Sony MDR-1000X Wireless Headphones Review
The new Sony MDR-1000X wireless headphones are a full size over the ear model, and sit in the premium section of the Sony headphone range. Pricing is very similar to the other big contenders out there right now, coming in between the Bose Quiet Comfort 35 and our current favorite, the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless M2AEBT.
There’s a lot of hype doing the rounds right now that these may well be the best wireless headphones on the market in early 2017 – let’s dive in & see if they really live up to the gossip!
Opening the box gives you the familiar travel case, standard 3.5mm audio cable, micro USB charge cord and a airplane 2 prong adapter for use with onboard entertainment systems. All pretty standard stuff for this class of headphone. It’s nice that the standard headphone cable uses a 3.5mm plug (unlike the Bose), as this means you can pretty much pick up any standard replacement cable if you are caught out with a flat battery.
The feature set is right up there, with ANC (Active Noise Cancellation), bluetooth with 2 high res protocols (the normal aptX plus Sony’s proprietary LDAC), phone link that works great with Apple & Android phones – no glaring omissions here. If you are not sure on what all these features mean, we check out the aptX & Sony LDAC protocols here: Best Bluetooth Audio Formats – How to Get the Best Wireless Sound
The Sony MDR-1000X is one of the first wireless headphones to support 2nd generation active noise cancellation – check out the link where we look into the advances in technology with 2nd generation active noise cancelling headphones.
Build quality is very good, with the main body of the headphones being a mix of high quality plastics with much of the headband & earcups covered in a simulated soft touch leather. They feel strong, and to my eye look pretty understated with very little shoutyness going on to draw attention – they should slip right under the radar on a busy commute which may be a good thing.
Comfort rating is very good – they grip the head rather than squeeze on tight, and have proven very comfortable over extended use when traveling – I even managed to fall asleep with these on the other night. Very nice so far.
Sony MDR-1000X Wireless Review – Sound Quality & Performance
So – on to the main event for the Sony MDR-1000X review – how do they sound? What’s going on with the Active Noise Cancellation on them?
Straight off the bat they sound fantastic. A little warm with slightly boosted midrange & bass, very clean & crisp high frequency response. Dare I say it – the Sony MDR-1000X are the best sounding wireless headphones we have heard in the current crop that are on the market right now. With the volume at 50% they sound a little ordinary, but above there they really come to life. Great wide soundstage, these are definitely at the top of the sound quality league right now.
Then there is the active noise cancellation – this is another strong point of the Sony MDR-1000X. In it’s standard mode, the quality of noise cancellation is as good (better maybe) than the class leading Bose QC 35. Coupled with the high standard of physical isolation offered by the large earcups, the standard of noise cancellation is plain eery.
But there’s more.
The Sony has a touch sensitive ear cup which you can swipe to skip tracks / tap to pause the music – this feels a bit gimmicky to us & was a bit hit or miss in use. What wasn’t hit or miss is that you can place a hand over the ear cup which automatically drops the volume level on your tunes / boosts the audio from the built in microphones. This makes having a surprise conversation super easy & natural – think the time when the waitress needs to ask if you want a coffee on the plane.
As soon as you take your hand away, the volume pops back to where it was & the noise cancellation kicks back in.
FANTASTIC. This is active noise cancellation at a new level & we love it. Gone is the need to quickly whip off the headphones for a quick chat – this is the future & we can’t help but feel it will become a standard as we go forwards.
So in conclusion, we find that the Sony MDR-1000X wireless headphones are the new class leader for sound quality & active noise cancellation, with the somewhat plain Jane looks being the only debatable point. I can see the plainness being a positive if you are using these in busy environments where the Bose / Sennheiser may attract unwanted attention, whereas at home I am a bit of a sucker for the high end feel & look of the Sennheiser Momentum.
Check out our best wireless headphones 2017 roundup & compare the Sony MDR-1000X to the rest of the current top performing wireless headphones.
- Feature Set 100%
- Build Quality 90%
- Sound Quality 93%
- Value for Money 90%
- Overall Rating 93%
Sony MDR-1000x Review – Final Thoughts
Sony MDR-1000X is probably the best wireless active noise cancellation headphone on the market in early 2017. Superb – this is ANC++ and we love it! The sound quality is superb for a wireless headphone, with next generation noise cancellation features that feel like ‘the future’. Highly recommended!