Sony MDR-1A Measurements

Discussion in 'Headphone Measurements' started by ultrabike, Oct 28, 2015.

  1. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    From the IF forums gibtg requested Sony MRD-1A info. So here it is:

    Thanks to Gelocks for sending these out! :piratemug:

    These are one of Sony's current premium cans. According to the literature these can go up to 100 kHz. I have no way to verify this, but if true I guess these are "fast". Drivers appear to be angled. On thing about these cans is that they are fairly comfortable and light. Marv's ears might fit inside. Not bad looking either.

    [​IMG]

    As far as sound, these are warm and overall fairly well behaved. I like the balance of these. Bass goes deep, but not very detailed. Mids are fairly even and clean. Treble is good, but it does have some edge to it. However, I doesn't really bother me. While bass carries good impact and presence, it does not muddy up the sound too much.

    Over all these are among the best Sony cans I've heard, and among the most comfy closed cans I've put on my head across the board.

    Senn HD630VB might have a tough time doing better than these based on what I've seen and read so far. Cable is detachable for one. IMO these look a lot better too.

    Lachlan approves:



    Measurements:

    Frequency Response

    mdr-1a_fr.png

    Distortion Right

    mdr-1a_dist_right.png

    Distortion Left

    mdr-1a_dist_left.png

    CSD Right

    mdr-1a_csd_right.png

    CSD Left

    mdr-1a_csd_left.png

    Comparo (HD600 and ADP)

    comparohd600adp.png
     
  2. kapanak

    kapanak Canucklehead - Friend

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    Truly one of the most comfortable closed over ear headphones ever. The 1R and the 1A are excellent Sony cans, and easy to use besides the computer or on the go (or in the office or lab).

    *Not So Secret Sony Fanboy*
     
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  3. GelockS

    GelockS Friend

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    Hey @ultrabike , these are the
    Sony MDR-1A
    not MRD...

    LOL! ;)
     
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  4. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I wish they weren't so expensive. I hear these are better than the 1R, especially when cranked up a bit.
     
  5. GelockS

    GelockS Friend

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    Oh, these are definitely better than the 1R to my ears. If you are looking to buy one, verify the International market if you know someone. These were going for like $150 or so according to some posters on Head-Fi (even amazon.co.uk had some used ones for the equivalent of $130-something or so...). Pretty sure if you skulk enough, you will find them at a decent price.
     
  6. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    I don't have the 1A around anymore, but I can put a comparo plot.

    Sony_1R_vs_1A.png

    The fr comparo seems to indicate better bass extension and less bloominess in the 1A than in the 1R. Seems to me the 1A is tuned towards better balance, where as the 1R might be tuned towards more impact.

    Both cans had some edge in the treble IMO. But not something that would turn me away. Possible the 1A was better behaved, but did not have a chance to compare back to back. I feel both are pretty decent set of cans.
     
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  7. MikeD

    MikeD Acquaintance

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    Got a pair of these today. They seem OK. Bass is BIG, treble spike is surprisingly not too bad. Mids seem quite natural - vocals are coming through nicely and seem well defined.
    Still, I figured it'd worth seeing if the FR could be flattened out a bit. Stock, the bass sounds a bit loose. I taped up the port on the top, leaving a hole as big as a sharpie tip. It brought the bass down some. I experimented with an alternative - putting a shim between the pad and the cup to bring the bass down some more - it didn't sound any better or worse than the tape over the vent. I went with the tape as it seemed a bit less disruptive. 1 piece of single ply tissue between the pad and driver. Sounds good to me. Bass is not over powering - vocals still sound good (taping up the port completely ruins the mids and nulls the bass) Be interesting to see how it measures - I, unfortunately, don't have the gear. I'll take 'em apart next week and put some Dynamat and polyfiber in the cups (ala Purrin's MDR 1R mod - http://www.changstar.com/index.php/topic,1300.10.html) See what's up.
    It's worth noting that these are super cheap in the UK - about a 1/2 of the price of the HP50 or the Focals and can be found for very little on Ebay. I like them as much as those other cans. It's day one though - maybe some glaring flaw will come to light over the next few days.
     
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  8. GelockS

    GelockS Friend

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    Yeah, it seems these can be found for less than $150 over there so definitely a good buy. They are so comfortable as well! Recently tried their new one MDR-100aap and they tame the bass a bit, but seems to me they have the same upper mid bite that the MDR-1R had. So the 1A's are still the ones I would personally choose as of now from those three...
     
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  9. MikeD

    MikeD Acquaintance

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    Yeah! These things are comfortable! Can't believe I didn't mention the fit. Most closed back cans I've had recently were stymied by their fit. The worst offenders, for me, were the Focal pros - man those things were small and tight. I think a lot of recent closed back cans have been compromised, in pad and cup size, by the need to be portable or the need to be perceived as being portable. My slightly smaller than average ears were aggravated by the Oppo PM3, Nad HP50 and B&W P7 - I also felt there was a soundstage problem with those cans - is it possible that the small cup size can leads to congestion? I thought the PM3's tonal balance was great but there just wasn't enough separation and space for me. Maybe it's to do with seal and isolation? Some decent isolation on the PM3's - not so much the MDR 1A - which has a decent feeling of air/space.
     
  10. MikeD

    MikeD Acquaintance

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    Alright, final mods done. I followed Purrin's MDR 1R steps - Dynamat on the inside of the cups and then filled the chamber with polyfiber. I had to redo the tape on the bass ports - reducing the hole to about 2mm in diameter to get the lows in line. The phones sound alright, I think. The bass is certainly more controlled; I can hear some textures in there and it's still pleasantly encompassing. Still, the FR sounds a bit elevated around 1-2 K. Early Dinosaur Jr., Led Zeppelin, the Pixies, anything recorded with a lot of upper mid/lower treble energy sounds a touch bright and aggressive. It's fairly slight though - not like, say the AKG K550 or K545 which render those kind of recordings unbearable. I think, overall, it's pretty balanced - It's tricky, I'd have to get a measuring rig to find out how the subjective and objective line up in this case. I dunno - It's a closed back headphone with plenty of the limitations of the type... for what it is, I like it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2015
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  11. Registered_for_pics

    Registered_for_pics Rando

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    When I auditioned them, they sounded exceptionally honky to me. Very reverb-y.
     
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  12. Abhishek Chowdhary

    Abhishek Chowdhary Friend

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    Heard these yesterday. I put them on my head expecting a crap product but these really surprised me. Deep but untextured bass, very behaved mids and treble. The bass isnt as bloated as the z7 and overall more even sound than the Z7. Resolution level was better than the m50x. Super comfy, perfect for portable use. Not for serious listening though, lots of texture missing.
    Purrin mentioned about 1R falling apart at high volumes, no such issue with these. I could easily push it to skull shaking levels without distortion.
     
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  13. PoochZag

    PoochZag The Shadow knows - Friend

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    Does anyone have an idea that when used passively, if the Bluetooth version (Mdr1abt) sound the same as the normal?

    I've always been interested in these, and recently noticed the Bluetooth versions can be found for not terribly more on eBay. I wouldn't mind having Bluetooth around the house for some non hifi situations

    (Asking here because it doesn't have its own thread in "headphones" and this doesn't seem like a good reason to start one)
     
  14. deepak sahu

    deepak sahu Rando

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    i reently got a pair of sony mdr1-a.Is it require any mod to sound better ??
    As purrin mod is removed from headfi;if anyone have please post it.
     
  15. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    I like adding Dynamat to various parts of the enclosure and back of magnet, adding some acoustic stuffing to cups, closing off some of the cup vents (until it sounds right), and adding HM5 pads, which are best when taped or adhered to the back lip of the baffle.

    Otherwise I didn't like it.
     
  16. AustinValentine

    AustinValentine Friend

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    See here for my replication of Marv's MDR-1R mod. (I used a little less acoustic fiber than it shows in the pics).
     

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