Sony MDR-1000X Noise Cancelling, Bluetooth Headphone, Black (International Version)
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- Isolate yourself from external noise with industry-leading noise cancelation
- Enjoy Bluetooth wireless connectivity and Hi-Fi quality audio
- Listen to ambient sounds quickly and clearly with Quick Attention
- Hear music at its best with Hi-Res Audio
- Control everything by touch with Easy Touch control
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|Item Dimensions||9 x 4 x 8 in||7.83 x 9.69 x 3.9 in||9.21 x 9.29 x 4.49 in||9 x 9 x 3 in||6.46 x 1.65 x 7.09 in||2.98 x 7.17 x 8.26 in|
|Item Weight||0.61 lb||0.61 lb||0.66 lb||0.6 lb||6.74 ounces||0.52 lb|
Never miss a beat with smart, adaptive noise cancelling, wireless freedom and Hi-Res audio that lets you focus on music in its purest form.
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At the time of writing this in January 2017, I have read many reviews and watched many YouTube videos and decided that these three were the best in class competitors that I needed to try out myself. Apparently the Sennheiser Momentem 2.0 don't have the best noise cancelling and are a bit outdated at this point, so they got excluded. Also, the Bowers & Wilkins P7 headphones were left out based on them generally being older at this point and being rated below Bose by most of the reviews I found. So anyway, let's get to it!
Sony MDR-1000X: These were the ones I kept out of all three. They have the best overall noise cancelling, comfort, and sound quality. I tested loud background music playing on another floor of my house and also tested them outside near a school with kids being dismissed and cars driving by and wind noise. These handled all of this without a struggle. In quiet environments, they also sounded very good with noise cancelling both on and off. I like all the tech in these and the fact that noise cancelling can be disabled and you can still use the headphones. This is also true for the Beoplay H9 but not true for Bose. You have to have noise cancelling turned on for the Bose for any sound to come out. Also, I found the touch controls and buttons to work really well and the whole interface pleasing and reliable to work with on the Sonys. I couldn't find that the earpads were user replaceable when I searched online which is a big downside. I think you have to send them to Sony for that. Also, there is no user removable battery like the Beoplay has. But overall, these were a pretty clear winner for me compared to the other two choices here. While not totally necessary, I've been playing with the EQ app for iOS called "EQu" and find that it improves things even more and gets the sound quality nearly indistinguishable from the Beoplay with this.
Beoplay H9: If spectacular sound quality is your absolute top priority, these win hands down. They have rich and highly precise deep bass with beautifully well balanced mids and highs. I was seriously impressed by the sound quality of these. The companion app for iOS is also surprisingly good. I prefer a bit warmer tone and this app achieved that easily. It can also make things bright or accommodate whatever flavor of EQ you lean toward with a very simple interface. I can't heap enough praise about how good these sound. The Bose sound so annoyingly bright and I love how rich and clear the Beoplays are in contrast. However, the downside for the Beoplays is noise cancelling. With minimal background noise in a certain frequency range, the Beoplays performed okay and you couldn't hear much background noise or much difference compared to the other two headphones. But there were so many circumstances in my testing where it was hard to believe noise cancelling was even turned on because it wasn't blocking out any sound compared to the Sony and Bose in the exact same testing environment. Changing gears now, I'm a 5' 11" tall male who weighs about 150 pounds and found these to be relatively comfortable. Sure, the top of the headband is rock hard but you can slide it to the crown of your head and you don't really even notice it. The earbpads are comfy just like the other two headphones being compared. To sum these up, if audio quality in a quiet environment was my absolute top priority, I would have totally gotten these and dealt with the perfectly acceptable comfort and the subpar noise cancelling. But the Sonys were just too well rounded to pass up. Oh, almost forgot to mention how worthless the volume controls are on the Beoplay. Changing tracks, pausing, and enabling/disabling noise cancelling works reliably, but moving your finger in a circle on the ear cup to control the volume is essentially impossible. Having an Apple Watch to control the volume with the Digital Crown is a workaround, but that obviously doesn't help most people. Pretty sure the earpads can be replaced on these easily if I remember correctly. Also, the easily replaceable battery is very cool. Oh ya, just remembered that I didn't like these very much in the wind with noise cancelling on. It filtered through the cans in a weird way and was annoying and noticeable. The Sony and Bose didn't have this problem.
Bose QC35: Noise cancelling, simplicity (single on/off switch), low price, and pairing with two devices simultaneously are the pros here. I have owned multiple Bose noise cancelling headphones over the years and I'm just personally so tired of their bright/tinny sound signature in their noise cancelling models. However, these do get the job done and work great for travel. It's like they were designed with noise cancelling of planes and trains as their top priority (although the Sonys are essentially just as good in this department). The Bose are exceptionally comfortable. I'd say the Sony and Bose were very close in the comfort department with Bose just barely edging it out here, but it's nearly a tie. Pairing with two devices with the Bose is really nice, but I think it's worth tolerating the little bit of trouble switching between iPad/iPhone/Mac for the Sonys because of the sound quality for both music/podcasts. I'll leave that trade off up to you though. The earpads are user replaceable on the Bose, but there's no easy battery removal like the Beoplay.
Summary: The Sony MDR-1000X nailed comfort, sound quality, and noise cancelling in one package. I was tempted by the Beoplay H9 because I went into this really wanting nothing less than excellent sound quality at any price out of a set of Bluetooth headphones, but because the Sony MDR-1000X still sound very very good and the noise cancelling is leaps and bounds ahead of the Beoplay, I just had to go for the Sonys for my personal needs (loud neighbors, traveling, etc). Lastly, personal opinion, I think the build quality of all of them are fine and seem like they will hold up just fine over time. Yes, the Beoplay seemed to have the highest quality materials and the most stunning looks, but honestly they all will probably do just fine if you take good care of them, or wear out if you trash them. The slight weight discrepancies didn't seem to make much difference in terms of comfort either. Battery life is about 20 hours for the Bose and Sonys, and 15 hours for the Beoplay with removable battery. But this is such a long time I didn't really factor it into my purchase decision. Lastly, I think there's only so much a company can do to make Bluetooth headphones deliver great sound quality while also cancelling lots of background noise. So obviously B&O (Beoplay) decided great sound quality in a quiet environment was most important and Bose decided sound cancelling was most important and Sony decided to make no compromises and excel in all of these and I think they did a spectacular job, especially for the price. Oh ya, also didn't experience any dropouts with any of these. Didn't test if there were any lip syncing issues or delays when using them with video, but I assume they're fine for this based on other reviews I've read.
What a weird review this turned out to be. Hope it helps someone make a decision.
Recently I have been using the Oppo PM-3's as my travel headphones. I've liked them quite a lot but my ears get a little sore at times after extended (2+ hour) listening. They have worked well on flights but are corded, and although they block a fair bit of noise, are not noise cancelling. They are still a fantastic headphone, but not the panacea when it comes to in fight headphones.
I was skeptical of purchasing the new MDR-1000X's as my experience with noise cancelling headphones in the past has been acoustically they have a lot of compromises. However after reading many of the initial reviews I decided to give them a chance. I had also recently upgraded by phone to a LGV20 with supports APT-X over Bluetooth, something these Sony's support. (The V20 also has a build in quad DAC that is pretty amazing but only functions with wired connections. This is where is worked extremely well with the Oppo PM-3's).
I received my Sony's, got them charged up, and then took them on a long flight to Maui. The offer an "optimization" feature that runs a series of test tones to optimize the sound. I did this and then used the head phones for the duration of the trip. I paired them first to my LG V20. I played a series of FLAC files as well as some "extreme" bit rate files I had downloaded from Spotify. I was really impressed with the sound quality with good bass and midrange, and still quite crisp highs. I couldn't do a head to head as I didn't have any of my other headphones along, but unlike other noise cancelling headphones that did not sound good with music, the MDR-1000x's were very, very good. Are they comparable to my Grado's or Audeze's? No way. But they are still very, very good.
I was also impressed by the noise cancelling. I often sleep with my headphones on and these did a fantastic job blocking noise and letting me doze. No concerns here at all.
After using the MDR-1000s on the LG V20, I hooked them up to my Galaxy Tab S to watch some movies and Netflix. Here is one of the downsides of these. You have to unpair from the first device and then pair with the second. I believe the new Bose's let you pair with multiple devices. Not a huge issue for me, but about 30 seconds extra worth of work. The Tab S doesn't support Apt-X, but the movies and Netflix programming all sounds perfectly fine and again I was really pleased.
Since the trip to Maui, I've taken these on two more shorter trips with the U.S. Again they performed flawlessly. They are going to be my go to travel headphones moving forward.