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Sony MDR-1000X

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by mickeydean, Sep 1, 2016.
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  1. BenKatz
    Well, firstly, we already had this discussion a few pages back. From a consumer perspective, it doesn't boil down to Qualcomm's market share, it's about what quality you want. LDAC is capable of 30% wider bandwidth (and, hence, sound quality), so it's up to the consumer what they want to buy, since as of now, all LDAC devices, be them transmitters or receiver (from Sony mostly) also have aptx codecs anyway. They don't directly compete, since they are different quality products. It's like in cars. On manufacturer makes a slower car, another one a faster car. The consumer choses what they want to pay, there's a market for both. And considering Sony's corporate power, AND the fact that unlike the format wars, this doesn't inlcude any hardware manufacturing, but is only a codec (code), Sony can keep LDAC avaiable, at least for their product line, forever if they want. And they should, since I'd always chose LDAC over aptx HD, until something faster than LDAC appears.

    As far as I know, from reading a discussion about the Pixel and iPhone, it's just codecs. Pixel and iPhone don't have aptx support (codec, as it's actually called, they don't call it aptx/ldac "chip"), however they share the same bluetooth transmitter chip (made by intel i believe) with many many other smartphones that have aptx or LDAC (my Xperia has a generic intel bt chip, but has both aptx and ldac codecs).

    Here's Sony's official LDAC explanation, where they specifically say that it's an Audio coding technology, no dedicated hardware, it just needs capable hardware (bt 4.0 +) for it to work.


    Qualcomm may sell their own BT chips, because they manufacture them, and already incorporate aptx on them for interested manufacturers, however that doesn't make the aptx CODEC a hardware. Intel also sells bt chips, with aptx or not, and LDAC. It would make no sense for the BT chip manufacturer to take responsibility in installing all the possible BT codecs on their hardware. It's up to either the smartphone manufacturer, or the software one to incorporate it in the firmware. This is why Google is going to incorporate LDAC and APTX HD in Android O, if it were a hardware deal, they wouldn't care about doing it, since it would make no sense.

    Also, here's a XDA forum, where a user flashed a modified software on his Samsung smartphone (S3) that didn't have APTx in order to activate it (basically a software with the aptx code incorporated) and it worked. Further proof that all bt codecs are just that - codecs. I found no information online about specific APTX or LDAC hardware, but I found a ton of information describing them as codecs, and tests such as this one below where they can be incorporated on existing hardware:

    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017
  2. rkw
    I think we're quibbling over the meaning of "dedicated hardware". Technically the codec is not hardware dependent. However, if you are making a headphone and want it to support aptX, aptX HD, or LDAC, you will choose a Bluetooth chip that supports the codecs you want. For all practical purposes, LDAC (or other codec) in a headphone involves dedicated hardware.
    We'll have to disagree. I believe market share matters because licensing fees are involved. As a manufacturer, why put aptX HD in your headphone if few people are using it and you still have to pay license fees?

    I also have a feeling that Android O having code to support these different codecs doesn't automatically mean that every Android O device will have every codec available. Samsung, LG, Huawei etc have to pay the licensing fees and they will decide which codecs to include on the system images for each phone. A budget Android O phone selling in India probably won't have anything beyond standard SBC. Any codec (aptX, aptX HD, LDAC) will need to achieve some level of market acceptance before they decide it is worthwhile to pay the licensing fee and put it on the phone. Of course an individual can root/jailbreak a phone and add a codec, but if you're making and selling phones you have to pay royalties.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017
  3. BenKatz
    Yeah, well, I dunno, I think I provided some pretty insightful links, but I guess you believe what you chose to believe. I don't make an "i stand by my arguments no matter what" stand. I just showed you some links, where aptx was installed on a non-aptx compatible phone - proving that APTX is not hardware dependent - of course it needs compatible hardware, but that simply means Bluetooth 4.0 and above (for aptx hd and LDAC).

    And again, you have a feeling is just...a feeling. You can find multiple articles in which Google explained how they worked with Sony specifically to increase the BT sound performance (include LDAC in Android O AOSP). Now you can have a discussion with any developer, but including a codec in the AOSP means it is available for all Android O users. You still have this feeling? Here's an extract from this VERGE article :

    "It’s free to integrate into mobile devices, as Google confirmed LDAC is now part of the Android AOSP base code."

    AKA no licensing costs for the manufacturer.

    And here's the link - http://www.theverge.com/2017/3/21/15004562/sony-google-android-o-ldac-wireless-music

    Now, I'm getting pretty tired to talk about this, as this is the second time. I feel that any member of this forum should give accurate information in order to benefit this community. I keep explaining what Android O LDAC integration means, what's an android audio codec and what it needs, with concrete evidence from Sony and Google themselves (in this case), yet you keep replying trying to prove the opposite for some weird way, as if you have a stake in this non existent APTX HD vs LDAC (totally different levels of quality) "battle".

    I just want to make sure that members of this forum get the correct information, so for all intents of purposes, anyone can check the links I provided above, according to both Sony, LDAC is a codec that can be integrated into any bt 4.0 + chip, and, more importantly for us android users, Google "confirmed LDAC is now part of the Android AOSP base code" and "It’s free to integrate into mobile devices", meaning that Android phone manufacturers do not need to pay additional codec fees, due to a Sony-Google agreement, as can be read in the VERGE article.

    So yay, everyone in the future with Android O will have the possibility to enjoy near high-res (990kb/s, 24 bit flacs) audio over their BT headphones as long as the headphones have LDAC compatibility, since their phones will already have the codec in-bedded in the Android system.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2017
  4. shadow04
    Well, my 1000x arrived from amazon.de, I bought them despite my misgivings on them(tested them multiple times at various location and wasn't particularly impressed) but the price was just too good to not buy one(thanks whoever posted that price drop!) and test it under my usual listening conditions.

    First impression is build quality is still nowhere near my P7 Wireless, the pair I received doesn't creak and I hope it stays this way - I have tested at least 2 pairs that creak in shops. But the plus side is when kept in its carrying case, the 1000x has a smaller footprint than the P7 Wireless since the 1000x's earcup can fold flat which is always a plus for portable headphones.

    As for sound quality, I still think the P7 Wireless is ahead in this, and the gap is not small to my ears. Maybe it is about getting used to the sound signature but for now I still think the P7 Wireless is much ahead. But well, the saving grace is its ANC(obviously), it really is very good. I tried them on the commute back just now and they really do a good job keeping me in my own musical cocoon, even human voices are kept out relatively well. I will test it more over the coming weeks, for now I think it may be a better all rounder than the P7 Wireless simply due to the excellent ANC that makes it a better travel companion, and well, the sound quality isn't so bad that it not listenable at home, although the fact that 1000x cannot connect to 2 devices at once(unless someone can tell me how) does make it a lot more troublesome switching between listening devices, say between your laptop and your phone.
  5. BenKatz
    Well, you've got to take into consideration at least the MSRP price comparison. To achieve this price for such a feature and tech packed product, Sony didn't go with the full metal and real leather treatment. They do however use a good metal band, excellent plastic and pleather to achieve a lighter feel on the head, which to most people usually translates to a more ergonomic and comfortable pair. I couldn't get used to the P7's square form, for example.

    As far as sound quality, I guess it's highly subjective and depends on what you're listening. I was purely interested in what it can do wirelessly, so I pulled out my phone to listen to specific Kiasmos, Syro, Clark, and even some jazz and Queen 24 bit flacs on my phone (of course, the LDAC is only capable to send up to 990kb/s, but that's more than decent). I found a huge difference in some areas, and realised the P7w and 1000x are pretty different in terms of what they do with the sound.

    The P7 is a fun sounding headphone. Very V-shaped, energetic, goes louder due to a more powerful internal amp (20% louder than the 1000x, as loud as the Beats wireless models I once tested I'd say). However their lows swallow a whole lot of details on demanding, well mastered tracks, and for my ears at least, the highs are a bit too knify, or should I say offensive, similar to what Audio Technica does with many of their headphones. They obviously sound more than adequate and very fun on pop/hiphop/edm music, as they are in no way analytic, and from their sound and calibration, BW obviously didn't even intend them to be.

    The 1000x on the other hand, while not as loud and not as V-shaped. But they (to my ears) have a much more smoothing sound, and on certain Kiasmos and Clark tracks, there were a whole lot of subtle mid details that were simply hardly noticeable on the P7, due to the, I'd say, overdone bass, which is more tight, fast, and controlled (though smaller in volume) on the 1000x.

    My father has an ideal, Audioquest NightHawks + Audioquest RED setup. It's not the greatest in the world, but I love how it sounds and it's my anytime go-to reference for how headphones should sound (to my ears). In that aspect, the 1000x comes much closer and it's clear that Sony has tuned them to a more neutral, analytic and smooth sound, whereas the P7s were tuned by BW to not be analytical or wide-sounding, but fun and loud, which is still a very good thing for most people actually, since not everyone needs analytic sound, and as even the Beats guys know (though don't think I'm comparing the quality, just the philosophy) - making headphones loud but not precise is generally the way to go, as people often conflate quality with volume output and bass - which I get, it makes everything sound fun, particularly modern pop/hiphop/electronica.

    In a way, for most people, B&W are on the money, more so than Sony, with the way they tuned the P7s, as generally, most people that buy a wireless headphone aren't too concerned with haveing a precise tight and wide sound, but a fun sound for listening on the go, while Sony basically made a wireless headphone that is much more tuned for the "sit down and enjoy every note of the music" scenario, but which is obviously less "fun" and more analytic.

    It depends what you're looking for, when buying them, and what you generally listen to and on what.

    If you want fun and loud (which I'd argue, indeed, and I'm saying this after chosing the 1000x over the P7 for my specific sound quality needs, is what you generally are looking for in a wireless headphone) - get the P7. Very fun v-shaped, that would please most people.

    If you're looking for the audiophile analytical experience with even transparency and separation across the frequency, BUT not as bumping and loud, or, as this is generally referred to, "fun" - get the 1000x.

    Or get both for a completely different type of signature, as they are not made for the same music - listen to high resolution demanding music, that demands an airy feel - like jazz, instrumental, or atmospheric electro, etc on the 1000x, and when you want to pump it up and listen to some pop fun music because sometimes you wanna just listen to that, switch to the P7s.

    When you think about it, owning both the P7 W and 1000x offers you the possibility to correctly listen to all genres of music, at an actual reasonable price rather than buying more expensive headphones like some Z7s or Audioquest NightHawks AND dedicated dac/amps.
  6. m1dday
    See, the P7W ticked all the marks for me in terms of what I wanted in the headphone EXCEPT for comfort. That was basically the deal breaker for me. No matter how much I tried to loosen it up, it just felt too heavy and uncomfortable, which is really a shame. I'm definitely on one of those people that love their "fun" sound signature.
  7. oopeteroo
  8. JimmyCoyne
    Was the voice guidance in German when you bought from Amazon.de and does the MRD-1000x allow you to change language of the voice guidance?

    I googled about changing the language and see a few posts on this question but no answers.
  9. evak2979
    Hey guys.
    I've only discovered this forum as of recent, as I began to google online for an odd creaking issue on my new 1000xs. I ended up returning that first pair, and getting a second one. Now this one creaks far, far less - one could say acceptable levels, but I am concerned it will grow worse over time? So my options, as I see them, are the following:

    a) sandpaper - for me the creaking seems to come as the left side rotates horizontally, not vertically? I don't get a tapping from the plastic, it's rather the hinges rubbing against one another if I readjust the earcup. But when I walk, sometimes, the earcup gets readjusts and I hear the squeak?
    b) silicone - same as above.
    c) Return and get these Sennheiser HD 4.50 which have just been released. Only problem is with them only just released, I can't find anywhere in the UK to go test them, check the sound and so on so forth.

    The Sennheisers are half the price, but are getting very good reviews - what do you guys think, is it worth moving away altogether? Is it likely the creak from the earcup twisting will recede over time or will it get worse?

    Thanks for the help.
  10. BenKatz
    Well, the creaking is unfortunate. Mine don't but it seems some do. As a sidenote, many many headphones, especially plastic ones, do have a tendency to creak due to the materials (HD 4.50 included, as they're plastic, though just like with the 1000x, you can get lucky or unlucky). A general solution for creacking hinges on headphones is using a bit of spary-lubricant or any kind of lubricant.

    As far as changing them for something else, that's always an option, but the equivalent of 1000x for Sennheiser is the 550PXC. The 4.50 are clearly a step down.

    That being said, as some feedback from me, I haven't tried the 4.50, just the 550s when choosing my purchase. They sounded good, but not as wide or balanced as the 1000x for my ears. The bass was a bit overdone (in the bad sense, eating the mids a bit) and the highs were too offensive for my taste (to piercing). You should definitely test the 4.50 if you're looking for a cheaper alternative, or the 550 for something more on the same level.

    If you want something that sound as good (at least in the same class, but different sound signature) and is Wireless, try the BW P7 Wireless. They are non-NC however, though they were the only other wireless headphones other than the 1000x which had a really good sound.

    EDIT: Also, try the BO H8. They're wireless, have NC (not sa good as 1000x) but have a similar good sound quality overall. Plus, they're made from premium materials (metal) and most probably don't creak. Though they are quite a bit more expensive than the 1000xs.
    Last edited: May 1, 2017
  11. evak2979
    Thanks for the quick response. I am considering using the lubricant depending on how this week goes. The sound on the 1000x is phenomenal even to my untrained ears and I would not wish to lose a lot by moving away. And yet I dread the creaking growing far worse !
  12. shadow04
    I replied you on pm, but will also post this here in case anyone else is also interested in this. The voice guidance is in English for the pair that I got from Amazon.de.
  13. shadow04
    It seems I spoke too soon when I said my pair doesn't creak, I start to hear some creaking(coincidentally also coming from the left earcup) when I finally had the time to listen to it for an extended time. I usually only hear it when I move my head or when my mouth is doing a "chewing" action, it doesn't happen often to be a concern but it is irritating when it does. I also wonder if the creaking will get worse as time goes by.

    I will also suggest moving to the PXC 550 if you are set on changing headphones. I was most impressed by the PXC 550 among the ANC headphones during my short tests at shops, I only got the 1000x due to the price drop on amazon.de. I also have not heard any creaking PXC 550, though I have not test it long enough to decide if it is comfortable for long use. If ANC is not a requirement, I will also recommend the B&W P7 Wireless. I have listened extensively to my P7 Wireless and compare them to the 1000x over the last few days, and to me the sound quality of the P7 Wireless is a clear step up compared to any ANC headphones in the market now(1000x included). B&O H9 is a nice alternative but to my ears doesn't sound as good as the P7 Wireless and its ANC is nowhere as good as PXC550/1000x, so it kinda is in a weird place, but could be a good compromise between sound quality and ANC. Oh, and the H9 doesn't fold up like the 1000x or P7 Wireless, so its footprint is considerably larger compared to the other portable headphones. Of course, zero build quality concerns for the P7 Wireless and B&O H9, they are both built impeccably.
    Last edited: May 1, 2017
  14. BenKatz
    Why don't you try to go to the shop and test a few units out until you get one that doesn't creak?

    As far as alternatives go. It really depends what you're looking for in sound and what music you're listening to.

    H9 is very similar to the 1000x, though with less separation.

    P7 goes louder, and is more V shaped. This means it has a "fun" element and works better with non-demanding tracks. It doesn't have the subtility, speed and preciseness of the 1000x though.

    550, don't know, you really need to test them out. The bass sounded overdone and impeaching on the low mids and the highs were killing me.

    So again, if you're mostly listening to non-demanding (popular music - pop, hiphop, edm) mp3s, the P7 will sound better to most ears, because it sacrifices separation and precision for a loud and v-shaped sound. With the 1000X, you can hear recording faults in some of the more badly recorded mp3s, because it has the tendency to bring out a lot of detail. However if you mostly listen to more demanding ethereal techno, or instrument-drives music, the 1000x will shine a lot, especially if you have an LDAC device, to let that flac through without compression.

    A quick side-note: ANC does tend to take out some sound quality, but this is where the 1000x outdones it's wireless ANC and non ANC competition: It's one of two ANC headphones in the world that has adaptive ANC - what that means, is that if you're for example listening at home or in a quiet environment, the ANC goes all the way to off if not needed. It's different than setting it off via the side button, as that actually also brings down it's internal amp (S master HX) to a very flat signature.

    The other ANC headphone that does it is a certain AKG model, N90Q. I had the pleasure to try them out a few months back and they are gorgeous. Basically a step and a half up in terms of loudness, separation, speed, and clarity from the 1000x. Also with adaptive ANC (which you can't turn off manually). But it costs a whopping 1,500 $.
  15. Prebuiltmuffin
    Hi All

    I'm looking for a spare 3.5mm cable in case I lose the one that came in the box. It says it is supposed to support a standard 3.5mm cable but compared to the spare 3.5mm cables I have already they seem to be very loose fitting and the sound cuts out depending on the cable position. Comparing the boxed 3.5 and another 3.5 the boxed cable seems to be around 1mm longer than a standard cable. Is anyone else finding the same thing?
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