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Reviewed on Jul 28, 2016

Sony MDR-100AAP/h.ear on HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
6.5
Mixed Usage
7.5
Critical Listening
6.0
Commute/Travel
6.3
Sports/Fitness
6.2
Office
5.9
TV
6.5
Gaming
Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : No
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Sony h.ear on MDR-100AAP are average over-ear headphones, with an eye-catching design and a decent sound. They're lightweight and fairly stable, but they struggle a little in loud environments. They don't block much noise and also leak a little at higher volumes.

Test Results
Design 6.6
Sound 7.7
Isolation 6.0
Microphone 6.6
Active Features 0
Connectivity 5.5
Pros
  • Decent audio reproduction.
  • Lightweight, comfortable design.
Cons
  • Plasticky build quality.
  • Poor noise isolation.
  1. Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  2. Update 10/2/2017: The microphone has been tested with our new methodology, as explained here
  3. Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

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6.6

Design

The Sony MDR-100AAP are great looking headphones. They have a similar design to the MDR-ZX770BN but with more flashy color schemes. They're lightweight, above-average comfortable and will stay in place during casual listening sessions. However, they won't be stable enough for the gym. They have a poor control scheme and their build quality is mediocre at best. They feel a little plasticky and fragile.

Style

The Sony MDR-100AAP are stylish looking headphones. Their overall design is similar to the MDR-ZX770BN. However, the earcups have a distinct style that looks a bit better than the 770BN. They have bold and bright color schemes, which are eye-catching but also come in an all-black design for those that prefer less flashy looking headphones.

7.0 Comfort
Weight : 0.47 lbs
Clamping Force
:
0.65 lbs

The Sony h.ear on are above average comfortable headphones, thanks to their lightweight design. They exert the right amount of pressure around the ears and don't feel too tight. Unfortunately, the earcups are a little smaller than some other over-ear headphones, which may become uncomfortable for some, during long listening sessions. Also, the padding on the earcups and headband, although soft, is not that thick. Luckily this doesn't reduce their comfort level by much.

5.6 Controls
Ease of use : Good
Feedback : Decent
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : No
Microphone Control : No
Channel Mixing
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through
:
N/A
Additional Buttons : No

These headphones have a mediocre control scheme that offers minimum functionality. They have only one button on their inline remote, which provides call/music control. The button has a good tactile feedback. However, the lack of volume controls is slightly disappointing.

6.8 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 4.6 C
6.2 Portability
L : 4.72 "
W : 5.91 "
H : 2.95 "
Volume : 82.46 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

The Sony MDR-100AAP are mid-sized over-ear headphones like the MDR-ZX770BN. However, these headphones fold into a more compact format, which makes them slightly more portable. They will fit into smaller bags once folded but are too cumbersome to carry around, on your person. They won't fit into any pockets, even larger jacket pockets.

6.0 Case
Type : Pouch
L : N/A
W : N/A
H : N/A
Volume : N/A

Comes with a soft fabric pouch that will protect the headphones from scratches. Unfortunately, this won't shield them against hard falls or water damage.

6.5 Build Quality

These headphones have a decent build quality but feel a little flimsy, like the MDR-ZX770BN. They have the same thin metal frame and moderately dense earcups that can handle a couple of drops without breaking. They also strengthen the earcups' hinges by making it swivel less than the MDR-ZX770BN. Unfortunately, the overall design still feels a little plasticky and not durable. Also, they may get faded and scratched by regular wear and tear, which will be a little more noticeable because of the bright colors.

7.0 Stability

These headphones are moderately stable. Their lightweight design and decent tension, prevents them from swaying too much during physical activity. However, these are not sports headphones, and they will slip off your ears if used while running or doing high-intensity exercises in the gym. On the upside, the cable is detachable and will disconnect before yanking the headphones of your head if it gets hooked on something.

Cable
Detachable : Yes
Length : 4.2 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRS

Comes with a 1/8"TRRS audio cable.

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7.7

Sound

The Sony MDR-100AAP are a decent sounding pair of closed-back over-ear headphones. They have a good bass, a nearly flawless mid-range, and a good treble. However, their bass is over-emphasized and sounds boomy, and their treble is slightly veiled. Additionally, their bass delivery may vary a bit from person to person, their distortion levels are on the high side, and don't have an open soundstage.

7.6 Bass
Std. Err.
:
3.57 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
:
12.6 Hz
Low-Bass
:
2.94 dB
Mid-Bass
:
4.08 dB
High-Bass
:
4.24 dB
9.1 Mid
Std. Err.
:
1.23 dB
Low-Mid
:
1.35 dB
Mid-Mid
:
-0.29 dB
High-Mid
:
-0.65 dB
7.6 Treble
Std. Err.
:
3.87 dB
Low-Treble
:
-2.74 dB
Mid-Treble
:
-1.65 dB
High-Treble
:
-8.32 dB
6.8 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
0.66 dB
8.4 Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.24
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
0.63
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
2.1
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
6.93
6.9 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
2.97 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
4.89 dB
PRTF Distance
:
15.94 dB
Openness
:
3.9
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
5.0
Correlated Crosstalk
:
-0.05 dB
6.2 Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
:
8.893
Weighted THD @ 100
:
76.501
6.0

Isolation

The Sony h.ear on MDR-100AAP only have passive isolation. They will struggle a little in loud environments unless you listen to your music at very high volumes. They don't block much ambient noise and would not be ideal for busy commutes or noisy flights. They also leak a little and will be audible to the people around you at higher volumes, especially in a quiet office or library.

6.1 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-13.96 dB
Bass
:
0.74 dB
Mid
:
-10.77 dB
Treble
:
-32.82 dB
Self-Noise
:
0 dB

Poor overall isolation. Considering these headphones don't have active noise cancelling, the passive isolation provided in the Treble Range by the ear cups is quite decent. But the passive isolation only becomes effective past 400HZ and does not really block any low/bass frequencies. Isolation in the mid-range is also below average.

5.7 Leakage
Leakage Audio
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
:
46.41 dB

Poor leakage performance. The majority of leakage is in the 400Hz-3KHz frequency range which is rather broad. However, the overall volume of sound that escapes the ear cups is low relative to listening volume.

6.6

Microphone

Integrated
:
No
In-line
:
Yes
Boom
:
No
Detachable Boom
:
N/A
6.6 Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
:
LFE
:
486.43 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
:
1.42 dB
HFE
:
4627.75 Hz
Weighted THD
:
0.259
Gain
:
25.55 dB
6.5 Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
:
17.32 dB
0

Active Features

No active features.

N/A Battery
Battery Type
:
N/A
Battery Life
:
N/A
Charge Time
:
N/A
Power Saving Feature
:
N/A
Audio while charging
:
N/A
Passive Playback
:
N/A
0 App Support
App Name : N/A
iOS : N/A
Android : N/A
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
:
N/A
ANC control
:
N/A
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
:
N/A
Playback control
:
N/A
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

No compatible app.

5.5

Connectivity

0 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
N/A
Multi-Device Pairing
:
N/A
NFC Pairing
:
N/A
9.1 Wired
OS Compatibility
:
Not OS specific
Analog Audio
:
Yes
USB Audio
:
No
PS4 Compatible
:
Audio + Microphone
Xbox One Compatible
:
Audio + Microphone
PC Compatible
:
Audio + Microphone
0 Base/Dock
Type
:
N/A
Optical Input
:
N/A
Line In
:
N/A
Line Out
:
N/A
USB Input
:
N/A
RCA Input
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
:
N/A
PC Compatible
:
N/A
Power Supply
:
N/A
Dock Charging
:
N/A
0 Wireless Range
Obstructed Range
:
N/A
Line of Sight Range
:
N/A
10 Latency
Default Latency
:
0 ms
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A

In the box

  • Sony MDR-100AAP Headphones
  • Audio cable
  • USB cable
  • Manual
  • Carrying pouch

6.5 Mixed Usage

The Sony h.ear on MDR-100AAP are average everyday headphones, for casual use. They're comfortable and have a decent sound. But they're also a little flimsy and lack good isolation to be versatile enough for all environments.

7.5 Critical Listening

Above-average for critical listening. They have a decent sound quality but a poor soundstage because of their closed back design.

6.0 Commute/Travel

Average for commuting. They're comfortable, but the passive noise isolation is too weak for the ambient noise of flying or commuting.

6.3 Sports/Fitness

Decent for sports use. They're comfortable and lightweight but they're also a bit too unstable and bulky for intense exercises.

6.2 Office

Decent for office use. They won't block the office chatter from seeping into your audio and they leak a little at higher volumes.

5.9 TV

Above-average for home theater use. They have an above-average sound for watching movies. They also have no latency since they're wired. However, the short audio cable won't be ideal for comfortably watching movies from your couch.

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