Sony MH1 Livesound Hi-Fi Stereo In-Ear Headphones

Ed Grip

New Head-Fier
Pros: Sound good
Cons: J-cord noodle flap tentacles of doom.
Bought these based on reviews, as I like buying new cheap earphones because I invariably lose them sooner or later. 
I've signed up just to state that - to me - the cord is a dealbreaker.
The earphones sound fine, but I just can't imagine a scenario where I might be stationary enough to use them. There doesn't seem to be a way of wearing them - either behind or in front of your neck - which isn't impossible. Whichever way you turn the earphone before you insert it, the huge noodle-spring cable is immediately trying to twist it back out of your ear. (It doesn't help that the in-line controls are so close to the earpiece)
If I'm walking, it usually achieves this in under a minute. The extra rubberised surface area of the flat cable creates unnecessary friction on your clothes, which adds additional pulling forces to the earphones. To top it off, because of the friction and comparative stiffness of the cable combined with the fact that it's impossible to wear them up-and-over-the-ear, microphonics are a nightmare. Rumble rumble rumble, they go, unless you stay perfectly still like you're playing musical statues.
It's frustrating and baffling that Sony have saddled an obviously well-designed and good driver with such an infuriating cable. I've abandoned them - the Piston 3s are infinitely more usable and wearable in every way. Unless you want to cut the drivers off and solder them onto a normal cable for fun, I can't recommend them. 
LOL tentacles of doom


New Head-Fier
Pros: Good bass, clear sound, sturdy flat tangle-free cable, handly controls, microphones are better than that of stock IEMs
Cons: these days you can find better SQ at much cheaper cost, requires powerful amp
I wanted to rate it 2 stars, but would have been flamed if I did that. There is also the fact that I got it cheap, and you can too.
I have no real complaint against this headset other than its price. When it was introduced, it was value for money. Nowadays there are stock smartphone IEMs that offer nearly as good or slightly better sound quality, well maybe not the bass, but bass is not everything.
So if you already have an MH1, stick to it and do not purchase any new low end headphone hoping for an improvement. But, if you are planning to buy an MH1, please don't. Instead get a Sony MH750.
The MH1 is for bassheads in general. It requires much more power than the likes of Soundmagic E10 and you need to keep that in mind when using the MH1 on a PC. USB powered DACs simply can't play the MH1. I am talking about the MH1, not MH1C or MH1A or other variants. I am not sure whether there is a difference, but if Sony dropped the impendance in the newer models, it might improve things quite a bit.
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I guess I must have gotten a fake one, because mine doesn't have much bass. 


500+ Head-Fier
Pros: Sound quality, value, mic and controls work with Nokia Lumia
Cons: Flat cable, J-cord design, size and placement of the controls/mic pod
These are really good-sounding IEMs, a little bit on the bass-side but very balanced and detailed, both in micro and macrodynamics. You should expect to be surprised by how such little IEMs with such a little driver (5,8mm) can produce such a big and full-bodied sound, with correct timbre, fine decay and attack and a very controlled mid-bass. Treble is soft but very defined.
The cons are about the design. Like in almost every Sony product, there is something that doesn't make sense. For instance, the cable splitter is badly placed and the way the cables come out of it makes absolutely no sense. If it is intended to use the right driver around the neck, why on earth the cable parts from below the splitter? 
The microphone has good quality and, for those brave Lumia fans out there, it works with your smartphones, as well as the volume keys and command button. 


100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Fun sound, excellent isolation, durable, good looking
Cons: Awkward cable, not neutral, limited acessories
I've had these Sony MH1C's  for quite a while now - which in itself says something about their durability, and I've grown to like them. 1
First things first though, let's start of by saying that these IEM by no means compare to competitors twice their price; at least not to good offerings in that price range. This might have been true when you could buy them for a lot less, but at their current price I bought them for - 30 euro's - they are very good for their class. If you have more money to spend or want a neutral sound, you can find better options. If you don't, these are solid contenders if you are looking for a sturdy pair of on-the-go headphones that have a "fun" sound

Build and design
The build is probably what I like best about these earbuds; they will not break. I do not know if it just me, but I tend to break my headphones rather quickly. With my full-size headphones this could be helped by buying ones with detachable cables. When trying the same with IEM by buying Xear pure audio ones I was rather disappointed; even with the incredible sale codes they have there always I did not really find them worth my money.
Enter the Sonys. The noodle J-style cord has been the subject of much debate with regards to comfort, but it is certainly quality made.The small angled connector is another plus. Since these are manly used on-the-go, having an angled connector is essential so that insides of the cable will not break so easily when kept in the pocket of my trousers while walking or cycling. The housings and connector are made of the same (in my opinion beautiful) brushed metal basis with rubber top that end in a strain relief with the right amount of rigidity.
The four button remote is too large though. I do have a compatible sony phone, so that I can actually use the fourth button, but the use is very limited since there are not many apps that can use it's input.
Comfort and seal
The headphones insert very deeply. Their seal is excellent. Some people have been complaining about a sort of vacuum effect, i.e. when taking the headphones out one can feel a suction because the tips still seal tightly. I have this also, but find it rather pleasant since it also means that the sound isolation is excellent and the headphones do not come out easily. When working in a buzzy environment or commuting I much rather have these in than be wearing one of my full-size headphones that cost 3-7 times as much, simply because I can lock the outside world out and just listen to my music at moderate volume.
For working out these are not so great though since the microphonics are considerable. The supplied clip solves this to some extent, but when taking these for a jog the noise becomes loud enough to be annoying.
Probably the most discussed topic here though is the cable design. As said, the MH1C's have a J-style flat cable. This is especially annoying at the left ear, since it tends to pull. The problem is not as bad though as some described. The cable is namely also very... rough(?). I don't mean to say sticky, but certainly the opposite of slippery. Rubbery might come closest. This is especially so when having the cable directly against the skin. So after putting the earbuds in I pull a bit on the left side so that it has some excess cable and then tuck it in my collar so that it wont slip back. Again, this makes it less ideal for working out, because the cable does not stick so well that it can resist all the jumping around.
With rather recessed and smooth highs, warm mids and very impactfull and present lows, these are certainly not neutral. They are aimed at the general public that values a fun sound over accuracy. It lends itself exceptionally well for electronic music, rock, some types of metal, and some Indie. Soundstage is rather narrow. Separation is reasonable for the price. If you are used to full-size headphones be prepared to be let down here especially - it is a bit inert to IEM's though. I always find the sound best described through some songs, so let's go to that.
All songs in 320 kb/s MP3 or higher from a laptop. Using my Sabre 2 DAC did not really make a difference; the Sony's sound rather the same. Only the soundstage and detail was the tiniest amount better. There are hardly any differences between devices though.
Radical Face - Welcome Home, Son This song sounds very good, plain and simple. The warmness is very nice here which especially makes the guitar shine. The piano gets pushed to the background a bit though, but the overall feeling is very pleasant. In the intro of Let the river in, the next song on the album, the sound stage seems to open up a bit. Not majorly, but the very obviously distant sounds of a kid playing do appear distant. The violin is very smooth sounding - it could do with a little rougher edge.
Pendulum - Slam Did anyone say bass? The low bass extension really shines here, although there is still too much upper bass to make it punchy rather than a bit bloated. I'm almost ashamed to say that I think the music fares well by it though. Again, the highs are a bit too smooth in places, but the drums have just the right amount of dryness. Mids are overwhelmed slightly. If it is your thing, go wild.
Linkin Park - Hands Held High Some of you might be thinking: Linkin Park; more bass? But not in this song. On different IEMs - my Yamaha EPH-20 for exampe - the violins and multi-voice singing can really leave me breathless. Not here though. The highs are too smooth to shine. It can not get enough air. Admittedly, the Yamahas also had a major issue with sibilance, which I have never experienced on these Sonys so there is always the trade off. In the next song, no more sorrow the howling and growling guitars are better suited to the Sony's sound profile. Impact and attack are excellent.
The Black Keys - Waiting on Words I really like the Black Key's latest album. The Sonys hold their ground well with the smooth vocals and sixties-sound, making the vibrating guitars sound very lively. Similar type songs - Pearl Jam, Queens of the Stone age etc. - all sound fun if a bit thin in the upper mids. When listening like I am now, concentrated in a quiet room with the volume a tad loud, the amount of bass in the drums is too much. However, when outside or at lower volumes this adds a sort of natural loudness. When I am in a quiet room I have my full-size headphones anyway.
Ólafur Arnalds - Found songs (album) This album by an immensely talented semi-hidden Icelandic composer shows that the MH1C can produce very decent highs when they are not overwhelmed by the warmer underside. The soundstage on for example Raein opens up somewhat. While I can not even pronounce the title, the Sonys play Allt varð hljótt very acceptably. The violins get a bit sharp, but they are supposed to, and the echoing sounds in the background are very well distinguishable. The combination of cello and violin in Lost Song is excellent. The cello adds a rough and slightly warm but not overly-present touch, and the piano ostinato keeps dripping away in the background. The synthetic drum in my opinon does not add much to the composition, but I can hardly blame the earbuds for that. They sounds rather veiled and have a soft, rumbling quality rather than having impact. But this still holds when I listen to the song with my Philips Fidelio L2, so that is most likely to blame on the mix.
Enter Shikari - Gandhi mate, Gandhi One big bang. The crowded sections of the music - most notably 1:00 'till 1:30 - is too difficult for the tiny buds drivers to accurately represent, but oh my do they make up for it in the other sections. The sound is very dynamic and quite snappy.
Daft Punk - Get Lucky The warmness lends itself better to this song though. The funky base and minimal guitar sound just pop and crackle. Details get lost though, but I am too buzzy enjoying the sound to really mind by now.
When I put my Philips L2's back on, I hear how much these buds lack. But it is not fair to compare them to full-size open back headphones that cost a lot more. I do not own them for the same purpose. I have these as a pair of sturdy, reliable, on-the-go earbuds that I can just chuck in my pocket and then use anywhere, and they serve that purpose very well considering their price. They might not be for everyone, and the hype on this forum a while back was only justified because they were a lot cheaper then. The 30 euros I paid for them where well worth it I think, but if prices go a lot higher there might be better options out there.


New Head-Fier
Pros: Deep bass, good middle, balanced sound.
Cons: Middle can be a little better ...
Great sound for the money you pay. 
It the beginning i used them only on the desk and i hated that right cable is longer than left. But later i started wearing it out in the street, subway, etc. and i find this very useful. 


100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Decent sound stage, price
Cons: Cord, microphone placement
After a month of use:
After getting used to this IEM I do think they are very decent. After a few hours of listening they now sound much warmer with good bass response, mids and highs are decent. They are very, very warm and have a lot of color to them. They are definitely not neutral but create a pretty fun sound that is enjoyable to my ears. The bass tends to be overextended and can muddy the sound a bit. They occasionally can also sound fairly closed in. In general though, they are pleasant, comfortable, and have a very decent sound stage. I still cannot say that these compare at all to the GR07s, but for less than $40, these are very fun to listen to and the warmness and color they produce does make a lot of music pretty engaging. I should note that I have not really used these outdoors because the level of microphonics on this earphone is very high. I have also gotten used to the awkward placement of the mic and controls but I can definitely see this being a problem for some. 


New Head-Fier
Pros: Value for money, Bass
Cons: Cable, Treble
Build quality is decent. But the J-cord flat cable is a nightmare. It's so bad that I would consider it as a deal-breaker. First of all, I have no problem with J-cords. But for a J-cord with stiff flat cable? It's possibly the worst combination ever. Not to mention that they've placed the remote just beneath the left earpiece. That means the remote will always stick out right beneath your left ear and produce a lot of cable noises. And it's such a hassle to use the remote because of the placement. I would much prefer if it was placed lower. And the cable splitter is a garbage. It was designed in a way that it the left cable won't stick out if you are NOT wearing the the left earphone. But once you wear the left earphone, the cable would just stick out right in front. I find all of these very annoying.
For my ears, the flimsy silicone eartips from Sony is very uncomfortable. That type of eartips would just suck my eardrums and me headache. So I've just changed the eartips. Plain simple. What I find very uncomfortable is the cable noise produced by the J-cord. The huge remote and the flat cable would always rub against my neck. I found an easy solution for the right cable by using the clip provided in the package. But the left cable that has the remote is the biggest issue here. And up to now, I found no solution to it.
Sound Quality:
-Bass: Very exciting. Mid and lower bass is amazing in this earphone. It has some kind of slam to it that makes it sound very rich and thick. However, the upper bass is pretty loose. It lacks tightness which results to a bit muddy sound.
-Midrange: Very smooth. Though it will tend to sound a bit hazy whenever the bass hits hard.
-Treble: As smooth as the mids. Though this time, it is very underwhelming for me to be honest. The treble in this earphone presents too less details. It makes songs sound very dry and lifeless. Kills all the excitement produced by the bass.
-Soundstage: Spacious. But because of the lack of treble, the bass is just everywhere which make it sound a bit unclean and plasticky.
Filter mod it by removing the fabric filter in the nozzle and also the thick foam that's inside :sunglasses:


Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Sound Quality, Price/Performance Ratio, Remote for Android
Cons: J-Cord, Not Compatible with Apple, Slight Veil
First of all, I would like to thank H20Fidelity for lending me his pair of MH-1Cs. 
Recently, there has been much hype about the Sonys and finally, I got an opportunity to listen to them. From what I've read, they just come with the IEMs and 1 pair of tips - nothing else. Personally, I don't mind, but I just wished that it had a case for me to put them in when I'm not using them because the cable flops around and does not stay in one spot. Build quality is decent and it doesn't feel flimsy. It may be worth noting that much of the body is made of metal. Now, let's move on to sound:
Sound Quality
First of all, I was really impressed by these budget IEMs and feel like they can compete with much more expensive IEMs. Sound will be broken into bass, midrange and treble. 
The bass is what struck out the most to me. It is certainly exaggerated, but not to the extent that it is a bit muddy like the Monster Turbines. The bass is fast, has good impact and does not bleed at all. The detail in the bass is also exceptional for the price. You can easily make out the details in each drum hit and each string plucked in a bass guitar. It performs exceptionally in pop songs and everything sounds very energetic. While the bass may not satisfy bassheads or people who like beats, it is certainly enough for me and I do feel like the bass is the best part of the MH-1C. 
The midrange is just a tad bit recessed, but it is still very enjoyable and I don't feel like the mids are distant by any means. Instruments sound very good, but sometimes, I just feel like there is a tiny bit of a veil and same goes for the vocals. However, on the bright side, the midrange detail is very good and separation is decent, but if you consider the price, it is actually very impressive. For example, on the track Some Nights, I can tell roughly where each singer is, but it isn't as clear as say a Brainwavz B2 for example, but that is understandable since the B2 is much more expensive. 
This is the part where I find that the Sony MH-1Cs are not as good as I would have liked them to be. The treble is a little rolled off for me. Sometimes, I find it a bit veiled and unnatural with instruments such as cymbals. On these, cymbals are hardly anything more than a click and you do not actually hear them vibrating as you would on something like the Brainwavz B2s. The quantity leans more towards the Monster Turbines and the good thing is that there is still good detail and sometimes there is some sparkle as well as it not being fatiguing. The treble I feel, stops the MH-1C becoming an IEM that can challenge $100+ IEMs. 
Soundstage was very impressive for such a budget IEM. It was around the size of the B2s and was quite deep. Very good indeed. 
The Sony MH-1Cs are perhaps the best IEM under $50, but there is starting to be more competition such as the Monoprices priced at $7, Vsnic VC02 which is more neutral and costs around the same. I would recommend it if you prefer a warm signature and have not that much to spend. 
Reduced to 4 star because the price has gone up and IMO the Hisound E212 is better. 


500+ Head-Fier
Pros: build quality, distortion free sound, no sibilance, decent soundstage
Cons: a bit too bass heavy, mids/vocals sound veiled, J-cord is a PITA
So these are the FOTM, but for good reason. For 30 bucks, you get a fatigue free, dynamic sounding IEM. The soundstage is decent for this price bracket, instrument separation is good, sub bass extension is quite insane and they are built extremely well. 
Should everyone ditch their $100+ IEMs for these? No, they aren't better than the other IEMs I have heard that cost $100+ because they lack the precision in instrument separation and instrument placement. The mid-range is also quite dark and not that well extended compared to higher priced IEMs. Contrary to another review, these do not sound better than the Yamaha EPH-100, and that margin isn't that close either.
BUT, there might not be a better $30 IEM out there in overall sound quality and fun. If you want analytical for cheap, you should steer clear from these and go with the VERY good RE0 for $50 instead. If you want a heavier bass presence, and more laid back mids/highs, this is a great choice.
i really dont under stand the hype around this mh1c , and i concur with you , these are good at being a headset , but cant take on headphones like RE0 , not even a r30 .
Agreed, but in their defense the RE0's suggested retail used to be $99 I think. Today, at $50 the RE0's are a better choice imo but at $100, I'd probably say its a draw just based on the price difference (not on sound quality).


100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Extended treble, micro details, value
Cons: Cable, Isolation, microphonics
Sounds way better than Sony Ex-300 (mids and treble), Soundmagic Mp21 (soundstage, details, overall)


Formerly known as turgid & facilitator.
Pros: Price, Price, Price, Soundstage, SQ, Bass
Cons: Flat cable, Bass
I really can't believe I am taking my time off a super busy weekend to type up a review of the FOTM Sony MH1C (while I wait for my RE-272s 
For firsts, I am not an ace reviewer, and I regret reading my previous reviews. I think I just belong to the race of head-fiers who just enjoy listening music and accept the fact that they are not the best with words.

Either way to make a long review short, I've bought these around a month back and used them more than once a day, so its definitely plausible and probable that they have gone a good amount of burn in and the total signature has reached its ultimate state of polish and vigor. As for 'brain-adjustments' and burn-ins, I think its least important and too consuming a time to discuss it further.
Let me, secondly, address the worst part of these IEMs as a whole - the Cable! 
Flat, annoying, J-corded, Hhhhheavy - even pulls the earphones out of your ears quite too often. This might be a deal-killer for many and you can see quite too many people calling this the worst cable ever made. 
Also can be found is a real good method to get rid of any and all cable issues in the Clieos' discovery thread right up here in Head-fi. I just use the shirt clip and 'clip' it to my collar once I have the J-cord up and around my neck. This might slightly let the cable difficulties to self-destruct but do not allow for a full solution, just my side of the coin really.
Now for the sound. Some of the best sound to be had at the price and a few notches up! Seriously..
Very non-fatiguing consumer friendly sound with good amounts of resolution as well(although the bass can be sometimes too much - Yes! I come from balanced armatures).
The overall sound is very warmish with a slight tinge of treble at the very top. Mids compliment the bass very well and vice-versa, they show good thickness and are not particularly forward, but I can't call them recessed either, although at times I feel that in the bass-mids competition, the bass wins by a slight margin. 
The treble is recessed which tends to the overall warmish signature, but the moment I try and conclude its recessed, the high-highs just sound clear! yup! I feel that some of the high-highs or where the treble shows 'air' sounds boosted. 
So the treble doesn't show good body really but 'air' in the highs are easily identifiable to call the overall soundscape 'clustered'. 
Now for dominant part, THE BASS! the mid-bass is literally some of the best I've heard in quantity, shatters the likes of my SE-535 by a good margin, and quality wise I wouldn't really differentiate. The bass extends really low and show good body but I often feel that they are a bit too sub-bass happy(I use the bass-reducer EQ on my I-Pod)
Now comes the magic, once amped, the bass gets tighter, and the overall sound gets really good. There is a good increase in the width of the soundstage and imaging gets better as well. The sound is also very detailed to be honest but don't compete much with the likes of SE-535 and Brainwavz B2( yes! I know both of them are armatures) ; then again I would call their resolution to be stellar given the price of these. Once amped I would consider them competition to my SE-535(unamped) and seriously given their price difference, you do understand how astounding a value they purport!
Like I said, they are very detailed, but the overall warmish sound negates the possibility of micro-detailing IMHO! Beside whatever detail they come up with also carries a sense of warmth to it.. this is not really a problem, just a matter of preference.
Comparisons & Conclusions!
I ll compare these to the Brainwavz B2 clones(called the GH-ERC-DMS) which I'll be addressing simply as DMS and the Shure SE-535 so you can clarify why they are really the king of value.
Bass wise, the MH1c offer superior bass punch and very good sub-bass in quantity, though I prefer the quality of the sub-bass on the SE-535 ; but still not by much as the price-difference would imply. The DMS has good bass but don't really come up in the bass-comparison with the other 2.
The mids are great show overall thickness and required emotion on the MH1C, but they are neither as forward, emotive or transparent like the mids of the SE-535 and the sweet-sounding DMS. Yet, what they take away is the sibilance issues of the other two, and show better justice to low bitrate recordings.
The treble is best on the DMS, they show superlative sparkle and body without any excessive points! The SE-535 with a 6N OFHC SPC after-market cable show good treble body, but still sound rolled off next to the DMS. For the MH1c, they provide very good extension as much the SE-535 with the after-market cable at the same time give a a little extra-like feeling of extension with that weird boost in the 'air' that puts a smile on my face to how really full-sounding these IEMs are, besides its stupendous value! 
The above comparison doesn't really do the MH1c any justice but for day to day use I can't really recommend any better IEM! The DMS has a fragile cable and is too analytical and bright sounding to wear out on the sunny days( I like to blend with the weather ) & the Shure SE-535 is $400 to take the same risk! Other than this if you want a well behaved sound at (1/n)th of the price without much sacrifice to detail and that provides real good competition to high-tier in ears, look no further this is your cup of tea! 
Thank you Sony! Thank you Clieos! 
Hope you enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed writing it! 
Cheers to all! 
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I felt mids are little rolled off on MH1c, when I compared mids to other two extremes i.e. lows and highs, in which it performs very well.
What is your source to amp these??


New Head-Fier
Pros: SoundQuality, Superb detail, Instrumental Separation, Above average Soundstage, Tight, hardhitting bass, Imaging.
Cons: JCord.
NOTE: I have not fully burn in my Sony MH1C however at first hearing, IT JUST BLEW ME AWAY which gave me the excitement to write in this review on the day i recieve the iem itself.
Just bought the GR06 few weeks back and planning to sell it away once i heard the Sony MH1C. It just sound inferior to the Sony. 
The provided eartips offered me great sealing. Some say the Sony MH1C feels heavy on the ear but i don't feel it that heavy at all, thus i did not use the shirt clip they provided. Jcord seems to be the only con here.  It feels like a nuisance to me.
Overall, the sound quality is just !@#$ING AWESOME. I SWEAR. It's almost on par with the GR07 which cost some much more. It is also closely sounding to the Sony XBA4.
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I am pretty sure if he made a statement like that, he must have heard them?
i'm going to say no they have not heard either. I sold my MH1's due to the fact that the hype wasn't warranted at all. They were extremely average at best, had very average detail retrieval, instrument separation, and the bass was way too deep to provide any so called balance. The flat j cord was an abomination of impracticality, and the fit was awkward. They weren't worth the $25.00 I paid for them, and the GR07s and XBA4s are both quite superior in all ways to these joke "FOTM" iems, and I didn't particularly like either and sold both as well. 4 1/2 stars for comfort? you can disregard this review based on that rating alone.
Just because your biased on the style of the chord and perhaps biased in what you look for in a sound signature since hey everyone's different is no reason to be hostile and bog down this review with negative vibrations

I for one find the j-cord to be comfortable, which is a personal preference. It should be stated as well that I use wasapi on Foobar2000 with electri-q poshfopit edition equalizer, and with the help of joebloggs was able to get WAY more out of these phones then listening to them with any of the preset configurations that came with the program. The bottom end is nice and heavy without compromise to the mids and highs of which sparkle and shine. Listening to Caspians record you are the conductor you are able to appreciate all the details they incorporate into their songs.


Headphoneus Supremus
PRO: Great imaging, instrument separation, mids and bass clarity and quantity. Can easily beat most of the $100 and under IEMs I've heard. Immense detail for a "bass-adequate" IEM.
CON: Treble rolls off a little, but not in a poor way. Flat J-cable. Sound stage is not small, but smaller than an IEM it sonically competes with, the Sony EX600. A little distortion at moderately-high volumes.
Beats the Yamaha EPH-100 a bit. Wrecks the Vsonic GR06.
Props to ClieOS.