• Frequency response: 4Hz – 40,000Hz
  • Impedance: 14-46 ohms(on/off)
  • Connectivity: 3.5mm plug/jack, Bluetooth, USB
  • Weight: 275g
  • Pros:
  • Sound quality
  • Portability
  • Gestures
  • Cons:
  • None

For The Weary Traveller

The world around us is a pretty noisy place, the sounds of cars horning, engines revving, people shouting. These are just a few things we now come to call noise pollution, it can affect our work believe it or not. Some people just want their peace and quiet when transiting so seeing that there’s a huge market for it, manufacturers definitely pounced on the opportunity.

The Sony MDR-1000X is a headphone meant for just that, and you can tell at first glance that it was made for portability. The carry case is relatively small and when opened reveals a folded MDR-1000X that even without its case, can fit into a small bag if need be. The stylish MDR-1000X has a comfortable headband and clamps just right, and the feel of the synthetic leather on the cups gives you a premium finish feel.

Though the main focus of the MDR-1000X is its noise-cancelling technology, and it definitely does a great job. Though what’s special about the MDR-1000X when it comes to noise-cancelling is its SENSE Engine. It has a personal NC optimiser which takes in your personal characteristics and optimises itself to suit you further. Furthermore, the SENSE Engine allows you to use gestures like putting your hand over the cup to decrease music volume instantly so you can speak with people around you.

There’s also the Ambient Sound mode which is separated into Voice and Normal, in Voice mode you can listen to your music while being able to hear surrounding voices, while Normal mode basically turns your MDR-1000X into a pseudo-open headphone to hear everything around you. The Sony MDR-1000X achieves this by using a pair of microphones, one on the left and another on the right cup.

The Sony MDR-1000X has something called Digital Sound Enhance Engine HX, which upscales compressed digital music files like MP3 and ACC. We definitely heard a difference although we think native un-compressed audio files like FLAC are still the best choice. You can also connect the headphone via Bluetooth or a detachable cable, which also leaves room for getting an upgraded cable if you’re into that.

The MDR-1000X has great detail and tight bass, but the mids are just alright we wouldn’t call it a forward headphone. The soundstage isn’t very large but that could be the reason the mids weren’t as forward, or it might get a bit messy. The comfort is great, we were able to listen on the headphones for hours.

CHIP CONCLUDE: The MDR-1000X is a solid headphone with great musicality, comfort and excellent noise-cancelling technology.

(previously published in issue December 2016)