Damaged Gears

Evolve your Gears

Splash Damage: MDR-ZX700, MDR-EX310s, NWZ-E354

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A few months back, I unilaterally declared Shure SRH-840s one of the best closed cans on the market, period.

I may have to eat those words.

Well, to be precise, the SRH840s from Shure is the best closed can that you can buy for more than $150.  There are quite a few cans that claim that title, such as the Ultrasones and the Sony MDR-7509HDs (which are quite good by the by).  But let’s face it, in the realm of cl0sed cans, it’s the MDR-7506 (aka the V6), and everyone else.  For the price and durability along with quality, nothing really compares to the MDR-7506.

Meet the MDR-ZX700, but you may call him the rightful heir to the MDR-7506, if you may.

Everything is almost just right about these cans, from the build and isolation to the soundstaging (and not bad of a soundstage at that, for a closed can even!) to the absolutely fantastic sound quality.  It took me all but 4 minutes of demoing to steer me away from my intended purchase of MDR-EX600.  I’ll have more on them, but needless to say, they are one of the best closed cans, and at $120 or less, well worth your cash.

Grade: A

The MDR-EX310s are intended to be replacements for my beat up MDR-EX500s.  I had originally intended to get the EX600 as replacements, but with the addition of the ZX700s, I gave these a try.

Very reminiscent of MDR-EX500s at the onset, if a little more claustrophobic?  I reserve judgement on these.

The NWZ-E354?  The best MP3 Sony’s released outside of the X Series.  Alas, too little, too late.

Grade: B

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Written by Damage

04/21/11 at 8:51 pm

Posted in Soapbox

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