Sony MDR-1A Hi Res Headphones

The Sony mdr-1a hi res headphones are comfortable, critical listening over-ears that deliver a satisfying and well-balanced sound quality. They have a sleek-looking design, and they’re surprisingly lightweight for their sturdy and durable build quality. Unfortunately, they do not block ambient noise very well, so they won’t be ideal to use in loud environments or for commuting.

Type:                                                                    Amazon Ratings… 4.5 out of 5 stars                                                
sony mdr-1a hi res headphones
On-ear

Enclosure:
Closed-Back

Wireless:
No

Noise-Cancelling:
No

Mic:
Yes

Transducer:
Dynamic

Conclusion We’ve been testing headphones back-to-back for a number of weeks and have found the Sony this one to be the most immediately comfortable and gratifying over-ears straight out of the box.

 

sony mdr-1a hi res headphones Decent audio reproduction
sony mdr-1a hi res headphones Lightweight and sturdy build quality
sony mdr-1a hi res headphones Comfortable fit

best headphones Poor noise isolation
best headphones Slightly bulky and unstable design

The Sony mdr-1a hi res headphones features an insane frequency response of 3 Hz- 100.000 Hz, angled drivers, bass-enhancing vents, balanced 4-wire detachable cables and leather earpads.

The drivers of the Sony MDR-1A have aluminum-coated liquid polymer crystal diaphragms, a diameter of 40 mm and neodymium magnets. Sony informs and rates these drivers as “HD drivers” that thanks to their large vents are able to provide punchy bass and due to the aluminum-coated LCP diaphragm achieve quick response for vocals and mid-highs clarity.

 

Design

Has Stereo SpeakersX
Has An Over-the-ear Foam
Has A Detachable CableX
Weight225g
Cable Length1.2m

Sound Quality

Impedance24 Ohms
Highest Frequency100000Hz
Lowest Frequency3Hz
Sound Level Pressure105dB/mW
Has A Neodymium Magnet

Microphone

Has A Noise Cancelling MicrophoneX

Power

Has A Rechargeable BatteryX
Has A Battery Level IndicatorX

Connectivity

Can Be Used WirelesslyX
Compatible With PlayStationX
Compatible With Xbox LiveX

Features

Can Be Used As A Headset
Has A Mute FunctionX
Control Panel Placed on A DeviceX
Has An In-Line Control Panel
Travel Bag Included

 

Design
The Sony MDR-1A have a well-designed and polished look that reflects their premium price range. They're sturdy and incredibly lightweight headphones, with ample padding on the ear cups that make them one of the more comfortable headphones we've tested. However, they're not the easiest headphones to carry around on your person without a bag and they're not stable enough to use while running or jogging. They also have a limited control scheme that doesn't have any volume buttons which is slightly disappointing.
StyleComfort
This Sony headphone A have a sleek and polished look that feels high-end. The ear cups are slightly similar to that of the previous model MDR-100AAP but with considerably better padding and build quality. The headband is also well padded and coated with a faux-leather material that further exuberates the premium feel of the headphones. They come in an understated yet stylish black and gray color scheme with red accents and a textured back on the ear cups. There's a silver and brown variant, but it comes with an integrated DAC and costs a bit more than the regular MDR-1A.The MDR-1A are a lot lighter than you would expect when looking at their build quality. That and the excellent padding on the earcups and headband means they deliver a comfortable listening experience that's not fatiguing even if you have them on for a while. However, the padding of the earcups creates a relatively small opening for your ears so they may not fit as comfortably for all listeners.
PortabilityBuild Quality
The Sony MDR-1A are mid-sized, over-ear headphones, with large earcups that do not fold into the frame for a more compact format. This makes them a bit cumbersome to carry around on your person, especially without a bag. They're not the most portable headphones, but at least the ear cups lay flat, which may come in handy in some situations.The Sony MDR-1A have a sturdy yet lightweight build quality. The headband is reinforced with a thin metal and plastic frame that's sufficiently flexible to handle a decent amount of physical strain. The ear cups although fairly lightweight are also a mix of metal and plastic that will withstand a couple of accidental drops without getting damaged. The hinges are a bit loose but there aren't a lot of them, reducing the potential weak points of the design.
StabilityControls
These Sony headphones are not the most stable headphones. They stay put during casual listening sessions and the audio cable will detach if it's hooked on something, but unfortunately, they will quickly fall off your head if you use them for running or working out.The control scheme for these headphones feels lacking. They only have one Call/Music button to pause, play and skip tracks. You won't have any control over the volume level which is a bit disappointing, but at least the button has good feedback, and it's easy to use.
Sound
This Sony headphone is a good sounding pair of closed-back over-ear headphones. These headphones have an excellent, deep, punchy, and powerful bass, but without sounding muddy or cluttered. They also have a great and well-balanced mid-range, a good treble and great imaging. However, their bass is slightly heavier than neutral, which fans of bass may like, their mid-range could sound a tad thin on vocals, and they don't have a speaker-like soundstage. They also tend to sound sharp and piercing on S and Ts, especially on overly bright tracks. Overall though, these are very good and versatile headphones that are well-suited for a variety of genres from bass-heavy EDM, to vocal-centric rock and indie.
BassMid
The Sony MDR-1A have an excellent bass. LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 10Hz, which is great. Low-bass, responsible for the thump and rumble common to bass-heavy genres is flat but 2dB above our neutral target. Mid-bass, responsible for the body of bass guitars and punch of the kick drums is also flat and 2dB above our neutral target. High-bass, responsible for warmth, is overemphasized by 1.5dB, but most of that is happening below 200Hz, so it doesn't add muddiness to the bass. Overall, the bass of the Sony is deep, punchy, and slightly heavy, but without sounding boomy or cluttered.The mid-range performance is excellent. Low-mid is underemphasized by 1.5dB which thins out vocals a little bit, but it also creates more room for punch in the bass range. Mid-mid and high-mid are nearly flawless and within 0.7dB of our neutral target. Overall, the mid-range of the Sony is clear and well-balanced, which is quite important for vocals.
Isolation
The Sony MDR-1A only isolate passively. They create a decent seal around your ears so they're not too leaky even at higher volumes but unfortunately, they don't prevent ambient noise from seeping into your audio. They're not well suited for loud environments and won't be ideal if you have a noisy, daily commute or if you're a frequent flyer. On the upside, at moderate volumes, the leakage level won't be distracting to those around you.
Noise IsolationOverall Leakage
The Sony MDR-1A has a sub-par isolation performance. In the bass range, where the rumble of airplane and bus engines sit, they don't achieve any isolation. In the mid-range, important for blocking out speech, the isolate by about 7dB, which is below-average. In the treble range, occupied by sharps sounds like S and Ts, they isolate by 30dB, which is good.The leakage is decent. The significant portion of the leakage is between 500Hz and 5KHz, which is a relatively broad range. The overall level of leakage, however, is not very loud. With the music 100dB SPL, the leakage at 1 foot away averages at 41dB SPL and peaks at just above 50dB SPL, which is around the same as the noise floor of an average office.
Microphone
The Sony MDR-1A has an average microphone. In quiet environments, speech recorded or transmitted with this in-line mic will sound relatively thin and lacking in detail and presence. It may also be prone to pops. In noisy situations, it will struggle to fully separate speech from ambient noise in loud environments like a subway station but would do OK in moderately loud places like a busy office or street.
Battery
These are passive headphones with no active components and no battery.
Connectivity
The Sony MDR-1A are not Bluetooth headphones and do not come with a base or dock. They have a wired 1/8TRRS connection with an in-line microphone that will work with your Xbox One or PS4 controller. Unfortunately, since they're wired, they won't have the range and convenience of wireless headphones for gaming or watching movies, but on the upside, they have practically no latency like most wired headsets.
BluetoothWired
The in-ears are wired and do not have a Bluetooth connection.The Sony MDR-1A come with a non-os-specific audio cable with an in-line remote and microphone that is compatible with consoles. They will provide audio and voice chat support when connected to your PS4 or Xbox One controller, but you may need a headset adapter for PC if your PC does not have a 4 pin audio jack like tablets and phones.
Wireless RangeBase/Dock
These headphones are wired and do not have a wireless range.There is no charging dock or base for these headphones.

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