Sony MDR-1000X Test and review: premium headphones with noise canceling

Sony MDR-1000X Test and review: premium headphones with noise canceling

New headphones Sony MDR-1000X with Active Noise Cancellation technology. The long flight to Las Vegas just allowed us to estimate the headphones to practice. In this review we will share impressions of ANC technologies work and the headphones as a whole.

Conventional headphones are not as well suited for traveling in a train or bus, not to mention the flights. This is especially true of models with an open design. But even with closed headphones sound insulation is not always effective in blocking out external noise. An alternative for a long time are headphones with active noise cancellation technology (Active Noise Cancellation, ANC). They eliminate the noise due to the radiation of an “anti-noise” in the opposition. ANC Headphones today are offered by many manufacturers. A model like Bose QuietComfort 35 , has a broad appeal. But Sony also offers a line of headphones with active noise cancellation. And the top model in the range of just Sony MDR-1000X.

Headphones Sony MDR-1000X interesting not only support ANC technology. With support for Bluetooth aptX profiles and Sony LDAC, headphones provide excellent sound quality when connected to a mobile device. There is an opportunity to talk on the phone through headphones. Management headphones is also quite advanced: using the touch-sensitive surface on the cups. However, headphone quality depends not only on innovative technologies that can be seen and priced Sony MDR-1000X – they will cost much more expensive than other models of Sony ANC.

Buy Sony MDR-1000X can be in black or beige colors for the price 399 euros in Europe , so that the price in front of us an alternative to the flagship headphones, the Sennheiser or Bose. Therefore, the sound quality Sony MDR-1000X  must satisfy the requirements of the most demanding users.

Sony MDR-1000X Test and review: premium headphones with noise canceling

Contents of delivery

Bluetooth-headset supplied in a large cardboard box. We got to the tests beige version Sony MDR-1000X. Sony touts on the box different standards supported headphones. Some standards are developed or certificates directly to Sony (Hi-Res Audio, Sense Engine and LDAC), others are industry standards, even if they were created with the assistance of Sony. In particular, this is true for NFC (Near Field Communication). Some standards will be discussed in more detail review.

In a sturdy cardboard box is another, smaller one. It contains the earphones in hard case for transport of artificial leather. There are also other accessories, in particular, high-quality 1.5 m OFC cable for wired connection. On the other hand, you get a simple charging cable micro-USB and adapter for aircraft. Finally, Sony has put a full package of documents.

Before we move on to a detailed examination of the headphones, let me give you the main specifications in the table.

Sony MDR-1000X Test and review: premium headphones with noise canceling

Appearance and equipment

Headphones Sony MDR-1000X easy to fold, after which they can fit in the bag for transport. The cover has a lining, which shows exactly how to fold the headphones. Also, a separate compartment in a case provided for air adapter, there is room for cables in the rear pocket.

Sure, beige headphones will please not for everyone, but they make some variety after the ubiquitous black colors. However, Sony offers an alternative – you can buy the black version. Sony has used for Sony MDR-1000X mixture of artificial leather and plastic. Materials like not the most expensive, but thanks to the assembly of high quality, they look good. In addition, the choice of materials and led to a very modest weight of 275 g Many gaming headsets we tested weigh more, in spite of the more simple technologies.

Plastic pieces with silver finish can scuff over time. However, for several weeks test, we did not notice the wear and tear. Headphones Sony MDR-1000X at the end of tests looked no worse than in the beginning. Headband can be adjusted by the user’s head size in a few steps.

Sony MDR-1000X Test and review: premium headphones with noise canceling

Sony MDR-1000X headphones have a closed design, cups fully cover the ears. That in itself gives a passive isolation from ambient noise. Soft leather ear cushions and a nice sit securely on the head, they also contribute to isolation. The pressure on the skull headphone moderate, we were able to comfortably wear the Sony MDR-1000X for several hours without causing fatigue.


At first glance, and it can not see that Sony headphones provide rich opportunities for direct control. It catches the eye except the three buttons below the left cup. They allow you to turn on / off the headset, activate Active Noise Cancellation technology, and switch between the two modes Ambient Sound. But there is more binding functions.

For example, if you hold down the power button, the headphones will start pairing Bluetooth. If you hold the button ANC ANC headphones perform optimization technology. At the touch of a button are separated well, since Sony has provided projections of different widths. A few days later the hand remembers the location of the buttons, then you can work with them blindly without any problems. Small LED inform about the selected settings, or turn on the headphones. In the off position when you press a woman’s voice in the English Press explains that the headphones off.

Sony MDR-1000X Test and review: premium headphones with noise canceling

Bottom cups are connected audio cable, and micro-USB charging cable. On the state of charge inform small LED, which turns off after a full charge.

But to manage Sony MDR-1000X  headphones can not only using the buttons: the outer surface of the cup right touch, it can be used to control playback. Here, of course, contradictory feelings. For example, Sony headphones are clearly visible advantages and disadvantages. For example, to adjust the volume using a wipe up or down. On the change signals sound. However, volume control is performed only in small steps without tactile feedback, so it is difficult to know what level is selected.

To move between tracks (previous or next, left or right) touch control approaches is better, the same applies to pause and resume playback (double-tap). There is another trick: to hear the environment enough to close the right hand cup hand. In this case, Sony will enhance the signal from the external microphones and submit it to the headphones. After a short pause switch (on the order of a second), you can hear what is happening outside the headphones.

Sony MDR-1000X Test and review: premium headphones with noise canceling

Active Noise Cancellation

Technically difficult to implement ANC. The headphones must capture the ambient noise with microphones (which is clearly visible on both cups Sony MDR-1000X) and very quickly give a sound in opposite phase. Moreover, ultimately depends on the efficiency of the user’s perception. There are also physical problems: low frequency sound in the opposite phase to extinguish easier than high. Full extinction of all the audio spectrum is almost impossible, but over conventional headphones ANC this problem and not put. Their mission – to put out the low-frequency rumble of engines in land transport or in aircraft turbines.

If you try to evaluate the effect of passive noise isolation and ANC headphones Sony MDR-1000X (and the other similar models) at home, you probably will be disappointed. Even with an active noise reduction headphone technology to make their way high voices of women and children. On the plane the effect of the headphones is different: we have used them during a transatlantic flight to Las Vegas and back. And we sat in a rather noisy place for wings, when the roar of turbines drowns out almost everything. If you use standard headphones without the ANC in such circumstances, the hum from anywhere can not hide. Quite different feeling in headphones with a well implemented ANC technology, like Sony MDR-1000X: the engine roar fades. It remains faintly rustling. Even at a moderate level playing you will hardly pay attention to the performance of engines, which will concentrate on the music, or watching a movie or TV series. For several hours we were able to fully enjoy the entertainment on the plane and your own music library. Even if you just want to take a nap, the ANC offers advantages – headphones “reproduce” the silence, you can use them no worse than active Oropax.

ANC Noise Reduction works as when connected via Bluetooth, and using the cable (including adapter for aircraft). The only requirement – the headphones should be included. Officially claimed battery life of 20 hours, in practice it is very close to the application, but if the battery runs out, the headphones can still be used in the off position via a cable. But in this case you can not use ANC and change the characteristics of the sound. By the way, nothing good in this mode is not as Sony MDR-1000X start to sound pretty dull. So it is possible to use such a regime only as a last resort. And the charging time, which is four hours, have patience – the headphones in the charging process does not work.

Sony MDR-1000X Test and review: premium headphones with noise canceling

Depending on the situation, you may need to hear the sound environment, for example, not to miss the ad in the airport. Headphones Sony MDR-1000X ready to such scenarios when they help overcome isolation and passive ANC. The best way to see the work functions of the video:

Sony headphones can not only disable the ANC touch the palm, and then to the headphones via the microphones will come out surrounding sounds and speech, but also to activate the Ambient Sound mode. In this mode, the surrounding sounds are free to enter the headphones, even overcoming the passive isolation. The regime has two settings: Normal and Voice (with increased voice). Due to the use of microphones, in modes Ambient Sound and ANC swept a small background noise. It is associated with the use of function Active Noise Cancellation and observed in competing products too. Therefore, in quiet environments, it makes sense to disable the ANC. It is a pity that Sony Noise Reduction automatically activates every time you turn on the headphones, so this feature is necessary to disable it.

Sound quality

At headphones Sony MDR-1000X is quite a lot of different modes and settings that affect the sound quality. Theoretically, the best sound quality you can get through the cable, as sound transmission via Bluetooth is based on different compression techniques that reduce the bit rate. But Sony MDR-1000X  headphones support aptX codec and Sony LDAC, which promise high quality sound. If LDAC provides high transfer rate up to 990 kbit / s. However, if you want to take advantage of the codecs they need to be supported also by the playback device. Profile aptX distributed quite widely, but LDAC is still only supported Sony products such as smart phones and new models Xperia Walkman players.

In practice, most users are unlikely to feel the difference between the individual codecs. If you use a high quality source of audio with lossless compression, the difference between wired and wireless transmission of music will be difficult to find. In any case, Sony headphones reproduce nice balanced sound. This is especially true of low frequencies. Headphones Sony MDR-1000X gives the bass, but not increase them too, they are natural. What is very happy, for example, compared with the typical gaming headset. At medium and high frequencies, Sony headphones reproduce a large number of parts that are not muted bass. Thus, the low frequency Radiohead Karma Police compositions were complete and powerful, but at the same voice artist sounded clearly and not muffled. With classical music Sony MDR-1000X also cope fine. Groups of instruments in the second Brandenburg Concerto by Bach stood and competed well, all the nuances of performance could be heard with each other – even the air blown from the wind instruments.

If you connect a Bluetooth headset with built-in microphone can be used as a headset. Double tapom can answer incoming calls. user’s voice is captured with high quality. With regard to the interlocutor, the voice was legible, but too thin, metallic shades.


Immediately, we note that Sony MDR-1000X headphones are a great choice for demanding users who want to enjoy music and movies on the plane or ground transportation. So in front of us is quite compelling premium headphones for travel. They are lightweight and comfortable to develop, together with the headphones you just get a hard case for transport. In practice, the headphones have proved to be great. We used them for transatlantic flights at CES and back, you can sit back and enjoy the live entertainment in an airplane without the hum of engines. Is that a disproportionately high-profile announcement of the crew at times irritated. To do this, the same Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless, for example, there is a level limit switch.

Headphones are so universal that the search model “only for travel” is hardly justified. You can use the Sony MDR-1000X as conventional wireless headphones on a daily basis. They are pleased with the high wearing comfort and convincing sound quality, regardless of the connection. Is that Sony headphones fit is not so good for the classic scenario HiFi. Cable length of 1.5 m is too short (it is usually 3 m), and connect the headphones to the usual 1/4 “jack is possible only through an adapter.

In this review we have already mentioned the two main competitors – Bose QuietComfort 35 and Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless. Both models are also pleased with the high quality audio, supports wireless transmission of music and technology of active noise cancellation. The design of the three pairs of headphones very similar package is also almost the same, with cover To transport the audio cable and adapter for aircraft. Of course, there are differences in the specifications and feature set, as well as management (Sennheiser headphones also support touch-sensitive controls on the cup, as well as with the remote of the Board on the cable, Bose has decided to rely on the traditional buttons), runtime (Sennheiser released by Sony and Bose providing 30 hours instead of 20) and the scope of delivery (only Sennheiser has added an adapter to 6.35 mm jack). But Sony provides more different modes of operation as compared to the competitors, even if they are not interesting to all users.

With the new Sony MDR-1000X introduced one of the most attractive models of headphones with active noise cancellation in the upper price segment. Bluetooth headset is not only pleased with the high quality noise reduction, but also for its versatility and well-balanced sound. Therefore, it deserves our reward “excellent hardware”.

Advantages of Sony MDR-1000X:

  • Earnest work technology of active noise suppression ANC, as well as the environment of the listening modes
  • Balanced sound convincing audio quality even when Bluetooth connecting
  • Excellent wearing comfort, a nice artificial leather
  • You can control the headset blind
  • It can be used as a Bluetooth headset
  • Long battery life, you can use a cable connection after the exhaustion of the battery (with restrictions)
  • The package includes a carrying case for transporting and adapter for aircraft

Disadvantages of Sony MDR-1000X:

  • Volume control via the touch panel is not the most convenient, no kickback on the volume level
  • ANC is included after each turn the headphones; always background noise

Source: sony

Sony MDR-1000X Test and review: premium headphones with noise canceling was last modified: February 26th, 2017 by Tomas Shellby