The Sony MDR ZX700 is the more superior big brother to the ZX500s, offering a sound quality to match that of a music studio, combined with a user experience to match some of the hugely popular every-day use headphones that are cropping up at the moment. But do they deliver?
These headphones aren’t designed to gain you attention, there is no shiny chrome headband with an enormous logo, simply a beautiful black all-over set with a small metallic circle on each of the cups. Despite the no-nonsense design, the headphones can be extremely comfortable, given that you are willing to spend a good while adjusting the size to suit your head size and comfort preference. When I first tried them on I was slightly unsure, however after a small play around I was able to adjust the placement of the cups so that they cover the space around my ears without actually ever touching them. The headband on top of the headphones is very padded, which makes them an absolute joy to wear for long periods of time.
The trouble with a lot of headphones which offer ‘studio quality’ audio is the comfort, often sacrificing most of it to give you a crystal clear audio experience. Luckily in this case, the headphones are so comfy that I am yet to wear a comfier set of headphones, and would quite happily wear these on a long journey.
As for sound, the ZX700s are good. They aren’t great, but aren’t bad. They match the majority of headphones that I have tried for the same price, but they aren’t anything special. These headphones seemed to cope very well with acoustic music, and music that I wasn’t too bothered about play loud. However when I attempted to try out a song that had a little more ‘ooomph’ to it, such as a song consisting of a lot of bass, the ZX700s never really showed up to the party. It always seemed like they couldn’t quite reach the volume or bass that the song needed, no matter how loud I turned up the music or how long I spent adjusting the settings on my music player.
The noise isolation is very, very good on these headphones. They shield out just about any noise from the outside world, letting you focus entirely on the music you are listening to. The problem is, everyone else could be focusing on your music too. As good as the headphones are for the person using them, they don’t really keep much of the audio in once the volume gets past a certain point, meaning once again that the headphones perform well with acoustic songs compared to bass ones.
The aim of the ZX700s is to combine the amazing audio experience you get from a studio quality set of headphones, and combine it with an amazingly comfortable user experience you get from some popular every-day headphones making their way on to the scene at the moment. For the most part, Sony succeeds in combining to the two genres of audio equipment, as the headphones have a well have a well above average audio quality and an impeccable design for comfort. However, the ZX700s are more suited towards people who are into listening to very calm, acoustic music. If you don’t fall into this category, you may want to consider the ZX500s, of which a review will be coming later this week.
4 out of 5