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I bought the Sony headphones, after using smaller and lower quality headphones for a long time, and boy could I really feel the difference! The Sony headphones are astounding - they're extremely comfortable to wear and adjust easily - and the sound they deliver it's amazing.
Because of their large design, they block any other sound in the room and you can really hear the music throughoutly and clearly. They're perfect for listening to music and I believe even the best of it would sound fantastic in these headphones, but also watching movies works great with them.
The wire they come with is very long, and this can be very good in some cases (and for some people) but for me it's a little annoying, as it always gets caught in my chair etc. They also don't have a microphone and can only be used as headphones.
I didn't get around traveling with them, but I think I'd go for a lighter choice, as they're quite big and they would take up some space - also, I'd be a little scared not to break them, even if they're highly resistant.
I can guarantee they're very well made, as I dropped them countless times and they still work as good as new, so kudos for the accident-proof case, they don't even have a scratch. I've had the headphones for more than 6 months new and they look and function as well as new. Great product.
I regularly travel by train, and like to while away the time by tuning into my Ipod. I have found that the amount of background noise that can be heard by using Apple's headphones can be great, especially if you are unfortunate enough to share a carriage with screaming children. Furthermore, they can tire the ears after a while and become uncomfortable. Therefore, I decided to invest in some larger headphones to combat these problems.
I decided to purchase Sony MDRXD100 headphones from Amazon.co.uk for three reasons. Firstly, the brand is well established and I have had no problems with their electronics in the past. Secondly, there were a lot of positive reviews to read through and finally, the price was brilliant... I paid a mere £11.89.
Sony say that the headphones have a 'ear-conscious' design, which I would strongly agree with. These are considerably large headphones, so they fit perfectly around the whole ear and do not create discomfort by squashing them against your head! They are easy to adjust to add even more comfort and furthermore, this prevents hearing any background noise. The spongey material makes them really snug, so much so you can easily fall asleep whilst wearing them.
The physical appearance of the design is satisfactory. I read that others found they looked a bit cheap and to a certain extent it is true because of the plastic materials used, but what do you expect for under £12?! This does make them lightweight though which is another comfort benefit.
The headphones have a Left and Right symbol on either side so you know which way they are designed to be worn, however, I haven't noticed much difference when worn round the other way!
They are certainly not discreet headphones, due to the sheer size of them, but if you are not image-conscious they would be perfect! I certainly do not mind wearing them out in public! I would personally recommend them as adult headphones, they would appear far too big on children.
The headphones come with an extra long cable, which is good if you attach them to your computer but still need to walk around the room! Not so good if you just want to use them for your Ipod because it is difficult to wire yourself up! It can tangle quite easily if you use them this way too!
The sound is crystal clear; I cannot fault it! I do not listen to my music very loud, and have no real need to use the bass but tested it anyway in order to review this product and found it extremely good too. If you are looking for headphones for your music, computer or watching films with, I can highly recommend them. I do not think they would not be so good for professional sound systems that people use to DJ with. They are mainly for casual, not professional use! The quality of the sound has definitely improved since using these headphones compared to the traditional Apple brands. The loudness is quite considerable... I have never had to have them up to the maximum!
It would be handy if there were a separate place on the headphone wire to adjust the volume, because at the moment, I have to go to my Ipod or computer settings to change it each time which gets quite annoying!
The headphones come with a removable jack so they are suitable to use with a range of sound systems. I have personally never taken advantage of this because it is not a requirement with Ipods but similarly an advantage for other customers.
As I say, I snapped these up for £11.89 from Amazon, with free delivery. Play.com are currently offering the same deal so it is infinitely better to purchase them online instead of in store! Really affordable!
I have no problem with recommending these headphones to you. They do exactly what they are designed to do - aid a comfortable and quality way to listen to audio. Sony lives up to its reliable brand, in my opinion, and for such a cheap price you would be mad to miss out on the deal.
There are a few disadvantages of course - the cable can be too long, there is no way to adjust the volume via the headphones and the appearance isn't great! But I do not think these points make these headphones any worse than others on the market.
I give them 4/5.
Beefburger headphones - as unattractive as they may appear, are an essential piece of kit for me, not only as a musician but also for listening to general music and films. I personally feel that sound quality wise, having the equivalent of mini speakers over your ears is 1000 times better than Apple style headphones, simply for the range, tone and overall listening quality. Having said that, I would most certainly not leave the house in these, as I don't feel they quite suit the meet-me-at-Saint-Pancras kind of look I pretend to go for, lol! For use within the home however, a decent pair of headphones is a must.
I had been using my trusty Panasonic headphones until recently they broke, but for £10 for about 18 months use out of them, who was I to complain? I knew I really wanted some more "Beefburgers", and I came across the Sony MDR-XD100 headphones in HMV for £17.99, so decided to snap a pair up.
Appearance wise, they are black, with silver "burgers" as I like to call them, otherwise known as the outer plastic on the headphones. The headphones can be adjusted by sliders on either side of the headphones, to make sure it is comfortable to your own head size/shape. I guess there isn't much difference, however I preferred my old Panasonic headphones which you just pulled at the top to adjust the size as it seemed a little easier. There is also a handy "L" and "R" engraved on each speaker so you know which way around you have the headphones on.
From the picture you may be thinking that these are quite heavy and therefore uncomfortable, but at 175 grams, they are surprisingly light and infact I feel lost without them as I get so used to having my headphones on! Of course they will never be as light as Apple headphones and certainly wouldn't fit in your pocket the same, but nevertheless they are quite comfortable, especially as they are padded around the speaker area, meaning they don't press down on you or cause any discomfort.
An important factor in choosing these headphones over any other brand HMV had to offer, was the cord length. Many headphones only have a short cord, which for me is pretty useless as I often plug my headphones into my keyboard and therefore am some distance from the actual jack. I also like to be able to move around the room without having to remove my headphones first, as comical as that must look. The MDR-XD100 has a cord length of 3.5M, which I think is pretty excellent. My only gripe is, that given it is such a long cord length it is easy to trip over if you are not careful when getting up, as there is no clip like you would often find on headphones of this type with such a long cord.
Back to playing my keyboard, and I was delighted to discover that these headphones come with a removable jack, suitable for using with keyboards, guitar amps and basically anything which requires a jack over the original jack to fit the socket. It is also a good quality jack, and is not mono like some jacks I have used are (meaning you can only get one ear of whatever you are playing on the keyboard).
Now onto the important stuff - sound quality. Unfortunately I haven't got around to testing how these headphones fair in the recording stakes as I currently don't have a computer anymore to do this. However, I have given these headphones significant testing through listening to music, watching films and also playing my keyboard.
With a frequency of 12-22,000, I'd say these headphones suit what I primarily use them for. The bass is great but not perfect, although this could have something to do with the sound settings on my laptop. Generally, I am quite pleased when using these as the sound quality is pretty good, but perhaps not the same as a pair of Bose headphones costing £200. For £17.99's worth, I'd say these are a pretty good deal and ideal if they are your first set of "Beefburgers", or simply just to improve your listening experience when watching a film or listening to music with no serious intent, i.e needing the sound to be absolutely perfect studio quality.
One flaw with these headphones, is there is no volume adjustment option anywhere on them, which personally for me is a bit of a pain as I think they are just a touch too quiet and I find myself having to turn up the volume on my laptop, which itself is limited so sometimes I'm not able to listen to things at the desired volume (and no, I don't mean deafening full blast!). I suppose this has it's advantages as I'm probably less likely to damage my ears, however sometimes you really need the option of adjusting the volume manually on the headphones.
Overall, these headphones are a pretty "sound" purchase, and make watching films and listening to my music a great experience. However the flaws I have mentioned within this review, stop this from being a 5 star product. Nevertheless, if you are looking to improve your listening experience, particularly in regards to watching films whereby normal headphones or laptop speakers may not deliver the full range of bass and treble, then I would certainly recommend these headphones as a reasonably priced option.
My first pair of large headphones. and so far i've been very impressed!
I brought these about a year ago when i started my music technology course, and they've done me very well for the last year, particularly as i managed to get an A on the first year of the course!
I've found them very clear for listening to all sorts of things, and very good for mixing, and also for use in a studio environment- they have an extra long cable, which can get in the way, but if you tie it up whilst not requiring the length, they are invaluable when recording.
They are also very comfortable- my lessons were one and a half hours, and i easily lasted the whole time with the headphones not leaving my ears!
Overall a very good buy, particularly for about £10, which is very cheap for something like this! I would definitely recommend this to anyone in a similar position to me, although i could see the extra length being a pain for others.
Banded headphones - why do they exist? They have been around since the 1950's where their existence was partly supported by professional musicians, sound engineers and later, much later more preferred for use in the classroom. They last longer due to tougher use and give out better sound quality than in ear headphones and similar types.
** Reason To Buy **
I've always loved banded headphones not that I'll ever go the whole hog and be a public DJ whilst shopping outside; instead banded headphones are a much needed device for use with any musical instrument, particularly my home keyboard when private practice is needed, or with use with my drum machine, PC and Apple Mac computers or anything in fact which has an ear phone piece. I find In-ear type headphones just don't support the GM Midi voices and bass depth that many voices and sounds impart and at the same time, they are not long enough cord wise from the distance between instrument and user. Of course you can buy in-ear types which promise the deep bass by either offering a shorter delay of sound rather than something more panoramic but they never seem to have enough stretch on the cord and give up half way through the year because of poor quality plastics.
For years I have been using Panasonic headphones, partly because the price of them are very cheap and sourced from Argos they are always in supply. Until 2004 their RPHT 205 model was replaced by the 225 model and the design changed partly with the addition of an in-line volume control built into the cord. For £10 although these headphones looked particularly old compared to these new Sony headphones, the sound quality was excellent despite a metal input. Interestingly for £19-99 from Argos you can also buy Technics headphones (Panasonic & Technics are the same company) where their RPF200 are the same design but have a gold plated plug for closer precise quality of sound.
This time however when my old Panasonic headphones failed after a year I decided that enough was enough. The old headphones, model 205 had lasted three years before giving up. The problem mainly was the quality of the cord kept coming out of the headphones, ruining the signals and thus rendering the headphones useless.
** Quick Skip Product Specifications **
* 40mm silver plated plug adaptor
* 3.5 metre rubber cord.
* Silver metallic design
* Adjustable headband for comfort
* 12khz to 22khz
* Closed Type headphones
* Cost brand new £10-00
** Availability & Cost Price of Sony's MDR XD100 **
Sony's MDR XD100 headphones were partly available until this year where they are being phased out by the much better and higher priced MDR XD200 model, but aside from differences in sound effects on the later model, there is more to the Sony model than meets the eye. Online stockists at base level before marking up reveal that the price of these headphones comes in between £10 and £15-00. I paid £13-90 from an Ebay seller however!
** Design **
Classy is the word that I would best use to describe these headphones. Designed in matt black with a "targa" type head band between the phones themselves, the cups independently swing down via hinges which have been built in. I wish my Panasonic headphones had these, because for fitting and comfort, these Sony headphones don't clamp on tightly, but rest comfortably and gently mould to your head rather than standard fit. The cups are also slightly smaller and rounder too, which ensures that ears are covered and comforted. Black PVC foam has been used to support the phones on ears once they have been put on and where the speakers are located further, black foam has been designed to ensure further comfort. It is a pity that whilst they are reasonably comfortable to wear, they start to feel sore after an hour with them on - not the best around here for long term wear then.
Use of silver metallic is heavily present on both cups externally, with a slight angle bent at either side of the headphones with "L" and "R" to distinguish the position of how to wear the headphones in the first instance.
They match everything in my home at the moment - my old Panasonic CD tape player is all in silver, the Yamaha drum machine is also in silver and my keyboard has silver detailing on the main centre fascia. Silver seems to be the new Millennium colour and even on as far as 2005 and beyond, silver and gold seem to be the colours chosen by many of the audio corporate companies to cosmetically blend in.
There are 3.5 metres of cord maximum which is 0.5 more than I had with my Panasonic models. However there isn't much of a difference here in actual stretch. The cord is rubbery and feels thicker compared to Panasonic's headphones though.
** Packaging **
The packaging that these headphones are similar to most small audio equipment that Sony produces. In short a thick acrylic package front with cardboard at the back, and with such a strong bonding, it was initially difficult to get into the package. It is vital that you cut around the package because if you cut into the sides you may find yourself cutting part of the headphones or the cord! The headphones come with a silver metal 40mm jack input against the standard fit 35mm jack on the headphones cord themselves and with the usual paper guarantee manual from Sony Worldwide there aren't many guidelines on how to use headphones - if you have common sense you'll know how to use these headphones responsibly.
Details and specifications can be found on the back of the headphones though, in 11 languages and the tinniest size of words I have ever seen!
** Sound Quality **
Compared to the higher priced 200 series, there are no sound boost effects on the headphones themselves to improve sound quality. You just plug and play and adjust the volume on the device you are using.
This is fine with me because I don't like in-line volume controls or boosters partly because a lot of static can be produced over time with these types of controls and there is very little a user can do other than to wipe the jack input or play about with the volume to get rid of the static.
However I should add that compared to Panasonic's headphones which have a frequency rate of 18khz to 22khz, these headphones have a lower frequency rate of 12khz to 22khz. This in effect means that the sound quality is not as good as the Panasonic headphones.
This can also relate to the sound of bass which doesn't travel as well as they did on my old headphones and I am slightly surprised by this. I have always reckoned that Sony has a knack of producing the best sound quality and maybe I have been spoilt with my old Panasonic headphones. But for the price I would have expected some bass depth on a par with Panasonic.
Tone quality on the headphones is extremely bright but again the bass and treble feel half cooked - compared to Panasonic's models. With use with my Walkman and drum machine, the headphones don't buzz which is a good advantage though - particularly when I have set the volume to extremely loud - this I feel is down to the design of the hinges rather than the speaker cups themselves.
Overall sound quality isn't as rounded as other headphones - for example, when listening to pop music, stereo imaging responds well on both cups but with certain classical music, the bass is almost absent without having to resort to amp it up on the device I'm using.
Sorry Sony but frankly these headphones are a waste of my time.
For the price I was expecting a lot more than what I have paid out for and even for the look of the headphones which are lovely to look at I am slightly disappointed about the overall sound quality. I am used to using cheap banded headphones, having also sampled Philips and JVC which gives Sony a run for the money. However all is not lost; these headphones will make a good substitute for use in the classroom - but they won't be used that much at home, sadly.
In terms of consideration, these headphones are suitable as a direct replacement for in-ear non bass types. The bass is there, as is the treble and a bright tone, but there is no surround, no effects which have automatically been installed in the design. For the fashion conscious, these Sony headphones at the most, look fantastic, but they fail to float this professional musician's ears. Thanks for reading. ©Nar2 2008.