The Sony MDR 1A Review: Good Headphone With One Caveat

Kalimera friend and Welcome aboard!!

Before we get into the Sony MDR 1A Review, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..

You’ve come to the right place!!

What I will bring you in this review

  1. Ratings/Price
  2. Specifications
  3. Summary
  4. Pros
  5. Cons
  6. Video Review
  7. Amp/DAC requirements
  8. Who these headphones benefit?
  9. Consensus/Conclusion
  10. Final Word

Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!

Sony MDR1A

Ratings/Price

Specifications

  • Type: Closed back.
  • Fit: Circumaural.
  • Impedance: 24 Ohm.
  • Frequency Response: 3Hz – 100kHz.
  • Sensitivity: 105 dB/mW.
  • Driver size: 40mm.
  • Material: Not specified.
  • Color: black, red.
  • Cable replaceable/detachable: Yes, and includes 2. A 47-inch cable with in-line remote and microphone for taking calls and controlling music with an Android device, and a 47-inch mini-plug cable (no remote)
  • Cable coiled: No.
  • Cable length: Not specified.
  • Comes with straight cable: Yes.
  • Ear-pads replaceable: Yes.
  • Rotating ear-cups: Yes.
  • Headband Padding: Yes.
  • Headband Style: Traditional.
  • Fold-able: Folds flat.
  • Weight: 7.94 oz.
  • Accessories Included: L-shaped plug, Smart-Key, multi-function key, single-sided cable, carrying pouch.
  • Amp needed: No.

Summary

The MDR1A is a phenomenal closed headphone for the most part. Closed back vs. open back headphones? It’s got a crisp overall sound, especially in the treble area. For a closed back, the Soundstage is also quite good. What is Soundstage?

The top end remains intricate, smooth, and clear without becoming sibilant. What does sibilant mean? This is the MDR1A’s best character in my opinion, a long with a very natural and present mid-range. Timbre seems to be very accurate for the most part, with vocals and instruments coming through with good precision. What is Timbre?

The bass is the trouble area; it’s too bloated and artificial sounding for a headphone in this price range. There’s really no excuse for it to be honest. I have no idea what made Sony ruin an otherwise perfectly good sound signature with an overblown bass, but I digress.

Comfort wise these are nothing short of exemplary, and though the build is extremely solid, I expected them to be heavier. That said, the materials used are solid, with hints of metal and the majority being plastic. The ear-cups feel extremely soft and supple, and I don’t get the impression that they will peel or crack over time like Sony’s entry level models (The V6 and MDR 7506).

Learn more:

Pros

  • Solid build.
  • Exemplary comfort.
  • Great mid-range and treble.

Cons

Bass is a bit too bloated for my tastes.

Video Review!

Credit to LLAT! 🙂

Amp/DAC requirements

The low impedance and high sensitivity means you will not need an amplifier with these. How to choose a headphone amp!

That said, plugging into an amp or DAC of some sort never hurt. I always recommend the Schiit Magni/Modi combo for people who want to get their feet wet. It’s an amp that will work with the majority of headphones due to it’s very low output impedance.

Learn more:

Who these headphones benefit?

I would say they do well with most genres, with their natural sound being the deciding factor. I listened to mostly Rock, Acoustic, and Jazz with them. They will work for bass heavier genres, but again keep in mind that bloat.

Consensus/Conclusion

An extremely comfortable set of headphones with a great build. The overall sound is very good with the exception of that bass. Treble and mid-range are very extended and natural, though it may sound slightly artificial at times. Your mileage may vary.

Final Word

I would recommend these if not for the weird bass response. If you’re looking for a strictly bass head experience, I like the V Moda Crossfade M100 as the solution. Interested in learning more?

CHECK OUT MY OFFICIAL V MODA CROSSFADE M100 REVIEW!!

For a sound similar to the 1A, without the bass issues, check out the Oppo PM3. It’s a bit more expensive but worth every penny. Interested?

CHECK OUT MY OFFICIAL OPPO PM3 REVIEW!!

Looking for the closed back budget king? That’s the V6 my friend. Interested?

CHECK OUT MY OFFICIAL SONY MDR V6 REVIEW!!

What about the open back budget king? That’s the Philips SHP9500 without question. Interested?

CHECK OUT MY OFFICIAL PHILIPS SHP9500 REVIEW!!


Well that’s about it for today folks! I hope you’ve enjoyed this Sony MDR 1A headphone review.

What do you think about them?? Let me know!!

Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Let me know in the comments below or Contact me!! I would love to hear from you..

Until then, all the best and God bless..

 

 

-Stu

[Xtr@Ba$eHitZ]

Can’t decide which headphones to purchase? Interested in a complete buyers guide outlining over 40 of the best options on the market? Click on over to the best audiophile headphones to learn more!!

Be sure to also check out my Reviews and Resources page for more helpful and informative articles!

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *