Amazon.com: Sony MDRX10/RED The X Headphone with 50mm Diaphragms: Electronics

Full Disclosure: Klout sent these to me for review. No other compensation was provided.

The latest Klout perk I got was Sony’s new headphones, the MDR-X10 headphones. Packaged nicely, these large over-ear headphones are supposedly the next great thing. Let’s see how they stack up.

Fit: They fit very comfortably. They don’t apply vise-like pressure to your head and are reasonably comfortable even with eyeglasses.

Appearance: I don’t particularly care. Only my cat watches me while I game. Supposedly they’re fashionable and head-turning. My cat didn’t notice.

Sound: The sound quality leaves a lot to be desired. For reference, I’m listening on a MacBook Pro to the World of Warcraft Mists of Pandaria soundtrack as the sample. It’s orchestral music, so it’s got a full complement of instruments. The MDR-X10 audio is muddy as hell. The treble is weak, the mid tones are okay, the bass is solid and strong. You can tell that the folks who did the audio engineering were given a memo from the corner office: MAKE THE BASS BIG AT ANY COST. They did – at the cost of everything else sounding mediocre to poor. It sounds like I’m listening to the WoW soundtrack with a bad head cold. By comparison, the sound out of my regular gaming headset is crisp and clear – strong bass, crisp highs, clean mids.

My recommendation: Don’t buy.

They’re not worth $300, which is what they retail for on Amazon. I’d save your money and either go big with the Bose QC3 headphones for $50 more or save yourself $200 and get the Logitech G35 gaming headset, which is what I normally use to listen to audio and sounds MUCH better than these.

Update: These headphones are good at something. I’ve been experimenting with them, because it’s a shame not to, and it turns out these are almost the perfect headphones for conference calls. Why? The passive noise reduction seals out the outside world, and the terrible upper range that makes music sound terrible does a darned good job of cutting out all of the tinny sound of your average conference call. As a result, you get a nice sounding call with some noise reduction. I still wouldn’t buy them just for that, but at least they’re useful now.


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