In ear headphones may have been relegated to the side lines, but there is now a renewed interest in high quality in ear buds. Have Sony discovered a set that can offer great style, comfort and sound for the more discerning discreet listeners..?
For the last few years its been all about over ear and on ear headphones, becoming very much a fashion accessory as well as a top option for enjoying your personal music – no doubt in part thanks to the explosion of the Beats By Dre range. Having said that, the demand for a discreet pair of in-ears hasn’t wained, and the battle to combine fantastic over-ear sound with unobtrusive style has entered a much more advanced stage.
When removing the MDR-EX650s from their packaging the first thing we noticed was a real sense of quality and heft about them, which is a result of them actually being quite heavy despite their meagre size. This could be something to with the brass case, which helps to reduce resonance in comparison to traditional materials such as plastics, which headphones are made out of at this price point. This is what also gives them their striking gold colour.
The bud mount is angled forward from the main body, which is a bit odd to look at but it allows the buds to sit in the ear very nicely. To put it simply these are some of the most comfortable buds I have ever experienced especially over long periods, you really don’t noticed the extra weight.
Sony has hit the nail on the head with the cable too; long enough to allow free movement of your head and to look at your device, but at the same time it is not going to leave you with a pocket full of cable. The cable’s rubber coating manages to be flexible without being overly tacky and it is fairly resistant to tangling. The in-line remote and mic is compatible with most smart devices and is finished off with a nice right angled plug.
There’s a selection of different sized buds, so make sure you have a good play with the various sizes; as per any in ear headphones it is key to get a good fit as this affects sound quality.
Now to the all important sound quality, the Sonys fair pretty well sitting on the warm side of neutral. The mid range and bass are controlled with plenty of extension, giving you a nice soulful performance particularly in the lower mid range. The treble also has a nice smooth quality to it giving you just right amount of detail without pounding your head into oblivion with shrillness, a problem I’ve found with a lot of other headphones.
I also greatly appreciate the 650’s ability to follow rhythms with ease, soft slow tracks groove while faster beats bounce without ever sounding confused or mashed. The voicing of these buds is spot on, they’re just so listenable!
Criticisms? Well they don’t have the accuracy and attack of some of the better price level headphones out there, but even as I write this I’m not sure that’s really a criticism; just an observation. In truth, I love these headphones so much so that I bought a pair and would happily give them a 10/10 if it wasn’t for the colour… so it’ll just have to be a 9.99 for now.
If you’d like to find a pair of headphones that are perfect for you, or for a free demonstration of any of our huge range please feel free to pop in-store or give our telesales team a call on 0333 900 0093.
Author – Jon, Cardiff store