Sony MDR-1r review

Detailed and airy, but could do with more kick Tested at £210

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Detailed and airy, but could do with more kick


  • +

    Natural, warm, spacious sound


  • -

    Could do with more power at the low end

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Considering that Sony joined forces with dubstep king Magnetic Man to develop the audio of the Sony MDR-1rs, you might think that these cans would have a strong bass bias – but that’s not the case.

They certainly edge on the low-frequency side of neutral with a strong, warm upper bass response, but they’re surprisingly lacking power at the very lowest frequencies, leaving us wanting a bit more kick.

That’s made up somewhat by a wonderfully natural, warm and spacious sound across the midrange and treble, with precise detail and instrument separation from top to bottom.

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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