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Customer Review

56 of 58 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not faultless, 8 July 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Sony MDR-EX71SLB Fontopia Headphones - Black (Electronics)
I have been using these headphones daily for over a year now. I love bass and bought these because the specifications state frequency responses as low as single figures (although realistically you shouldn't be able to hear these).
One of the first things you have to do is experiment with the rubber plugs that attach to the headphones to make them fit snugly in the ear canal (this air-tight seal is a key factor in how the low frequency signals are generated). I have to be honest and say that none of the three plug sizes supplied really fit my ear perfectly. The large size simply does not fit in my ear, but I find the medium size plugs do work themselves loose relatively quickly, which is frustrating because I have to regularly push them back into the ear canal. If the earplugs do not fit perfectly then the low frequency response falls off sharply.
When fitted correctly they sound fantastic. Tight treble and mid-range and deep bass make for a very enjoyable listening experience. Being a bass addict I hooked these up to my computer and used cooledit pro to see how low they dropped, and with the volume cranked up I could still hear frequencies as low as 14Hz - impressive.
I have a few of other major issues with these headphones however:
1) A few people in these reviews have complained of one earphone dying. This was an issue I experienced as well. However, like others here have mentioned, this is not an electrical fault. There is only a tiny hole in the headphone for the music to be transmitted through (easiest seem with the rubber plugs removed). This gets blocked easily but can be cleared by gently blowing through the three small holes on the back of the headphone. Alternatively you can suck the front of the headphone but the idea is less appealing given it leave in the darkest depths of you ear. I make a conscious effort to keep my ears wax free, but they have been blocked a couple of times with regular use.
2) As mentioned I bought these for the bass. Two problems here. One I have already mentioned is that the low bass frequencies are only achieved when a good seal in the ear is achieved and unfortunately none of the supplied plugs do this perfectly for me. The second is the volume at which you can listen to bassy music. If you try and crank the volume up with bass boost circuits engaged (I use a Sony MZ-N1 MD player) the headphones distort at quite low volumes. Driving the headphones hard with bassy music simply is not possible. I find they suffer way before my ears do, but I do like loud music. Sony quote 80% more powerful than standard headphones. I have no idea where this number came from or how they measured it because it is very misleading. They are not loud enough for me.
3) I have a problem with the wires. Because the earphones are lodged in your ear canal and make an airtight seal with your eardrums, noise is easily transmitted. For example if you tap the cable (or it bounces off you clothing when you walk) you can hear this quite vividly. It is not a problem when you are listening to moderate to loud music, but for quite listening it is very annoying.
In summary I am satisfied with my purchase (no more, no less), and at the moment there are no headphones that can parallel the bass performance I bought them for. If they broke tomorrow I would probably buy a replacement pair despite their problems due to lack of alternatives. For home use I prefer to use my full size earcup Sennheiser HD500's. If you like bass OR high volumes then buy these. If you want both then you wont find it here, sorry.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 Nov 2007 16:26:33 GMT
C. J. Weston says:
Thanks for the advice about earphone stopping working, I was just about to give up on mine and cleaned the duff one out, it's now working! Cheers

Posted on 31 Mar 2008 14:08:29 BDT
Melibea says:
Great, thanks! I was about to buy new earphones, but thanks to you I realised mine just needed a good clean out!

Posted on 15 Jun 2008 12:57:05 BDT
D. Carr says:
As with the other comments, the cleaning out of the earphone has saved me getting a new set after only 4 months. Cheers
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