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on 12 September 2013
I think this is my first ever review on Amazon, and it was motivated by what is a genuine bargain for a great set of headphones. As a current owner of a pair of Bowers and Wilkins P5's for most of my 'mobile' listening, I only really use in-ear for a) the gym or b) when I want to be a bit more discreet, for example travelling on the tube late at night.

My previous in ear headphones were Shure, and whilst the sound was great, the usual problem of the cable disintegrating reared its head recently and forced me to buy a new pair.

A quick read of the What HiFi 2013 feature online pointed me towards a few options, not least these Sony units, however you could have knocked me down with a feather when I found these on Amazon for £85. So much so that I spent about 10 minutes looking at all of the small print etc. to see if they were seconds, returns or similar. I then proceeded to throw my money at them as fast as technology would allow, and through the joys of Amazon Prime delivery, I had them in my hands not long after breakfast this morning.

A couple of immediate comments, firstly the attention to detail on the design, as well as the build quality, is fantastic. Very confident inspiring and the cable is flat enough not to tangle but not so flat as to be awkward and annoying to wear or store. I was also very surprised to find six different pairs of earbuds - three in each size, half of which are standard silicone rubber and half of which are noise isolation buds with foam between the layers of silicon. As someone who usually falls somewhere between the medium and large bud size supplied with headphones, I was delighted to find that the foam makes the medium a perfect fit. Runners will also be pleased to know that you can effectively wear them upside down and over the top of the ear, which gives them a little more security when moving fast. Sony also supplies a lovely magnetic-close carry case, a clothes clip, and a cable tidy. However, the latter is just too heavy and causes the buds to come out of your ears.

Anyway, on to sound. Having only just received them I haven't had time to burn them in yet, however have spent a couple of hours now flicking between some different music styles using 320kb on an iPhone 5 and I have to say they absolutely trash the Shure's. I've always been reticent to spend big bucks (£150+) on in-ear headphones because they are compromised by their very nature, however I'm now wondering if I've missed a trick because the balance and clarity offered here is amazing. No one frequency dominates, and it means you can pick out nuances of individual instruments rather than just an overall noise. Initially I also felt they were a little weak on the bass, until I played Purity Ring's album, at which point I realised that the headphones are simply faithfully recreating the recording, rather than trying to add their own 'enhancements'. Play bass-heavy music, and you will certainly get bass!

I'm now in the process of swapping all my downsampled music on my iPhone for lossless files from my computer, which will only enhance things further!

Anyway, well done Sony, well done Appods and well done Amazon. One very happy customer (and one more on the way...my wife also just ordered a pair).

PS: for those of you not requiring the in-line controls, you can get this great sound even cheaper via the standard XBA2's!)
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on 17 April 2013
Not much to say on these apart from pure quality!

Crisp sound with good base, build quality is excellent as you'd expect from Sony. The in-line remote is very handy which allows you to change volume, track etc. Also includes multiple size rubber ear buds to suit.

Well worth the money, recommended!
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on 24 April 2013
I bought these based on the What Hifi review to replace my CX300II's which have served very well, but I needed a remote. The Sony's are definitely a marked improvement, bass is still strong but a bit less overpowering, and the vocals are crystal clear but still very musical and not harsh.
The fit is also very good. I can't comment on alternatives, but I'm very happy with these 'phones indeed, and represent decent value for money.
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on 30 December 2013
Hope this helps because I trawled many pages on Amazon to find a decent pair of headphones and finally decided on these ones. I find reviews help me decide on what to buy more than anything (perhaps except the price)! They have fantastic sound quality and fit into the ear canal very nicely with many other sizes available. Not to mention they cancel out an awful lot of noise which is particularly surprising considering you normally have to pay a lot more for noise cancelling. I 100% recommend to anyone looking to replace an old pair of dying headphones!
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on 19 February 2013
These are a great set of buds for the price. I needed a good pair of earphones with an in-line remote and mic so that I can use them to listen to music and make the occasional calls on my S3 without the need to take it out of my pocket. Because of all this "Made for iPhone" branding I was really skeptical in buying one, but in the end I gave in because all phones really should adhere to the same standard that earphones like this use when they employ an in-line remote.

The result? It paid off, almost. The middle button works exactly like it would if you are and Android user. Clicking it will answer and end calls, and multiple presses will allow you to pause/play and skip tracks while listening to music. The only caveat is the volume buttons do not work. Pressing either or trying to do a combination of button presses will yield nothing. The volume of your song will stay the same. It's a small unfortunate set-back that doesn't detract from the fact that it is still a very good sounding set of earphones, that you can use as a headset for calls as well (if you are using an Android device).

That set-back is the only reason for one less star, otherwise it is a very good set of earphones. It comes with a nice assortment of tips in different sizes and their hybrid cushioned tips which fit very comfortably in the ear during my time with them.

Coming from a Sennheiser IE7, these earphones have a lot to live up to. The sound quality is great, nice highs, clear vocals, good mid's and the woofer does help in the bass department. Bass head's will not really get a kick out of these, however it is present, not overpowering and is quite pleasant as it adds more body to your music. However, the sound itself, is rather different to the IE7. You actually do not get a big sound-stage with these earphones, not that I could tell and the sound signature itself was quite different to that of the IE7 and dynamic driver's in general.

It's quite different from dynamic driver earphones and doesn't require any kind of "burn-in", even though it's skeptical to say that any earphone requires that, these earphones sounded great as soon as you take them out of the box.

Overall I'd say that this is a good buy if you are looking to get some balanced armature earphones and is within your budget.
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on 15 April 2014
I have not used balanced armature drivers before and it took a few days for my ears to adjust to the tone of these earphones but now that they have I love them. I predominantly listen to audiobooks when out and about and for this reason I did not feel the need to purchase the more expensive models with additional bass drivers. This model delivers a very crisp and intelligible sound in the vocal range but perhaps do not have enough of a balanced sound for those wanting to listen to music, particularly of the electronic variety.

I commute through London's tube network every morning and the sound isolation of these is excellent, I am able to clearly hear whatever I am listening to despite the background sound level and there is no wind noise transferred through the body.

These earphones are very light and the cable resists tangling well. The only downside I have found is that they have a propensity to fall out as they do stick out of your ear a fair amount and the cable entry location produces a twisting force with only the slightest pull on the cable.

I read various reviews of these before purchasing and had no expectation that the buttons would work on android and I was not surprised to find that they did not, I wish more manufacturers would realise that Apple do not have a market majority and start supporting the rest of us more. The microphone works well though and seems to do a reasonable job of excluding unwanted noise.
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on 2 June 2013
These heasphones are the best in ear headphones I've ever owned. I've replaced my £120 Bose on-ear headphones because these have superior sound. Bass takes a few weeks to fully kick in, but even without they're great. Bass is deep and well used so it doesn't overpower the music but still gives a punch.
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on 1 February 2014
I've had Sony headphones before. For the price I paid, these headphones offer an amazing sound stage with instruments clear and music brought to life. They came with a variety of earpieces, I haven't worn them for long enough yet to judge whether they stay in the ear canals well yet though. The case that's provided feels sturdy and the cable seems to not tangle up either.
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on 24 December 2014
I like them. Was a bit skeptical in the beginning about plastic all over the place, but they proved all right, it's Sony plastic -- very solid. I liked flat wires, I liked straight angle jack. I liked bi-material tips - they sit REALLY tight, would be difficult to lose them (and as a side effect you can push them slightly deeper into the ear making isolation better). I liked the small box with magnetic lock - it's just that easy to use that you do use it thus extending the lifetime of the device.

One "problem", the set of tips with foam filling broke (the foam bit fell off) after about 6 months time, so I switched to the rubber ones. Didn't bother me a bit but thought worth mentioning.

Ah, yeah, sound quality. It's all right, am using it for all sorts of media from classical music to podcasts and dubstep. Once in a while when listening to electronic music I wanted the bass was a bit stronger, but 30 quid "Koss Porta-Pro" did the trick as a dedicated tool for that purpose.
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on 26 June 2013
Use these mainly on iPod classic and ipad2. Sound quality is really good almost up to my senhieser classics, but a lot more convenient. Mainly listen to rock and orchestral music and they seem to reproduce this well, individual instruments are clearly defined.
Good fit with a good range of sizes available. The sound insulating pieces are so good they can hurt your ears with the pressure as you push them in if your not careful. But they do a good job of deadening external noise.
They look well made and come with a strong little case and a neat cable tidy/clip. I haven't made use of the mic, and the remote control seems to work on the iPad but unfortunately my iPod classic doesn't support it. I think it's probably designed for iPhone as it didn't really work on my Blackberry either.
Would recommend these.
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