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Sony MDRZX110 ZX Series Stereo Headphones

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Introduction

When it comes to headphones, you’re looking for three factors to come into play.Build quality, sound quality and features. Will the Sony MDRZX headphones measure up to the competition and provide value for money?

Build Quality & Design

The headphones are smaller than they look in the product description picture. The earpieces fold compactly into a neat U-like or horseshoe shape, but the build has a flimsy plastic feel and will not take severe abuse. The headband feels as though it would snap rather easily.The padding is synthetic leather and reasonably comfortable for listening sessions. The top band tends to squeeze down on the top of the head, and loosening them does not help since the weight of them – still light at under 5 ounces – makes them fall down when you lean back.

The ear padding itself is soft and comfortable, though, and the earpiece is slightly angled to fit the head naturally.At approximately 30 inches, the cord is too short to lean back in the chair while listening to audio from the computer. For listening on the smartphone, the cord is too long and requires coiling.The L-shaped plug is sturdy and will outlast the other parts. I sat with them plugged into my smartphone while listening on the couch, and they bent around, and showed no signs of damage.

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Sound Quality

These are decent sounding headphones, particularly for the price. They come in a simple plastic box, nothing fancy here, just direct, solid value that is ready-to-use right away. The sound quality is sufficient for this price level. It is certainly enough for listening to podcasts, radio programs, or a telephone conversation.The mid- to upper-range is overall crisp, but a bit muddy in the details. Bass is present but not enough for a devoted bass lover. There is a heavy-bass upgraded version available. The sound is well-balanced overall. For casual listening, they deliver, but for full movie theatre effects, or a detailed audiophile-quality listen, the quality simply is not there. When the volume goes up, there is some distortion and static.

Sound insulation is not a feature of the MDRZX110’s. Outside conversations leak in, and music played over these leaks out, so this is not a pair of headphones for the office.The sound feels like it is coming from the centre of the head, as opposed to a surround sound quality. Also note that there is no volume control on the headphones.There is an option for a built-in microphone, but this version’s mic was lacking in quality. I tried it on my smartphone and the person at the other end complained of not being able to make out what I was saying, so I switched back to the phone.

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Budget Headphones: Are They Worth It

Headphones in this price range can sometimes deliver surprising value. The Sony quality is there, the sound is decent, the headphones are passably comfortable, and if they break or are lost, it’s not the end of the world considering the price paid for them.You could buy well over 10 of these for the price of the fancier and more stylish popular headphones on the market, but the sound quality of those headphones certainly is not 10 times better than these. For the demanding sound connoisseur, it would of course be worth it to invest in the extra quality.

If you’re looking for stylish headphones that deliver extremely high quality sound then I’d give these a pass. There are other options in the Sony range that deliver more in that respect. For a budget-level headphone, under 20 dollars, that will last you a good year as long as you’re careful with them, give them a shot. What is there to lose?

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Verdict

In terms of the value-for-price, these deliver 110%. In terms of outward appearance, they look more expensive than they are, and the sound and build are good enough for regular casual listening.For podcast listeners, news radio listeners, or people looking for a low-cost portable headphone, say for use on a commute or for listening to around the house, these will do the trick and deliver above and beyond their price. For the demanding music listener, these could also do as a throwaway pair of inexpensive but decent headphones, for podcasts or Youtube videos, while saving a higher-end pair for more demanding audio.

They’d be a great set for older kids, too. The elegant folding design, good sound deliverance, and easily replaceable price will have parents and kids loving it. The sizing is the only potential issue, but for kids 10 and up they should do fine.For the discerning listener listening to high quality audio tracks or movies, these will not deliver, but you would have to look at a much higher price level to find headphones that significantly improve on these. One last note: if you’re planning to give them as a gift, the plastic packaging is cheap and shoddy; Sony devoted the budget for this low-price option on the headphones themselves. Consider opening them up and repackaging them in something a little nicer.

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Specifications

Cord Length 47.25-inch (1.2 m) tangle-free Y-type cord
Sensitivity (db) 98 dB/mW
Frequency Response 12 – 22.000 Hz
Impedance 24 ohms at 1 kHz
Weight (Approx.) 4.23 oz (120 g) without cord
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Sony MDRZX110 ZX Series Stereo Headphones Review:7.3

BUILD & DESIGN 7.1/10.

SOUND QUALITY 7.4/10.

COMFORT 7.3/10.

FEATURES 7.5/10.

PRACTICALITY 7.3/10.

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PROS

  • – Lightweight and portable.
  • – Relatively clear sound quality.
  • – Sturdy enough for daily casual use.
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CONS

  • – Short cord.
  • – Relatively poor sound insulation.
  • – Can be uncomfortable when used for longer listening sessions.

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