Wireless headphones are all the rage now – I’ve owned a pair for a good amount of time (the amazing August EP650’s), and use them regularly. However when I was traveling in February I noticed that they were not the perfect pair for use in a plane. I think I was jus spoiled by the Bose QC15’s that I got to wear in Business Class that one time…
After many months I finally spotted a deal for the Sony MDR-ZX770BN on Amazon UK Deals for £80, and figured I’d take a chance on them, and as I have a two week excursion to Canada coming up, I figured I could (just about) justify them.
Bluetooth Specification: Bluetooth V4.0
Maximum Operating Time
Bluetooth + ANC: 13 Hours
In the Box
First Impressions of the Sony MDR-ZX770BN’s
The Sony MDR-ZX770BN‘s are an over-the-ear style headphone with a stainless steel band that sits atop your head. the band is comfortably padded with a grey premium (faux) leather(?) feeling material. The headphones feel really well made. They have a matte finish so they don’t look like they’ll scratch or show marks as easily as other brands. Putting the headphones on for the first time was a nice experience – they’re comfortable and fit comfortably on my bonce, and the ear cups fit well over my ears providing fairly good isolation, even without the ANC turned on. As with most products these days, the headphones shipped already charged, so I was able to power them on and pair them to my iPhone 5s. The first thing I noticed here was that they don’t transit their battery information over Bluetooth. Its not a massive negative, but worth mentioning as its something I’ve become accustomed to with my other Bluetooth headphones and Bluetooth Shower Speaker.
In addition to the headphones, you’re also supplied with the Micro-USB charging cable, a 1.2m 3.5mm audio cable with one inline port and another right-angled port, the customary Quick Start Guide with standard Sony Warranty information, and a surprisingly good Storage Bag, which is the soft material (that I personally hate because it clings to my fingers), and divided into two to store the headphones and the accessories that come with it. The storage bag is no supplement for a good Hard Case, so I’ll be looking for one of these over the next few weeks.
I often wondered why you’d spend lots on Bluetooth headphones when you can pick up a pair for around £30 now (as I did with my August EP650’s). Now that I’ve tried these, I now know exactly why you’d spend more! It really is like Night and Day.
Now, I’m no audiophile, but the sound produced by the Sony MDR-ZX770BN‘s is REALLY pleasant! sound was crisp and clear, and the sound-stage excellent, so much so that when I was watching something on Netflix, I could have sworn blind that there was something else going on in the room with me to my extreme right – turned out it was on the film.
Music sounds clear and crisp, with a great amount of Bass.
Sound leakage? Yes there is some, but its not extreme. No-one around me has complained so far at least.
One of the big selling points of these headphones is the Active Noise Cancellation – It certainly was the main reason I bought them. The ANC is in fact very effective. It doesn’t eliminate ambient noise entirely, but it makes a massive difference.
I can’t speak for other headphones, but the ANC on these Sony headphones appears to work slightly differently than the ANC of Bose. ANC is automatically enabled when you turn the headphones on, but at any point you can press the ANC button to toggle it on or off. If you hold down the ANC button the audio will turn off, and the ANC will sample the ambient noise around you. A confirmation beep tells you that it is doing this. After about 3 seconds, the audio from the headphones will resume, but at a reduced volume. The ANC will then turn on and you’ll hear the ambient noise fade into the background. The headphones will then resume audio at normal level.
This method of Noise Cancellation may not seem as effective to the first-time listener if you’re used to the Bose system, but I think once you realise what is going on, the ANC is at least as effective as the best on the market. Personally I’m a massive fan of the ANC on this, and rate it at least as good as the Bose system (which is far more expensive).
So how did I test it? Unfortunately there really isn’t that much noise around my home, so instead I found a nice noisy Server Room. Trust me, its plenty noisy in there! Without the ANC, the noise was tolerable with the headphones on. With the ANC switched on, the server noise was still audible, but not anywhere near as bad as it could be. The noise level in the Server Room was far in excess of what you would find on an aircraft, so I can comfortably say that you’d find your flight far more pleasurable with these on.
So what do I think of these noise cancelling headphones? Well as I’ve only had one experience with noise cancelling cans in the past, I wouldn’t exactly call myself an expert, but from my limited experience, I LOVE these headphones! Using them in an office environment is (for me) bliss (for co-workers its a pain as they can never get my attention). Sound quality is beautiful and they are really comfortable to wear.
As I said in the introduction, these headphones were purchased for my upcoming two week trip to Canada. I’ll update my review with my experiences once I’ve returned.
Would I buy them again? Absolutely, and I’d highly recommend these to people looking for good quality headphones.
Purchase Sony MDR-ZX770BN’s from Amazon UK
The 770’s are available in two models – at time of review, these are just a touch over the £100 mark
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This review is not sponsored or commissioned by Sony, Amazon or any of their affiliated companies.
Sony MDR-ZX770BN was a personal purchase from Amazon UK, and not supplied as a review sample.