Sony 1000X headphones incredibly impressive wireless accessory.

I’ve been a fan of Sony products as long as I can remember. Even though there are many new market leaders in technology, Sony has always been a “top of the line” manufacturer of electronics. I’ve been searching for quite some time for an awesome set of wireless noise cancelling headphones. I always seem to find decent ones, but they continue to underwhelm me in most cases. Then, I found the Sony 1000X Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones. They are sleek, functional, and, most importantly, they sound great!

For the purposes of this review, I am looking at the headphones as they work with their advertised features and not how they compare to similar models.

Out of the box, you will find the usual assortment of filler materials including the headphones, the headphone semi-hard shell case, a headphone cable, a Micro-USB cable for charging, a plug adapter for in-flight use, a quick-start guide, and user manual for the 1000X headphones. It’s all carefully packaged and the headphones are secured within the storage case.

Sony 1000X Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones REVIEW

When I pulled everything out of the box, the first thing I did was inspect the headphones. You will notice on the storage case that is an exterior fine mesh pocket. This is meant for store your accessorizing cables in. Inside the storage case, you will find a small pouch for the in-flight adapter and a paper diagram for how the headphones should lay while they are in the case. I would recommend keeping this insert as it makes it easier to store the headphones after using them.

The first thing I really noticed about the headphones was the soft padding on both the headband and the earpieces. It’s probably the most comfortable material I’ve felt on headphones. The next thing I noticed was the absence of control buttons. The 1000X’s have finger-touch controls on the outside of the right can. I like this feature on wireless headphones when it works right. I’m a little skeptical of it until it does. There are three buttons on the left can – power, NC (noise cancelling), and Ambient Sound, which allows you to still hear everyday sounds, like traffic, in the background while listening to music.

Taking a look at the quick start guide, you will notice that it’s just a bunch of pictures and icons. This can be a little hard to follow, but it’s convenient for multiple country distributions. For my first test, I simply put the headphones over my ears. Even without any power turned on, the headphones work wonders in deadening the sound around you. It took a fairly quiet house (just some background noise of the A/C, dog snoring, and my typing) and turned it into a dull whisper-hum of the A/C only. I couldn’t even hear my fingers dancing around on the keyboard.

Sony 1000X Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones REVIEW

AS WIRED HEADPHONES
As I mentioned, the headphones are somewhat isolating without any powered assist from the noise cancellation feature in play. This is nice because seems as though the wireless features are not available when you plug the headphones into your computer. I am unable to verify at this time if this is user error or if this was intended as the manual doesn’t describe this scenario nor does the quick start guide. All I saw was “use the supplied headphone cable,” which I did. The sound quality was impeccable. It’s clear, crisp, and very deep. I listen to a variety of music – everything from big band era to today’s top 40 is in my ‘wheelhouse’. In testing these headphones out, I specifically called up Train’s “50 Ways to Say Goodbye” which has a gorgeous range of highs and lows and finely tuned rock anthem instruments. The vocals are superb and the bass is very punchy. Listening to that song, which I’ve heard 100 times before on Sony’s 1000X headphones was a treat.

The next song I pulled up was George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.” If you’ve never heard it, it’s got perhaps the most dynamic range in instrumental history. It’s an orchestral piece written with a piano as the primary focus. There are numerous instrumental voices in the piece and all of them are easily heard when you use the Sony 1000X headphones. The headphones produce a gorgeous sound and truly pull out the highs and lows to highlight the work of symphonic art that Rhapsody in Blue is.

Sony 1000X Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones REVIEW

ALL THE WIRELESS FUNCTIONS
Even though I really had a treat listening to music through the wired connection of the 1000X’s, I moved along to test out the wireless functions, which are the real star of these headphones.

Connecting through Bluetooth is pretty easy. I used my iPhone and the Sony’s were immediately recognized. In the hours I’ve been using these headphones, I’ve never once lost connection or found myself having to re-pair the two devices. It’s worked seamlessly.

As for the touch-controls, I had a little bit of a learning curve as I worked with them just because they are a little different, but I found the more I used them, the easier they were to use. The finger-touch operations were very responsive and the only issue I had was with the play/pause button. There were a few times that it didn’t register my touch, but that may have been my error.

I think the best/coolest feature is Quick Attention. You simply cup your hand over the right ear and the Quick Attention feature automatically lowers the volume so you can pay attention to someone talking to you or important ambient noise. I used this several times while I tested these out and I found it to be quite useful. I was amazed that the technology worked, but it did!

As for the active noise cancelling, the headphones will not only deaden the sound, but they will also do it intelligently. The Personal Noise Cancelling Optimizer will analyze how the headphones actually sit on your head to maximize the noise cancelling. It’s a very cool feature and it’s something that comes in quite handy because everyone has a different shaped head.

Sony 1000X Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones REVIEW

CONCLUSIONS
I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to work with many high-quality brands of headphones – Bowers & Wilkins, MONSTER, Beats, etc. – and none of them have really come close to touching the functionality and sound quality of these Sony 1000X Wireless headphones. I’ve been incredibly impressed with them, in case you can’t tell. I really didn’t expect to love these headphones as much as I do, but they have really been a great accessory for me.
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For more information, visit sony.com/mdr-1000x.
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