Splash Damage: MDR-ZX100, MDR-ZX300
I have with me the low end of the lot, the MDR-ZX100 and MDR-ZX300. In my previous review, I said that the MDR-ZX700 was pretty darn good. And I still stand by that remark.
Now then, for $20 and $30 (respectively), the ZX100 and ZX300 represent the entry level cans, replacing the “venerable” V150 and V300s, which could be best described as garbage and fodder, irrespectively. The ZX100 and ZX300s are a bit more stylized versions of the low end V series cans. From a distance, one could almost think that the users were rocking a set of Beats for instance. And with the low end ZXs, you can indeed to single ear monitoring! Imagine that.
As for the sound? It might be my imagination but the ZX300s sounds noticeably worse than the entry ZX100s. The ZX100s are helped by its low price of a Jackson, and sounds as most $20 cans, with exaggerated bass, almost but not quite piercing trebles, and a rather decent mid-range presence. No, this isn’t some pair of JVC earbuds that outdoes the competition, but then again, you’re not going to regret blowing $20 for these vs. Skullcandies that costs 2x as much.
The ZX300s? Same bass and trebles with more detail towards the treble end of things. The midrange is much more recessed, though. It doesn’t help that it takes a lot of equalization to get it sound semi decent. Yes, there are more detail in the ZX300s vs. the ZX100s. The ZX100s, on the other hand, has a bit of warmth to it (not much) that sounds somewhat more inviting than the 300s, which are bit more clinical. Well, as much as a bassy $30 cans go anyways.
Compared to the Beats that costs 10 times as much, yes, they are quite good. But frankly, I think the money’s better spent on a set of Superlux HD668B. Or better yet, save some dough and get the ZX700s instead.