After switching to the iPhone 7 which famously knocked out the 3.5mm jack, I was finally ready to take a plunge into the world of wireless headphones. I’m not an audiophile but I do enjoy quality audio and my previous headphones include wired pairs from Sennheiser and B&O. As far as wireless headphones are concerned, my recent favorite has been the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0. But the Sony MDR-1000X is here to challenge that so lets find out if it succeeds.
Packaged in a fairly standard sized box for high-end headphones, the Sony MDR-1000X come with all the accessories you’d expect. There is a nice pouch to carry them, a USB cable to charge them, an airline adaptor along with a 3.5mm cable that is tangle free. The 3.5mm cable allows you to use the MDR-1000X even if the battery is completely depleted- though you obviously lose some of the functionality.
Coming to the headset, Sony has done a good job of using premium materials but keeping the weight down to about 275g which is slightly more than the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 (260g) but less than the Bose QuietComfort 35 (310g.) They’re available in two colors- black and beige both of which look really classy. I received the black one for review. The fold-up design makes them easy to carry, especially with the rotating cups that fold inwards.
The headband is made of Aluminium which keeps the MDR-1000X strong but light whereas faux leather is used below it which provides good comfort and does not pull your hair like the Beats Solo2. You can adjust the size of the band from each end in ten clicks. It would have been nice if Sony labelled the clicks because there is a good possibility that you’d want to loosen them all the way when they’re sitting on your neck and then bring it back to the level that fits your head when listening to music.
Sony uses an over ear design with the MDR-1000X which means that your ears will be completed covered. The same faux leather as the headband is used for cushioning and provides excellent comfort. That being said, I did feel my ears getting warmer than I like when listening to a prolonged session and that’s simply because I’m more of an on-ear guy vs an over-ear design. I’ve been told by colleagues that it’s just something you get used to. As far as buttons and connectors are concerned, the left cup has three buttons for power, noise cancellation and ambient noise along with a 3.5mm jack while the right cup has a micro USB connector for charging the headphones.
The right cup is also used for controlling your music through gestures. You can double tap to pause, slide up and down for volume controls or left and right to skip between tracks. Although the controls work, they’re not as convenient to use as a regular volume knob or a skip slider. I accidentally skipped tracks while trying to increase the volume levels a few times. My favorite gesture is cupping the right unit which reduces the volume levels and turns on the mic so you can hear what someone is saying without taking the headphones off. I only wish that it would pause what you’re listening to instead of lowering the volume because I often listen to podcasts and don't want to miss any of the discussion.