Sony MDR-1A Portable Headphone Review

Sony’s flagship portable, redux. A few steps from greatness?
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LINKS:

Headphone review spreadsheet:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ap5gFUKPCX3vdGoxeTY3UllkYmg5TlRVS3lzV3JRQUE&usp=sharing

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Comments

Base To The Apex says:

Should I get these or the Sony Mdr 100 aap? I’m looking for the best sound quality.

cibdizzy says:

I think your sister is sloppy not the headphones. she love you looooooong time.

Brandon Goh says:

i found the older mdr 1r to have a better bass response with a more tight and fast bass although still not perfect. thats why i picked that one up.

Sung-Ho Han says:

아가야 MDR1a 가 QC25보다 훨씬 디테일하다 저음 응답도 그렇고 다이나믹레인지도 보스는 그냥 앰프발인데 무슨 디테일 사운드를 말하니

Robert Burkinshaw says:

These or audio technica ath m40x?

Lol says:

Are these made japan or china

Whiteflameone says:

Got mine for 126 USD. Waiting for shipping now 🙂

tahmid uddin says:

Ive always wanted to know whether to get these or the m50x as i do want to use either headphones for games and music. What would be the better headphone if i listen to :rap, grime, edm?(trap nation etc) and pop?

AnimalzyNL says:

How would you compare this to the ath m50x? I can get both for about the same price, so that isnt an issue. I wanna use them for casual music listening and i like bass.

Октавиан Август says:

Did you use changeable cables from Kimber Kable? Sony MUC-S12SM1 or MUC-S30UM1? They make sound more clear in mid freq and high freq, and reduce bass.

Tango down says:

SONY MDR-1A and ATH-M70x which one is better ?

Brad Trevenen says:

I just bought these headphones and I have to say personally, I find them to be a much more comfortable and more natural sounding version of the V-Moda M100s. But without the sucked out mids and peaky(ish) treble. Honestly I think I may be very sensitive to treble because the ATH-M50Xs were too much for me. But honestly I can put any genre of music through these 1As and bass bleed into mids is rather minimal and everything sounds the way bassy closed cans should sound. Crank the volume without fatigue my friends!

Olaf Does says:

thx for the review. If I understand correctly, there is no reason to upgrade my MDR-1R’s.
Got some Teufel Real Z now for more dynamic and bassy listening experience 🙂

Ellie D says:

what are those slots at the top at 3:35?

Lionel Deliz says:

Which one is better when it come to Music sound and Movie sound? Thank you
Audio Technica ATH-MSR7 vs Sony MDR-1ABT

TyroneCLove says:

Ok you like the QC25 better. Cool, but these days on amazon.fr the Bose is 329€ and the Sony 135€ so not exactly comparable.

ZaFieRiuS says:

Does your pair also make a lot of “plasticky” noises, when turning the earcups and just handling them in general?

Sunny Kanwar says:

M50x sounds too v shaped and lacks the sound stage of the MSR 7. Got the MSR7 and sent the M50x back ! In love with my new purchase !

Sean Kalimi says:

I like the way you review headphones, Can you do a review of the MDR 7506, I would really appreciate your opinion on that headphone.

Swaganomics 101: Jimmy Rustles says:

I purchased these from B&H and I’ve been using these for over a year now and while they’re great sounding headhphones, I won’t waste time getting into this, as many other reviewers already have. The reason for this post is the unforgivably cheap wires Sony is pushing out with these. These will 100% DEFINITELY go bad on you if you use these often — it’s just a matter of time. The headphones come with two male-to-male wires; one with a button for smartphone use, and a plain one. The buttoned wire started to short after a few weeks, which forced me to use the plain wire. It was inconvenient as I couldn’t control my music without opening my phone, but hey, at least it worked. The plain wire, due to its simplicity lasted a little longer, for a few months, and then eventually went bad as well.

I called Sony the first time after both wires went bad and got it resolved. I used my warranty to get a replacement (they replaced the full unit instead of JUST the wires for some reason. Largely unnecessary and a huge waste of resources, but sure, why not..). But a few months later, and unsurprisingly, the exact same thing happened again with the second unit in the same exact order. I’ve read reviews from others about this exact issue, and stupidly ignored them, to my demise.

If you’re thinking “oh, this guy is just careless and doesn’t know how to take care of things”..NOPE. I take EXCELLENT care of all my products and used these (1) while commuting and (2) at the gym. I never twisted the wires in any odd way, or anything like that, these were simply misleadingly cheap wires. The stinger is this: the second time this happened, I was out of warranty and couldn’t have it replaced, so I’m forced to buy their overpriced propriety male-to-male wire just to have music that isn’t constantly interrupted by shorts. Thanks Sony =)

I imagine if your intention is to keep your head perfectly still (no chance of torsion or twisting of the wires whatsoever, and less wear/tear overall), perhaps in a home studio environment, these will last for you, but if you plan to be walking around AT ALL with these, the natural swinging of the wire will inevitably cause wear, which will damage the wires. Sony does a good job in marketing, making it seem like their wires are excellent quality and durability, but it’s entirely misleading. The wires are cheap and extremely susceptible to damage, more than I’ve seen for any other headphone at this price point. Truly tragic.

Ink'd ' says:

I got it for $150 and that price I love them..I happen to love the deep bass sound. 🙂

Buck says:

These or sennheiser 598 hd SE ?

mistermatsuda says:

I know Zeos gave a good review on these but they didn’t cut for me either. Super comfortable, though I sold it to a friend who absolutely loves them. I replaced it with Momentum 2 over ear wired I got on sale for $199. Much better sound quality, comfortable but not incredibly comfortable like the Sony.

Maciej birex says:

from my experiance they sound better with Galaxy S7 than with dac/amp Fiio E17K connected to PC, because of bass that is way too extended, and unpleasent. So it looks like they are intentionally tunned for mobile. But when you equalize a bit, bass -2 for Rock Music, or -4 for Electronic, then 1A become excellent sounding headphones on Fiio, cloud of bass dissapears. Did you test them with your phone, or only with O2?

Eden Frawley says:

Yay. An Australian reviewer. I’m Australian. I’m on the Gold Coast/QLD

cibdizzy says:

I just bought the sony Mdr-1a. this goofy has no idea what hes talking about. my brother in law said something that really stuck with me a while ago. ‘ everybody is full of shit in one way or another you gotta figure things out on your own don’t listen to em.. more truthfull words have never been spoken

Flavio Rodrigues says:

I bought the ADH-MSR7 recently, and i think it’s pretty tight on my head and that the audio is too high. I am thinking in changing to this Sony MDR-1A. Can someone help me, is it worth it, is it better?

87Aequitas says:

i agree with the Bass is kind of lil flubby, i compared it with my beyerdynamic DT 1770 PRO but they cost also the double …!

Hunter Ross says:

I am in a predicament, I want the highest quality headphone for portable use on Spotify and SoundCloud along with Pandora; but not have it be a high resolution headset. I fear the quality of the recordings will make me not pleased with the end result of the headphone. I was looking at the m100 and the Sennheiser momentum 2.0. What are your thoughts on this? And if you think the recordings will be high enough quality, what high resolution headphones would you suggest for around the $250 range? Thanks, another great video, liked and subbed

Hobeer says:

Hi, I’m looking for some comfortable headphones, ideally without too much leakage. I really like the MDR 1A, but I read some comments that they leak sound a lot. What would you recommend? I like the QC25, but they’re about 75% more expensive than the Sonys for me. Also considering the Beyer DT770.

kuhmilch says:

What u prefer? This sony one or the audio Technica ATH-MSR7BK?

MrGillyStar says:

Why do people care if people hear what you are listening to. Listening to music in public isn’t illegal.

cibdizzy says:

someone describing music is like someone trying to teach you colors you have never seen before its impossible. if you never seen yellow how in the heck would you describe it. there is no accurate way. so all these goofies should just shut the fuck up.

Avex Wolf says:

Is this headphone good for video editing and music editing? For school i need to chose between the brands: sennheiser, phillips and sony

Proscriptus says:

Your name’s Scottish and is pronounced differently here.

Gigga Niggeh says:

Sony MDR-1A
Philips Fidelio X2
Sennhesier 598

?

yellow kid says:

Hi lachlan,
what are the most comfortable lightweight headphones with low clamping pressure you would recommend under £150? (I have jaw pains with my hyperx cloud 2) Generally for music (kpop, anime, edm, piano), gaming, films etc at home. Maybe the Bose ae2, Audio Technica ath-m30x/40x/50x or the Sony mdr 10rc?

camcordertv says:

Thank you

Muneer Lyati says:

?where did you buy those thingies behind you

Vault Boy DSO says:

yep, those are the ones

Gigga Niggeh says:

philips fidelio x2 vs sony mdr-1a

Eden Frawley says:

So do these have a good bass range?

wv9mm says:

Sony MDR-1a or Sennheiser Momentum 2.0?

Willy Herrera says:

I tried them today and the mdr-1a are amazing, they are so comfortable and have impeccable sound.

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