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Reviewed on Jun 26, 2018 , Marc Henney, Jean-Christophe Lamontagne

Sony MDR-1000X
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

Test Benches:

  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2017
  • 0.9: Winter 2016
7.0
Mixed Usage
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:
7.1
Critical Listening
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:
7.4
Commute/Travel
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:
7.0
Sports/Fitness
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:
7.3
Office
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:
5.9
TV
Score components:
5.5
Gaming
Score components:
These headphones were replaced by the Sony WH-1000XM2

Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : Yes
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Sony MDR-1000x are above-average headphones for most use cases with excellent noise cancelling, which makes them a good choice for commuting and traveling. They're comfortable and decently well built with a lot of features but no app for added control like with the Sony WH-1000XM2. They also have a few flaws with their sound quality which won't be ideal for more critical listeners, but their overall performance makes them good headphones for every day, casual use.

Pros
  • Excellent noise cancellation.
  • Sturdy and durable build quality.
  • Great active features.
Cons
  • Slightly inconsistent sound when wireless.
  • A bit leaky at high volumes.

Test Results
Design 7.0
Sound 7.1
Isolation 7.7
Microphone 6.2
Active Features 6.6
Connectivity 6.0
Update 9/10/2018: The self-noise value in Noise Isolation was corrected. The active noise cancellation performance has not changed.
Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
Update 9/28/2017: The microphone has been tested with our new methodology, as explained here
Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

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7.0

Design

Score components:
Sony MDR-1000X Design Picture

The Sony MDR-1000x are premium-looking headphones with a sleek wireless design. Unfortunately, despite their high-end build quality, their headband is prone to breaking if you fold them and carry them often in your bag, even if you put them in their case. On the upside, the large ear cups are comfortable to wear for long listening sessions although they lack a little padding compared to the QuietComfort 35. They're also stable enough to run with, but they're not the ideal headphones for sports due to their bulkiness and sometimes wonky touch-sensitive controls (see our recommendations for the best over-ear headphones for working out).

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
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
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 Sony 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, but they are more comfortable than the Sony MDR-XB950N1.

7.5 Controls
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.
Sony MDR-1000X Controls Picture
Ease of use : Above-average
Feedback : Average
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : No
Channel Mixing
What it is: Being able to mix audio channels directly on the headphones.
When it matters: This is most useful when using a separate chat software so that you can mix in-game audio and chat audio depending on your needs.
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : Yes
Talk-Through : Yes
Additional Buttons : No

The Sony 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.

6.4 Breathability
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:
Sony MDR-1000X Breathability After Picture
Avg.Temp.Difference : 5.8 C

These headphones have a typical closed-back over-ear fit that will make your ears a little warm during longer listening sessions. This also means that they will not be the best option for sports and more strenuous activities but on the upside, they are not less breathable than most typical over-ears and should be fine for casual use.

6.1 Portability
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 : 4.9 "
W : 6.00 "
H : 3.25 "
Volume : 96 Cu. Inches
Stand required : N/A

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
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

These headphones come 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.

7.0 Build Quality
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 looks premium and well built but isn't as durable as once expected. The materials used feel high-end, the headband has 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.

Update 18/07/2017: Multiple users have experienced a build quality defect, resulting in a broken headband. We have therefore adjusted our build quality score to reflect this manufacturing issue. Read more

7.0 Stability
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.

Cable
Sony MDR-1000X Cable Picture
Detachable : Yes
Length : 5 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRS

The Sony MDR-1000xb comes with a 1/8" to 1/8" TRS audio cable and a micro-USB charging cable.

Top
Headshots 1
Headshots 2
7.1

Sound

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.)
Sony MDR-1000X Frequency Response

The Sony MDR-1000X are very good sounding closed-back over-ear headphones, but a couple of issues that only show up while using them wirelessly have made the overall score to drop significantly. They have an excellent, deep, and consistent bass, and an even mid-range. This makes them suitable for a variety of genres, especially bass-heavy ones. However, their bass could sound a bit boomy, and their mid-range sounds a little thick and cluttered, especially on vocals. Their treble range is also very flat and well-balanced for the most part, which is important for vocals and lead instruments. However, in high-treble (above 10KHz), these headphones perform poorly in frequency response, imaging and distortion, resulting in a bit of an airless and colored sound. But this odd behavior only happens when used wirelessly and is not very audible or noticeable to most listeners.

8.0 Bass
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.
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
:
2.92 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
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
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
Mid-Bass
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
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

The Sony MDR-1000X have a great bass performance. The LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 10Hz, which is excellent. Low-bass, responsible for the thump and rumble common to bass-heavy music and film scores is over our target by almost 3dB. Some people may like the extra thump. Mid-bass, responsible for the body bass guitars and the punch of kick drums is also hyped by about 3dB. The main remark here though is the 4dB bump high-bass which could add excess muddiness to the mix.

8.4 Mid
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.
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
:
2.12 dB
Low-Mid
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 muddy and cluttered. Under-emphasis, thins out the vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.09 dB
Mid-Mid
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 boxy. Under-emphasis pushes instruments to the back of the mix.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.93 dB
High-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 1KHz-2KHz.
When it matters: Most instruments, especially vocals, get their intensity and clarity from this range. Over-emphasis sounds honky and harsh, under-emphasis sounds weak and distant.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-0.58 dB

The mid-range is very good. The overall response is quite even and flat, but shows a bit of a tilt favoring lower frequencies. The 2dB overemphasis in low-mid adds a bit of thickness to vocals and a bit of clutter to the overall sound. Mid-mid and high-mid are within 1dB of our neutral target, so the overall mid-range will sound well-balanced, but a bit heavy on the lower mid-range.

7.3 Treble
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.
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
:
4.08 dB
Low-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 2KHz-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
Mid-Treble
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
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

The treble performance of the Sony MDR1000X is above-average. Low-treble and treble responses are excellent and within 1dB of our neutral target. This results in a well-balanced reproduction of vocals, instruments and cymbals. High-treble performance, however, is quite poor and tends to take the airiness and brilliance out of mixes. However, this won't be as noticeably as a dip in low-treble or mid-treble. 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 as steep of a roll-off.

Raw Frequency Response
What it is: The average uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. For in-ears and earbuds, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the dummy head (HMS). For over/on-ear headphones, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the HMS (Head Measurement System) for the mid and treble ranges, and 5 measurements/re-seats on 5 human subjects for the bass range.
When it matters: This is for those who want to see the raw and uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. Some of the more advanced users, are able to read and evaluate headphone frequency response in its raw form and without compensation. This will be especially useful to them if they have their own headphone compensation/target curve, which may differ from the compensation curve/target response used by RTINGS.com.
Score components:
7.1 Frequency Response Consistency
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:
Sony MDR-1000X Consistency L Sony MDR-1000X Consistency R
Avg. Std. Deviation
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

Above-average frequency response consistency. The bass range of our over-ear and on-ear headphones are measured on 5 different human subjects, 5 times each. The Sony MDR-1000X show exceptional consistency in the bass range across multiple individuals and re-seats. The graph in the treble range shows the consistency of the response across 5 different re-seats on our dummy head. Depending on the positioning, there could be noticeable shifts of up to 6dB at 6KHz, which would be noticeable.

6.6 Imaging
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 Group Delay Sony MDR-1000X Phase Response
Weighted Group Delay
What it is: The average amount of group delay calculated based on a perceptual weighting filter. Group delay indicates how long it takes for each frequency to reach their maximum amplitude. This is a monaural quality and can be perceived even with one ear.
When it matters: Headphones with lower group delay have more transparent imaging and a tighter bass. Headphones with higher group delay in the bass range tend to have a wimpy and loose bass, and headphones with higher group delay in the treble range tend to have a less transparent imaging.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.45
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
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: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.32
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
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: <2
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.17
Weighted Phase Mismatch
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: <16
Noticeable difference: 3
:
42.85

The imaging performance is decent. Their weighted group delay is 0.45, which is good. The graph also shows that almost the entire group delay is below our audibility threshold. Also, the L/R drivers of our test unit were very good in terms of frequency and amplitude matching. This is important for proper and accurate localization of objects (such as voice, instruments, video game effects) in the stereo field. The phase mismatch in high-treble and the dip in group delay in the same region is the main reason for their lower imaging score. However, this won't be noticeable to the majority of the users and shouldn't be a concern. The newer WH-1000XM2 though doesn't have this issue.

5.4 Soundstage
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.
Sony MDR-1000X PRTF
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
What it is: The standard deviation of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: An accurate pinna activation is mainly responsible for how natural and speaker-like the soundstage is perceived to be. The less error in the shape of the PRTF, the more natrual and speaker-like the perception of the soundstage will be. High amounts of error may indicate a soundstage that is unnatural or odd.
Good value: <2.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
3.2 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
What it is: The average amplitude of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to that of a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is responsible for the perceived size of the soundstage. The higher the value, the larger the perceived size of the soundstage. However, values above the reference (5.0dB) could result in a soundstage that is perceived as unnatural or odd.
Good value: >3.7
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
7.34 dB
PRTF Distance
What it is: The depth of the "10KHz notch" of the headphone's PRTF, which is caused by phase cancellations at the concha. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is mainly responsible for the perceived distance and elevation of the soundstage. A small distance value may result in a soundstage that is perceived to be located inside the head. Larger values may help pull the soundstage out from inside of the head and bring it to the front.
Good value: >13
Noticeable difference: 1
:
10.89 dB
Openness
What it is: How open the headphones are, and how open and spacious they sound. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. 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, and could be indirectly related the acoustic impedance of the headphones.
When it matters: When a headphone with a sense of an open, and spacious soundstage 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
:
2.0
Acoustic Space Excitation
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 will be affected by the environment (reflections/reverb) before reflecting back into the open headphones and to the listener's ears. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This value is the inverse of the Leakage test score.
When it matters: Headphones with higher excitation values, similar to openness, tend to have soundstages that are perceived as more open and spacious.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
3.2
Correlated Crosstalk
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

The soundstage of the Sony MDR-1000X, like the WH-1000XM2, is sub-par. The PRTF response shows a good amount of pinna activation, which suggests a relatively large size for the soundstage. However, the bump around 2.5KHz could indicate a soundstage that feels a bit unnatural. Also, since there's not a notch in the 10KHz region the soundstage is perceived as located inside the head.

5.9 Total Harmonic Distortion
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
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
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 newer WH-1000XM2 doesn't have this issue.

7.7

Isolation

Score components:

The Sony MDR-1000x have one of the best noise cancelation 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.

8.0 Noise Isolation
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
Isolation Audio
What it is: The simulated noise isolation of the headphones, demonstrating how much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on. This recording is created using an EQ and is not an actual recording. For headphones with ANC (active noise cancellation), the playback simulates the isolation with ANC enabled.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
:
Overall Attenuation
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
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
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
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
:
-38.13 dB
Self-Noise
What it is: The amount of noise created by the active electronics of the headphones (if applicable), measured from 300Hz-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: <16dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
22.77 dB

Excellent noise isolation. The Sony MDR-1000X, along with headphones by Bose and B&W, is one of the best performing noise-cancelling headphones we have measured so. They achieve more than 17dB of isolation in the bass range, which is very good. This is where the rumble of airplane and bus engines sits. In the mid-range, important for cancelling out speech they isolate by about 24dB which is great. In the treble range, occupied by sharp S and T sounds they achieve more than 38dB of isolation, which is also great.

7.2 Leakage
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
Leakage Audio
What it is: The simulated sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal. This recording is created using an EQ and is not an actual recording.
When it matters: When you don't want people hear what you are listening to.
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
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

The leakage performance is decent. 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. With the music 100dB SPL, the leakage at 1 foot away averages at 39dB SPL and peaks at 54dB SPL, which is just above the noise floor of an average office.

6.2

Microphone

What it is: The microphone section shows the quality of speech capture and transmission by the mic, as well as how well the microphone under test handles noisy environments.
When it matters: For your speech to be transmitted to and understood properly by the listener, the microphone needs to have a good recording quality. If the environment the microphone is being used in is noisy, a microphone with a good noise handling performance would be needed as well.
Score components:
Integrated
What it is: The microphone integrated in the ear cup or ear bud of a wireless headphone.
When it matters: For calls, gaming and voice over IP software or for any other use of the microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
In-line
What it is: The microphone inside the in-line remote of audio cables for wired and wireless headsets.
When it matters: In-line microphone are usually better than integrated mics. If you need better recording quality and noise handling for calls, gaming and voice over IP software then use the audio cable of your wired or wireless headphone if it has an inline microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Boom
What it is: A typically better microphone, that's also adjustable and extends so that the mic is closer to your mouth.
When it matters: Much better recording quality and noise handling than in-line or integrated mics. Primarily used for gaming and voice over IP software.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Detachable Boom
What it is: A boom mic that is detachable from the headset.
When it matters: If you want to use your headphone outdoors without the bulk and hassle of the Boom mic.
:
N/A

The Sony MDR-1000X have a mediocre integrated microphone. In quiet environments, speech recorded or transmitted with this mic will sound a bit thin and noticeably lacking in detail. It may also be prone to pop and low rumbling sounds. In noisy situations, it struggles to fully separate speech from background noise even in moderately loud environments, like a busy street.

6.7 Recording Quality
What it is: Microphone recording quality shows how natural, neutral, extended and intelligible speech would be with the device under test, in a quiet environment.
When it matters: A microphone with a good recording quality ensures that the person listening to you would hear a full, clear, and easily understandable speech. Therefore, it is important whenever a good quality of speech transmission and intelligibility is needed.
Score components:
Sony MDR-1000X Microphone Frequency Response
Recorded Speech
What it is: Actual audio recording of the headphone's microphone, recorded while placed on the dummy head, with speech being played back through the dummy head's mouth simulator.
When it matters: When a clean, full, and intelligible speech transmission is required.
:
LFE
What it is: Low-frequency extension shows how deep the bass response of the microphone is, and therefore, how deep and full your voice would sound to the listener. It is the lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: LFE is not a big factor in speech intelligibility and even speech recorded with a mic that has an LFE of 500Hz could still be easily understood. Therefore, it is mostly important if you are concerned with how deep and full your voice would be heard.
Good value: <150Hz
Noticeable difference: 30Hz
:
67.27 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
What it is: Frequency Response Standard Deviation shows how accurately and balanced sound is captured by the microphone at each frequency. FR Std. Dev. is calculated between LFE and HFE, and the rest of the spectrum is ignored.
When it matters: A good frequency response is desired when a natural and neutral speech quality is desired. As opposed to HFE which is more a metric for speech intelligibility, frequency response could be considered as a metric for a natural and neutral sound.
Good value: >3.5dB
Noticeable difference: 0.5dB
:
5.84 dB
HFE
What it is: High-frequency extension is the highest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response. It shows how extended the treble response of the microphone is.
When it matters: HFE is one the most important factors in speech intelligibility. The higher the HFE, the brighter, more open, and more extended the speech quality will be which makes it a lot easier to understand by the listener.
Good value: >8KHz
Noticeable difference: 1KHz
:
3272.31 Hz
Weighted THD
What it is: The unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies, which cause deformation of an output signal compared to its input.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 1.0
:
12.062
Gain
What it is: Shows how much louder the microphone can go above our reference loudness level. The gain value is reported relative to our reference level, which is 94dB at a distance of 5cm from the mouth.
When it matters: A microphone with a high gain is important when the input signal (speech) is very quiet. For example when whispering, or talking on the phone in a library.
Good value: >18dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
34.2 dB

The microphone has a below-average recording quality. The bumps below 100Hz make it prone to pops and rumbling noises. The dip at 200Hz though, make recorded/transmitted speech slightly thin. The HFE (high-frequency extension) of 3.3KHz is not great and results in a speech that lacks detail and sounds muffled.

5.8 Noise Handling
What it is: How well the microphone is able to separate speech from background noise, so that the transmission would include more voice and less noise.
When it matters: When a clean and intelligible speech transmission is desired in a noisy situation like talking on the phone on a busy street or on the bus.
Score components:
Sony MDR-1000X SpNR
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
What it is: Speech to Noise Ratio is the difference in level between speech and background noise as heard by the listener
When it matters: If the microphone is going to be used in a noisy environment, it is important for it to be able to separate the speech from background noise, so the voice would be easily audible and understandable.
Good value: >24dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
8.42 dB

The integrated microphone of the Sony MDR-1000X is sub-par at noise-handling. In our SpNR test, they achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 8dB, indicating they are best suited for quiet environments and will struggle to separate speech from ambient noise in moderate and loud situations.

6.6

Active Features

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 Sony MDR-1000x have a decent battery life but lack an app for added customization options. This makes these headphones a lot less customizable than similarly designed models like the PXC 550 wireless from Sennheiser or even the updated Sony WH-100XM2. On the upside, their battery life will last 23 hours of continuous listening even with the noise canceling on which should be more than enough for most activities and will easily last you the whole day even if you're a heavy user. Unfortunately, they take a fairly long time to charge and their auto-off feature can be a little aggressive and cannot be disabled.

7.4 Battery
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.
Battery Type
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
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
:
23 hrs
Charge Time
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
Power Saving Feature
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
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
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.
:
Yes

The Sony 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
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
App Name : N/A
iOS : N/A
Android : N/A
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
What it is: Parametric, graphic or preset sound profiles that slightly alter the frequency response.
When it matters: If you want to tailor, your listening experience. Depending on what you're listening to you may want more or less bass for some tracks or more mid-range for vocals-heavy audio.
:
N/A
ANC control
What it is: Control over the Active noise canceling technology. This could be either a simple on/off button, and adjustable slider or even adaptive self-regulating noise cancellation.
When it matters: If you're in an environment where you need to monitor your surroundings or completely isolate yourself from ambient noise.
:
N/A
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
What it is: Room effects that enhance the audio quality to make it more immersive.
When it matters: If you want to further tweak your listening experience. Adding room effects, can simulate a more spacious Soundstage or deliver a surround sound-like feel.
:
N/A
Playback control
What it is: An in-app player that gives you access to play/stop, track skipping or volume controls directly with the app.
When it matters: It's a shortcut that allows you to control your audio without leaving the application.
:
N/A
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

These headphones are not compatible with the Sony| headphones connect app like the Wh-1000xm2.

6.0

Connectivity

What it is: The inputs and outputs of wired and wireless headphones, as well as their latency performance and range.
When it matters: To know how compatible your Bluetooth device, console or PC will be with your wired or wireless headset.
Score components:
  • 10% Bluetooth
  • 33% Wired
  • 10% Base/Dock
  • 22% Wireless Range
  • 25% Latency

The Sony MDR-1000x are Bluetooth headphones that come with a standard audio cable with no inline remote. This means they will not have a microphone that's compatible with consoles but you can always use them wired for audio with your Xbox or PS4 controllers. Unfortunately, like most Bluetooth headphones, they have a bit too much latency to watch a lot of video content or for gaming, although their latency performance is a little better than the WH-1000XM2. On the upside, they have a great wireless range, a stable and reliable wireless connection and support aptxXand LDAC.

8.0 Bluetooth
What it is: Bluetooth support for wireless headphones.
When it matters: To connect wirelessly to Bluetooth sources like your phone, tablet, console, PC and TV.
Score components:
  • 80% Multi-Device Pairing
  • 20% NFC
  • <1% PS4 Compatible
  • <1% Xbox One Compatible
Bluetooth Version : 4.1
Multi-Device Pairing
What it is: A Bluetooth profile that allows some headphones to be simultaneously connected to multiple Bluetooth sources, and have full call and media support on both/all devices they are connected to.
When it matters: To quickly switch between your Bluetooth sources. For example, switching from your phone to your home or work PC and still have call and media support on both devices.
Good value: 2 devices.
:
No
NFC
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.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
PS4 Compatible
What it is: Bluetooth compatibility with the PlayStation 4.
When it matters: To connect your headphones wirelessly with your PS4.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
No
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Bluetooth compatibility with the Xbox One.
When it matters: To connect your headphones wirelessly with your Xbox one.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
No

The Sony MDR-1000X do not have simultaneous multi-device pairing like the Bose QuietComfort 35. But on the upside, they do support NFC which makes pairing with smartphones a bit easier.

7.2 Wired
What it is: The type and compatibility of audio cables for wired and wireless headphones.
When it matters: For all devices with a regular audio jack (line-out) and also compatibility of the in-line remote/boom microphone with consoles and Personal computers.
Score components:
  • 13% Analog
  • 9% USB
  • 26% PS4 Compatible
  • 26% Xbox One Compatible
  • 26% PC Compatible
Cable Tested : Not OS specific
Analog
What it is: A regular 1/8" TRS audio jack or a 1/4 or 1/16 TRS with a 1/8 TRS adapter.
When it matters: For all devices with a line out.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
USB
What it is: A USB or USB adapter to connect to your devices for audio and microphone.
When it matters: A digital USB adapter usually offers a slight advantages over a regular audio jack, like a DAC, and amplifier module or software support and compatibility with PCs. However it may not be as compatible with consoles.
Good value: Yes
:
No
PS4 Compatible
What it is: PS4 compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PS4
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio Only
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Xbox One compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your Xbox One
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio Only
PC Compatible
What it is: PC compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PC.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio Only

These headphones come with an audio cable with no in-line remote or USB adapter. This means they do not have a mic that is compatible with consoles.

0 Base/Dock
What it is: The base station, dock or dongle transmitter of wireless headphones that receive data/audio via a proprietary frequency range.
When it matters: Knowing the inputs and outputs of the base/dock/dongle as well as its compatibility with consoles and Personal Computers. Also whether the base supports dock charging to easily recharge the headphones without any cables.
Score components:
  • 5% Optical Input
  • 22% Line In
  • 5% Line Out
  • 22% USB Input
  • 4% RCA Input
  • 9% PS4 Compatible
  • 9% Xbox One Compatible
  • 9% PC Compatible
  • 2% Power Supply
  • 13% Dock Charging
Wireless Type
What it is: The type of wireless connection used by the base station/dock to communicate with the headphones.
When it matters: For latency and range. For example Radio frequency has low latency but mediocre range when obstructed and proprietary docks have their own 2.x GHz or 5 GHz frequency which varies in performance.
:
N/A
Optical Input
What it is: Optical input for audio.
When it matters: Optical can carry a bit more data at faster speeds than typical wired connection which allows for more high quality, lossless audio.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
Line In
What it is: The regular wired input via a 1/8" TRS audio jack.
When it matters: For any device that has a line out for audio transmission.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
Line Out
What it is: A regular 1/8TRS audio jack output.
When it matters: If you need to share the audio source with other devices. A line out lets you connect other headphones or speakers to the dock/base station.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
USB Input
What it is: A digital USB input instead of a typical 1/8 TRS line-in.
When it matters: A USB connection can provide both an audio input and power to the Dock or Base station.
:
N/A
RCA Input
What it is: Audio input using via an RCA connectors.
When it matters: Provides better stereo audio to the dock/base that's then transmitted to the headphones.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the PlayStation 4.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the Xbox One.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
:
N/A
PC Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with your Personal Computer.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Power Supply
What it is: The connector type of the power source.
When it matters: The accessibility of the power source. For example a power supply with USB/USB-C connects to multiple devices, PC , PS4, Xbox One or even with your regular phone charger whereas a A/C adapter is less common.
Good value: USB/USB-C
:
N/A
Dock Charging
What it is: Charging the headphones via the dock/base station instead of a charging cable.
When it matters: It makes charging your headphones easier and gives you a sport to store your headphones when they are not in use.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A

These headphones do not have a base/dock. If you want a versatile headset with a base that you can also use wired, check out the Arctis 7 by SteelSeries.

9.0 Wireless Range
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.
Score components:
Obstructed Range
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
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

The Sony MDR-1000x have an excellent wireless range. They maintained a stable connection up to 50 ft when the Bluetooth device was obstructed, which should be more than enough for most environments use cases.

3.5 Latency
What it is: How long it takes for audio to play through your headphones once the audio signal has been sent from a source.
When it matters: When gaming or watching movies. High latency means you will hear the audio much later than the images you see on screen.
Score components:
Default Latency
What it is: The Base RF latency or the default sub-band coding (SBC) 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: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
180 ms
aptX Latency
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: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
156 ms
aptX(LL) Latency
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

The Sony MDR-1000x have a bit too much latency to comfortably watch a lot of video content despite having aptX. At 180ms for SBC and 156 when paired with an aptX ready device they perform a lot better than average Bluetooth headphones but will still not be the best choice for latency-sensitive use cases like gaming.

In the box

Sony MDR-1000X In the box Picture

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

Compared to other Headphones

Sony MDR-1000X Compare Picture

The Sony MDR-1000x are a decent mixed usage headphone with great noise cancellation. They cancel noise a lot better than some of the similarly designed wireless over-ears below which makes them a good choice for commute and travel. They also have a premium look and feel, great wireless range and battery life but a weak headband design that's prone to breaking under moderate physical stress which will be a deal breaker for some.

Bose QuietComfort 35

The Bose QuietComfort 35 are a better headset overall than the Sony MDR-1000X. They're a bit more comfortable and have a more consistent and balanced sound quality than the Sonys. The Bose are also easier to use and can easily pair with 2 devices simultaneously. The Sony MDR-1000X, on the other hand, have a very similar noise cancellation feature but with a more premium looking build quality and touch-sensitive controls. However, they have a few manufacturing defects that make the headband a bit more susceptible to breaking under stress than the Bose.

Sony WH-1000XM2

The Sony WH-1000XM2 are a slightly better headset than the Sony MDR-1000X but not by much. The WH-1000XM2 have a more customizable sound and better control over their noise cancellation feature than the original MDR-1000x thanks to the headphones connect app. The XM2 have also received fewer complaints about poor build quality with the headband making them a bit more durable overall than the older model. On the other hand, the Sony MDR-1000X do better in the mid-range, although not by much especially since you can customize the sound of the XM2. But on the upside, they're a bit more affordable since they are the older generation of the same headset.

Bose QuietComfort 35 II

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II are a better headphone than the Sony MDR-1000X. The Bose have an easier-to-use, lightweight and more comfortable over-ear fit than the Sonys. The QC35 II also have a better sound quality that packs a bit more bass than the MDR-1000X and sounds a bit clearer with instruments and vocals. The Sonys, on the other hand, have more features and support multiple high-quality audio codecs that we haven't had the chance to test yet. They also look more premium and have an equally good and more optimized noise-canceling performance.

Sony WH-H900N

The Sony MDR-1000X are a slightly better wireless noise-canceling headset than the Sony WH-H900N. The MDR-1000X have better noise cancelation and a better battery life that does not take as long to charge as WH-H900N. On the other hand, the 900Ns have a better-balanced default sound and you can customize their sound profile with the Sony headphones connect app unlike the MDR-1000X. They also have a slightly sleeker and more fashion-forward design that some may prefer over the very professional look of the MDR-1000X.

JBL Everest Elite 700

The Sony MDR-1000X have a similar performance to the JBL Everest Elite 700 overall. The Sony are not as tight on the head as the JBL which makes them a bit more comfortable to wear for longer listening sessions. They also have a longer battery life, more customization options and they support more codec options than the Everest Elite 700.  On the other hand, the JBL have a unique noise canceling feature since you can control the amount of cancellation in each ear cup. They also have a slightly better wireless range and lower latency although both headphones will not be ideal for watching a lot of movies. 

B&O PLAY H9

The BeoPlay H9 are a sturdier and more premium looking headphone, but they're not as good as the Sony MDR-1000x for commute and travel. The H9 have a sturdier and more high-end looking design. They're also more comfortable and come with a customizable app that lets you EQ their sound profile. The Sonys, on the other hand, have a much strong noise cancellation performance which makes them better suited to use in noisy environments. They also have a couple more codec options, and they have a better-balanced sound despite their slight flaws in the high-frequencies. They're also cheaper than the H9 so unless you want the premium build of the B&Os, get the MDR-1000x.

Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless

The Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless are a slightly worse mixed usage and commuting headset than the Sony MDR-1000x. They have a more solid and durable build quality with a fully metal headband that will not break as easily as the Sonys. They also barely leak so you can listen to your music at higher volumes to mask the ambient noise in your environment without distracting anyone. They also have a decent noise-canceling performance which makes them an above average headset for commuting, but they will not block as much airplane or bus engine noise as the Sonys. The MDR-1000x also sound better with a more balanced bass and mid-range.

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Conclusion
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7.0Mixed Usage
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 Sony 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.
7.1Critical Listening
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 make 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.
7.4Commute/Travel
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.
7.0Sports/Fitness
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.
7.3Office
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.
5.9TV
Score components:
Mediocre-at-best for home theater use. They have fairly high latency even with aptX enabled, which won't be ideal for watching movies. On the upside, they're comfortable enough headphones to wear for long periods of time and they have a good wireless range.
5.5Gaming
Score components:
Sub-par for gaming. They are decently comfortable, have an above-average sound and a good wireless range. Unfortunately, they have a mediocre mic that will not work with consoles and a lot of latency which is not really suitable for gaming. They also tend to make your ears a little warm during long gaming sessions and are not as customizable as typical gaming headsets.

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