Posts Tagged ‘Sony’
Oh wow, I actually have a set of headphones that I can review that was released quite recently. And by those, they are the MDR-10R family. Released in Sept. 2013 at MSRP of $200/$250/$300 ish for normal, Bluetooth, and Noise Cancelling Editions, they have gone down to more affordable and reasonable price of $100 (10R)/$150 (10RBT/RDC)/$200(RNC), pending your local retailer availability of course.
Their heritage isn’t tied to the nigh legendary MDR-R10 as its name would suggest. For the record, the Sony MDR-R10 is considered the magnum opus of Sony Headphones (not unlike the Sennheiser HD800s) but to the previously high end MDR-1R. And they all can probably trace their lineage back to Qualia 005 and the MDR-SA line of headphones, boasting some ridonkoulus frequency response number. Not as ridiculous as Qualias and MDR-SAs, but take a big grain of salt with those numbers.
So, these are in essence, Sony’s take on the Bose’s On-Ear Noise Cancelling phones, the QC15, the Audio Technica ANCs and the like, and not the Beats (those would be the Cowell endorsed X10s and the XBA lines). How do they compare to the mid-range headphones? Let’s roll and find out. Read the rest of this entry »
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.
Sorry, no new pithy posts about new year resolutions (way too late for that), or HOPE about change. I’m getting back to what I do best. Reviewing the heck out of interesting low to mid-range headphones and DAPs. This time, Damage focuses his laser vision on the MDR-XB40 Earbuds, recently released by Sony in some random fashion to appease the bass head audience.
All 10 of you (I kid, for the 11th self-professed basshead).
Wait, do I still have an audience?
Now that I’ve got you all hot and bothered, should you blow your hard earned $60 for these guys? Read on.
I had wanted to put in a thought about the Sansa Clip/Fuze (apparently, they are the darling DAP of 2008. I should get one before I even think of posting anything about them though). Instead, some splunking around the web resulted in enhancing your NWZ-A72X/82X series though this takes voiding your warranty to some degree. Ready? Good, let’s go, after the jump. Not your cup of tea, don’t follow the jump. Instead, read the next post about Spiralfrog. Read the rest of this entry »
Well, the rumors of his Steveness death was, indeed, greatly exaggerated. What wasn’t exaggerated, was, the greatness of the 4G Nano. On the surface, the 4G Nano is bee’s knees (and just as sharp as one). On the surface, the Nano is set to be one of the most powerful and feature rich DAP to grace the world.
Not. So. Fast. My. Friends (to borrow the parlance of one sportscaster).
The Zune made some noise the day before, and other DAPs has been making noise as well. Sadly, since they do not bear the beloved fruity logo, those features for the most part went unnoticed. Let’s review the new features one by one and see where the New Nano stacks up.
1) Accelerometer. Allows for use of Coverflow. For the most part, I have no qualms against Coverflow. However, it has two weaknesses, both of which I noticed on my Touch and on other’s 3G Nanos:
- Album Art and Tagging. Let’s face it, it’s heavily reliant upon the coverart being properly tagged along with other tags for it to be a compelling feature. Without it, it becomes an exercise in fuility when fumbling over to find the right album.
- Clickwheel. On the Touch, the Coverflow is very neat with the touch screen interface. I didn’t find the experience to be nearly the same with Clickwheel. Optimized software may change this.
The 2D interface used by the Zune and the Sony Network Walkman makes navigation a breese using the D-Pad. Even on a bloated Zune 30 (80 as well), using the D-Pad, one can easily find the album, song, or artist. The 4G Nano’s new navigational interface (Browse Album/Artist while playing) now puts it on the level field against other DAPS. It’s about time.
2) Genius. Also known as SensME (Sony’s new generation Walkman), Rhapsody Channel, or Zune’s newfangled Social Community/Personal Picks. All of these are designed to sell songs over the internet. Genius can be very compelling with a subscription plan. If there ever was one for iTunes. All of these “features” (read gimmick) remains to be seen, though the Zune’s Social is probably the most compelling out of the three.
3) Shake Shake Shake. Sansa Shake for kids grown up.
4) Vertical Base. Goes back to the well tested and well loved format.
The Nano is a solid DAP to be sure, but it lacks the WiFi of the Zune, the Bluetoothiness of the Sonys, and finally catches up with both of them in features and navigation. Welcome to 2007. We hardly missed ye.
And if you are reading this, that means you’ve just survived the Large Freaking Hadron Collider. Congrats. The world goes on and on and…