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Sony MDR-EX81LP Bud-Style Stereo Earphones (Black) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

4.3 out of 5 stars 402 customer reviews

Price: $39.59 & FREE Shipping
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Lots Deals 4 U.
Standard Packaging
  • Lateral In-The-Ear Headphones
  • Elastomer Material
  • Hanger Design
  • 9Mm Driver
  • Neodymium Magnet
  • Closed type earphone structure delivers deep bass sound
  • Elastomer hanger gives a snug, comfortable fit around your ears
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  • Sony MDR-EX81LP Bud-Style Stereo Earphones (Black) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
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  • Sony MDR-EX81LP Bud-Style Stereo Earphones (White) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Total price: $79.48
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Technical Details

Product Packaging: Standard Packaging
  • lightweight

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This item: Sony MDR-EX81LP Bud-Style Stereo Earphones (Black) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Customer Rating 4 out of 5 stars (402) 3 out of 5 stars (4) 4 out of 5 stars (1020) 3 out of 5 stars (247)
Price $39.59 $28.99 $13.99 $39.89
Shipping FREE Shipping FREE Shipping FREE Shipping FREE Shipping
Sold By Lots Deals 4 U GarzaBlanca from JAPAN Defway Lots Deals 4 U
Color Black Black Blue White
Fit Intraaural In-Ear In-Ear Over-Ear
Dimensions 1.5 inches x 7.25 inches x 4 inches x x 2.75 inches x 5.71 inches x 1.18 inches 1.75 inches x 9.75 inches x 4 inches
Item Package Weight 0.25 pounds 0.18 pounds 0.1 pounds 0.05 pounds
Special Features lightweight tangle-free-cord sweatproof lightweight
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Product Description

Product Packaging: Standard Packaging

Sony Mdrex81Lp/B Comfort-Fit Ear Hanger Headphones (Black)

Product Information

Product Packaging:Standard Packaging
Product Dimensions 7.2 x 4 x 1.5 inches
Item Weight 3.4 ounces
Shipping Weight 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Manufacturer Sony
ASIN B0007N55LO
Item model number MDREX81LP/B
Customer Reviews
4.3 out of 5 stars 402 customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #2,317 in Electronics > Headphones > Earbud Headphones
#19,554 in Electronics > Portable Audio & Video > MP3 & MP4 Players & Accessories > MP3 & MP4 Player Accessories
#20,890 in Electronics > Home Audio & Theater
Discontinued by manufacturer Yes
Date first available at Amazon.com May 2, 2006

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. A. Chen on June 17, 2005
Package Type: Standard Packaging
I bought these headphones as commuter headphones and they are excellent. They are comfortable and secure, totally unlike the crappy Koss Spark Plugs I also own (see my review for those). The flexible ear plugs are so comfortable to wear even for extended periods of time. They also do a very good job of reducing ambient noise which is why I bought them. The over-ear hooks make them secure enough for jogging. The wires feel well made - not flimsy at all. The sound is clear without any muddiness; and, with a neutral bias (not too bassy or tinny). If you are looking for commuter/traveler headphones, and do not want active noise reduction, these are the headphones to get.
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Package Type: Standard Packaging
Unfortunately, the only real way to test different brand earbuds is to buy them and hope you like them. If you don't, then return them. Fortunately, larger companies let you return open packaged items such as earbuds for a full refund (without a reason), so this is what I did.
I tried similarly priced ($100) Shure earbuds, and also the popular Bose ($100) earbuds. Both are quality products, but not as quality as the Sony MDR EX 85lp (which you have to find at an actual Sony store, if not Amazon, which is about half price.)
The Shure brand has a sound disparate towards Treble. Way too much treble. And the Bose have much too much bass for my taste. So much that it overpowers the music itself. If this is what you're looking for then your good to go, but this is not what the music was recorded to sound like. That is a matter of fact.

And then there is the MDR EX90 lp, the slightly older brother of the MDR EX85. The slight difference is that the MDR EX 85 case is made of plastic and the MDR EX90 of metal. The metal housing is supposed to cut vibration, but it is so negligible as to stump a hummingbird. Ok, exaggeration, but I actually tried both and went with the EX85 (with plastic housing) because I thought the sound was a touch touch nicer, but I'm sure it was imagination or the fact that I'd compared them so many times side by side as to not know the difference anymore.

The EX85 and EX90 are nearly identical earbuds, much better than anything else I've heard in the way of earbuds. The sound is so great!
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Package Type: Standard Packaging
I was hesitant to purchase these because of the ear loop issue that some have complained about and the so-called lack of bass but have found these Sony's to be nothing but excellent earbuds (especially for the inexpensive price).

I own the Sony EX-51's and EX- 71's too and let me tell you, these are even better than the 71's because they come with a better length cord (i.e. shorter but plenty long enough) and the ear loops. I can't tell you how many times I've jerked my earbuds out of my ears when doing yardwork but these have a tendency to stay in much better due to the soft rubber ear-loops. I have normal size ears and there is no problem with the fit of these. They are comfortable too. I can understand why some wouldn't like having something wrapped around the ear but it is so thin and pliable that I can't even tell the difference over my other Sony's.

Anyone who complains about the bass response of the EX-81's are not wearing them correctly. You need to make sure that they are fitting snugly IN YOUR EAR OPENING not on or around your ear canal. Sony give's you small, medium and large rubber fittings. I need the largest size. Once you get the right size and position (and it isn't hard to place these once you get the hang of it), these are hard to beat for less than $35.

I've read about the cord/cables getting worn out but I have personally beat the heck out of the 51's and 71's for a few years and never had any wear and tear problems so I thought I'd take my chances with these. They seem to be as well made - if not better - than the others too. Perhaps the white one's have more of a problem but I haven't had any problems with the black colors so far.
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Package Type: Standard Packaging
I'll start this review by confessing my love of over-the-ear headphones. I prefer quality over fashion, but having recently purchased an MP3 Player (Zen Micro), I knew I'd have to purchase a good pair of earphones. So here I am, sitting with the Sony EX81LPs in my ears. Don't worry; I won't be comparing the over-ear phones to these.

Comfort (People w/Glasses Read):

Well, the canal part of the phone is very comfortable in your ear. It's made of a thin, extremely durable rubbery material, neither foam nor fabric. The material makes it much easier to clean and put on. As for the ear strap, I really can't figure out its purpose. My ears aren't very large, so I have to tuck the rubber straps behind them. The images are rather deceiving, giving the viewer the impression that they hold the phones up, while in actually, it's the other way around.

If you wear glasses, you're going to have to take them off when you're putting the phones on. This is because of the rubber strap. You can wear your glasses with the straps behind your ears, its just putting them on where it becomes an issue. The straps are good for one thing however: they force you to put the phones on in the proper position.

Sound Quality:

I produce and mix music as a hobby, so sound quality is important to me. Unfortunately, I have a limited income, so I have to settle between quality and cost. These phones produce a very "warm" sound at moderate volume levels. The bass sounds tamed, toned down to a point of appreciation. They do have bass! It's just not wildly exaggerated. The phones excel in producing ambient (background, low tones) and high pitched sounds (drums, cymbals, strings, etc.). At high volume levels however, the high pitch becomes an issue, being rather uncomfortable.
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