Buyer Beware: It looks like the Sony MDR-1000X has a build/materials issue

UPDATE: It looks like Sony is now covering this under warranty for some people, according to replies I’ve received which you can read down in the comments area. Also, Sony has a second version of this headphone launching “soon” you might want to wait for, but we have no way of knowing if it’ll be better until it comes out and people use it for a while.

Ugh. So there’s this problem I’ve been keeping an eye on, and you need to know about it.

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I really liked the Sony MDR-1000X in my review. It’s the best-sounding and best-performing ANC wireless headphone on the market, in my opinion.

Unfortunately, it has come to light as more users put in a bunch of listening time that it may have a big build quality problem. The plastic in the arms that attach the ear cups to the headband is prone to cracking under normal use conditions.

I have not experienced this problem myself, but several users have. And Sony is not always handling it well. I point you to this response on my review for more details.

That user points out that Sony wants to charge him nearly the full price of the headphones to fix them. Are you kidding me with this??? Seriously, Sony? You didn’t do enough testing on your materials to prevent stuff like this, and you won’t replace it under warranty? It seems that some folks have gotten warranty repairs, depending on the region they’re in, but it varies in each anecdote I’ve read.

I don’t know how widespread this problem is. But it seems very real. I don’t do any kind of exhaustive/weird durability testing when I review headphones. I just wear mine normally for about a week and provide impressions based on feel, because I’m trying to replicate the average user experience. I also wear a few different headphones as daily drivers during my normal non-review periods, so it’s possible I just didn’t put enough time and pressure into my pair to discover this issue.

It’s unacceptable that there’s even one report of Sony not fixing this under warranty. If they truly believe that this is entirely due to user error, they should probably provide more concrete details about stress testing on that plastic. Hopefully Sony does right by their consumers. And starts using a better plastic.

I’m not saying this will happen to you if you buy a pair…but you should at least be aware of it as more and more reports pop up. I’m sorry to have to deliver this news…as everything else about the headphone is exceptional. But if you’re worried about build quality…maybe stick with the Bose QC35 until Sony provides some kind of good answer about this.

My other writing: Medium, Twitter, World Bolding

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