Sony MDR-EX81 Headphones

My review of my new headphones on Amazon.

Four stars

I read the reviews here, and decided to get these headphones anyway. Essentially they are pretty good: they are comfortable and sound good. I hoped for more though.

The sound can be good just by itself, but on the iPod I have to crank it up to about 80% for it to sound its best. While I disagree with people who said the buds have no bass (they must not have the fit worked out), I do agree that especially with rock music the sound can be tinny. Using the iPod equalizer setting called Treble Reducer seems to help, but then if you play the iPod over a car or home stereo you have to remember to turn the equalizer off again or the iPod sounds muddy.


The buds are very comfortable, but they do go pretty far in your ear. They block out a lot of noise (I couldn’t hear my cell ringing until I got to a silent part between songs), but not everything. I’m not sure the ear hooks are even necessary since the buds fit in the ear pretty snugly. Plus the hooks tangle like crazy, catching on every cord they come across. I didn’t like the asymetric cords until I realized the longer cord was supposed to go behind your neck instead of under your chin. That way if you need to talk to someone you can take the earbuds out and they hang around your neck. That’s a nice feature.

I can’t strongly recommend these, but I don’t know that I would recommend avoiding them either. And they are certainly better than a lot of things you will find out there.

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