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Reviewed on Mar 16, 2016

Sony MDR-ZX770BN Wireless HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
6.8
Mixed Usage
7.3
Critical Listening
6.9
Commute/Travel
6.7
Sports/Fitness
6.9
Office
5.8
TV
5.4
Gaming
Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : Yes
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Sony MDRZX770BN Bluetooth and Noise Canceling headset are stylish, great-sounding headphones. They're comfortable and have an efficient control scheme and button layout. Unfortunately, they feel a little flimsy and poorly isolate the listener, so ambient noise may distract you from your listening experience.

Test Results
Design 6.4
Sound 7.4
Isolation 6.6
Microphone 5.7
Active Features 6.8
Connectivity 5.8
Pros
  • Lightweight, comfortable design.
  • Efficient controls and ergonomic button layout.
  • Great audio reproduction.
Cons
  • Flimsy joints and build quality.
  • Poor noise isolation.
  • Bass and treble delivery varies significantly across users. Sensitive to glasses.
  1. Update 4/18/2019: We've updated the THD values and score after retest
  2. Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  3. Update 9/28/2017: The microphone has been tested with our new methodology, as explained here
  4. Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

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6.4

Design

The Sony MDR-ZX770BN are great-looking, comfortable headphones. The lightweight, well-padded ear cups fully encompass the ear and provide efficient button layout and functionality. The headband does not apply too much pressure on the head and the ear cups swivel. Unfortunately, the swivel mechanism feels loose and susceptible to breaking and the build quality of these headphones is a little weak and flimsy.

Style

The Sony MDR-ZX770BN are well-designed headphones that look quite stylish. The two-tone gray and dark gray color scheme and the silver accents on the frame and ear cups are visually appealing. The back of the earcups have a matte, sandstone finish with subtle metallic Sony branding that works with the overall aesthetic.

7.0 Comfort
Weight : 0.53 lbs
Clamping Force
:
0.89 lbs

The Sony ZX770BN headphones are quite comfortable when on the head. The lightweight, softly padded ear cups and headband do not exert too much pressure on the head. The ear cups successfully encompass the ears and swivel, providing a little more comfort regardless of exact placement on the head. The only issues are the lack of padding on the headband and the flimsiness of the swiveling ear cups, which causes some instability when on the head.

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

Button layout and functionality is simple and efficient. The well-designed buttons are located on the bottom of the ear cups. These headphones provide volume, call-music and skip controls, as well as the power and noise cancelling enabling buttons layed out across the two ear cups. They take a little time to get used to but once you are accustomed they are efficient and the tactile feedback is great.

6.6 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 5.2 C
6.0 Portability
L : 7.48 "
W : 7.48 "
H : 1.77 "
Volume : 99.2 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

The Sony MDRZX770BN have large earcups that lay flat to take less space making these headphones somewhat portable. Unfortunately, they don't fold into a more compact format and will occupy a decent amount of space in a backpack. They won't comfortably fit in a handbag and are far too big to fit in a pocket, even larger jacket pockets.

0 Case
Type : No case
L : N/A
W : N/A
H : N/A
Volume : N/A
6.5 Build Quality

Build quality is decent but feels flimsy. The metal frame of the Sony MDR-ZX770BN is sturdy and flexible enough to handle a decent amount of stress. The plastic used for the build is not the most high-end but is sufficiently dense to not crack after a few drops. Unfortunately, the swivel hinge is loose, flimsy and susceptible to breaking.

6.5 Stability

The Sony MDR-ZX770BN are moderately stable. However, they're 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, they have a wireless design and won't be yanked off your head because the audio cable got hooked on something.

Cable
Detachable : Yes
Length : 4.07 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRS

Comes with a 1/8" TRS-TRS with no in-line controls and a USB charging cable.

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Headshots 1
Headshots 2
7.4

Sound

The Sony MDR-ZX770BN are a decent sounding pair of closed-back over-ear headphones. They have an excellent bass, a decent mid-range and a good treble. However, their mid-range is noticeably recessed and their treble is on the sibilant side. Additionally, their performance could vary considerably from person to person, and like most closed-back headphones, don't have a good soundstage.

8.9 Bass
Std. Err.
:
1.67 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
:
13.94 Hz
Low-Bass
:
1.98 dB
Mid-Bass
:
1.47 dB
High-Bass
:
1.48 dB
7.4 Mid
Std. Err.
:
3.48 dB
Low-Mid
:
-0.79 dB
Mid-Mid
:
-4.52 dB
High-Mid
:
-2.57 dB
8.1 Treble
Std. Err.
:
3.35 dB
Low-Treble
:
0.07 dB
Mid-Treble
:
0.3 dB
High-Treble
:
1.31 dB
5.5 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
1.24 dB

The frequency response consistency of the ZX770BN is sub-par. There is shows quite a bit of deviation in bass delivery across our human subject, especially with the one who wears glasses. This shows that the bass of the Sony is sensitive to fit and seal and could cause as much as 7dB of drop in bass at 100Hz, which is quite noticeable. The treble delivery however, is more consistent.

8.6 Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.33
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
0.6
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
1.81
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
2.76
5.4 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
5.93 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
8.53 dB
PRTF Distance
:
12.71 dB
Openness
:
3.1
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
4.4
Correlated Crosstalk
:
-0.05 dB
6.7 Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
:
2.465
Weighted THD @ 100
:
20.076
6.6

Isolation

The Sony ZX770BN's active noise cancelling is not that good. The ear cups provide some passive isolation thanks to the decent seal but, unfortunately, the active cancellation does not efficiently cancel out ambient noise. This means on a busy city commute or on an international flight, noise will seep into the ear cups and distract you from your listening experience. On the upside, they don't leak too much sound.

6.8 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-16.2 dB
Bass
:
-7.33 dB
Mid
:
-16.29 dB
Treble
:
-25.87 dB
Self-Noise
:
14.74 dB

Sub-par isolation. The passive isolation provided by the earcups is decent, but not good enough to make up for the poor active isolation. The active noise cancellation works very narrowly in the bass range, being most effective only around 40Hz. In the mid-range they don't do much at around 200Hz, but reach a decent -20dB at 600Hz. In the treble range, these headphones seem to perform slightly worse with ANC On compared to when the ANC is set to Off.

6.2 Leakage
Leakage Audio
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
:
44.06 dB

Average performance. The Sony ZX770BN headphones leak a lot across a broad spectrum (900Hz-6KHz). If you listen at very loud volumes, you will be hearable from a couple of feet away.

5.7

Microphone

Integrated
:
Yes
In-line
:
No
Boom
:
No
Detachable Boom
:
N/A
5.1 Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
:
LFE
:
204.52 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
:
3.61 dB
HFE
:
1156.94 Hz
Weighted THD
:
5.374
Gain
:
37.7 dB
6.2 Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
:
14.85 dB
6.8

Active Features

The Sony MDR-ZX770BN have an average battery life of 11 hours and a decent set of wireless features. They support aptX and also have NFC which makes them relatively easy to pair with mobile devices. They also charge a bit faster than the ZX550BN and have a greater wireless range.

7.5 Battery
Battery Type
:
Rechargable
Battery Life
:
11.8 hrs
Charge Time
:
1.96 hrs
Power Saving Feature
:
Yes
Audio while charging
:
No
Passive Playback
:
No

The Sony MDRZX770BN have a decent battery life that delivers about half a day of continuous playback. They charge a lot faster than the MDRZX550BN but cannot stream audio and continue charging at the same time. On the upside, they turn off automatically when no Bluetooth connection has been established which saves a bit of power.

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.

5.8

Connectivity

8.0 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
3.0
Multi-Device Pairing
:
No
NFC Pairing
:
Yes
7.2 Wired
OS Compatibility
:
Not OS specific
Analog Audio
:
Yes
USB Audio
:
No
PS4 Compatible
:
Audio Only
Xbox One Compatible
:
Audio Only
PC Compatible
:
Audio Only
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
8.0 Wireless Range
Obstructed Range
:
40 ft
Line of Sight Range
:
100 ft

The Sony MDR-ZX770BN have an above-average wireless range that's suitable for indoor and outdoor use. They maintained a stable connection up to 40ft rarely dropping any audio, which makes them a good wireless option for a moderately sized office. They offer NFC which makes them easy to pair with mobile devices. Unfortunately, their Bluetooth version is not the most up-to-date and consumes a bit more battery than Bluetooth 4.0. It also has a bit more latency issues with video playback even if they have the APTX codec to reduce lag.

3.6 Latency
Default Latency
:
174 ms
aptX Latency
:
154 ms
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A

In the box

  • Sony MDR-ZX770BN Headphones
  • Audio cable
  • USB cable
  • Manual
  • Carrying pouch

6.8 Mixed Usage

The Sony MDR-ZX770BN are mediocre everyday headphones. Their lightweight comfortable and have a wireless design. However, they poorly isolate and plasticky build quality. This makes them not versatile enough for some use cases and environments.

7.3 Critical Listening

Decent for critical listening. They're comfortable for long listening sessions and have a decently well-balanced sound but they won't be the ideal choice for more critical listeners.

6.9 Commute/Travel

Decent for commuting. They're comfortable and have a good control scheme, but their noise isolation is a little weak for loud environments.

6.7 Sports/Fitness

Average for sports. The Sony ZX770BN have a lightweight and comfortable wireless design, and an efficient control scheme. However, they are too unstable and bulky for strenuous exercise.

6.9 Office

Decent for office. They leak a lot and have poor ambient noise isolation. You will be able to hear the chatter of a busy office.

5.8 TV

below average for home theater use. They have moderately high latency even with aptX enabled, which won't be ideal for watching movies.

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