Sony MDR-1000X Review: Okay Fine Sony, You Win

These share a basic design language with the also-great Sony MDR-100, their clear predecessor. The wireless version of those is cheaper and offers most of the same core features. Food for thought!


Sony’s MDR-1000X is the feature-laden follow- up to the Sony MDR-100AAP and MDR-100ABN, a great stylish hi-res headphone line they released a year earlier. Unlike the multi-colored 100, the 1000X only comes in black and beige.

Sound Quality

For a noise-canceller, these sound incredible. They have the Sony house sound. It’s thick, rich, warm, and powerful, with enough detail in the highs that nothing becomes muddled. Fatigue is a complete non-issue. They’re not the most-detailed or the most-resolving headphones I’ve ever heard (that’d probably be the MSR7), but they’re incredible considering all the filtering and noise-cancelling stuff going on.


I once called Sony’s MDR-1A headphone family the comfort champs. The 1000X carries on that legacy. It’s not quite as plush or relaxed on the clamping force as the 1A, but it’s well-balanced and easy on the head, and totally wearable for hours and hours. The slightly heavy 275g weight is perfectly distributed by the plush headband and ear cups. The clamp is tight enough that you’ll always notice that you’re wearing headphones, but they shouldn’t cause fatigue.


The design of the 1000X is nearly identical to the 100AAP, but with more premium materials and slightly sleeker overall look. The headband is now completely exposed metal, and several of the other parts here are metal as well. (Unfortunately, the hinge pieces/lower headband covers are plastic, and might be prone to cracking. Oh noooooooo! I haven’t had this problem with my unit, but you should be aware of it!) A high-quality synthetic leather is used for the ear pads, the backs of the ear cups, and the included case. It’s the same leatherette used in fancy shoes, and as a result they smell like new shoes when you first open them.


This might as well be the entire review, right here. This is a FEATURE PACKED pair of headphones, to the point of absurdity.

Final Thoughts

I can’t believe I nearly missed these because of a bad demo unit.

These sit quite close to the head, which is great. It’d be really hard to look silly in these. Here I am trying my hardest.

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Alex Rowe

Alex Rowe

I write independent game reviews and commentary. Please support me directly if you enjoy my work: