I owned these at one point, and they served me well for a time. They remain an industry standard to this day for good reason.
The build quality is exceptional, and they have a pretty decent sound. If you look around closely you just may see these being used by TV personalities and the like. I’ve seen Dan Patrick to Howard Stern to you name it wear them. They come in at a great price point, and are marketed as reference cans. More on that later.
These puppies are a pretty sweet deal. They will last you quite a while, and the price vs. performance ratio is very good. You really are getting a quality unit for your hard earned dollar.
The sound is a bit tricky to review. They are marketed as reference headphones, and do a pretty decent job of it. The sound however is a bit hit and miss. They will sound wonderful with certain recordings, and not so great with others.
Mixing on them is a bit of a chore because of the harshness and sibilance in the high frequency ranges. The treble can become fatiguing to the point of exhaustion at times. I found myself having to take them off and give my ears a rest because of this. What does Sibilant mean?
I do love their bass response. It’s tight, controlled, and never overpowering. Overall they lack a bit of warmth. They do however provide pretty nice detail and clarity. This was the first headphone where I actually was able to discern very subtle sounds in my mixes, as well as my favorite music in general. They really do impress in that regard, and made me look at music in an entirely different way. Suddenly, songs that I thought I knew front to back revealed themselves to me fully. It was a bit of an epiphany to be honest.
They are pretty lightweight and comfortable, although you may have to re-adjust from time to time. If you’ve never worn a pair of decent headphones, these will feel really nice.
They have quite a solid build, and can take a lot of abuse. They are made very well, but I personally had some issues with the ear cups. One or both fell off after some time, and I would frequently have to re-attach them. It became quite a chore. I never actually glued them back on, but I imagine it wouldn’t be too difficult. The cups faux leather also starts peeling after awhile. I cannot remember the exact time frame, but I want to say about a year or so.
They do sport a coiled cable, so just be aware that it may get tangled from time to time. I found this also frustrating, as I really wore them out in the studio. I think I used them nearly every day back in 2010/2011 or thereabouts.
Other than those two issues, I could see these lasting quite a long time given proper care.
Good for mixing at this price point. They aren’t perfect, but get the job done. They are pretty analytical which lends itself well to studio applications
Exceptional clarity and detail. The first headphones that made me able to discern small subtleties in my mixes as well as my favorite tunes.
Solid Build. Aside from the ear cup issue, I could see these lasting a long time. They have been around since 1991, Sony’s gotta be doing something right, no?
Tight, punchy low end.
They are very flexible and fold in a myriad of different ways for added durability.
They come with a nice carrying case and a 1/4″ adapter.
Coiled cable can be a pain and get tangled frequently
Potential to sound a bit boring, being so analytical
harshness in the upper mid and treble range.
they can become quite fatiguing after awhile
a bit too bulky for consistent portable use
ear cups may start to peel after about a year or so
People on a budget looking for a good mixing option.
People who like to hear subtle details in their music.
People who want a great value, and an upgrade from their current ear buds or cheap headphones.
People who want longevity out of their purchase. There is a reason these came out in 1991 (The dinosaur age) but are still around. Lol.
A durable, long lasting set of headphones that won’t break the bank. At a great value, these also have a pretty decent sound overall, and plenty of bass. They are however pretty harsh in the high end, and can become very fatiguing. Ear cups prone to falling off and the faux leather has a tendency to peel off after some time.
If you’re on a budget, I would highly recommend these. If you can afford something better, you may want to consider other options. They are a really good value, and overall their sound is very decent but not remarkable. They do well in certain instances and not so well in others. I cannot get over the high end harshness, but most everything else about this can is pretty solid.