Table of Contents
  1. Intro
  2. Design
    1. Style
    2. Comfort
    3. Controls
    4. Stability
    5. Portability
    6. Case
    7. Build Quality
    8. Breathability
    9. Cable
    10. Front
    11. Angled
    12. Side
    13. Rear
    14. Top
  3. Sound
    1. Bass
    2. Mid
    3. Treble
    4. Frequency Response Consistency
    5. Soundstage
    6. Imaging
    7. Total Harmonic Distortion
  4. Isolation
    1. Noise Isolation
    2. Leakage
  5. Active Features
    1. Wireless
    2. Battery
    3. App Support
  6. In the box
  7. Conclusion
  8. Q&A
Reviewed on Mar 15, 2017 , Marc Henney, Jean-Christophe Lamontagne

Sony MDR-1000X
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings
7.4Mixed Usage
Show Help
What it is This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
6.9Critical Listening
Show Help
What it is The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
7.8Commute/Travel
Show Help
What it is How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
7.1Sports/Fitness
Show Help
What it is How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
7.6Office
Show Help
What it is How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : Yes
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Sony MDR-1000x are well-designed and sturdy wireless headphones with one of the best noise cancellation we've measured so far. They're comfortable and packed with active features that make them versatile enough for most use cases. They don't have the best sound for more critical listeners, but their overall performance makes them great headphones for every day, casual use.

Test Results
Design 7.3
Sound 6.9
Isolation 8.2
Active Features 7.5
Pros
  • Excellent noise cancellation.
  • Sturdy and durable build quality.
  • Great active features.
Cons
  • Slightly inconsistent sound when wireless.
  • A bit leaky at high volumes.

Check Price

7.3

Design

Show Help
Score components:
Sony MDR-1000X Design Picture

The Sony MDR-1000x are well built, premium-looking headphones with a sleek wireless design. They have a durable headband that's reinforced with a metal frame, and large ear cups that are comfortable to wear for long listening sessions but lack a little padding compared to the QuietComfort 35. They're also stable enough to run with, although, they're not the ideal headphones for sports due to their bulkiness and sometimes wonky touch sensitive controls.

Style
Sony MDR-1000X Design Picture 2

The Sony MDR-1000x look stylish and high end. They're made with premium materials and come in two color schemes; Beige and Black. They look slightly similar to the MDR-100AAP, but the headband and ear cups are a lot denser and look more robust. Unfortunately, although the headband lays pretty flat on the head, the thick ear cups tend to stick out. This makes them look like earmuffs on your head, which might not be for everyone.

7.5 Comfort
Show Help
What it is: Adjustability and degrees of freedom, pressure, stiffness and weight.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used for long durations.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Sony MDR-1000X Comfort Picture
Weight : 0.61 lbs
Clamping Force
Show Help
What it is: The force that the headphones exert on your head, once you have them on. This is purely a measurement of the force applied, which does not take into account the earpad's surface area and the resulting pressure you will feel, on or around your ears.
When it matters: The tighter the headphones, the more force they put on your head. This can get uncomfortable or cause pain and soreness during long listening sessions.
:
0.8 lbs

The MDR-1000x are comfortable headphones but lack a bit of padding. They don't exert a lot of pressure around your ears, and they're also relatively lightweight for their size and build quality. However, the padding on the ear cups and the headband are not as thick as some of the other headphones in their price range like the QuietComfort 35 or PXC 550 Wireless.

7.5 Controls
Show Help
What it is: The control scheme of the headphones; the number of functions provided, button layout and ergonomics as well as the quality of tactile feedback.
When it matters: If you want to control volume, pause your music or make phone calls without directly interacting with, your audio device.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Sony MDR-1000X Controls Picture
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Additional Buttons : Noise-Cancelling, Ambient Control

The MDR-1000x have a good, tactile control scheme that offers a decent amount of functionality. They provide touch sensitive controls for volume, call/music, and track skipping. Additionally, they also offer aware modes to reduce the noise cancellation. This can be done with the ambient sound button that can selectively filter background noise while allowing you to hear voices with relative ease or a unique hand gesture that allows you to momentarily stop all audio and hear an on-going conversation by covering the right ear cup with your hand. Unfortunately, the touch sensitive control scheme is not as precise as physical buttons.

7.0 Stability
Show Help
What it is: How the headphones are designed to prevent them from slipping off your ears or falling off your head.
When it matters: If you plan on using the headphones while doing sports or other physical activities that requires a lot of movement.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Sony MDR-1000X Stability Picture

These headphones are a bit bulky, but they're just tight enough, to not be uncomfortable yet maintain a stable fit. Additionally, they're wireless, and won't be yanked off your head because the audio cable got tangled or hooked on something. However, because the ear cups are moderately heavy and stick out a bit, they will sway if used while doing strenuous exercise. In short, they should be stable enough to run with but won't be the ideal headphones for sports.

6.1 Portability
Show Help
What it is: The volume of space occupied by the headphones when folded into their most compact format.
When it matters: If you're often on the move and need to carry your headphones in a bag, purse , or pocket.
Score components:
Sony MDR-1000X Portability Picture
L : 4.94 "
W : 6.00 "
H : 3.25 "
Volume : 96 Cu. Inches

These headphones are slightly bulky however they fold into a relatively compact format for easier transportation. They're a bit cumbersome to carry on your person and won't fit into most pockets, but they're portable enough to fit into bags and maybe some larger jacket pockets.

8.0 Case
Show Help
What it is: The provided carrying options to protect your headphones when transporting them.
When it matters: To prevent damaging your headphones, if you often carry them in your bag or pocket.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Sony MDR-1000X Case Picture
Type : Hard case
L : 7.06 "
W : 8.13 "
H : 2.38 "
Volume : 136 Cu. Inches

Comes with a sturdy hard case that will protect the headphones against scratches, minor falls, and water damage. It's not the most portable case, but it will easily fit in larger bags.

8.0 Build Quality
Show Help
What it is: Durability; material quality; cheap/expensive feel.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used by multiple users (classes/studios), by children, in tough conditions, on a daily basis, or for exercise.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Sony MDR-1000X Build Quality Picture

The build quality of the Sony MDR-1000X is sturdy and durable. The materials used feel premium, the headband is reinforced with a metal frame, and the ear cups are dense and feel robust enough to withstand a drop from about shoulder height. However, there are a lot of moving parts, which allows them to fold and be more portable but also could be potential weak points that will wear over time, especially, that the connecting joints are made out of plastic. It's a tough plastic, but it won't be as durable as some of the headphones we've reviewed that use a bit more metal in their build.

6.4 Breathability
Show Help
What it is: How hot the headphones get when you wear them for an extended period of time.
When it matters: If you often have long listening sessions or use your headphones while doing physical activities like running or working out.
Score components:
  • 100% Avg.Temp.Difference
Sony MDR-1000X Breathability Before Picture Sony MDR-1000X Breathability After Picture
Avg.Temp.Difference : 5.8 C

Cable
Sony MDR-1000X Cable Picture
Detachable : Yes
Length : 4.98 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRRS

Comes with a 1/16" to 1/8" TRRS audio cable and a micro-USB charging cable.

Front
Angled
Side
Rear
Top
6.9

Sound

Show Help
What it is: How accurately the audio is reproduced. The tests are performed with the headphones' most commonly used features enabled (noise-cancelling, wireless, etc.)
Score components:
Sony MDR-1000X Frequency Response

The MDR-1000X are very good sounding headphones, but a couple of issues that only show up while using them wirelessly, have made the overall score to drop significantly. They have excellent Bass and Mid Range reproduction, and the Treble Range is also well-balanced up to very high frequencies (10KHz). However, above that range, the MDR-1000X performs poorly in Frequency Response, Imaging and Distortion, resulting in a rather closed-up, airless and colored sound. But odd behavior at very high frequencies are not very audible and won't be noticeable to most casual listeners.

8.5 Bass
Show Help
What it is: Frequency Response from 20Hz-250Hz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on bass frequencies, such as those of kick drums and bass guitar.
Score components:
Sony MDR-1000X Bass
Std. Err.
Show Help
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in bass frequency response (20Hz-250Hz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) bass performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.95 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
Show Help
What it is: The lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: Shows how extended the bass is.
Good value: <40Hz
Noticeable difference: 5Hz
:
10 Hz
Low-Bass
Show Help
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 20Hz-60Hz.
When it matters: Kick drums and low frequency effects get their 'thump' from this range. Mostly felt than heard.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.75 dB
Bass
Show Help
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 60Hz-120Hz.
When it matters: Melodic bass instruments have most of their fundamental frequencies in this range. This is where the 'body' and 'punch' of the bass sits.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.96 dB
High-Bass
Show Help
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 120Hz-250Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments get their warmth and full-ness from this range. When over-emphasized, mixes tend to get muddy and boomy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
3.86 dB

Excellent Bass Range performance. Low-bass is well extended down to 10Hz, and the rest of the response is virtually flat as well. The only remarkable thing here is the slight elevated high-bass which could add excess warmth and muddiness to the mix. However, at 3.9dB the effect will be subtle.

8.4 Mid
Show Help
What it is: Frequency Response from 250Hz-2KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on mid-range frequencies. This is the case for the majority of audio content.
Score components:
Sony MDR-1000X Mid
Std. Err.
Show Help
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in mid frequency response (250Hz-2.5KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) mid performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.1 dB
Low-Mid
Show Help
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 250Hz-500Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments have their fundamentals or low harmonics in this range. Over-emphasis in this range sounds boxy. Under-emphasis, thins out the vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.09 dB
Mid
Show Help
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 500Hz-1KHz.
When it matters: This range is occupied mostly by upper harmonics. Over-emphasis sounds forward and honky. Under-emphasis pushes instruments to the back of the mix.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.93 dB
High-Mid
Show Help
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 1KHz-2.5KHz.
When it matters: Most instruments, especially vocals, get their intensity and clarity from this range. Over-emphasis sounds harsh, under-emphasis sounds weak and distant.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-0.58 dB

Very good Mid Range Performance. Just like the Bass Range, the Mid Range is produced virtually flawlessly. However, because of the small bumps around 500Hz and 2KHz, certain instruments and mixes could potentially sound a little forward.

7.2 Treble
Show Help
What it is: Frequency Response from 2KHz-20KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on high-range frequencies, such as voice, cymbals, and any other material where brightness, brilliance and airiness is desired.
Score components:
Sony MDR-1000X Treble
Std. Err.
Show Help
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in treble frequency response (2.5KHz-20KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) treble performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
4.31 dB
Low-Treble
Show Help
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 2.5KHz-5KHz.
When it matters: Almost all instruments rely on this range for their presence, detail, and articulation. Over-emphasis can sound harsh and painful. Under-emphasis hurts the comprehensibility of vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.06 dB
Treble
Show Help
What it is: The average amount of over/under emphasis in frequency response from 5KHz-10KHz.
When it matters: This is the sibilance range. Cymbals, vocals, and lead instruments rely on this range for brightness and presence. Over-emphasis sounds piercing and painful, under-emphasis sounds dull and lispy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.9 dB
High-Treble
Show Help
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 10KHz-20KHz.
When it matters: This range gives brilliance and airiness to the sound. Over-emphasis sounds hissy, under-emphasis sounds closed-up and lifeless.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-14.81 dB

Average Treble Range performance. Low-treble and treble responses are excellent. The only small note is the slight bump in the sibilance range, but the peak is too narrow and small to be significant. High-treble performance, however, is quite poor and tends to take the airiness and brilliance out of mixes. It should be noted that this behavior was only seen when the headphones were used wirelessly. When connected through the wire, the high-treble becomes quite flat and doesn't show the steep roll-off. If this is not part of a feature, we suspect this may be a firmware issue, since we could replicate the issue on Windows computers as well as Apple phones, but not necessarily on Android phones.

7.1 Frequency Response Consistency
Show Help
What it is: The amount of deviation of each frequency response pass, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Score components:
  • 100% Avg. Std. Deviation
Sony MDR-1000X Consistency L Sony MDR-1000X Consistency R
Avg. Std. Deviation
Show Help
What it is: The average amount of deviation in frequency response of 5 re-seats, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.6 dB

Decent frequency response consistency. The Bass Range of our Over-Ear and On-Ear headphones are measured on 5 different human subjects, 5 times each. And the MDR-1000X show exceptional consistency in the Bass Range across multiple individuals and re-seats. For the Treble Range, the graph shows the consistency of the response across 5 different re-seats on our HMS (Head & Mouth Simulator). Depending on the positioning, there could be noticeable shifts of up to 6dB at 6KHz, which would be noticeable and significant.

4.1 Soundstage
Show Help
What it is: Soundstage qualities are not inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'create' them rather than 'reproduce' them. They determine whether the sound is perceived to be coming from inside or in front of the head, how open and spacious the soundstage is, how much the headphones acoustically interact with the environment, and how strong the phantom center is.
When it matters: When an accurately produced, large and spacious soundstage, similar to that of a stereo loudspeaker setup is desired.
PRTF Error
Show Help
What it is: The average amount of deviation in Pinna-Related Transfer Function of the headphones, compared to that of a loudspeaker. Whether the soundstage is perceived to be unnatural, located inside or in front of the head, is dependent on this quality. The more the headphones activate the HRTF resonances of the ear (similar to what loudspeakers do), the more the soundstage will be pulled out from inside the listener's head. This quality affects both stereo and mono content.
When it matters: When a natural, in-the-front soundstage is desired, similar to that of a loudspeaker.
Good value: <5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
5.56 dB
Openness
Show Help
What it is: How open the headphones are, and how open and spacious they sound. This quality affects both stereo and mono content. This test differentiates between acoustically and electronically produced crosstalk and only takes the acoustically generated crosstalk into account. This value is the inverse of the Noise Isolation test score.
When it matters: When an open, wide and roomy sound is desired. A value of 10 indicates a fully open headphone, and a value of 0 indicates a fully closed headphone.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
1.4
Acoustic Space Excitation
Show Help
What it is: How loud the headphones are, and how much they excite their environment acoustically. If the headphones are loud and open enough, the sound leaking from the headphones takes some of the characteristic of its environment (reflections/reverb) before reflecting back into the open headphones and to the listener's ears. This quality affects both stereo and mono content. This value is the inverse of the Leakage test score.
When it matters: When an open, wide and roomy sound is desired.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
2.7
Correlated Crosstalk
Show Help
What it is: How strong and solid the phantom center is. This is mostly a stereo quality and its effects on mono content are minimal. This test is sensitive to the phase of the crosstalk and whether it is produced acoustically or electronically.
When it matters: When a true reproduction of the stereo image is desired. A value of 0 indicates no crosstalk, or that the existing crosstalk is not correlated enough to affect the phantom center. A negative score means the crosstalk is out of phase with the original signal, resulting in a slightly wider stereo image at the expense of creating a 'hole' at the center of the stereo field. A positive score means the crosstalk is in phase and positively affecting the phantom center.
Good value: >1dB
Noticeable difference: 0.3dB
:
-0.0 dB

Poor Soundstage. Due to the closed-back design and excellent noise-cancellation, the MDR-1000X don't score well in Openness, which translates into a closed-up and isolating sound. On the other hand, the PRTF score which shows the headphone-pinna interaction, is decent and on-par with most other Over-Ear ear cups with similar size and depth.

6.1 Imaging
Show Help
What it is: Imaging qualities are inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'reproduce' them rather than 'create' them. They determine how accurately the objects are positioned in the stereo image, and how transparent the imaging is.
When it matters: When accurate positioning of the objects in the stereo image, and clear and transparent imaging is desired.
Sony MDR-1000X Phase Response
Phase Error
Show Help
What it is: The average amount of deviation in the phase, from the ideal flat response.
When it matters: When an accurate and transparent imaging is desired.
Good value: <60°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
114.5 °
Driver Mismatch (Amplitude)
Show Help
What it is: The Left/Right balance of our test unit, that is, the amount of amplitude difference between the left and right drivers. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When a properly balanced stereo image and low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates a noticeable difference in level between the left and right drivers.
Good value: <0.3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.32 dB
Driver Mismatch (Frequency)
Show Help
What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the frequency response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance, is desired. A poor score indicates there may be 'holes' in the stereo image at certain frequencies.
Good value: <2dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.46 dB
Driver Mismatch (Phase)
Show Help
What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the phase response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance, is desired. A poor score indicates there may be inaccuracies in the stereo image reproduction at certain frequencies.
Good value: <90°
Noticeable difference: 30°
:
503.19 °

Average Imaging. The phase shift in the Bass Range although measurable, won't be quite significant since humans are less sensitive to low-frequency phase shift. However, the excess phase shift happening above 10KHz will have a noticeable effect on Imaging. Overall, the high-treble on the MDR-1000X behave quite poorly in Imaging, Distortion and Frequency Response while used wirelessly. The large phase mismatch number is also because of the high-treble mismatch and the matching in Bass and Mid Ranges are decent.

5.9 Total Harmonic Distortion
Show Help
What it is: The subtle, unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Score components:
Sony MDR-1000X Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
Show Help
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 90dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at moderate listening levels.
Good value: <0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
302.98
Weighted THD @ 100
Show Help
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 100dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at loud listening levels.
Good value: <0.300
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
367.087

Poor harmonic distortion performance. Although the overall distortion response is quite elevated, regardless of the level, the massive THD numbers reported here are mainly due to the spike above 5KHz which only occurs while using the headphones wirelessly. Subjectively, these headphones sound colored, probably due to the high ratio of second-order harmonics, but they do not sound distorted. The high amounts of second-order harmonics and the high-treble roll-off resembles what one would call the "tube sound", but we don't suspect this was intended. Regardless, we score headphones for transparency and therefore high amounts of harmonic distortion will be detrimental to the Sound Quality score.

8.2

Isolation

Show Help
Score components:

The MDR-1000x have one of the best noise cancellation that we have measured so far. The default noise cancellation level is great but what really sets these headphones apart is the self-tuning feature. By keeping your finger on the 'NC' button for a brief moment the headset auto-calibrates to the unique fit created for each individual. For example, if you wear glasses the noise canceling will adjust and take that into account. The only downside to their isolation performance is that they a leak a little at higher volumes.

8.6 Noise Isolation
Show Help
What it is: How much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on.
When it matters: If the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
Score components:
Sony MDR-1000X Noise Isolation
Overall Attenuation
Show Help
What it is: The overall amount of environmental noise reduction in dB.
When it matters: In loud envinronments like planes, trains, offices, etc.
Good value: <-20dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-26.47 dB
Bass
Show Help
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the bass range (20Hz-250Hz).
When it matters: When the outside noise is bass-heavy, like in airplanes.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-17.78 dB
Mid
Show Help
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the mid-range (250Hz-2.5KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is mid-heavy, like in an office.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-23.98 dB
Treble
Show Help
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the treble range (2.5KHz-20KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is treble-heavy. Although uncommon, areas with sharp sounds fall under this category.
Good value: <-30dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-38.14 dB
Self-Noise
Show Help
What it is: The amount of noise created by the active electronics of the headphones (if applicable), measured from 200Hz-20KHz. Applies mostly to wireless and noise-cancelling headphones.
When it matters: If too loud, it could become distracting when listening to quiet material like podcasts and audiobooks.
Good value: <18dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
16.29 dB

Excellent Noise Isolation. The MDR-1000X is currently our best performing noise-cancelling headphone, easily out-performing the QuietComfort 35. They achieve, in average, more than 17dB of isolation in the Bass Range, about 24dB in the Mid Range, and more than 38dB of reduction in the Treble Range. They don't produce much self-noise either, especially for the amount of isolation they achieve.

7.3 Leakage
Show Help
What it is: The amount of sound bleeding out of the headphones.
When it matters: When the listener doesn't want people around them (in office, recording studio, etc.) to hear what is being listened to.
Score components:
Sony MDR-1000X Leakage
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
Show Help
What it is: The amount of sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal.
When it matters: When you don't want people hear what you are listening to.
Good value: <35dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
38.7 dB

Average Leakage performance. The significant portion of the leakage sits between 500Hz and 8KHz which is a broad range. However, the overall level of the leakage is low, so the sound leaking out of these headphones would be relatively quiet but mid-rangy.

7.5

Active Features

Show Help
What it is: Headphones with active components that require a battery. This includes noise cancelling and wireless headphones that actively reduce noise or transmit audio via a wireless connection.
When it matters: How suitable the power and wireless specifications of an active headphone will be, depending on your listening habits. The range and/or discharge time of the active headphone you select will be important if you're often on the move or have long uninterrupted listening sessions.
Score components:

The MDR-1000x have a great set of active features. They have a reliable and relatively fast wireless connection that supports the aptX codec including some codecs we have yet to test such as AAC and LDAC. The connection rarely dropped any audio below 50 ft and the NFC chip makes them easy to pair. They also have a good battery life that has an auto-off feature when not playing any audio which saves a lot of power but unfortunately means you will lose the noise cancellation if you're not playing anything. This can be a bit frustrating if you just want to use the headphones for the noise canceling.

8.4 Wireless
Show Help
What it is: Headphones that offer a cable-free listening experience over a wireless network, typically via Bluetooth or radio frequency.
When it matters: If you don't want to be limited by the length of an audio cable. This means having the freedom to move around in your home or office with a much greater range than an audio cable could provide, especially, if the Bluetooth source is heavy or difficult to carry.
Type
Show Help
What it is: The type and version of the wireless network, the headphones use to connect to the audio source. This could either be Bluetooth or radio frequency.
When it matters: The Bluetooth version will determine how compatible the headphones are with your Bluetooth enabled devices. Typically, newer Bluetooth versions are backward compatible with older ones but may lack the additional features that more recent Bluetooth protocols provide.
:
Bluetooth 4.1
SBC Latency
Show Help
What it is: The latency for the default sub-band coding of most Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos a high latency can cause sync issues between the images you see and the audio you hear.
Good value: 170ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
180 ms
aptX Latency
Show Help
What it is: An audio coding algorithm (Codec) that improves bit rate efficiency. It reduces latency and improves sound quality over Bluetooth.
When it matters: For better sound quality if your often streaming music over Bluetooth. Also it slightly improves latency when watching videos with wireless headphones.
Good value: 130ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
156 ms
aptX(LL) Latency
Show Help
What it is: Low latency variation of aptX that significantly reduces sync issues between video and sound when using Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos or gaming latency is a lot more noticeable than just listening to music.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 5ms
:
N/A
Obstructed Range
Show Help
What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when the Bluetooth source was placed in another room.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in an indoor environment. Although, the obstructed wireless range will slightly depend on your home or office layout.
Good value: >35ft
Noticeable difference: 5ft
:
52 ft
Line of Sight Range
Show Help
What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when in direct line of sight of the Bluetooth device.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in a large and open environment.
Good value: 170ft or more
Noticeable difference: 10ft
:
165 ft
NFC
Show Help
What it is: Near Field Communication technology that allows you to quickly, pair your headphones with your Bluetooth and NFC-enabled device.
When it matters: This makes pairing with an NFC-enabled device a lot easier than the typical and often tedious hold-to-pair procedure that most wireless headphones have.
:
Yes

The Wireless range and latency of the MDR 1000X is above average but won't be the best for movies and games. They maintained a stable connection up to 50 ft when the Bluetooth device was placed in an another room. They're also easy to pair thanks to NFC support, but unfortunately, the slight latency will cause sync issues when watching videos. We have not yet tested the other available codecs like LDAC or AAC, but they are more audio quality codecs, not latency improving ones.

7.4 Battery
Show Help
What it is: The power source of your headphones. All headphones with active features have a battery that will deplete over time.
When it matters: To continue using the active features of your headphones. Some models lose features or switch off completely when the battery is drained, which limits what you can do with them until the next charge.
Score components:
Battery Type
Show Help
What it is: The type of battery that the headphones use. Usually AAA or embedded, Li-ion rechargeable batteries.
When it matters: When your headphones run out of power. Rechargeable batteries usually charge via the headphones Micro-USB port whereas AAA batteries have to be replaced or charged with an external device.
:
Rechargable
Battery Life
Show Help
What it is: The amount of time it takes for a headphones' battery to be completely drained. Battery life will vary depending on the active features used and volume level.
When it matters: For active headphones that connect wirelessly, have noise cancellation or other audio-enhancing features, that cease to work once the battery is dead.
Good value: >10hrs
Noticeable difference: 0.5hrs
:
24 hrs
Charge Time
Show Help
What it is: The amount of time your active headphones have to be connected to a power source to charge from 0 to a 100%. However, charging time will vary depending on your power source.
When it matters: To be able to use the active features of your headphones. Especially, wireless ones that completely switch off and need to be recharged when the battery is dead.
Good value: 2h or less
Noticeable difference: 0.25h
:
3.5 hrs
Auto-off
Show Help
What it is: A feature that turns off the headphones, after a set time, when they're not in use.
When it matters: To prolong battery life when the headphones are not being used, or if you forget to manually turn off your headphones.
:
Yes
Audio while charging
Show Help
What it is: Some active headphones remain usable while charging. They continue to stream audio and do not disable other active features.
When it matters: This makes sure that your headphones's battery are not being drained when your relatively close to a power source. However, this means wireless headphones will need a wired connection to the power source during the charging process.
:
No
Passive Playback
Show Help
What it is: Active headphones that still work when all their active features are turned off or out of power.
When it matters: If you run out of power and do not have spare AA/AAA batteries or access to a power source to recharge your headphones.
:
No

The MDR-1000X have a good battery life at 24 hours of continuous playtime when the noise canceling feature was enabled. They also have a good battery saving feature that automatically switches off the headphones when you're not playing any audio. Unfortunately, they take quite a while to charge, and if you plan on just using the noise canceling feature without connecting to a Bluetooth source, then they will shut off automatically which can be a bit frustrating. They also can't play audio while charging.

0 App Support
Show Help
What it is: The additional app provided to enhance your listening experience. They typically deliver a set of practical features that give you more control over the sound, noise cancelling and effects that the headphones produce.
When it matters: An app with a lot of features allows you to customize your listening experience to suit your taste and preferences. For example, additions like an equalizer can give you more bass or treble and room effects can simulate a bigger Soundstage in closed back headphones.
Score components: Subjectively assigned

No compatible app.

In the box

Sony MDR-1000X In the box Picture

  • Sony MDR-1000x Headphones
  • Audio cable
  • USB cable
  • Manuals
  • Carrying case

Conclusion Amazon.co.uk CHECK PRICE Right

7.4Mixed Usage
Show Help
What it is This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
The MDR-1000x are versatile headphones that do well for most use cases. They have a good set of active features, they're sturdy, comfortable and have one the best noise cancellation we've measured to date. This makes them especially good for commuting and loud environments, but their mediocre treble performance might not be ideal for more critical listeners.
6.9Critical Listening
Show Help
What it is The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
Decent for critical listening. These headphones have a well-balanced bass and a rich, even mid-range. Unfortunately, they tend to sound slightly dark due to their inconsistent high-frequencies, which coupled with their closed-back design and great isolation makes their Soundstage feel small and lack a little openness. We have yet to test the LDAC codec which should improve the sound quality but their current performance should be decent enough for most casual listeners.
7.8Commute/Travel
Show Help
What it is How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
Great for commuting. The Sony MDR-1000x adapt to the level of noise in your environment and also tune the cancellation to the unique fit they create around your ears. This makes them ideal for blocking ambient noise and excellent commuting and traveling headphones, as long as you don't mind the slightly bulky design and somewhat error prone controls.
7.1Sports/Fitness
Show Help
What it is How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
Above-average for sports. They're wireless and have a decent control scheme. They also block or let noise through giving you the flexibility to monitor your environment for traffic if needed. However, they're a bit bulky and the ear cups do sway a bit when running with them.
7.6Office
Show Help
What it is How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
Good for office use. They will easily block the ambient noise of a lively office and have a partial noise canceling mode that still lets voices through. However, they leak a little at higher volumes, so, in quieter environments, your colleagues may hear what you're listening to.
Questions Found an error?

Let us know what is wrong in this question or in the answer.

Email:

Questions & Answers

5 ANSWERED QUESTIONS
3
How do these headphones compare to Bose Quietcomfort 35's?
We have experienced some measurable Sound Quality issues while using our MDR-1000X wirelessly, but they are not terribly audible. Assuming this can be taken care of with a firmware update, the Sound Quality of the Sonys are very similar to the QC35. But the main difference between the two is the superior noise-cancelling of the MDR-1000X and the fact that you can turn off the NC and still use the headphones wirelessly. Additionally, the QC35 would have the edge in comfort and the MDR-1000X in build quality.
1
Additional Review Notes
Here is the raw FR plot for MDR-1000X at 100dB SPL (Red Wired, Blue Wireless) MDR1000X BT vs Wired - FR and here is the THD plot for MDR-1000X at 100dB SPL (Red Wired, Blue Wireless) MDR1000X BT vs Wired - THD
0
When will you test/publish the results of the LDAC codec testing of the MDR 1000X?
We have yet to find a reliable Bluetooth dongle that supports the LDAC codec, as it is typically only available on Sony devices. However, when we do, we will update the review accordingly, but it may take some time.
0
Can you please also consider reviewing JBL Everest Elite 700 headphones? It's been well received by critics, especially since the headphones has gotten cheaper.
We have a new tool for suggesting products to be reviewed! You can submit your suggestions here.
0
This test result only Aptx codec?
Yes, when available we use aptX for our measurements. But for the MDR-1000X we double-checked our results without aptX as well, and still had the same issues above 10KHz.
Questions Have a question?

Before asking a question, make sure you use the search function of our website. The majority of the answers are already here.

:
:
A valid email is required. We answer most questions directly by email to prevent cluttering the site.