Sony’s flagship model headphones boasting mega frequency response and sound. Let’s see how they are:
I’ve had these headphones for a while now. I use them for monitoring purposes in the studio, checking mixes and for listening to music in general.
The construction appears to be good, particularly higher when compared to most affordable headphones. It’s a combination of metal for the most part and plastic here and there. They are comfortable to wear, the synthetic leather is soft and durable. Your ears don’t seem to get too fatigued when wearing them. The headphones also flex a little and move with your head and there are no noises from them when this happens. Good for tracking with as microphones won’t pick them up if you move and also the sound cancelling both when wearing them and from outside of them is excellent. No mic bleed here then.
The cable is detachable which I like as it avoids breaking them if he cable gets a tug. The cable length however is shorter than I would have liked.
Internally inside the cups the drivers look of high quality and Sony boast that they are made of 40mm Liquid Crystal Polymer Film diaphragms. Apparently that delivers rigidity and lightness for balanced sound reproduction and minimal reverb. Minimal reverb? I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced what I would call reverb when wearing cans but OK.
Now when comparing these to a couple of set’s of headphones I has lying about the studio they sure are a considerable step up in terms of sound quality. One set of headphones I have suffer from minimal bass reproduction and too many highs. The Sony’s have great bass reproduction and smooth highs in comparison. The other headphones I compared them to had reasonable low end but it was loose sounding and fairly smooth high and midrange (not as smooth as the Sony’s though).
Speaking of midrange, the Sony MDR-1R’s seem to lack a little power in that area. I would say they sound similar to the old graphic EQ trick on hifi’s when people would shape a V into it causing a dip in mids and a boost in high and low frequencies.
For that reason when mixing on them or monitoring sound you have to be aware that the are not representing the full midrange of source material and not get fooled by them. This does however make them sound excellent for listening to commercial music on.
OK this one is where Sony loses point. These cost £299.00 rrp, that’s a lot of dosh for some cans. I would say they are excellent sounding but I don’t think they are good enough to warrant that price.
If you’re a studio guy then these aren’t recommended for mixing but for referencing mixes they would be fine.
For home listening they are really good but not good enough to pay top dollar.
MDR-1R Prestige headphones
Designed for the sounds of today
Standard headphones with 40mm liquid crystal polymer film diaphragm & 4Hz-80kHz HD driver units
Developed in a unique partnership with Sony Music Entertainment
Hear rich, powerful lows and extended highs
Closed-back design for exceptional bass response