Sony MDR-1AM2 - Impressions Thread
Dec 13, 2018 at 6:42 PM Post #406 of 1,179
Been trying all of the newer Bluetooth headphones and I always go back to wanting a nice and affordable wired headphone that is ultra comfortable for my weirdly shaped head and ears. I LOVED the 1A and was looking for something more updated. Came across the 1AM2 and immediately bought a pair. Exactly what I was looking for. Still ultra comfortable, ridiculously light and sound great. I listen to mostly hip hop and southern rock so they fit those genres perfectly. Yes, a little bass heavy at times - but the clarity in the mids and highs differentiate them from my memory of the original 1A.

I love the sound of the B&O H6, but the comfort on those isn't even in the same league as these. Tho they are built a bit better with nicer lambskin earpads and metal construction. That said, the build quality of the 1AM2 is very good for a majority plastic headphone. Definitely satisfied, even at the $250 price. Wish they were $199, but the comfort alone makes them worth it.
 
Dec 13, 2018 at 7:34 PM Post #407 of 1,179
Been trying all of the newer Bluetooth headphones and I always go back to wanting a nice and affordable wired headphone that is ultra comfortable for my weirdly shaped head and ears. I LOVED the 1A and was looking for something more updated. Came across the 1AM2 and immediately bought a pair. Exactly what I was looking for. Still ultra comfortable, ridiculously light and sound great. I listen to mostly hip hop and southern rock so they fit those genres perfectly. Yes, a little bass heavy at times - but the clarity in the mids and highs differentiate them from my memory of the original 1A.

I love the sound of the B&O H6, but the comfort on those isn't even in the same league as these. Tho they are built a bit better with nicer lambskin earpads and metal construction. That said, the build quality of the 1AM2 is very good for a majority plastic headphone. Definitely satisfied, even at the $250 price. Wish they were $199, but the comfort alone makes them worth it.
Excellent impressions. I love the 1AM2. Even with owning the much more expensive Z7M2 I still find myself going back to listen to the 1AM2.
 
Dec 13, 2018 at 7:36 PM Post #408 of 1,179
Bought for £90 new on eBay. Don't really need them but deal too good to miss. I'll use them for work. Now to get a portable player to partner them with. Hmm dx120, fiio m9 or something else. ..
Something with a 4.4! I picked up a XZ300 but that might be a little expensive for a work player..
 
Dec 13, 2018 at 10:08 PM Post #410 of 1,179
I demo'd a pair today and the modder in me thought "POTENTIAL" so I went ahead and bought a pair. Also, it doesn't squeak and creak like the few MDR-1A's I've demo'd in the past!

First impressions on sound (stock):
Pretty bassy with a bit of bloat in the lower midrange but overall very pleasing response. A bit sharp up top but resolution seems to be pretty good - a fair bit sibilant. I pretty much had no complaints in the midrange - maybe just a tiny bit bright in the upper midrange though I do like that range to be slightly recessed than 'neutral' so it seemed 'neutral'. Overall resolution is very good but not excellent. Tonality is pretty natural

It seems to be very well tuned for its intended market: the average consumer who most likely would want a v-shaped sound. This may be a hard sell with the MDR-1000XM3 going for just a bit more at MSRP if we're talking from a consumer's point of view.

I also got measurements on them. I used a MiniDSP EARS and used their default headphone compensation.

MDR-1AM2.png Sennheiser HD600 vs Sony MDR-1AM2.png
I'd say it's a very good looking response for those looking for a v-shaped signature. Nice bass extension while the treble not looking too crazy. Midrange is pretty much spot-on. Dip at 4kHz is shown with a lot of my measurements on other headphones - I think it's just the compensation file that makes it show this.

As for mods, I wanted to dial the bass and treble down a few notches. The mod consists of a handful of Twaron angel hair damping material, a Koss Porta Pro earpad right up against the driver rear, and Sony urethane rings placed around the driver front. The Sony urethane rings are used in Sony's studio monitors (MDR-V6, MDR-7506, etc.). The Twaron angel hair would help control earcup resonance which would show up as a bump at 5 kHz (or at least I think) and dampen the bass some, the Porta Pro earpad also helps dampen the bass and is placed right behind the driver - blocking the sound port and only letting some air through, and lastly the Sony urethane rings help tame the treble. I can take pictures of how it looks like in the morning when I can get decent lighting.

MDR-1AM2 Mod.png MDR-1AM2 Stock vs Mod.png Sennheiser HD600 vs Sony MDR-1AM2 (Mod).png
The result is a ever-so-slightly warm-ish neutral sound that is smooth up top. Very pleasing now though I do miss a bit of the bass impact and sense of "dynamism". I may try to experiment some more at a later time.

Some non-sound related complaints: Isolation is ok at best, a fair bit of cable noise or microphonics, no hardshell carrying case (assuming for portable use), and no "home-use" cable nor a 6.3mm adapter.

Overall, I think they're comfortable; lightweight; and the stock tuning is very well done. Again, a hard sell at 299 MSRP but a very good headphone nonetheless. It can be found used or refurbed for a lot less anyway :wink:

Also, the driver is pretttyyyy sexy.

MDR-1AM2 driver.JPG MDR-1AM2 driver (2).JPG
 
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Dec 13, 2018 at 10:54 PM Post #411 of 1,179
^awesome post my dude.
 
Dec 14, 2018 at 5:09 AM Post #412 of 1,179
I demo'd a pair today and the modder in me thought "POTENTIAL" so I went ahead and bought a pair. Also, it doesn't squeak and creak like the few MDR-1A's I've demo'd in the past!

First impressions on sound (stock):
Pretty bassy with a bit of bloat in the lower midrange but overall very pleasing response. A bit sharp up top but resolution seems to be pretty good - a fair bit sibilant. I pretty much had no complaints in the midrange - maybe just a tiny bit bright in the upper midrange though I do like that range to be slightly recessed than 'neutral' so it seemed 'neutral'. Overall resolution is very good but not excellent. Tonality is pretty natural

It seems to be very well tuned for its intended market: the average consumer who most likely would want a v-shaped sound. This may be a hard sell with the MDR-1000XM3 going for just a bit more at MSRP if we're talking from a consumer's point of view.

I also got measurements on them. I used a MiniDSP EARS and used their default headphone compensation.


I'd say it's a very good looking response for those looking for a v-shaped signature. Nice bass extension while the treble not looking too crazy. Midrange is pretty much spot-on. Dip at 4kHz is shown with a lot of my measurements on other headphones - I think it's just the compensation file that makes it show this.

As for mods, I wanted to dial the bass and treble down a few notches. The mod consists of a handful of Twaron angel hair damping material, a Koss Porta Pro earpad right up against the driver rear, and Sony urethane rings placed around the driver front. The Sony urethane rings are used in Sony's studio monitors (MDR-V6, MDR-7506, etc.). The Twaron angel hair would help control earcup resonance which would show up as a bump at 5 kHz (or at least I think) and dampen the bass some, the Porta Pro earpad also helps dampen the bass and is placed right behind the driver - blocking the sound port and only letting some air through, and lastly the Sony urethane rings help tame the treble. I can take pictures of how it looks like in the morning when I can get decent lighting.


The result is a ever-so-slightly warm-ish neutral sound that is smooth up top. Very pleasing now though I do miss a bit of the bass impact and sense of "dynamism". I may try to experiment some more at a later time.

Some non-sound related complaints: Isolation is ok at best, a fair bit of cable noise or microphonics, no hardshell carrying case (assuming for portable use), and no "home-use" cable nor a 6.3mm adapter.

Overall, I think they're comfortable; lightweight; and the stock tuning is very well done. Again, a hard sell at 299 MSRP but a very good headphone nonetheless. It can be found used or refurbed for a lot less anyway :wink:

Also, the driver is pretttyyyy sexy.


Thank you a lot. It's not an easy process, so i think a lot of people wold appreciate some photos.
 
Dec 14, 2018 at 12:37 PM Post #413 of 1,179
Thank you a lot. It's not an easy process, so i think a lot of people wold appreciate some photos.

No problem, thanks for reading!

I'll have instructions for those interested here in this post.

Edit: I just realized I used the word "you/your" a lot when writing this, but I mean that towards anyone attempting the mod. Didn't want to sound too mean!

First off, just note that do this at your own risk. If you've modded before, this is a pretty simple mod and requires no soldering. Just don't accidentally poke the drivers nor pull the internal wiring too much.

To add on to what I mentioned in my other post above, the mod consists of a handful (or 0.5 grams) of Twaron angel hair damping material; 2 Koss Porta Pro earpad right up against each driver rear; and 2 Sony urethane rings placed around each driver on the front. The Sony urethane rings are used in Sony's studio monitors (MDR-V6, MDR-7506, etc.). The Twaron angel hair would help control earcup resonance which would show up as a bump at 5 kHz (or at least I think) and dampen the bass some, the Porta Pro earpad also helps dampen the bass and is placed right behind the driver - blocking the sound port and only letting some air through, and lastly the Sony urethane rings help tame the treble.

1. Firstly, remove the earpads. The earpads are attached via clips so they pop right off at the "seam" or crack where the arrow is pointing.

DSC_0160.JPG DSC_0148.JPG

2. You can attach the Sony urethane rings here at this step or near the end of the mod. I would recommend doing it here as it acts as a barrier for the 3 screws you will be pulling out (so that it won't accidentally drop into the diaphragm/driver). The arrow points to the Sony urethane ring. There are little adhesives at the bottom of the rings so they stick right on. You can probably make your own though results may vary. You can buy them from a Sony parts site, but the price is a bit ridiculous (4.80 USD a piece + shipping IIRC). They definitely do help a LOT though. You can get the urethane rings here. Just type in "7506" under "Model Prefix starts with". The product description will be "RING URETHANE" and the part number is "211314901". Edit: Actually, if you click on hyperlink in the part number within the quotations, it'll take you straight to the part needed.

DSC_0156.JPG

3. The screws are under the thin piece of damping material approximately in the circled location. Lift it up a bit and take the screws out. Just standard Phillips screws. Careful not to accidentally drop the screws into the driver.

DSC_0156 (2).JPG

4. The whole entire front baffle comes right off from the earcup cavity. Carefully lift the front baffle out. Careful not to yank and snap the internal wiring.

DSC_0150.JPG

5. Place the Koss Porta Pro pad right against the driver - you can get from Amazon here. I have the little flaps on the pad towards the driver though not sure if it matters. The red arrow indicates the pad. The green arrow indicates the bass port that the edges of the Porta Pro pad will sit right against.

DSC_0152.JPG

6. Place the Twaron angel hair damping material (the yellow stuff) within the earcup cavity - I'm not sure where my buddy got it from but I think you can get that here. I just realized now that it's very expensive :O I gotta really thank them now! Be sure to compress the material slightly to allow yourself to put the screws back into the threads - otherwise, it'll be very tough to screw them back up. A buddy of mine sent me these and pre-measured them since the material is supposedly very dependent on its mass - I don't know too much about the material so I'm inclined to believe him. You will need 2 blobs of the material measuring 0.5 grams - if you have a micro scale, that'll work perfectly; if not, I'd just get a handful of 2 blobs of similar looking mass. Oh and also, don't breathe in the fibers.

As for alternatives, I'm not 100% sure what will replicate the same or similar results but I'd try cotton stuffing they use for stuffed animals.

DSC_0153.JPG

7. Put the front baffle back over the earcup cavity and screw them back up. Make sure there's no fibers from the Twaron angel hair sticking out; not required but it just looks better not seeing any yellow fibers sticking out :wink: Check the top port for any fibers sticking out as well. If there is any sticking out, unscrew the front baffle back off and poke the fibers back in with a toothpick or a thin object.

8. If you're satisfied with the results, just repeat the steps for the other side. The other side is just a bit trickier since there's more internal wiring to deal with. Otherwise, it's the same thing.

I think that's pretty much it!

DSC_0146.JPG
 

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Dec 14, 2018 at 3:07 PM Post #414 of 1,179
Mine arrived today. These were a bargain for £90 as they sound really good. Nice amount of bass and very comfortable
 
Dec 15, 2018 at 9:12 AM Post #415 of 1,179
Anybody have a rec for a balance cable for these headphones?
 
Dec 15, 2018 at 9:49 AM Post #417 of 1,179
Dec 25, 2018 at 4:32 PM Post #418 of 1,179
I got the MDR-1AM2 as x-mas gift from my wife. At the moment I have the old MDR-1R plugged into my PC and a pair of RHA T20 for when I'm out and in the office. I was looking forward to the MDR-1R to die on me so that I could get some wireless headphones (was looking to the Sony WH-1000XM3 and Beyerdynamics Lagoon which should be "coming soon").
My problem: seen that I like to watch movies on my PC too, I'm not sure if wireless is a good idea. And I actually hate the 3m cable on my MDR-1R - also because have to replace them every year. Would it be a good idea to keep the 1AM2 and use them with the new Fiio K3? So I could keep the DAC on my desk and use a shorter balanced cable. Or better return them and get the XM3?
When it comes to music, i listen a bit of everything but mostly metal
 
Dec 25, 2018 at 5:52 PM Post #419 of 1,179
I got the MDR-1AM2 as x-mas gift from my wife. At the moment I have the old MDR-1R plugged into my PC and a pair of RHA T20 for when I'm out and in the office. I was looking forward to the MDR-1R to die on me so that I could get some wireless headphones (was looking to the Sony WH-1000XM3 and Beyerdynamics Lagoon which should be "coming soon").
My problem: seen that I like to watch movies on my PC too, I'm not sure if wireless is a good idea. And I actually hate the 3m cable on my MDR-1R - also because have to replace them every year. Would it be a good idea to keep the 1AM2 and use them with the new Fiio K3? So I could keep the DAC on my desk and use a shorter balanced cable. Or better return them and get the XM3?
When it comes to music, i listen a bit of everything but mostly metal

You could always grab a Bluetooth receiver and use them wireless, if you so choose. Lots of flexibility, easier upgrade paths, but no active noise cancelling.
 
Dec 26, 2018 at 9:58 AM Post #420 of 1,179
You could always grab a Bluetooth receiver and use them wireless, if you so choose. Lots of flexibility, easier upgrade paths, but no active noise cancelling.
Thanks, but I decided to tell my wife she can send them back. Reading through this thread, the headphones do not seem to be worth the extra expenses for a DAC (Fiio K3) that I can keep a shorter cable and use them balanced, an adapter 4.4mm to 2.5mm male and the high cost of balanced cables in the future. I could understand it with better headphones but not something that according to lots of users here is just an ok sounding headphone. Not even going to bother to open the box
 

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