The Sony MDR-1000X is a great looking, premium quality package that shows off the lovingly obsessive attention to detail that Sony engineers can most times be capable of. It’s pricey, but worth every red cent of it.
While Bose -with Sennheiser lurking closely behind- previously ruled the Bluetooth and noise-canceling wireless headphone kingdom, Sony looks pretty determined to challenge them in a pretty intense fight for success and the rather extensive bragging rights and lucre it usually breeds. They, therefore, closeted themselves and came out with a really profound product that looks good enough to actually eat as the main course, while rivaling Bose’s best efforts in the area. Premier features include almost peerless sound quality, wireless Bluetooth connectivity, and superb active noise-cancellation via Sony’s Sense Engine in an exquisitely designed package that a female staffer nearly swooned on sighting at the office. Sony itself makes no bones about calling it, it’s most tech-laden and advanced headphone. Which is a pretty heady boast considering it’s Sony’s first foray into the premium Bluetooth wireless headphone market. But they sure are right.
According to Sony, its new royal baby comes with new earpads, while the right earpad with it’s embedded touch controls does double duty as a touchpad control for volume adjustment, music pausing and track skipping. While also being way more responsive and intuitive than Sony’s previous effort- the MDR-1ABT. The Sony MDR-1000X comes further laden with the top-notch drivers of the wired MDR-1A headset, making for some really out-of-this-world audio experiences. Microphones positioned both inside and outside of the ear cups send out tones to calibrate ambient noise and react accordingly, while measuring your ears, your head shape and whether you wear glasses or not to deliver the best possible audio. This revolutionary new feature is by means of the Personal NC Optimizer and along with Sony’s Sense Engine makes possible noise-canceling and audio quality that really takes account of individual uniqueness. Its also customizable and permits you to block unwanted noises while you hear voices only and vice versa. Want to go into Quick Attention mode without losing your audio track position? Just position your hand over the right leather-sheathed earcup, and the music magically gets muffled, so you can properly converse whenever wherever. Remove your hand when you are finished, and the audio resumes playing at its previous settings. The Sony MDR-1000X comes foldable, with a stylish, semi-hard case to match. Inside you get the headphone, travel adapter, wire for wired listening and a micro-USB for charging it up. It supports Sony’s proprietary wireless Hi-Res audio format called LDAC, which transmits three times the data of ‘normal’ Bluetooth. Thereby effortlessly delivering audio quality that’s almost Hi-Res. To get this feature though you will need a recent Xperia smartphone or a Sony Walkman.
Now come the million dollar question: is it better than Bose’s latest and equally premium offering, the Bose QuietComfort 35? That’s a pretty intensive question, and wars have been even fought over the answer. Both are undoubtedly great headphones, with premium tech, build and absolutely phenomenal sound quality. Choosing one over the other will depend on user preference and where they -and their loyalties- stand on the premium Bluetooth headset war. But the Sony MDR-1000X is absolutely recommendable when audio quality, design, and performance are not to be compromised for any reason.
Available colors for the Sony MDR-1000X are Black and Beige, while battery life is a rated 20 hours of use. Price is $398, which is about $50 bucks more than its top rival.