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44 thoughts on “SONY MDR1A REVIEW

  1. Just wondering why you are reviewing the older model that has been superseded rather than the newer M2 that is currently on sale?

  2. The MDR-1AM2 really changed my perception of Sony. Before that the 2-3 models I've tried were all muddy bass, but after seeing some positive mentions in headfi and a 50% discount, I made a gamble. No regrets till this day. This is not for critical listening or studio work. This is a headphone you put on to enjoy music. Very clean and tight bass, elevated ever slightly for listening pleasure. Vocals are not recessed and the highs are there but not bright.

  3. I understand where you're coming from, there is a lack of detail and refineness to the sound, but as someone who has different headphones for different things (as opposed to one "best" headphone), the 1As nail the desire to have a smooth and natural and nonfatigueing listening experience. The extra boost in bass makes electronic music a lot more enjoyable than on more neutral headphones (like my HE-400Is and K553s), even if it still sounds good on them, and emphasizes lower instruments on classical recordings which makes them good as a complimentary pair of headphones to more neutral primary pair.

  4. FYI – the Cal! is available direct from Creative for $60 (in the US, not sure about other regions) … don't pay inflated reseller prices like the $150+ on Amazon.

  5. Hi, I would like an advice on the best portable closed back headphones for 200 euros. Momentum? One more triple driver? Focal listen?

  6. I own a pair of MDR1a (simply due to ridiculously good deal at $50USD used) and I agree 100% of what you said. I also own its imitator Takstar Pro82 and I think those are superior than MDR1a.

  7. Good for pop song, will get you fall asleep while listen to it, not much soundstage, Not good for metal and rock music, the padding breaks itself overtime.

  8. Glad to see I wasn't crazy when I listened to these at Best buy. I was not impressed at all relative to the reviews people leave online. Thanks for the honest and thorough reviews as always!

  9. You can partially or completely cover the bass ports on this headphone to reduce the bass boom. Did that and a bit of equalization and it became similar to my other audiophile headphones.

  10. Sorry, i have mdr1000x and they say its basically mdr1a with noise cancelling. Truthfully, it sucks. Fun? Hell no. Nothing is fun when its muddy. I get that its a consumer oriented build, but sound profile could be better. It isnt good for bass. There's no rumble, boomy that isnt accurate,. Highs are muddy. Clarity sucks. My superlux monitoring headphone sounds wayyyy better. Disappointment.

    I bought it for noise cancelling so its ok i guess. But sound quality, even $20 kz iem is better. Sorry sony. Ive never been disappointed this way. This hurts more than being friendzoned.

  11. The big problem here is that you review it as a 250$ headphone but the retail price is far from that, more like 150$ to 100$ when it's on sale. I bought mine 109€ two years ago

  12. Sony and Panasonic are good at cheap in-ear headphones, but if you compare them with audiophile companies like Sennheiser or Focal, Fostex etc., Sony headphones are bad, but I love Sony PlayStation and Sony tvs!!! 🙂

  13. I don't necessarily agree with your review, but maybe I just hear differently, lol. The bass response is quite good, even though there's lots of mid – bass. The mids are alright, but there is some distance to vocals that doesn't seem to agree with me. For acoustic instruments, especially guitars, it's perfect though (I know, doesn't make sense, but hey). There's a massive peak at 9k which makes female vocals sound sibilant and harsh at high volumes, but it responds well to EQ.

    Anyways, nice review!

  14. There's already Mk2 of it tho?
    It's th e lightest closed back portable in the market. It's basically featherweight.

    The mk1 can be found for 100-150 now.

  15. Sony build quality has been super shitty in my experience, plastic creaks after a couple of weeks and the battery on the wireless units can suddenly die and then good luck chasing sony on the warranty

  16. Man…. you're either trolling us, or you have no idea of what you're talking about, or you hate warm sound signature, or your ear canals differ from the average ones like night and day. All of the cons you're talking about are inaccurate. Just look at the Amazon or the HeadFi org reviews. Even your friend DMS uses them as his on the go daily drivers and I own them too, so I know what I'm talking about. People don't hesitate to buy them and you'll no regret it. Not even the slightest intention to insult you, since I like to watch your reviews. I'm a subscriber already and I feel like talking to a friend. Cheers!

  17. I use to listen to this more. I think it sounds good, warm like you said, very comfortable. Not stellar, but good. Similar sounding to the Sennheiser Momentum 2 over ear.

    Creative Aurvana Live sounds great, similar to the original Sennheiser Momentum, but not the best build.

    Purple Hearts are good, but I have a hard time recommending Massdrops to the masses because of how long you sometimes have to wait for them.

  18. I like the form-factor, the Takstar Pro-82 copies I have fold flat and it's really convenient. That flat shape works great for putting in drawers and backpacks, or hanging on a hook against a wall or desk.

  19. You should do a review of the Sony MDR-7506, they are used by loads of professionals for monitoring. Would really like to hear your take on them.

  20. this is my thought with every single Sony headphone I have tried. Its bloated bass heavy and just sound total mud, I thought the TH900 sounded better with the bass they produce and separations from mids and highs. I dont know if Sony is aiming for audiophiles or Beats users. Sony is by far the worse headphone brand I have try YMMV.

    I tried the Sony MDR-Z1R which was hooked up to their amplifie in Thailand and it just not worth it, not even a quarter of the price they are asking for the combo.

  21. Completely disagree about the bass, definitely not muddy at all and the range is great. Some of the other headphones I have are not able to play the sub bass notes and these hits them all. The mids and highs are fine also. I listen to mostly drum and bass so you have a lot of range in there dynamically music wise.

  22. Can’t wait for your review of the mdr-z1r. Most people seem to hate it but I find them excellent but ONLY with proper amplification. Also, you make reviewing headphones seem so easy and effortless. Since i am just finalizing my first review myself, i can say … it is very difficult. So, thank you for your videos!

  23. Great review Josh, as always. Since you're doing closed backs, just do yourself (and us) a favor and review the Audio Technica MSR7b. They are probably the best closed back headphones that are, you know, actually affordable. And by affordable, I mean they don't cost 4 digit sums. JUST DO IT!

  24. I bought my MDR-1As together with my first own smartphone 4-5 years ago and they are awesome. They are a little squeaky and cheap, but the sound is pretty OK. If i had informed myself better, i would've bought Sennheisers. Maybe the HD558.

  25. I honestly thought my pair was broken. Good to know it's just the headphones sound haha these headphones are the least detailed headphones I have ever personally owned. I don't enjoy anything about the sound of these and I actually enjoy darker headphones usually

  26. The hate for sony in the audiophile community comes largely from sony flagship headphones having a very particular sony housesound. Also I didn't find this headphone to be especially "warm".

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