comscore Sony MDR-1000X Wireless Noise-Cancelling Headphones Review
Review

Sony MDR-1000X Wireless Noise-Cancelling Headphones Review

The very premium Sony MDR-1000X is a feature-filled noise-cancelling headset but can it compete against the dominance of Bose?

sony mdr1000x main

4.5 5
BGR Rating :
4.5/5

When it comes to noise-cancelling headphones, most experts agree that it doesn’t get much better than Bose. The American company has built something of a reputation for itself with its QuietComfort range, and the recently launched QuietComfort 35 sets new benchmarks when it comes to cutting out the noise. But Sony has recently shown that it is equally capable of producing good noise-cancelling headphones, and the market is now essentially a head-to-head fight between these two stalwarts of the industry. Also Read - Samsung and LG confirm presence at in-person CES 2022

Sony’s answer to the excellent QuietComfort 35 is the wireless MDR-1000X. This premium pair of headphones cuts no corners and holds nothing back when it comes to features. But does it have enough in it to convince buyers to look past the reputation of Bose and put money down on it? We review the Sony MDR-1000X to find out if it can become the new champion of noise-cancellation.sony mdr1000x leather Also Read - E3 2021: What is it, entire schedule, how to watch livestream for free, what to expect

Sony MDR-1000X Design and Specifications
Thanks to the around-ear design, the Sony MDR-1000X headphones completely wrap around your ears to offer proper isolation, which is an essential part of noise-cancellation. The frame of the headphones is entirely metal, and this also makes it feel premium and sturdy. The ear pads and cushioning below the head band is foam, which makes the headphones extremely comfortable to wear. Also Read - God of War Ragnarok delayed until 2022: Here's why

The outer part of the ear-cups is wrapped in synthetic leather, which gives the headset a very classy look. The left ear-cup has the NFC receiver for quick Bluetooth pairing, while the right is entirely plain, but actually has the touch-sensitive panel. Swiping left and right with your finger on the panel changes the track, swiping up and down controls the volume, and double tapping the surface pauses or plays your audio and answers calls. While this is in fact a very cool way to control the headset, it’s also painfully inaccurate at times, with volume swipes often reading as next or previous and changing the track, and vice versa. I would much rather have had proper hardware buttons that worked accurately, as is the case on the more affordable Sony MDR-100ABN.sony mdr1000x main 2

The bottom of the left ear-cup has the 3.5mm input jack to use the headphones with a stereo cable, along with the power, noise-cancellation and ambient sound buttons. Pressing the power button once while the headset is on will give you a voice-prompt of the battery level. Noise cancellation can be turned off when the headset is on, and the ambient sound mode gives you the option to only allow voice to come through, while other ambient sounds are filtered out by the headset. The bottom of the right ear-cup has the micro-USB port for charging.

The noise-cancellation system uses dual microphones, which are rather large and sit at the top of each ear cup. The same microphones come into play when you’re using the headset as a hands-free device on phone calls, and this ensures that you’ll be heard clearly by the person on the other end. The headphones come with a carry-case, stereo cable, charging cable and have a nifty folding mechanism that makes the MDR-1000X compact when not in use. It’s also high-resolution audio compliant, with a frequency response range of 4-40,000Hz and 40mm dynamic drivers. Battery life is claimed to be around 20 hours on a full charge, and we did in fact get close to this much, which is impressive.sony mdr1000x mic

Sony MDR-1000X Performance
I used the Sony MDR-1000X with my trusty OnePlus 3 connected over Bluetooth for most of the review, but also used the included stereo cable to use it with a Windows laptop on some occasions. Focus tracks for the review were Je M’Amuse by Caravan Palace and Floating Points’ Nuits Sonores. We also thoroughly tested the noise-cancellation in various conditions, including in the office, while commuting and in crowded and noisy places.

Starting with Je M’Amuse, we found that the sound is incredibly clean, detailed and crisp. From the start itself when the bass kicks in, every part of the sonic range is adequately represented, without the headphones allowing any particular element to dominate over others. This effectively means punchy bass, a bit of sparkle in the treble, great instrumental separation and distinct vocals all in one, and I was able to feel every bit of it with the same tenacity. The isolating nature of the headphones and the digital noise-cancellation itself further enhance the quality of the sound by ensuring that most ambient sound is cut out.

Moving on to the progressive lounge track Nuits Sonores, I listened with undivided attention as the track progressively built up into the exciting and relaxing track that it is. The sound imaging and instrumental separation were absolutely top-notch, letting every bit of the track be felt just as clearly as it was heard. Even faint elements of the track could be heard distinctly while the primary sound and bass were firing with full force. Through all of this, I also got a sense of comfort and ease, with the headphones providing a sound that is neither fatiguing nor weak, feeling just right, no matter what genre or track I played.sony mdr1000x logo

Moving on to the noise-cancellation, I was blown away by the level of quietude afforded by the Sony MDR-1000X. While other noise-cancellation headsets only succeed in blocking out some of the ambient noise by feeding an often artificial-sounding reverse frequency, the MDR-1000X creates a soundwave that resembles true quiet so much, that it’s eerie how little of the typical drone can be heard. You will of course be able to hear sounds that are not stable in nature, such as voices or the tapping of the keyboard as I write this review.

There’s also an ambient sound mode, which allows the microphone to allow certain sounds to filter into your ears. In normal mode, this turns on the two microphones to let all sound in by actively replicating it through the drivers, while voice-mode allows only voice through. These modes are particularly useful when you want to be able to hear a bit of your surroundings, such as in an office, or while walking on the street, and they work incredibly well in practice. The microphones are powerful to use for voice calls as well, and I had no trouble having long phone conversations with the headset on.sony mdr1000x buttons

Verdict
Noise-cancellation headphones occupy a bit of a niche, primarily because they’re most effective on airplanes. This means that the people that tend to use them are the same people that take a lot of flights. However, the increasing quality of noise-cancellation offered by top brands such as Bose and Sony means that there’s more of a market for these even among users who ordinarily use the headphones while commuting or in the office. The Sony MDR-1000X has everything it takes to win over this market, and gives the traditional champion of the industry Bose some serious competition.

Apart from looking excellent, feeling comfortable to use for long hours and sounding great, the Sony MDR-1000X also offers ambient sound filtering, stellar battery life and arguably the best sound we’ve heard from a wireless headset. The only flaw is the gimmicky and largely inaccurate touch control panel, but this is a small flaw in an otherwise excellent pair of headphones. Although users may be inclined to trust the similarly priced Bose QC 35 purely because of Bose’s experience and legacy, we recommend the Sony MDR-1000X as the better of the two headphones on the whole.

For the latest tech news across the world, latest PC and Mobile games, tips & tricks, top-notch gadget reviews of most exciting releases follow BGR India’s Facebook, Twitter, subscribe our YouTube Channel. Also follow us on  Facebook Messenger for latest updates.
  • Published Date: November 21, 2016 11:45 AM IST



new arrivals in india

Infinix Note 10 Pro
Infinix Note 10 Pro

16,999

Infinix Note 10
Infinix Note 10

10,999

Vivo Y73
Vivo Y73

20,990

OnePlus Nord CE 5G
OnePlus Nord CE 5G

22,999

iQOO Z3
iQOO Z3

19,990

Realme C25s
Realme C25s

9,999

Poco M3 Pro 5G
Poco M3 Pro 5G

13,999

Realme X7 Max 5G
Realme X7 Max 5G

26,999

Oppo F19
Oppo F19

18,990

Motorola Moto G40 Fusion
Motorola Moto G40 Fusion

13,999

POCO M2 Reloaded
POCO M2 Reloaded

9,499

OPPO A74 5G
OPPO A74 5G

17,990

Oppo A53s 5G
Oppo A53s 5G

14,990

Vivo V21 5G
Vivo V21 5G

29,990

Realme C25
Realme C25

9,499

Realme C21
Realme C21

7,999

Realme C20
Realme C20

6,799

Motorola Moto G60
Motorola Moto G60

17,999

iQOO 7
iQOO 7

31,990

Samsung Galaxy M42 5G
Samsung Galaxy M42 5G

21,999

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

69,999

Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro 5G
Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro 5G

39,999

Xiaomi Mi 11X
Xiaomi Mi 11X

29,999

Realme 8 5G
Realme 8 5G

13,999

Samsung Galaxy F02s
Samsung Galaxy F02s

8,999

Samsung Galaxy F12
Samsung Galaxy F12

10,999

POCO X3 Pro
POCO X3 Pro

18,999

Realme 8 Pro
Realme 8 Pro

17,999

Realme 8
Realme 8

14,999

Vivo X60 Pro Plus
Vivo X60 Pro Plus

69,990

Vivo X60 Pro
Vivo X60 Pro

49,990

Vivo X60
Vivo X60

37,990

OnePlus 9 Pro 5G
OnePlus 9 Pro 5G

64,999

OnePlus 9R 5G
OnePlus 9R 5G

39,999

OnePlus 9 5G
OnePlus 9 5G

49,999

Samsung Galaxy A72
Samsung Galaxy A72

34,999

Samsung Galaxy A52
Samsung Galaxy A52

26,499

Micromax In 1
Micromax In 1

10,499

Asus ROG Phone 5
Asus ROG Phone 5

49,999

Samsung Galaxy M12
Samsung Galaxy M12

10,999

Motorola Moto G30
Motorola Moto G30

10,999

Motorola Moto G10 Power
Motorola Moto G10 Power

9,999

Oppo F19 Pro Plus 5G
Oppo F19 Pro Plus 5G

25,990

Oppo F19 Pro
Oppo F19 Pro

21,490

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro Max
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro Max

18,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro

15,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10

11,999

Realme Narzo 30A
Realme Narzo 30A

8,999

Realme Narzo 30 Pro
Realme Narzo 30 Pro

16,999

Infinix Smart 5
Infinix Smart 5

7,199

Samsung Galaxy F62
Samsung Galaxy F62

23,999

Samsung Galaxy A12
Samsung Galaxy A12

12,999

Nokia 5.4
Nokia 5.4

13,999

Nokia 3.4
Nokia 3.4

11,999

Realme X7 Pro 5G
Realme X7 Pro 5G

29,999

Realme X7
Realme X7

19,999

Vivo Y31
Vivo Y31

16,490

Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G
Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G

35,990

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

1,05,999

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G

81,999

Samsung Galaxy S21 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 5G

69,999

Vivo Y12s
Vivo Y12s

9,990

Vivo Y51A
Vivo Y51A

17,990

Samsung Galaxy M02s
Samsung Galaxy M02s

8,999

Xiaomi Mi 10i
Xiaomi Mi 10i

21,999

Oppo A15s
Oppo A15s

11,490

Tecno Spark 6 Go
Tecno Spark 6 Go

8,499

Vivo V20 2021
Vivo V20 2021

24,990

Vivo Y20A
Vivo Y20A

11,490

Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power
Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power

11,999

Motorola Moto G9 Power
Motorola Moto G9 Power

11,999

Motorola Moto G 5G
Motorola Moto G 5G

20,999

Vivo V20 Pro
Vivo V20 Pro

29,990

Xiaomi Mi 10T
Xiaomi Mi 10T

35,999

Xiaomi Redmi 9i
Xiaomi Redmi 9i

8,299

Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro
Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro

39,999

Infinix Hot 10
Infinix Hot 10

9,999

Vivo V20 SE
Vivo V20 SE

20,990

Vivo V20
Vivo V20

24,990

Micromax In 1b
Micromax In 1b

6,999

Micromax In Note 1
Micromax In Note 1

10,999

OnePlus 8T
OnePlus 8T

42,999

Samsung Galaxy F41
Samsung Galaxy F41

15,499

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

1,29,900

Apple iPhone 12 Pro
Apple iPhone 12 Pro

1,19,900

Apple iPhone 12 Mini
Apple iPhone 12 Mini

69,900

Apple iPhone 12
Apple iPhone 12

79,900

Poco X3
Poco X3

16,999

Realme Narzo 20A
Realme Narzo 20A

8,499

Realme Narzo 20
Realme Narzo 20

10,499

Realme Narzo 20 Pro
Realme Narzo 20 Pro

13,999

Oppo F17
Oppo F17

16,990

Samsung Galaxy M51
Samsung Galaxy M51

22,999

Poco M2
Poco M2

10,999

Oppo F17 Pro
Oppo F17 Pro

22,990

Realme 7 Pro
Realme 7 Pro

19,999

Realme 7
Realme 7

14,999

Best Sellers