Sony MDR-1000X Review – Classic Noise-Cancelling Travel Headphones

Sony MDR-1000X Review – Classic Noise-Cancelling Travel Headphones

Sony's MDR-1000X is a headphone with convincing sound quality, design, and workmanship, remarkable in every regard. Beyond silence and mobility through its Noise-Canceling capabilities and Bluetooth connectivity, Sony provides great playback and noise reduction control, ensuring that you get the most out of your headphones. Compared to competing products, it includes more features, and they all work flawlessly.

Sony MDR-1000X Premium Noise Canceling Travel Headphones Review

Sony MDR-1000X Premium Noise Cancelling Headphones for Traveling
Sony MDR-1000X Premium Noise Cancelling Headphones for Traveling | Source: Sony

Type: Closed-back Over-ear Noise Canceling Headphones | Bluetooth: 4.1 | Latency: 160 ms (average) |Battery: 23 Hours | Charging Time: 4 Hours | Drivers: Dynamic |Drivers-Size: 40 mm | Impedance: 46 Ohms | Frequency Response: 4 Hz – 40,000 Hz | Weight: 275g | Microphone: Integrated Electret Condenser Microphone

Pros

Cons

The ear cushions are made of leather; the inner part of the headband is upholstered with leather, whereas the color of plastic parts is selected to match the leather. The Sony MDR-1000X distinguishes for its highly effective Active Noise-Cancelling (ANC) feature and excellent listening quality via both Bluetooth and wired mode. As a whole, Sony’s sound signature remains fairly neutral but with a slight tendency in favor of a stronger bass presence – with no unnecessary accentuation of the low-end band.

Overall 5/5
5/5

Unpacking the product, we come across a hard case of good quality, but nothing exceptional. It’s of good quality, but it’s not exceptionally. Inside are found the carefully placed headphones themselves, and an adapter pocket with a dual 3.5 mm plug.

Sony MDR-1000X comes in two versions. Both versions, black and beige, look very good, there are not many headphones with such finishes on the market. Cups fold up, so the Sony MDR-1000X headphones can be packed in a bag or carrying case.

While the Sony MDR-1000X is a wireless solution, it can be connected traditionally via cable. A cable with 3.5 mm gold-plated connectors is available for this purpose.

Overall 5/5
5/5

The ear cushions are made of leather; the inner part of the headband is upholstered with leather, whereas the color of plastic parts is selected to match the leather.

The MDR-1000X rests comfortably on your head and attunes to any shape. Its headband exerts enough pressure so that the headphones hold up well, without squeezing. No discomfort is felt even after wearing them for some hours. Even the headband itself expands easily and smoothly. Compared to Bose QC35, Sony’s headphone MDR-1000X features superior design and a much better feel to the touch.

There is a touch sensor on the right cup, up and down movements will allow you to set the volume. By moving your finger to the left and right, the track is rewound. Double-pressing the center can pause playback or pick up the call. But the coolest part is when you hold the right cup in your palm, the “Quick Attention” function activates, immediately engaging the microphones from inside each earcup, the ambient sounds become louder, and you can listen to the people speaking to you. The Micro USB charging port is housed on the right earcup. A charging LED is next to the port to indicate the charging process.

The control buttons are all located on the left channel. The keys are each highlighted by a protruding plate, making them easily recognizable to the touch. You get used to their location very quickly.

4/5
4/5

Pairing via Bluetooth can be done effortlessly with the built-in NFC chip. The simplicity of use also results from the many audible and voice prompts.

The NFC button is visible on the left side, which allows you to connect your headset with your smartphone in one touch. The pairing via Bluetooth is straightforward, smooth, and intuitive. In case you want, for any reason, to turn off the sensors from both earcups, no feature or option makes this possible.

Connection takes place in no time and provides a coverage range of roughly 15m. Finally, it is regrettable that the Sony MDR-1000X cannot be paired with several devices simultaneously as it does not support a multipoint connection.

Sony MDR-1000X supports the LDAC codec, which is the best codec when used with Sony devices that are also LDAC compatible. In terms of functionality, LDAC is very good, especially if you build an ecosystem of Sony products. Besides LDAC, support for basic SBC and AAC codecs, as well as aptX, is granted to connect Sony MDR-1000X via Bluetooth to other devices. Moreover, it supports DSEE HX, which can improve the quality of audio MP3 files to Hi-Res.

According to Sony, we can expect 22 hours of battery life with Bluetooth and ANC activated, up to 24 hours without ANC, and a total of 34 hours if ANC is activated and the connection is made with a cable. All this data is easily verifiable without any difficulty. At a low volume, one can even surpass these figures by a few hours.

4/5
4/5

With MDR-1000X, you can enjoy music without being bothered by the turbines of the airplane, train noises, or crowded, noisy areas. Regardless of the location, the ambient sound won’t concern you.

Only strong winds can cause problems, as these headphones are unable to handle them just like others. There is no hissing or humming, which is common in wireless headphones. Similar to the Bose QC35, the active noise reduction technology of the MDR-1000X works so well that it feels like the complete quietness surrounds you when you activate it. The pressure seems to be changing a little bit, and while at first, it’s weird, getting used to it is easy.

5/5
5/5

The audio quality of the MDR-1000X can be described as outstanding. The lower frequencies are well noticeable yet do not appear undesirable or pushy—the vocals and treble frequencies are both prominent and crystal clear. In particular, the subtle highs make for an expansive and crisp sound. The treble has a clear definition and isn’t overpowering either. We didn’t have the desire to use an equalizer. Altogether, the MDR-1000X headphones appear to feature a well balanced acoustic profile. The midrange, as well as the highs, are crystal clear with a very smooth and balanced sound.

As a whole, Sony’s sound signature remains fairly neutral but with a slight tendency in favor of a stronger bass presence – with no unnecessary accentuation of the low-end band. The sound quality is, of course, the main reason to buy headphones. In our test, Sony’s MDR-1000X absolutely convinces in terms of sound quality.

4/5
4/5

The hands-free kit microphones perform extremely well. In most situations, you can be understood clearly and articulate. In very noisy surroundings (street work, subway, etc.), it is a little harder for the microphones to operate, and therefore it is more efficient to talk using your smartphone instead.

Overall 4.4/5
4.4/5

The Sony MDR-1000X distinguishes for its highly effective Active Noise-Cancelling (ANC) feature and excellent listening quality for a Bluetooth headset.

Comfortable, high-performance, and efficient, these headphones are hard to resist after listening to them for the first time. Unlike various other noise-canceling headphones, this one is a definite winner and should appeal to mobile users.

Overall, it is a headphone of excellent quality that delivers a durable autonomy and, most importantly, a very well designed noise reduction system suitable for traveling purposes. Its “Quick Attention” ambient sound function of hearing the outside world is a considerable benefit, not to mention the broad selection of codecs.

Pros

Cons

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