Monday, September 28, 2015

Sony Heaphones and Walkman Review (MDR-100AAP, NW-A25)

I recently received the below products for an unbiased review. I have tried various headsets and have an extensive and expensive home theater and audio system. 

The revolution from SD(standard definition) to HD and now 4K or UHD(ultra HD) has seen our living rooms change. Some have done it through choice and others through necessity.

As the consumer video formats have directly affected us, little has impacted or driven the change for audio. Audiophiles out there have known how to satisfy their cravings but for the average person on a budget this has remained largely elusive or unknown. 

In recent time Sony have decided to remind us of high-res audio and have come to the table with the devices we need to experience it. The two items below, when paired, form a great example of how the everyday person can enjoy high quality music.
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The only other requirement is to source your music in a high resolution format. Whether your download or stream it off services like HDTracks or Tidal it is essential to have the files in one of the lossless formats. One can also rip CD's and records in lossless high-res formats with the right software.

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Thanks to Sony you can now get your hands on the hardware with relative ease. It's now up to you to get the music. This is whats held back so many for converting or upgrading. The thought of re-ripping my music library which I've built up over the last 20 years. Yes mp3's have been around that long.

It's time for a change that will reward you
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While these images show some tools to help you get there, there are many options and I employ you to crawl the web to find ones that blend with your style and taste.
Here is some information to get you started.

What is high-resolution audio? Answer!

Some smartphones these days support these formats so start there and look for a headset that can covert the wavelengths to audible information.

The Review

I'll review these 2 products in a constructive but honest write up.

Firstly the headphones. The most astonishing thing about these is the...
Frequency Response 5 Hz – 60,000 Hz
This paired with a lossless audio track like Tim Omaji - Delilah ft. Pusha T  you can without a doubt feel the bass. See how your headphones stand up to it and use it to compare in store. Every strum and bass kick on your favourite rock tunes. Digital beats and vocals have never sounded better. It makes you want to listen to everything you've every heard before. To put that into perspective, on average, humans only hear from 20Hz - 20,000Hz.

The response of these headphones crystallises the treble and higher frequency tones with ease and without fault.
I compared them to my MDR-1ADAC, Razer Megalodon's and the standard in ear headphones you get with most mobile phones these days.
The newer red MDR-100AAP held there own and performed well above their price bracket.
Coming it stores in October and estimated half the price of the MDR-1ADAC's they are an imperative buy for the music lover.

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They have a slightly smaller ear cup than the 1ADACs but this wasn't a problem for me and my ears. I did notice that the cushions were a little firmer than the 1ADAC's but not to firm. Listening times of 4 hours can be achieved with ease and comfort.

Connectivity, while simple on the new red h.ear headphones, provides you all that you need using eh 3.5mm plug. The cord includes a mic so when used with a smart phone you can answer calls, pause and play music with the uni-button. It's a nice tangle free cord that feels solid and won't tear easily, unlike the standard mobile in ear sets.
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An idea of the cup size. See image below. While narrow the cushions where flexible and my ears fit within them I do suggest you test them in store to ensure they fit. Like any wearable its one of those where you do need to research the product in the store.

The quality of sound from these babies should not be the deciding factor. The colour, form factor and style should be the only decision point. They fold up for travel and seem sturdy enough to take a few knocks without disintegrating.

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Choose your colour and off you go.

The Walkman was as you would expect it to be. A simple, expandable and essential tool for every music lover. Most days we just use our smartphones but not all support hi-res. I personally use these digital players in my audio systems either in the car or the home theater. There are many digital audio players in the market, find one that plays hi-res audio and up scales compressed audio and you'll be in business. 

Review the websites I've linked in this review for specs on the Walkman. From my point of view I like the size and physical buttons. The battery lasts for ages, I listened every day for hours on end for over a week and never had to charge it. Its a travellers buddy and with the noise cancelling functions no matter where you are the music will be unpolluted.

It has built in NFC and bluetooth for easy pairing and streaming but don't expect to have the hi-res quality over bluetooth.

The attention to detail is where Sony makes a difference.

Video Review here -> YouTube.

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