lack of subbass elevation or midbass bump, the quality of its bass is clearly heard. Really, it's on another level compared to anything but other TOTL dynamic drivers. And for those who have yet to hear the difference between a BA and DD when it comes to timbre in the bass, give the EX1000 a try.

The low mids and mids continue the same excellence found in the bass. Once again, it has that lovely textured feeling, this time, with a touch of warmth. Acoustic stringed instruments sound especially good here while the gritty tone of electric guitars are rendered beautifully.

The upper mids is where the EX1000 starts to run into trouble. FR wise, it has a relatively small pinna comp at 2 kHz while dipping around 3-4 kHz. Ideally, I'd like to see this peak at about 2.5-3 kHz and for it to continue with a minor decrease up to about 5 kHz. As it is, the 2 kHz peak gives the EX1000 a slightly nasally tone for vocals and worsened by 3-4 kHz dip which makes them sound partially recessed. The somewhat recessed vocals are a bit of a double-edged sword. On one hand it contributes to the spacious, more open type of sound the EX1000 is known for. On the other, the lack of vocal energy can diminish the overall tone of certain vocalists, especially female artists.
I mentioned earlier that I consider the EX1000 to be a warm leaning IEM. It's this relatively small pinna gain and the lack of upper 3-4 kHz mids that allow the lower mids to have more presence than other IEMs with larger pinna comps. While the EX1000 is commonly referred to as bright by many people, compared to something that I would consider to truly be neutral-bright such as the T2, the EX1000 is definitely a lot warmer. Generally speaking, the tonality of the mids is quite good. It's when you compare to it to something extremely good that its flaws become exposed.

Ah the dreaded 5.5 kHz spike. This is likely what others refer to when they speak of the EX1000 being painfully bright. Admittedly, it is probably one of the worst treble spikes in any IEM. The bad news is that if your music has a natural peak around this area, this spike will simply amplify that and, depending on how loud you listen, it can be sharp to listen to. The good news is a lot of music doesn't actually interact too badly with the spike. About a 3-4 songs in my library hit this spike badly but that's it. If you're unlucky, vocals can be affected by this and you'll get a painfully sibilant sound.

The EX1000's upper treble starts to roll off pretty quick. This means there is a slight lack of air to the IEM despite how open it feels. Combined with the 5.5 kHz peak, this leads to issues with cymbals reproduction. There's a sort of metallic glare to crashing cymbals as 5.5 kHz lands right in key frequencies for the cymbals while the lack of treble extension kills its upper harmonics. Once again, this is highly track dependent and better recorded/mastered tracks avoid this issue.

If your music isn't affected by these two flaws, the treble is clean. Notes are crisp, the tone of bell-like instruments are crystal clear, and there is a rather nice lingering decay to ring out the hats/cymbals with a realistic shimmer. I don't find it particularly bright either; other than the peak, the EX1000's treble is just enough to add a hint of brilliance to the overall sound.

If you want to know what a 5.5 kHz peak sounds like, you can EQ it into your own gear. Give it a try! +6 dB at 5.5 kHz with Q of 8 using PEQ. It likely won't be as offensive as you would initially think from a graph.


The presentation of the EX1000 is among the most unique on the market, with a huge soundstage being its claim to fame. Personally, I find that the stage has an extremely large horizontal width with a solid height and depth. Think the shape and size of a football (rugby ball) centered around your head. While I haven't heard any other IEMs with a larger overall soundstage, the price for the EX1000 pays is its vented nature and no isolation. Another point I appreciate is that despite how wide the stage is, it never sounds exaggerated or artificially large. There's a sense of realism to its openness that feels inviting.

Imaging is very good but I would not call it pin-point accurate. This slight vagueness to the imaging works to provide a life-like effect. Unlike the 3-point blob of imaging from in the vast majority of IEMs, the EX1000 makes full use of its wide soundstage and images with a great amount of nuance. One way I can try to describe its level of nuance is to think of three 3x3 grids lined up side by side horizontally for left, center, and right stereo imaging. Sound images from the 9 points in each grid. This gives an idea of height (top/bottom of grid) as well as the width. To add on that is another layer or two of depth.

Resolution with the EX1000 is better on a macro level than on a micro level. Instrument separation is outstanding as the EX1000 reliably distinguishes between overlapping instruments are hitting the same notes at the same time; layering, if you will. It has a superb sense of spacing between instruments that keeps them cleanly distinct and separate from one another. Detail retrieval is good considering its dated nature but simply cannot compete with current TOTL BA IEMs where you can clearly hear the missing notes the EX1000 fails to capture.

The EX1000 is also a highly dynamic IEM. The 16 mm DD allows a track to feel alive as it moves through its passages. This is best demonstrated in orchestral music where rising crescendos are beautifully contrasted with delicately quiet segments. There is a sense of musicality as the EX1000 engages the listener in the overarching story of each song.

The presentation of the EX1000 gives it its X-factor. The sense of openness, slightly vague imaging, great instrument separation and spacing, and high dynamism invites the listener to appreciate and enjoy the music. I find myself imagining like I'm standing in front of a live band and listening to music wash over me. Whenever I try a new IEM, I still find comfort when coming back to the EX1000. I can't overstate how much its presentation does to endear me to its sound.

Some of the EX1000's biggest flaws are in its tuning. Fortunately, the EX1000 responds to EQ extremely well and a simple EQ can eliminate any tuning complaints I have about it.
Here is a 6-band PEQ I set up for it using UAPP. It could use a bit of refinement as I made it in about 10 mins but I'm quite satisfied with the sound I get from it.


Here is the explanation for each band:
  1. Low shelf provides the more subbass quantity. I mentioned above that the EX1000 is about bass quality than quantity, but why not both?
  2. Midbass band to maintain bass energy past the shelf. The idea is to give a nice, sloping curve as we transition into the mids.
  3. A cut at 125 Hz is important to avoid muddiness or bloat into the mids. Bands 1-3 create a nice low-end bump that provides bass quantity without sacrificing clarity.
  4. 3.2 kHz with 3 dB at 1.5 Q took a bit of experimentation but helps me around the vocal tone I want. The natural 2 kHz pinna comp isn't too bad but could be better. Filling in some gain past the peak helps diminish the slightly nasally tone. It's important that not too much gain is added. We want to retain the sense of openness and non-shouty nature of the EX1000.
  5. This is the most important band. The 5.5 kHz dip with a high Q is important to cut out the lower treble spike. This single cut does a lot to help improve the sound of the EX1000. No longer do cymbals sound metallic or overly strident.
  6. The high shelf in the treble is mostly to accommodate for the treble roll-off. While it doesn't fix the inherent lack of upper treble, it helps give a bit of air and provide a more natural ring out decay for instruments.

The Sony MDR-EX1000 represents a dying breed: great single dynamic driver IEMs. Admittedly, it has major flaws in both its tuning and practicality. While its tuning flaws may be fixed with EQ, nothing will change the fact that it has next to no isolation and the somewhat awkward fit. The real strength of the EX1000 lies in its phenomenal presentation. Regardless of how much technical ability improves and tuning is perfected over the years, the EX1000 proudly stands as one of the most unique IEMs ever made.

As mentioned earlier, I didn't fall in love with the EX1000 on first listen. I think some IEMs impress immediately from the start while others take some time before I appreciate them. The EX1000 is the latter. Maybe familiarity breeds fondness but I would be hard pressed to let go of these. Even after having demo'd other TOTL gear, I am still quite content with the EX1000 despite its host of flaws and aging technical ability. In the ever-increasing sea of IEMs claiming to the next best thing, the EX1000 has the X-factor that elevates it from a fading relic to an IEM worthy of lengthy praise a decade later.
@Signal2Noise It's one of the NiceHCK 8 core cables. I don't recommend it haha.
I recently purchased the EX1000 to round out my collection, and have to commend this review. It’s entirely accurate from my impressions of the IEM.

Thank you for writing this review, it was immensely helpful!
@KittySneeze Glad you found it helpful! Did you read my review before or after getting the EX1000? Considering all the choices in the market, it would be a little surprising that someone would come to this little ol' review and pick it over something like the MoonDrop Blessing 2.


100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Bass Slam, Dynamics, Sound stage and imaging, Resolution, Clarity, Comfort
Cons: Isolation, Source dependent, Treble peakiness
It's been nearly six years since the EX1000s were first launched, at that time, with a launch price of $999, they attracted much uproar over the rising price of audio gear, how times have changed since then...
In short, how have they held up? Very, very well.
The first thing one notices about the EX1000 is the rather awkward shell shape, which protrudes out of the ear by a large margin, while weird at first, it actually makes for a very comfortable wearing experience, especially for those who have small ears that may find the normal blend of multi-ba shells too big for their ears. Unfortunately, isolation is sacrificed as a result, so for those looking for Ety-level isolation, look elsewhere.
Once these are on ears and music is being played through them from a good source, some qualities start to stand out:
  1. Bass slam and decay is one of the best I've heard in an IEM, these big dynamic drivers can move a lot of air quickly, while there isn't a big amount of bass presence, whenever called for, the EX1000 punches unflinchingly hard and extends very deep, without any of the "mushiness" that can be present in some BA IEMs.
  2. Soundstage and separation is excellent for an IEM, this is probably due to the fact that the driver is much further from the ears than a normal IEM, as a result, they throw out a big, 3-D stage, making it easy to separate instruments and vocals.
  3. Clarity, possibly as a result of the staging, is also very good, every element of the music can be separated onto its own plane, with a black background in between the elements, which makes picking out small details in the tracks relatively easy, even if the Sonys may lose out on ultimate resolution to the modern crop of TOTL IEMs, midrange is detailed while being very grain-free.
  4. Highly Dynamic*, the EX1000 can brutally assault your eardrums on loud sections of tracks, while presenting music in a very soft manner in quiet sections, just about all the multi-BA IEMs that it was compared to suffered from some compression compared to the Sonys.
  5. Treble emphasis, from IF's FR graph, one can see noticeable peaks at the 5k and 7-8k mark, this corroborates to sibilance in vocals and cymbal "splashiness", which combined with the general treble lean, can make these seem somewhat fatiguing.
*Source dependent, from something like a mobile phone, dynamics and clarity suffer, the EX1000s are inefficient for IEMs and prefer more power in the source, I personally use HM650, which powers the Sonys very well.
In conclusion, for those of you sick of the BA driver wars, and the countless thousand dollar, hundred BA IEMs that spawn from it, I will highly recommend you take a look at these Sonys, while they lose out on isolation and treble smoothness, they offer qualities that, 6 years later, are very hard to match by much more expensive competition.
Great review man
Pros: Clarity and sub bass extension with excellent mids and the largest stage I have heard in an IEM
Cons: Tip rolling is a necessity and the non Japanese versions are definitely packed differently and maybe more

Love em so much I just let go of my ASG 2.5's

You didn't change taste away from the basshead club, aren't you bro? You didn't mod vent but EQ the **** out of it. Beside that, how it got more bass than the ASG2.5? So the EX1000 got good soundstage, detail mid, and slightly peak treble as you said. Does the bass still stand out? Or the EX1000 is your alternative iem for relaxing beside the 7550?
Sorry for the late reply,
I EQ the bass and am satisfied. It is an exceptional stand out item. I prefer them over all other sets including 7550/800ST


Pros: high fidelity at this price.
Cons: hard to replace cable
USED Shure E5, 425, 535
EX1000 is a good start to have a taste of pro sound. 
Islation is not that good when music isnt playing.


100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Soundstage, imaging, high resolution, details, clarity, treble, extended bass, natural sounding
Cons: Unforgiving, DAC/Amp picky, very fatiguing, poor isolation, poor fit, uncomfortable, unconventional/unpractical, low-value
The Sony MDR-EX1000 is truly a legendary IEM but in a world of its own. Not even the latest XBA, or XBA hybrid Z series could rival its intimidating large single-dynamic driver setup.
(my EX1000 in its current state, after 4 long years of service, I've finally decided to sell it off to someone who would appreciate them more)
After having used it for almost 4 years, I would like to give the Head-Fi community and anyone reading this a well thought out, simple, relatively short yet heartfelt review, based purely on experience.
I purchased these on my 17th birthday, with my saved up allowance from Amazon. It was an upgrade from MDR-EX082. Back then I wasn't a seasoned audiophile, and had no idea what I was getting into. Immediately I thought I got ripped off, because I played 256kbps iTunes mp3 directly from my Sony A818. Everything sounded boring, rough, lacking bass and the lushy mids I had hoped to hear from the EXK. A quick share of these remarks with a friend who was an audiophile and Head-Fi member at the time thankfully steered me on the right path, and told me about all the magic (science) behind hi-fi sound.
Since then I have used the MDR-EX1000 with over 20 types of different high quality brand-name tips, stock EX600 cable to RK-EX1000LP cable upgrade (from Japan), plusSound Audio Exo Series cyro-treated custom cables, from a variety of different source + amp combination. All kinds of music genres, bit-rates and formats were thrown at them. I have also done comparisons with numerous other contemporary high-end IEMs. I have to say I've come to a stop with trying to unleash the full potentials of the MDR-EX1000. No matter how well I customize them for me personally, or how well I try to perceive them, all the drawbacks and extensive issues of this cult IEM refrain me from keeping them as my favourite IEM title.
I'm not gonna get into the sound too much, there are way too many reviews everywhere for that, as there should be. The EX1000 is the best sounding single-dynamic driver IEM in the world. Period. Not even the beautiful wood HA-FX700 could beat it in absolute terms of sound quality. Its out-of-the-head soundstage rivals full-size headphones, and will wow you. Be careful though, they are extremely unforgiving and picky with sources. Feeding them the wrong DAC, DAC + AMP combo, or music files will have you thinking they are $20 Skullcandy, not even Monoprice. The EXK is by no means a must-try IEM. If you never had the chance to hear it, don't be disappointed by that.
I am one of those who think sound quality isn't the whole deal for a headphones' selling point. In fact, what breaks the deal for EX1000 is its ridiculous impracticality as a "stage or studio monitor," as marketed by Sony. For the current street price of around $300 USD, you can get yourself a pair of much better IEMs instead, often multiple-BA driven with excellent performance-to-price ratio. It's hard to say it's not from a subjective view, since people have different priorities for an IEM. An "IEM" should be noise-isolating, comfortable for at least 2 hours of continuous wear, and non-fatiguing aurally. In all regards, the EX1000 is poor as an IEM according to my criteria. It is only savored by its superior, distinctive and highly-resolving sound quality.
The EX1000 is a poor performing IEM as a whole. Its inadequate design and weight causes your ear and ear-canal to ache no matter how well the cable or tips fit you. Its housing with 2 huge vents will leak sound in-and-out worse than earbuds with some decent foam. Wind-noise is one of the biggest issues; wearing these outside is as smart a choice as driving a sedan off-road. Many people would prefer slight but well-managed cable microphonics over having all kinds of other noises directly affecting the quality of your music. (on a side note, I've tried sealing off the vents/holes with a few different kinds of tape. It was a stupid idea, don't try it.)
Sony EXK is loaded with many other trifles that are very perplexing. The housing is rather easy to chip and scratch, despite the excellent material and craftsmanship. The outer clear coating will degrade if not stored within a casing at all times. The nozzles are long but cannot be inserted deeply: IF you do manage to get a deep insertion, chances are the sound will not be improved either, instead your ear-canals might become mildly damaged. There are more problems I've had with the EXK, but these are just rants I'm throwing out; I know a lot of friends whom share the same passion for the EX1000 as I did, but they are willing to make daring sacrifices for its sound. I, on the other hand, am just fed up with them.
To summarize, the EXK might be your perfect IEMs, but I think it more likely went like this: you try them, liked the sound but hated every other aspect of it mentioned in my lengthy review, and sold them off. I've used my EXK daily for 4 years now, and I think this review have summed up all my mixed feelings for the EXK. I enjoy them greatly in libraries, in-n-about the house, and other quiet public places while being stationary. However, any other application will be a disaster and worsen your listening experience.
Thus, I believe those who've read this review would agree with me (to a certain degree?) that perhaps a portable or a smaller over-ear headphone, such as the Sennheiser Momentum, would be a much better choice overall. I am currently using a ATH-CK10 and Westone UM3X RC side by side, and I'd have to say they are much better investments as IEMs than what the EXK has to offer. The EXK has qualities and potential that fail to deliver in the better way, no matter how hard I've tried to stick with them.
Thanks for reading my review, I appreciate any comments or feedback! Have a nice day.
I find it amazing that you wrote such a negative review when you are trying to sell it. It is good to be honest and make a full disclosure, however I wonder if too much honesty(as in such a negative tone) is a good thing. I'm curious, did you sell it? Did many people make lowball offers?  Such a negative tone seems to invite lowball offers. I'm not interested in buying it though, even if you do still have it. I am curious though how it went. Expectations are a funny thing. Even if a product  is quite good, if it doesn't meet their expectations they may take on a very negative tone in describing it. 
@JK1 I don't quite find my review negative, but I can see where you're coming from. To satisfy your curiosity, I sold it for about the same price I bought it. If you read my review carefully, you'll find that my criticism is entirely on the design and comfort of this IEM, rather than the sound. IMO, IEMs should be like ATH-CK10, ER•4, Westone UM pro series and the likes, i.e. providing at least some isolation with accuracy, rather than a poorly designed earbud with no isolation whatsoever with a treble emphasis. The sound quality of EX1000 is no doubt a 9/10, in fact it is almost perfect, but overall what I meant was that I'd rather not wear something so fatiguing and conspicuous. I hope this cleared up any doubts and concerns you had about my review.
Erfan Elahi
Erfan Elahi
Just bought the long repuated EX1000 to give it a try and I felt same negative impression. I don't have any problem with isolation and fit but sound-wise - the mids are cracky and vocals are less emotional although they are very close. Treble is definitely harsh on bright mixes. Is cracky mids normal on EX1000 ?


Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: tight bass and very detailed, excellent midrange clarity, highs clear and crystalline in presentation. excellent quality build.
Cons: that crystalline high presentation can be a little tiresome at higher volumes. getting great fit takes time.
have had these aswell as other high end IEM's and these are truely excellent however not my personal fav's.
these IEM's produce a wonderful full airy sound, among the clearest sound i have heard there is no such thing as veil with these the presentation is top quality and they were clearly designed to sound ''high definition'' to the average consumer, what does stick out tho is the sharp high presentation with anything but the highest quality recordings and at higher volume is van take away a little from the sound.
bass is excellent and you can tell immediately the driver is tight and strong designed to give a tighter sound and nothing about the sound is flabby at all. when driven by a good quality strong source these phones shine down low, its very strong with no noticeable distortion at any volume clearly anchoring that tight presentation down.
the midrange again is excellent with very very airy presentation, very spacious and with very little ''noise'', its a black, clean and clear midrange that due to the swaying towards a sharp presentation comes through very well, had these been more bass orientated the clarity of mids may have suffered.
overall i cant give these anything less than 5 stars because they are simply an excellent set of headphones, durable, sound quality that makes you proud of the achievement sony has made here. as i said at the beginning of the review these are not my fav universals, i prefer shures se 535, just a tad nicer sound to me.


Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Fast Bass, Nice Mids, A Lot Of Accessories, Build Quality, Detachable Cable
Cons: Isolation, Bright Treble
[size=12.0pt]First of all, I’d like to thank Mach3 (Peter) for generously lending me his Sony EX1000s. I am not affiliated nor against Sony in any way.[/size]
[size=12.0pt]Sony needs no introduction to the audio world and I’m sure that a lot of you would have heard Sony EX1000 as Sony’s previous flagship IEM. The Sony EX IEM line has been replaced with the newer XBA line, which many, including me believe is inferior to the EX line. The new Sony flagship, the XBA-4 has a dark sound signature while the EX1000 has a bright sound. This is now discontinued I believe, but they can still be bought. [/size]
Sorry for the bad photo quality
[size=20.0pt]Testing Gear & Accessories[/size]
[size=12.0pt]All testing was made via my HDP-R10 and Sansa Clip+ [/size][size=12.0pt]with a Fiio E6. First of all, these are not very source dependant. They sounded great right out of a Sansa Clip+, but when hooked up to a Fiio E6 amp, the soundstage grew and separation improved a bit. However, when I used it on my HDP-R10, I was truly impressed for the first time. The soundstage became much bigger and[/size] [size=12.0pt]the separation and detail increased quite a lot. Also worth mentioning is that the sound became a lot cleaner and less grainy, hugely improving my listening experience.
I was given the box it came in and there was a very nice looking leather case which looked great but I am less sure of the actual usefulness of it. It also came with a full set of Sony hybrid tips which should fit everyone. There were some manuals and that was it. Rather good, but I just wished the case offered more protection like a Pelican or a UE metal case. There was no IEM cleaner, but there is some material stopping stuff from getting in, so I don’t mind it so much. [/size]
[size=20.0pt]Isolation, Design & Cable[/size]
[size=12.0pt]Since this is a vented dynamic driver IEM, it isolates extremely poorly, being the least isolating IEM that I have ever heard. Just to give you an idea, the isolation level is even less that the Sennheiser IE8 or IE80s. Also, as you may have read elsewhere, these are quite susceptible to wind noise.
The design is not bad, but they do stick out quite a bit and if you go outside with them, they might attract quite some unwanted attention. While I think that they look quite cool, it stops being cool when people start thinking that they might be hearing aids. The build quality is superb and although I won’t spend a long time with them, I know that they will last a long time.
I am actually quite undecided as to whether I like this cable. While it is very supple and easy to use, the strain relief on the jack is quite loose and the cable is thin and I keep on thinking that it may break after a while of normal use. The ear guides are very comfortable, but the memory function is terrible and it is very hard to mould them to the shape of your ear. [/size]
[size=20.0pt]Sound Quality[/size]
[size=12.0pt]This is the reason why most people buy IEMs, for their sound. After writing all that, we are finally at the sound section. [/size][size=12.0pt]I will be breaking this part into a few sections like in my previous reviews and as you will soon see, I am still unsure as to whether I like it or not but if you are a basshead or looking for a neutral IEM, this is not it. [/size]
[size=12.0pt]Being a dynamic driver, I was expecting quite a lot of bass despite the reviews that I had read. While the bass is very nice, these do not nearly have as much bass as a typical dynamic driver IEM; it actually reminded me of a greatly improved TWFK driver. While this does not have much impact, the quality is exceptional and it does reach far down and has some rumble.  It really does have great control, better than most BA IEMs that I have heard, but I find myself longing for a harder impact. Now that the quantity part is over, let’s get to the quality. All I can say is that it is great! The details are easily made out and is very fast, not having any bloat whatsoever on any songs that I threw at it. The bass was exceptional, being punchy, fast and full of detail but lacked impact IMO. However, some people will prefer the less bassy sound of the EX1000 compared to other IEMs. [/size]
[size=12.0pt]The mids are absolutely wonderful IMO of course. They are a bit on the thin side and female vocals sound realistic and very lifelike. They are very textured and I feel like I can hear the singer more clearly compared to the similarly priced Westone 4 for example. When I first heard them, the mids were shrill and overly thin, but after ten minutes of listening, my ears adapted and they sounded absolutely awesome. OK, now to male vocals, where things start to get a bit dodgy. They sound a bit thin and much less realistic than female vocals. They are, however, still extremely enjoyable and there are still tons of detail. There was a bit of sibilance, but it isn’t annoying to me. Vocal separation was simply astonishing. I didn’t expect them to be so good, being the best that I’ve heard other than the UM Miracle, Rhapsodio RDB v1 and the AKG K3003, all of which are more expensive. They certainly pass with flying colours in the mids even though male vocals did not sound as convincing as they could be. The other aspects more than made up for it. [/size]
[size=12.0pt]This is the section that I am still almost completely undecided on.  The treble has a boost and has extra sparkle, a tiny bit similar to TWFK based drivers, but much less sibilant but I do feel like for me personally it is too much and it makes everything sound overly sharp. I do find that sometimes cymbals linger a bit too long and dominate in parts of music where it isn’t supposed to. Sure, I do like a slightly brighter that neutral treble, but this is just too much for me, but not by much. It is still enjoyable. The detail in the treble however, is great and you can hear the cymbals crashing very clearly and it is packed with detail. It extends very high and you don’t feel like you are missing anything at all. The treble problem is mainly with just the cymbals and other instruments such as the trumpet are rendered realistically, without an excessive treble boost. Once again, I feel like the treble is a bit too exaggerated but I’m sure that there are others who feel differently. [/size]
[size=12.0pt]The presentation of the EX1000 is something that I really enjoyed. The soundstage is extremely large and I really can picture a stage in front of me, with the performers not too close and in your face nor too far. [/size]
[size=12.0pt]I personally perceive accuracy as how similar it sounds to a live presentation and I’m glad to say that the Sony EX1000 has done well. It has a treble boost as mentioned above and I do find that as a result of that, it colours the sounds, but for the better or worse is for you to decide depending on what your preferences are. It does still sound realistic but it is not for someone looking for a neutral IEM. [/size]
[size=20.0pt]Imaging and Soundstage[/size]
[size=12.0pt]As mentioned above, the soundstage is very good for an IEM, one of the largest soundstages that I have heard in an IEM, up to the level of the Sennheiser IE8 if I remember correctly. This is the first IEM that I have ever heard that I think might beat the IE8.
The imaging is certainly one of its strong points and you can easily point out where everything is, but I have heard better imaging from some IEMs, but not by much.[/size]
[size=20.0pt]Instrument Separation[/size]
[size=12.0pt]This is the part that I was shocked the most – in a good way thankfully. It performed well out of it’s price range and did well on whatever track I threw at it. I don’t own the Westone 4, but from when I heard it a while ago, the separation on this is significantly better if I remember correctly. On congested tracks, it never gets too hard to tell each instrument from the other. [/size]
[size=12.0pt]This does have a lot of tiny details, but if you listen to a TOTL IEM, you will realise that these are still missing the minute microdetails. I am not surprised however, with these costing less than half of most TOTL IEMs. This does make it more forgiving of badly mastered tracks which can be both interpreted as good and bad. I’ll let you be the judge of that.  [/size]
[size=12.0pt]Audio is really about your sound signature, what type of sound you like. For example, while I found the highs of these a bit shrill, you might find them just right. I would recommend that you try them before you buy them. After a few hours of listening to music, my ears have grown accustomed to the bright sound. I do believe that Sony has produced a world class IEM and priced it correctly, making it good value for money. I would recommend these to people who like a brighter sound signature and don’t mind the low level of isolation. [/size]
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Thanks guys.
Donut Eater
Donut Eater
Where to buy in Indonesia?
Not sure, but Pricejapan has the Japan version which people say are better.


Member of the Trade: Lachlanlikesathing
Pros: Comfortable design, fantastic build quality, beautiful and emotive sound
Cons: No Isolation and wind noise issues restrict portable use, rawness and grain to the treble
Along with the summary below, I have a review thread comparing the Sony EX1000, 7550, XBA-4 and XBA-40 here:
I also have a comparison review on youtube of the EX1000 vs the 7550. If you like the video check out my channel for more reviews :)

Note: In the review I state that the EX1000 is made in Thailand, this is incorrect. It is made in Japan.
The EX1000's have incredible build quality and feel like jewellery in your hand thanks to the premium magnesium alloy bodies. The unusual ear hanger design is very comfortable but offers very little environmental isolation and cause a great deal of wind noise, making these somewhat awkwardly positioned as a portable earphone with restricted portable applications.
The EX1000 has a beautiful, emotive and slightly dry sound with deeply extended bass and articulate mids. They also have a tremendously wide sound-stage thanks to the unusual design and low isolation. They have peaks in the treble which make female vocals sound magical, but on modern studio recordings they can sound harsh and grainy at times. They do best with classical or mellow acoustic music in my experience.
The EX1000 is unmistakably a flagship earphone for Sony, but has a number of quirks. If you are looking for a flagship dynamic driver this is definitely one of the best options, though personally I prefer the 7550 for a wider variety of music.
Pros: Super open sounding, Beautifully relaxed, Sony “house sound” nostalgia.
Cons: Its rather expensive, highs have a jumpy spike in them, isolate meh.
[size=12pt]Sony MDR-EX1000 Quick Review[/size]
[size=12pt](Thread here, )[/size]
[size=12pt]Thanks to[/size] [size=12pt]SwimSonny[/size] [size=12pt]for the loan.[/size]

[size=12pt]Brief:  Sony shows what it can do when its wants to.[/size]
[size=12pt]Price: Circa £400[/size]
[size=12pt]Specification:  Driver Unit 16mm, Dome type (CCAW adopted), Sensitivity 108dB/mW, Power Handling Capacity 200mW, Impedance 32ohms at 1kHz, Frequency Response 3-30,000Hz, Magnet Neodymium, Cord 7N-OFC litz cord adopted Y-type / Detachable Cord Length 1.2m / 0.6m, Plug L-shaped stereo mini plug (Gold) (1.2m cord) / Stereo mini plug (Gold) (0.6m cord), Weight (Without Cord)           Approx. 8g[/size]
[size=12pt]Accessories:  Hybrid silicone rubber earbuds (SSx2, Sx2, MSx2, Mx2, MLx2, Lx2, LLx2), Noise isolation earbuds (Sx2, Mx2, Lx2), Carrying case, 1.2m cord / 0.6m cord, Operating Instructions.  You get more tips than you’ll know what to do with and the case, while lovely it’s not something to go in your pocket.[/size]
[size=12pt]Isolation:  A bit meh, they don’t isolate well at all.  They are rather open then they sound it too so if you want something for blocking out noise these aren’t it.  It’s barely passable for blocking out traffic noise and I wouldn’t bother with these for the Tube or a flight.[/size]
[size=12pt]Comfort/Fit:  Well these are a bit odd.  Firstly they are massive, secondly they are a really weird shape.  I had no bother with them but they sat so loosely on my ear they never seemed secure, not that they fell out or moved.  Comfort was rather good, they weigh nothing and were very gentle on the ear.[/size]
[size=12pt]Aesthetics:  They make a visual statement.  I can’t say I like that statement as they are massive, noticeable and they say I sure as hell am no freebie included set of buds.[/size]
[size=12pt]Sound:  So I’d seen lots of good things about these then they vanished from the radar.  Sony is a massive company that essentially has the potential to outspend every headphone maker and are probably the best known consumer electronics brand in the world.  They aren’t known however for rocking the earphone world, the old EX700 was regarded as good but a pain to use and never really stood out.  The EX1000 is rather more expensive and there is a lot more competition now.  Sony has come out with something really nice though.  I still don’t love its shape and its sound quality isn’t earth shattering.  You know that price tag is very high and I don’t think it quite commands it but acoustically Sony isn’t disappointing.  The on paper low end claims 3Hz which is ungodly low.  Likewise the highs on paper go well beyond human hearing so it should have no trouble with either.  The low end though with that massive driver I expected more volume.  Its very well behaved, smooth and a touch relaxed bass.  It’s one of those beguiling basses that are so reserved and polite until you demand more and it comes to life but still seems so laid back.  It is pretty fast yet has this relaxed gentility to it in the very Sony way.  It never seems hurried or stressed.  It’s a quite a beautiful presentation.  Mids too have this every no nonchalant air to them.  Sooooooo relaxed, so airy, so effortlessly offered up.  “Painters Song” feels so softly, clearly, openly and languidly presented.  It feels intimate but it’s not up close and personal.  In something’s this is super lovely but it seems incapable of bringing those vocal up and in your face like something’s need.  The highs, they do extend well but they in the lower high end have a bit of a spike.  They do have a habit of being peaky and randomly leaping out at you (the EX700 did this too as have many other Sony’s) the detail otherwise is rather good if not the most explicit.  This isn’t an analytical IEM, it’s about being beautiful.  This spike detracts from that beauty but these are still very nice.  The sound stage is rather big, above all they are a tremendous ability to sound distant and ever so open.[/size]
[size=12pt]The balance on them is fairly natural with a bit of an emphasis on the highish spike that can jump out and turn to sibilance.  Also I can’t help but feel these should have more bass, that driver is more than capable but I feel Sony steered away from big bass due to the recent trend of ridiculous bass levels in others.[/size]
[size=12pt]N.B.  It all works stupendously nicely with acoustic tracks.[/size]
[size=12pt]Value:  Hmm these are a prestige product and you pay for that Sony name and a fair premium. Still many of us grew up with the Sony “house sound” as they essentially owned the 80’s for consumer audio.  This is that same sound but with rather impressive clarity. [/size]
[size=12pt]Pro’s:  Super open sounding, Beautifully relaxed, Sony “house sound” nostalgia.[/size]
[size=12pt]Con’s:  Its rather expensive, highs have a jumpy spike in them, isolate meh. [/size]
Nice review Mark. I agree with you that treble spike in the upper mids/lower treble region is a bitch.


1000+ Head-Fier
Pros: Deep impactful bass, Soundstage
Cons: Bright treble
Got my EXK couple of days back fresh from Japan :) Late to the party but what the heck~ Wanted a pair of dynamic IEMs to complement my TF10s while waiting for K3003 to cool off a little on the price hehe.. (would definitely help if they came out with a version with removable cables too!)
Out of the box virgin listen was kinda disappointing. Sibilance is really pretty bad... not just on female vocals but also on some male vocals as well. Crossed my fingers and started burning em in on white noise over 30 hours with volume set to 2 notches above my usual listening volume.
Happy to say that miraculously I haven't been detecting much sibilance hence. Some peaks still exist, but hardly as bad as that first listen. Enjoying the bass difference in dynamics... almost as deep and tight as headphones like my Ed 8, definitely alot more natural sounding drums than BA phones.
Ergonomics wise.. the included eartips didn't work out for my oily ears... kept popping out. So I got myself some Comply TX-200s (T-400 from my TF10 works too) with ear wax guards, to prevent any ear wax from clogging up the filter that the EXK strangely has exposed. Might have helped damp the treble spikes a tad too. After having survived with the TF10 for so long, I'm kinda of an expert in stuffing in strange objects in my ear, so the EXKs were easy to go in. Tilting the earphones to the front some helps relieve the pain that it causes when upright too. Personally I don't find isolation an issue once the music's playing... can't understand why it's such an issue on so many forums >..<
My EXK came with the RK-EX1000 cables... with hollow tubings that don't inspire too much confidence. I wouldn't want to try stretching the cables by accident... Otherwise they seem to do the job well, and do not get tangled up unlike my TF10's Null Audio Lune cables.
Hope to see even more improvements with the Fostex HP-P1!
With about 150hrs clocked on it, I'm finding myself nodding my head and tapping my feet everytime I put these on with the HP-P1 :) Still some slight sibilance, but not overbearing and does not spoil the musicality. Thankfully there isn't any issues with Jamie Cullum, Diana Krall or Norah Jones! I've replaced my Ultrasone Ed8 with these babies for my portable setup~


Pros: amazing soundstage, homogeneity
Cons: nothing to complain
To make it short:
Get one if you find them, the EX1000 are Sonys best inears, maybe for a longer time.
Use a fitting player that can handle the impedance, and you get breathtaking results.
One of the very best soundstages I ever heard, no BA comes close to it.
Frequency response ist good, highs can be sometimes 'special', but it is not a big deal. IMHO it's more problematic if the player is sensible to the slight impedance peak around 5 kHz. Try it out. Also try different eartips ... but you know, for sure.
Some people say, the EX1000 is close to $ 1k customized BAs, and so I do!
It's a real bargain now, and a shame, that Sony discontinued it.
Night Crawler
Night Crawler
Agree! One of the absolute best IEM's out there, and having personally owned the XBA-4, the EX1000 still remains Sony's best in-ear offering.
The best IEM.


Pros: Extremely detailed, High pass emphasized, Flat but detailed Mids , controlled low end, comfortable(IMO), sleek design,dynamic drivers
Cons: power hungry, Lack of impact and power from bass, not as airy as one would expect(in comparison to over the ear cans), despises low quality recordings
I find this to be an extremely detailed pair of IEM, these being my first and only pro IEMs i find myself comparing these to my Beyerdynamics, Although it's hard to find similarities between the variants but i seem to notice the level of detail these offer are far more impressive, which is not always a good thing. In some cases almost to much detail because these let you notice the slightest mistakes in audio recordings, they scrutinize everything like a oscilloscope. To me this is only a problem because its ported directly into your ear without letting any sounds resonate away from the ear or diffuse like it would with over the ear Cans which makes them sound more atmospheric and hot,while these are neutral, only playing what the composer truly made, not what they attempted to make or tried to emphasize.
Treble - These seem to pronounce treble most, it can be extremely sharp sometime, but i find this mostly happens on poor quality songs, even medium quality songs have a hard time being smooth, the sound from anywhere from as low as 1khz and higher seems to produce more impact on the ear than the low end, even at low volumes it penetrates your ear drum. It always seems to peak in the sweet spot without going passed that and making you cringe, and if it does its probably because your volume is to high.But because of the following topics, there are reasons why your volume might be to high.
Mids- The mids are what i consider a proper flat resonance, this to me is a good thing. It is always at the forefront of the song. This feature gives you a good understanding of how sounds are recorded live or digitally because all sounds resonate from this neutral area(around 1khs-10khz).i feel that this function leads me to believe these to be perfect for examining all types of recordings. Say for example you are trying to get a feel of how a microphones sounds in any situation you usually try to pay attention of how well it resonates from the mids of a frequency pattern, on vocals you register how a persons voices sounds from the middle of the approach and where the sounds starts to peak, and with the characteristics of these you can get a good understanding of where the power really comes in because the sounds never falls off it just resonates on until the very last resonance point.
Bass- The bass can clearly be heard,but the power is not there to fill what is being emphasized,now i'm speaking from my situation and i say this lack of power comes from the heavy dampening within, and the lack of power i'm driving to it. I have only really used these on my Nuforce HDP or lower powered devices so i can say i'm not powering these to there potential, but either way i don't think these are the best choice for bass heavy songs, or songs that put emphasizes on low artificial bass. The best bass comes from live recorded bass and kick drum variants, digital bass like 808 line or heavy dub just doesn't have that much feel, instead it just teases you with the idea of what the bass should FEEL like, i should mention heavy bass should be felt not necessarily "heard". As i said before these are very detailed and the bass can absolutely be heard, the bass is always clean and that may be the problem, most of the time the heavy bass lines lead to distortion on drivers trying to heavily emphasize the bass,and sometimes the distortion isn't to noticeable but leads you to believe that the bass line really is that hard. Even when these are driven hard the bass never distorts or starts clipping, it just sounds really loud, extremely controlled and detailed, but never heavy and as impactful' as it teases to be.
Isolation/Dampening/Distortion>>concentration - 
Most IEMs are known for isolation , well these don't fit in that category. These work like most open back/vented headphones, they require a quiet setting for you to truly capture the details and feel comfortable while listening to it at correct volume level. I find myself turning up the volume way higher than it needs to be just to concentrate on the sounds i'm looking for. As i listen to very technical sounds and music i really have a hard time focusing on the recording as i get slightly distracted by sounds and vibrations around me fairly easy. But when I'm in a nice and quiet area, these things start to take you to the level it was meant to take you to. Only external source of noise i want to here(i should say feel) is the added rumble from my external subwoofers adding to the overall sound stage. 
As stated these come with 10 different sets of ear tips, 3 of which are labeled "noise isolation". I think this is a little misleading as some people might think this is meant to really stop noise from getting in,wrong. What i have come to realize is that these actually work as absorbing vibrations and movement of the actually drivers themselves. They keep them from shaking or moving around in your ears to much when you make fast movement or your cords shakes to much.Also another thing that might lead to the dampening of bass is the thick padding within the port(it is clearly visible). This probably serves as a dust filter as well as dampening of any harsh distortion. I BELIEVE if you were to pull out this padding you might get a greater bass punch, BUT I DO NOT RECOMMEND this as it serves as a dust and dirt filter, and you wont be able to put in back in easily if you find you don't like them out.One thing i should complain about is that the wrap that goes over the ear could have been a little more thicker, the wire dangles freely a little to much. But back to the Ear buds themselves.
I've noticed after testing almost all of them, that they all have the potential of staying in your ear, but the ones smaller than your ear canals tend to present the smoothest sounds, very relaxed and not much impact and somewhat muddy,this doesn't always make the recording sound good, but are less fatiguing over longer stents and high volumes. The ones that fit tighter in your ears, be it the right size or to big tend to have the most detail, tighter response and have more impact in both the lows and highs.The bigger and tighter ones tend to cause some pressure in and around the ears and can be more fatiguing for longer stents.  I Recommend trying each one for about 10 minutes and see which one feels the best for longest amount of time. To me the isolation variants tend to give me the longest endurance. I have also experimented using different sized on each ear(a green on the left/ a orange on the right,etc) since each ear canal aren't exactly the same size this is a good experiment to perform.
So i came up with a solution that seems to work best for these drivers. like most of my setups,i split the high pass and low pass. headphones being on high pass and the low pass sent to a subwoofer or second driver set up.
With this set up the sound stage is amazing, it more than rivals full sized cans, It surpasses those that are meant to be technical(studio headphones), these are the most technical headphones I've heard to date. These drivers have so much clarity and control of the high end, and with the addition to the external bass to fill in the rest of the song its a great combination. This set up can surely be a end game solution for those wanting the ultimate experience. They are ideal for studio recording and movie editing,watching. With video games i have trouble using these for racing game simply because they scrutinize the digital sound. With shooting,action games i.e GTA, BTF3 these are killer. I may be imagining it but i seem way more focused while in multi-player or on missions, the sounds are alot more subjective(someone creeping on you or close call gunshots),the last BTF3 server i was in i was 50-18 K/D before i retired from such massacre. -_- yes that not my normal K/D with my Beyerdynamics.
EX600 share similarity's to EX1000 so I agree about the full size headphones resemblance. ljokerl describes them well in his EX600 review. they tend to have a slight treble roll off though balanced well from low to mid. I only use IEM's mostly while laying down at night and apart from using my Fiio E10 DAC/Amp they would paired with Cowon players so It does have me concerned about their power requirements, as I would want them at their full potential even at lower volumes. I can pair my E11 amp up with one of my Cowons and use a rig I guess. I'm possibly trailing a pair on loan soon, so that will help.

personally one of the things that struck me about the EX1000 was the bass presence and quality, I was just using my 5th gen ipod as a source and amplifier. I should probably qualify that my reference headphone these days is an HE-6 so maybe I am used to a treble tilt and laid back bass but personally I was quite impressed with the bass from the EX1000. I also was not listening for bass impact as such due to my musical preferences. Still I do not consider these to lack bass specifically as there are pleeenty of other headphones with less bass "XD.
Drez, i agree the bass is very good, if i made it seem as if the bass was bad then i should change it. I was pointing out some of the issues I've heard other people complain about with the "lack of bass". I am quiet happy with the bass,even more so now that i have tried it out on the Schiit Asgard. Just in comparison to other high priced headphones these do not over exaggerate the bass or have a very deep vibration. It definitely has presence but its not as boomy(a good thing) as many other headphones that have that type of bass expansion. The enclosure of the drivers simply don't allow for that type resonance, it was made to be precise in its movement, not out of control. These are truly professional grade, with professional sound.


100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Very forward and liquid mids, wonderful quality and quantity of treble(special, one of the best detailed and airy iem(special), solid bass, good build
Cons: slightly lack of low mids and mid-bass, bass could be more detailed&faster, uncomfortable to wear,cacophonous for some,too emphasis on high-mids
Sorry about my bad English:frowning2:
Night Crawler
Night Crawler
Comparing the EX1000 against the A1000 is comparing apples to oranges. Not a fair comparison, as far as I'm concerned, though some may disagree. Where strictly IEM's are concerned, the EX1000 has one of the most proficient lower ends. In fact, much of it owes to the lack of a midbass hump, as a midbass hump, more often than not, compromises the lower mids. I'm sure glad the EX1000 is free from said hump, by even the slightest. If it's a faster, more detailed low end you're after, however, you may be more inclined towards BA's. The PFE232 is a great example.
P.S. Your English is fine. :)
@ Night Crawler: Thank you for your comment and the last language praise=)
Seems it is quite silly when compare the Denons bass to the studio/audiophile headphones bass but it is just my expansion addition. i just want to say: the bass on the Ex1ks is good, but not their outstanding power such as their mids and treble. especially while it is compared to the W4s(full(mid+low synthetic), speedy bass) and Gr07s(deep and solid bass):D
p/s:pfe 232s are so expensive, but i think they will be similar to triple or quad amature driver iems, right?


Aka: Nightcrawler, Oof Oink
Was flipping items from the classifieds on eBay.
Wow, thankyou for this review and your comparisons to the CK10.
Now, if only someone could compare EX700 and EX1k, then I could know if it's for me or not.
Nice Review I2 Your details and communication of sound are wonderful. These would be my #1 If it were not for the isolation thing


500+ Head-Fier
Pros: Sound Quality, construction
Cons: May be too vivid for some
When it comes to portable audio, it just doesn't get much more portable than an IEM and a Ipod/Zune/Sansa etc. Even tethered to one of the small battery-powered headphone amps, we are talking about something that fits in a coat pocket. And if, like me, you commute 2 - 3 hours a day, anything that amuses during this "dead time" is a good thing.
Recent years have seen an explosion of new IEM's upping the ante in sound quality (and price). So I bought a representitive sampling of units to see just what level of quality is attainable. The first round was between Westone 3, ER-4P and a Shure unit (whose number I forget). The Shure won this battle, but I wasn't really thrilled with any of them. Then the Shure broke...
So round two pitted the IE-8, CK-10 and eQ-7. I just couldn't get past the IE-8 quite ample mid bass and found the CK-10 good sounding but fiddly to use, so the eQ-7 became the phone of choice. It was good, but uninspiring. Still, a solid all-around performer. Then in a moment of insanity, I bought a pair of Final Audio 1601 SS. The FAD's threw everything into confusion. They were decidedly not uncolored with a subdued but expressive bass and a tres bumpy treble. But they showed the others the door dynamically, in terms of sound field and detail and in that hard to define sense of overall musical presentation. With all their flaws, they expressed the music in a way that made the rest sound so-so.
My thumbnail, unscientific, analysis was that there are certain things that tend to elude non-dynamic driver IEM's (except possibly the expensive and exotic units that employ large numbers of BA elements, which I have not heard). Being an audiophile, the FAD's areas of weaknesses still bugged me. The announcement of new FAD models was tempered by their employing BA drivers, but I had to give it a go. A pair of FI-BA-SB were ordered and actually did a decent job of bridging the gap with better dynamics and solidity than the other BA units, but a less idiosyncratic balance than the 1601's. Certainly a successful design, all things continued.
But hearing about the Sony EX-1000 with their large dynamic driver proved to be a temptation too strong to resist. Am I glad I didn't! The EX-1000 are not cheap, but they are still about 1/2 the price of the popular multiple BA customs, so not out of the question. They come nicely packed with a comprehensive assortment of tips, a shorter replacement cable and a nice leather carrying case. The magnesium driver housing is light but appears sturdy. There is a general sense of high quality and technology here with their 16mm drivers employing Neodymium magnets and Liquid Crystal Polymer Film diaphragms and their oxygen-free copper cables. I found them to be comfortable with the supplied ear-buds and easy to route for over ear cable routing. None of which assures the EX-1000 sonic worth, of course.
The first listening impression is of a vivid, clean sound. The bass, while not as strong as devoted "bass heads" may prefer, is noteworthy for it's sophistication and subjective lack of distortion. Treble is extended and generally smooth with an electrostatic-like clarity. Certainly it's not forgiving of bad recordings, but on the other hand, it doesn't invite bad recordings to sound worse than they are through uncontrolled treble resonances. The midrange is really excellent. Clean, yet lively and faithful to the unique texture and color of the individual instruments. The low level of self-noise and intermodulation products allows full detail to be available without being forcefully thrust at the listener. You can really hear this as Howard Hanson takes you through the instrumentation of his composition "Merry Mount" (The Composer and His Orchestra, Mercury). The extremes of dynamics here are also tracked quite well without much in the way of compression or information loss as things get busy. All this allows the impact and excitement of this music to come through to the listener.
Beethoven's Egmont Overture with Rene Leibowitz and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on an excellent Chesky release (originally a Kenneth Wilkenson recording) comes through both in it's quiet moments and it's riotous ending with it's natural timbres (mostly) intact. The sound-field is excellent for an IEM, second only to the aforementioned FAD 1610's. The news is also good with popular music. Lennon's "Strawberry Fields Forever" tricks and multitracks are there to be heard without fracturing the musical whole. Procol Harum's atmospheric "A Salty Dog" is very well served here as well. The percussive new age-y sound of Conrad Praetzel's "EnTrance" is evocative and enticing. For something a bit more hard edged, the vocal and guitar pyrotechnics of Iggy and the Stooges' "Funhouse" inspire excited air play-along (guitar, drum or vocal as you prefer), just as you would hope. Uh-huh!
Obviously, I like the EX-1000 (you think?). They are the best overall IEM's I have owned or heard (remember, I have no experience with the custom multi-BA units. Someday...) and aren't disgraced by the Sennheiser HD-800 or Sony CD-3000 (though they can't do some of the sound-field tricks of the large headphones). Few IEM's survive the comparison to good full-sized 'phones as well.
I used my Sansa Fuze, my Zune/iBasso combo and my home system with Dark Voice tube amp all to good effect. The better the signal fed, the better the results, but the EX-1000/Sansa Fuse system was very worthy for it's small size and the Sansa's cost effectiveness.
Now, if you are a confirmed bass-head or find any sense of sibilance anathema, these may not be the phones for you. But for me, while they are certainly not perfect (the treble could be smoother yet and the sound-field even more expansive, etc.) they are as good as I know in the here (hear?) and now in the non-custom multi-BA class. And I still think there is something to be said for large dynamic IEM drivers...