Product Type: Sony headphones
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I Can't Live Without My Beefburger's...
Sony MDR XD100
Member Name: musicmad2020
Sony MDR XD100
Date: 29/01/11, updated on 18/06/11 (100 review reads)
Advantages: reasonably cheap, give a much better listening experience than in ear headphones, long cord
Disadvantages: no volume adjustment, perhaps not suitable for serious music recording
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.
Summary: A good investment if you haven't tried this style of headphones before
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