Sony MDR-1A – Review

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Music To Ears Sony MDR-1A

A music lover knows best the importance of a good headphone. If you are also a music lover, and are on a wild-goose chase then surely you will be delighted reading this article as here we are talking about a classic, premium headphone with sophisticated design and supreme comfort “SONY MDR-1A”. The Sony MDR-1A headphone is an updated version of its discontinued predecessor MDR-1R. It is full-sized, over ear sleek headphone.    

Let’s dig into this premium, over ear headphone to find out more about this vintage gadget.

Sony MDR1A Premium Hi-Res Stereo Headphones (Black)

$299.99
$298.00
8 new from $ 298.00
15 used from $ 171.97
Free shipping
Buy This Item
amazon.com
as of August 16, 2017 6:25 am

Features

  • Sound Reproduction up to 100 kHz, 40 mm driver units with ALCP for articulate audio reproduction, 4-conductor cable for better signal separation and resulting sound quality, Ergonomic ear pads for powerful response and long-term comfort
  • Compatible with 3 optional cables engineered with Kimber Kable, Silver coated OFC cable minimizes signal transmission loss, Beat Response Control for improved bass and transient response, Enfolding structure for wrap-around feel and improved acoustic seal
  • Inward axis structure delivers optimum fit, Silent joints won't disturb your audio experience, In-line remote and microphone for hands-free phone calling, Carrying pouch

Design and features:

Over ear headphones are often too large but the Sony MDR-1A has a slimline profile and it pulls off its design with a deliberate styling. Stylish headphones are often skewed towards a younger crowd but the Sony MDR-1A has overcome this limitation with its classis, elegant design especially their brown and silver version. Though it is very similar to its predecessor MDR-1R, the new one does have something of its own with some small design changes as compared to the previous one.

First, it has a subtly different earcup design, that involves softer padding and slightly angled cushions that conform your head better. The finishing of MDR-1A is also a bit more stippled. One of the biggest changes in MDR-1A is that its earcups now rotate in an opposite direction from that of MDR-1R’s and swivel by 90 degrees to render headphones flat. It’s hotshot because the premium over ear headphones can now rest flat with pads down against your clavicles if you are not using and having them sit on your neck.

The outer parts of the cups are capped with cast aluminum, as these are the parts likely to get touched more often, but the rest of the set parts that are seemingly metallic are of plastic. Very soft synthetic leather pads or earcups are large enough to encompass most ears and its headband with a fairly low-tension makes the Sony MDR-1A fit quite comfortable and sumptuous. The materials used are largely concerned to keep headset light but still durable and are also enough to make it sophisticated and classy.

The MDR-1A is slightly lighter weighing 7.94 ounces (225 grams) without cable attached, as compared to the MDR-1R weighing 240 grams which for an over ear headphone was already considered light weight. The over ear headphone fits snugly but fits a variety of head sizes as well.

The other small change is made to the cable connector on the headphone. The MDR-1A’s connector base is plated with gold ring while MDR-1R doesn’t include any such ring. In terms of accessories, the premium MDR-1A headphone comes with two standard length 1.2 meter cables. One of which has microphone and a one-button inline remote. It is geared towards Android phones but also teams with iPhones in a more limited capacity though such as no volume controls. If you have Android phone, you can customize the button controls via free SmartKey app.

Sony has includes a decent carrying pouch so you can easily tote it around and three optional high-end cables for this headphone if you need to eke out even better sound. The cable is removable. It is attached to the left earcup and rather than something proprietary, uses a common 3.5mm jack. The portable length of the bundle cable is classic 1.2mm.

Performance:

The MDR-1A sounds great. There is a great balance of midrange, treble and bass and is as smooth as it can be. The dynamic range is well dynamic and the stereo soundstage is spacious. The audiophiles will love the MDR-1A, who want to hear the sound as accurately as possible as there is no zippy treble or jacked up bass. It is also one of the most comfortable headphones around which allow you to listen longer without fatigue. Sony MDR-1A is a pure, plain headphone with no noise cancelling, no wireless, and no extras. A supremely comfortable headphone Sony MDR-1A offers better value than most fashion pairs.

Sony MDR1A Premium Hi-Res Stereo Headphones (Black)

$299.99
$298.00
8 new from $ 298.00
15 used from $ 171.97
Free shipping
Buy This Item
amazon.com
as of August 16, 2017 6:25 am

Features

  • Sound Reproduction up to 100 kHz, 40 mm driver units with ALCP for articulate audio reproduction, 4-conductor cable for better signal separation and resulting sound quality, Ergonomic ear pads for powerful response and long-term comfort
  • Compatible with 3 optional cables engineered with Kimber Kable, Silver coated OFC cable minimizes signal transmission loss, Beat Response Control for improved bass and transient response, Enfolding structure for wrap-around feel and improved acoustic seal
  • Inward axis structure delivers optimum fit, Silent joints won't disturb your audio experience, In-line remote and microphone for hands-free phone calling, Carrying pouch

Pros 

  • Lightweight
  • Very comfortable
  • Better midrange, bass and treble

Cons

  • Inline remote doesn’t have some functionality for iPhone users
  • Somewhat pricey

Conclusion:

The Sony MDR-1A is very comfortable, relatively light weight over ear headphone that offers improved sound with better definition of bass, midrange and treble over the previous MDR-1R. Now you get two cables, one of which also has an inline remote and a nice carrying pouch. Sony MDR-1A is well worth considering a very versatile premium headphone if you are on a hunt for over ear headphone in the $250-$300 range.

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