Sony is a company that has been around the block with music equipment since the early 80s with the release of the household Walkman brand. You couldn’t help seeing their cassette players everywhere you looked. They had the market in a choke hold for media players. This continued in the late 90s and early 2000s with the Discman. After that the age of media came about and they started to swindle with the launch of various MP3 players and the most popular iPod.
The MDR X-10’s or some like to call the “X Headphones” based on their usage with Simon Cowell’s reality show “The X-Factor” look to be a celebrity branding of sorts. They were worn throughout the show in segments so you couldn’t help but see them. They are a collaboration with Simon to produce the purest sounding headphones anywhere. They can looked to be in the same category with devices from 50 Cent, Ludacris, and Dr. Dre among examples. The questions always asked are “how do they sound?”, “how do they feel?” and “whats the price tag?”. Read on to see if they are a deciding factor for you.
The design of the MDR X10s has been given a hate it or love it feeling. There is love for it as it doesn’t look too familiar to other headphones on the market and the design, but they are also pretty flashy. You can’t help but notice them. Mostly made of plastic, they have a nice build quality of sorts. The ear cups while made of plastic, the front center has a big red X symbol(not the same as the X-Factor’s) and it has a brushed aluminum feel to it.
The cups do swivel inwards for you to either lay flat down or fold up. Either way is good depending how your carrying. Laying them down flat was good for me to throw in my shoulder bag when needed instead of using the carry bag they come with all the time.
Comfort wise, when first put on your head it could feel like a lot but the cushion of the cups feels great. They seem to conform to your head and ears providing pretty of comfort. Once they do so, all the outside surrounding noise as gone to a whisper where you can’t hear anything but the music. Also with the plush headband(with the big SONY logo) on top they shouldn’t be much discomfort with them. I have worn them for long periods of time and they didn’t seem to bother me at all.
So the X headphones feature 50mm drivers that are good at providing you with a full on musical experience. The sound is crisp and clear and the bass on these are astounding. Real rich and deep without it being overbearing and eclipsing the actual song itself. Listening to Joe Budden’s “She Don’t Put it Down”, the rhyming lyrics of Joe and company can be heard with ease while Tank sings over the chorus. Playing it at very high levels(not recommended) offered no distortion whatsoever.
On Emile Sande’s “My Kind of Love” you can immerse yourself in the soulfulness of her voice and it sounds even more powerful coming from the X Headphones giving a great surround sound effect. Great for the modern era of music which is who they are being geared it anyway.
The fact there isn’t any noise cancelling technology is a plus with these as no switches or batteries are needed. Being the typical New Yorker they tend to block out all the usual noise your used to hearing out here in the Big Apple. I used apps such as Google Play Music, Spotify and some local MP3s I uploaded on my mobile devices.
The MDR-X10s do come in that lovely premium price tag of $299.99 (have dropped to $250 now) which is the usual going price for high-end headphones. For the sound and comfort I have enjoyed them a great deal. Once again the design is out there from your usual headphones as them being extra flashy. If you like the attention go right ahead, otherwise they wouldn’t be for you.