More about MDR-D66 vs. MDR-D22 please.
Jun 14, 2002 at 10:00 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 3


100+ Head-Fier
Apr 15, 2002
The previous discussions here roused my interest in the Eggos.

First though, I have to put the boot into Sony's marketing department for pushing these as closed cans, but with an ingenious design which helps you hear what's going on around you, such as train announcements! Que? Not wanting to believe that they started with a compact, well isolated design and then punched holes in it, I prefer to interpret this as a marketing gaffe, and that the initial design was always going to be ported for the benefit of the sound. Does any sound escape from those vents when the cups are closed off? If so, is it mids or bass?

Unfortunately I haven't had a chance to sample that sound but these are my thoughts on the designs:-

D66: Features "memory metal" adjusters which revert to their original shape if bent. This could happen since they stick out once the 'phones are folded. Also features a single-sided cable but this too comes with a drawback - the connecting wire across the headband sticks out in two flimsy looking loops which are sure to catch on things and fail. Velour ear pads look comfy. 40mm driver with kick-ass magnet [same as MDR-CD380/480/580(?)]. 106 dB/mW sensitivity. 40 ohms impedance.

D22: Plastic adjusters and hinged headband may spell early retirement to the scrap heap. Two-sided "Y" cable. Vinyl ear pads may get sweaty but should seal well. 30mm driver [same as StreetStyle series and MDR-CD280(?)]. 102 dB/mW sensitivity. 24 ohms impedance.

Bottom line: Is the D66 notably better than the D22? [It costs twice the price].

My criteria:-
Circumaural, compact cans with good isolation.
Driven suitably by portable MD player without extra amp.
Sound: Harsh treble or resonant highs will not be tolerated. Elephant ear-flapping bass will not be needed.
If it sounds good on classical I'll put up with its performance on hip-hop.
Sufficiently low "gumby" factor that they can be worn in public.
Jun 15, 2002 at 10:33 PM Post #2 of 3


100+ Head-Fier
Apr 15, 2002
I got the opportunity to listen to quite a few 'phones today, so for what it's worth here are my opinions. Listed in decreasing order of listening time.

I had free go at these first three since they have short cables and hence were not permanently plugged into offensively loud jazzy muzak. Naturally I had my MD player with 8 sample tracks (7 classical, 1 hip-hop) ready for some critical listening, as far as would be possible with all the racket in the store.

No portable headphone should be this comfortable!
Sony really has the upper hand with their angled drivers, which leave just enough room for the ear (well, mine at least) with minimal pressure. Put these headphones on slightly behind your ears and then slide them forward. You know you've got them fitted right when your ear is slotted inbetween the cushion and the sound plate. This is also where you get the best isolation and most balanced sound.

They are bright but in a mostly good way. You get all the detail that comes with pronounced treble and they only become sibilant when really pushed. They also have oodles of bass. These two characteristics should guarantee sales to the multitudes whose graphic equalizers always have a big smile on them. [I know they're lurking out there, even here on Head-Fi].
However, from the criteria I listed above it should be obvious that the extremes of the spectrum don't excite me that much. I prefer sweet, smooth treble and flat but deep bass. Even so, I didn't have too much trouble with the overall sound of the D66, bearing in mind the essentially closed design. Side by side with the HD580/600, the D66 treble starts to stick out.

After listening to the D22 (see below) I engaged the tone controls on the MD player and cut the treble by one notch, in search of colouration in the midrange of the D66. As you might expect from the identical "eggo" cup shape, the D66 also suffers this problem, although to a lesser extent. Note that this weakness emerged with a specific source (a Bach piano suite) and is usually hidden beneath the strident treble. Nonetheless, as I'm sure others will testify, once you identify a flaw in a set of cans it starts to pop up in all kinds of places.

I think the D66 is just begging to be modified. For me, it would be a screen in front of the driver to tame the treble somewhat and some stuffing in the space behind to try and damp out the midrange resonances and even reel in the ported bass boost a bit. As when buying shoes, it's usually not a good sign to be considering modifications on day one but the D66 has so much going for it that I may yet end up with a pair for their comfort, looks, portability and amp-free connection.

Not quite as comfy as the D66 due to vinyl pads which require an extra wiggle to fit properly. The headband could also use some stick-on pads. Isolation is identical with the D66. Sound is not. At first I thought the 30mm driver design of the D22 sounded smoother due to its laid-back high end, but I soon discovered some boxiness in the midrange which led me to an investigation of whether the D66 suffered a similar problem (see above). The bass too is not overpowering, which I think is a good characteristic for popular music which tends to be mixed bass-heavy.

The D22 would be a good upgrade from stock earbuds for the portable listener on a budget. For me, the compromised midrange is too much of a price to pay for the isolation.

MDR-G82 StreetStyle
Don't want to say too much about this one as it has been a controversial 'phone on this forum. They are comfortable, even without the support of an overhead band. My impression of the sound was that it is very similar in character to the D22 but better controlled in terms of midrange resonances. However, I didn't spend too much time searching for faults in the sound because I was not able to get these cans to seal properly. I think I would need a wider head to get proper isolation.

The rest of these headphones WERE permanently plugged into offensively loud happy jazzy muzak but since there were about 50 pairs of cans and a few other customers listening I didn't ask for a switch to Holst's "Mars - The God of War", but I will next time.

HD-202 (Sennheiser)
At one stage I decided to buy these if I could ever find a pair. Luckily, I never got that chance. They sound boxy, boxy, boxy like cheap poxy speakers. What's more, they are uncomfortable due to their vinyl pads combined with a "semi-circumaural" design. What's up with that? Isn't that kind of like being semi-pregnant?
Or inflating a zeppelin with semi-flammable gas?

Sounds OK but with a similar equalisation to the Eggo D66 - boosted highs and lows. Uncomfortable as per the HD-202.

Velour pads make these wearable, unlike any of Senn's budget closed designs and even the HD-497. Yes, I know they're open but since closed designs seem to require wizardry and omniscience, why not sacrifice some isolation for that renowned open Senn sound? And the 477's do have the trademark sound, as far as I could tell by comparing them against the HD580. Not quite as controlled in the highest of highs, but hey... Now where's that War God gone? Can we get him/her on stage?

Soundwise, these do everything that the D66's do but in a more relaxed way (and cheaper). This is to be expected as they are neither as closed nor as compact as the Eggo. Personally, I wouldn't step out the door wearing the CD580's though.

Wasn't I pleased to spot these, as I understand they are essentially equivalent to the V6's which consistently score recommendations here. They offer plenty of everything upfront - bass, midrange and treble, but sounded a touch boxy even with the jazzy muzak. Certainly not as bad as the HD-202 or the D22, but more so than the D66.
Jun 16, 2002 at 10:53 AM Post #3 of 3


1000+ Head-Fier
Jan 3, 2002
The Eggo-series cans seem to be designed for MiniDisc use, specifically.

The general consensus is that the 66's have a bit better sound and significantly better build quality. I own the D22's and love them to tears, as they snuggle onto my ears like a pair of perfect-fitting shoes, thanks to the angled drivers.

Of course, the short-cord (SL) monicker means that the phones are 'remote-freindly,' important to most of us who use our portables for various activities.

I find my D22SL's work just OK with my Sony D-EJ925, but really shine with my MD recorders and players. This might have something to do with impedance, but I'm not knowledgeable enough to figure this out. My 60-ohm impedance KSC-35's work much better with my PCDP.

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