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on 21 January 2013

Price: £239.99 via Amazon; at the time Sony was selling them for £400.

Ownership and usage time: 7 Months - Purchased January 2013, use daily.

Review Updated: 27.07.13


Comfort: 10/10 (In Autumn / Winter), 1/10 (In Summer)

Initially, there was a slight discomfort as it took my ears couple of hours to get use to the real leather ear-pads (my ears had only been a custom to fake leather previously) but after an initial wearing in period, these are now not noticeable on my ears or head.

Nor does my ears get hot or sweaty, i've worn these for up to 8 hours at a time with no discomfort.

Real leather is simply the best material for the ears in my opinion and you have to pay a high price for headphones for them to feature it.

I wear glasses and these are super comfortable to wear with glasses.

Update - 27.07.13

I cannot use these headphones during the summer / hot days with temps above 24c, my ears just get too sweaty and uncomfortable, i'm sure this is the same with many over the ear headsets but it's still worth noting.


Audio Quality: 10/10

From the moment i played the first song i could immediately appreciate the amazing sound quality of these headphones.

Usually headphones start good and get to the level of great or excellent after a 50 or 100 hour burn in period, these headphones don't need a burn in to appreciate them.

I've used these headphones non stop for a week and a half and they seem just as good as they did when i first switched them on, a first for headphones for me and not necessarily a bad thing.

I cannot fault the audio quality of these in any music genre; they are loud, clear and beautiful to listen to, they also reproduce bass very nicely (can feel the headset jump on your ears) yet the bass isn't overpowering, they are also excellent for movies and games.

The sound quality is equally amazing over both wired or bluetooth connection, although you will need to connect these headphones to a bluetooth device with at least version 3.0 HS (High Speed) to get the best out of them.

Connecting these to an bluetooth device without the HS part will result in reduced quality as the most popular bluetooth version 2.1 features 10 times less bandwidth than HS enabled v3.0 / v4.0 bluetooth.

Thankfully my Samsung Galaxy S2 features bluetooth version 3.0 with HS, unfortunately my Nokia C5 only has version 2.1 but i still think the sound quality is amazing to be honest.

Most modern day smart phones now feature version 4.0 of bluetooth which includes the HS functionality by default.


Loudness: 9/10

Without an AMP, these are loud and the noise isolating helps this but they are not the loudest i've ever heard, probably for the best to save people from permanent hearing loss anyway.


Bluetooth Performance: 10/10

As previously mentioned, these headphones produce amazing sound quality over bluetooth v3.0 HS, so much so i cannot tell the difference between bluetooth and the audio cable with this headset which is a first for me and makes these one of the best wireless / bluetooth headphones currently available.

Sony customer service informed me the class of bluetooth was class 3 which on paper is awful as class 3 only has a stated range of 1m.

However the range on these is around 10 metres, so similar performance to a class 2 bluetooth, so i have no idea how Sony achieved this on a class 3 bluetooth and still managed to keep the power consumption levels low enough to get 30 hours battery life.

That's something amazing right there!

I would of liked to have had more than 10m range but class 1 bluetooth which allows up to 100m range consumes 10 times amount of power of class 3 and this would of significantly reduced the 30 hour battery life.

I use these primarily with my Samsung Galaxy S2 smartphone and they go down a treat.

I have also tried the bluetooth connection with the PC and the audio is equally as device however there is a flaw with bluetooth that i cannot find a work around.

No matter what bluetooth adapter i try, every time i try to connect the bluetooth microphone as well as the stereo headset, it defaults the headset to mono sound quality which is just awful and not recommended.

Overall the bluetooth is amazing on this headset and for the small price difference between this model and the non bluetooth model, you get a much better product if you spend the extra money and get the bluetooth version as you won't regret being wire free, it's amazing!

Build Quality (for the price): 10/10

Again i cannot fault them at all, sturdily built, they that should last years if not thrown around or sat upon, a detachable cable system extends their life even further.

The headband / hinges are made out of metal, the ear cups out of real leather and the outside of the earcups in plastic.

Now of course it would of been ideal to have had the whole headset made out of a more durable material such as metal but then the weight would of increased dramatically which is not ideal.


Features & Flexibility: 9/10

Not only does this headset feature the moderately latest bluetooth version 3.0 HS (High Speed), as previously mentioned it also has a 3.5 inch jack to plug any desired length audio cable in.

Thus when the 30 hour battery eventually dies after a few years of constant use, the headphones can continue to be used using a cable.

On the street i use this headset purely in bluetooth mode, i use it for both listening to music and making voice calls, there is no problems at all in both these departments, in fact i won't make phones calls without using the headset anymore, it's just so much better.

Indoors i use the headset with a 1m audio cable with a built in microphone that can be used with the PC, i combine it with a wireless audio USB adapter for PC (search for LINDY USB Portable Wireless Audio System on Amazon) which transforms the device into an amazing wireless stereo music headset and gaming headset.

As far as i can tell this headset isn't designed with gaming in mind but so far it has performed flawlessly in that department, i can hear enemies approaching behind me clearly and able to react fast, the sound is crystal clear and is by far the best i've used (and i have quite a few gaming high quality expensive headsets).


Design: 9/10

The first thing i noticed about this pair of headphones is how slim and sexy they really looked. They are also really light and have a generous amount of padding on the headband.

I personally didn't have any problem learning the controls on the headphones and i think everything is logically placed for a right handed person.

Of course, left handed people will most likely have a problem with the setup but i am right handed so it's perfect for me.

I haven't once accidentally skipped a track or paused my music.

It would of of been nice to have a removable battery in which a spare could be purchased and swapped out when the need arises, also the battery could be replaced when the original one died.

Thankfully the battery has an amazing 30 hour life and even with constant daily use and careful charging (charge only when completely dead), the usage should last 4-5 years before it depletes to the point of being useless.


Durability: 10/10 (so far)

Dropped these twice in the last couple of months, both times outside on hard concrete.

A side from a few scratches on the plastic ear cups, no major breakage so far!


Sound Isolation: 9/10

At maximum volume, overall i can't hear much else other than my music on the London Underground / Buses so who need active noise cancelling?

That being said, these do not block out all sound, you can hear the faint mumbling of the driver talking over the intercom which is useful as i can take on ear off and listen to reasons why the train has been delayed etc.

Overall i personally have no complaints about isolation, the headphones are loud enough and the music quality so good, i phase out into my own little world of music.


Sound Leakage: 9/10

These are over the ear closed cup headphones thus they naturally create a seal around the ear that keeps a lot of the noise inside from getting out.

That being said, a person sitting / standing next to you on the train would be able to listen to what you are listening to if they concentrated hard enough and the train was motionless at a station.

That's not really a big issue to me, what's important is that i haven't had any complaints from anyone on the tube when listening to these headphones are full volume (and trust people do complain if the music is too loud!).

On buses the noise of the engines are loud enough to cover even the little bit of leakage these headphones produce at maximum volume.

So overall, these are pretty darn quiet for public transport purposes!


Battery Life: 10/10

I've been using these on my daily commute for 3 hours a day, Monday to Friday for the last 2 weeks and they are still going, given the 30 hours stated, i think it's safe to say they live up to the claim!

Even though the battery is not replaceable, it should provide 1000 charges, i calculated that even with battery degradation, with my current usage, i should get a good 3-5 years of battery life out of them, now that's outstanding!



The only real draw backs i can find with this product (other than the above mentioned bluetooth microphone problem with PC's) is the fact that the controls (volume / next track, previous track, play etc) only work in the bluetooth mode but this has always been the case with headsets / headphones with mutiple connection choices.

I believe it's purely a limitation of cable and something bluetooth has over cable so i can't blame Sony for this.

Update 27.07.13

I don't know if this is just a problem with my headphones but i do not get an adequate warning when the battery is about to die on these, i get one beep and then the headset dies before i can work out what's going on, not a major thing but an annoyance none the less as it doesn't give me enough time to stop my music player thus once the bluetooth connection is lost, my phone starts blaring out the music to the outside world.


Summary: These are 8/10 headphones!

Update 27.07.13 - I've taken a point away from the original score of 9/10 simply because i cannot use these outside during hot days.

It might just be me but i would say that if you live in a hot country, these are not ideal to wear outside.

For the price i paid, i cannot praise these headphones enough and i would recommend them to anyone.

It would of been nice to have had more than 1 year warranty considering the high asking price of these (especially since Sony charge £400 on their website) but with the £160 saving i made by buying them from Amazon (when they went on sale) i purchased an additional 3 year warranty with Amazon for an additional £54.


Additional notes:

Sony customer service have informed me that they will not replace the battery on these when it dies from wear and tear (even if offered money to do so).

A real shame if you ask me but hey ho, unfortunately all companies are greedy and force obsolescence on their products if they can.

It's all about the profit at the end of the day.

I found an headphone review website that has reviewed 2 out of the 3 models of this headphone.

It tests both this bluetooth version and the more expensive noise cancelling version that doesn't feature bluetooth.

The reviewer concluded that the bluetooth version was the better buy, to read the reviews, Google: digitalversus headphone reviews (it's currently 2nd result).

I tried to provide a clickable link but Amazon does not allow it.
1515 comments| 51 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 10 April 2015
I was delighted with the comfort and Bluetooth performance of my new headphones...until I tried a few videos. Everything I tried, on YouTube and BBC Iplayer, was out of sync, wonderful sound quality but lagging a fatal fraction of a second behind the action. I got the same result on my iPhone 6, iPad 2 and iPad Mini but I got a clue as to what was going on when, in desperation, I got out my old iPhone 3GS....perfectly synchronised !? Next step was to check Support on Sony UK's website and there, under Bluetooth Compatibility for this product it states that compatibility only goes as far as the iPhone 4 ! I'm still a bit baffled and annoyed by this as the compability issue only seemed to affect video syncing but, with regret, the headphones have been returned. Meanwhile I was so impressed by the audio performance and comfort of my headphones-for-a-day that I'm waiting for the release next month of the Sony MDR1 ABT ....which the Sony website assures me are fully compatible with the iPhone 6 !(?)

PS According to the Sony website the more recent MDR10 RBT are little different, only assuring compatibility as far as iPhone 5. No doubt a minor skirmish in the "phone wars" (Apple v Sony) and information is difficult to find ....highly irritating !
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on 29 April 2013
With the boom in smartphone production the need for quality Bluetooth headphones has increased dramatically. All the big producers of headphones have started to offer quality models in the upper price segment: Sony MDR1RBT, Philips Fidelio M1BTBL, AKG K845 to just name a few. So how does Sony's flagship Bluetooth model fare in this segment?

1. Sony MDR1RBT look splendid. They are also very light.
2. Bluetooth connectivity works like a charm. Once switched on the headphones will try and retry to connect until successful (most Bluetooth gear will only try once).
3. Sound quality is superior if you compare it to other Bluetooth models (for example: Philips SHB9100). Bass is very good (although not tight enough in my opinion).
4. Battery life is currently the best in the Bluetooth segment, and this is a very important consideration, if you are planning to spend time away from your home. You can literally use these for months without having to re-charge.
5. The position of the different control buttons is logical and operation is easy.
6. You can use these with your smartphone or bluetooth-enabled computer.

1. They look good, but actually everything is made of lightweight plastic, which means that you could easily scratch or break them--and for this kind of money Sony should have done better. Moreover, they get smeared easily, and you will soon find out that Sony has designed these only for customers with perfect hair and skin. This 'fragility' of construction and the materials used ultimately affects the real life usability of the product.
2. To make things worse - none of the 'leather' elements is replaceable. A simple cut to the headband or ear pads will ruin them forever. The rechargeable battery is not user-replaceable and will not be replaced by Sony, when it starts running low two or three years from now.
3. NFC works, but can be a little tricky if your phone is inside a case. You may have to slide your mobile back and forth against the side of the right can until they finally pair.
4. These headphones have the option to be used with the supplied wire, but the wire is extremely flimsy and noisy--the noisiest I have heard on an on-ear headphone and one of the noisiest in any category. Each time it rubs in your ear, your shoulder, your hand, your clothes you will hear an echo in the headphones. It is annoying.
5. Each time you touch the outside of the cans you will hear a hollow echo--a very prominent sound. Also: if you wear them outside and there is some wind, you will hear the sound of the wind rubbing on the cans with a loudness that is probably 30% of the sound of the music. This is because of the openings or vents on the top of each cup.
6. Bass is definitely there, but it is not tight. With certain tracks (e.g. Chicane) it will drown the rest of the music to the point where there is a constant background 'booom', which is actually the opposite of what you want. The culprit is the built-in DSSE (Digital Sound Enhancement Engine). Like all other electronic solutions of this kind Sony's DSSE is a hit and miss kind of deal, and its inclusion in such an expensive product, marketed as audiophile quality, is strange to say the least. This makes Sony MDR 1BT a rather unpredictable pair of headphones sound-wise.
7. Highs are a little dull. Sometimes you will have the feeling that you are listening to music through a veil. If you play around with the EQ of your phone or stereo, then you can get better results, but different sound models will be needed for different songs, so in the end you will get tired of trying.
8. There is a creaking sound coming off the plastic hinges, when you walk or turn your head. This is very annoying.
9. Phone function is OK, but not great. People have complained that they cannot hear me well, or hear weird sounds, when I have used the headphones to make calls.
10. When no music is played, there is an electronic sound in the right can: 3-4 seconds of it, then 3-4 seconds of silence. This has to do with the Bluetooth connecting or keeping the connection. This is completely unacceptable. If you are watching a movie you can sometimes hear the sound over the dialogue, etc. I tried a second pair at the store, and it had the same sound, only louder, so this is not a problem with my pair.
11. Comfort is a very subjective category, but you will most probably feel a little pain after using the phones for 20-30 minutes, and your ears will get hot. In summer your ears will get hot much, much sooner. Generally, these headphones are not suitable for warm/hot weather.
12. With all Bluetooth headphones there is a noticeable delay in sound reproduction, so Bluetooth headphones are not a good choice for movies, as you will be watching people speak, but you will be hearing them with a delay.
13. Finally, as of the time of the writing of this review (April 29, 2013), Sony MDR1RBT Wireless Bluetooth are hugely overpriced: £267.08 (UK) or $398.00 (US). At half that price they should be worth it. Please, note that Sony's very own V6 model, which has been around for quite some time, is a much better headphone sound wise and it just costs £58.80 (UK) or $68.95 (US) today. Choose wisely.

1. Although they do have their share of problems, Sony MDR1RBT Wireless Bluetooth Prestige Headphones are arguably the best Bluetooth headphones currently available on the market. AKG K845 sound great, but lack good control buttons and long battery life. Philips Fidelio M1BTBL have a shorter battery life and seem to be uncomfortable to many of their buyers.
2. However, if sound quality is paramount for you (more important than wireless properties and portability), then Sony MDR1RBT should not be your first choice. Further, because of their fragile construction and materials used, they cannot be used as your everyday headphone.
3. The price tag is unfortunately too high all things considered.
55 comments| 22 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 13 December 2012
I bought these headphones after returning my previous order for the IT7x headset, of which you can see my review on the product page for it.

These are only the second pair of headphones I have ever tried via Bluetooth on my Ipad 4 and after my first experiance with IT7x I really did not think bluetooth could get much better sound and connectivity wise. I could of not been more wrong.

The headphones are well presented in a padded snug box with a USB charger and audio cable if you choose to physically connect them instead. There is also a a handy carry case to store them away in. The headphones are very well padded and do not clamp
your head at all as described by other reviews for other manufacturers. For my first night of use after unboxing I used them for more than 4 hours solid with no discomfort at all, a total pleasure to wear.

The headphones appeared fully charged when received as I still have not charged them at all yet. Syncing with my Ipad and Iphone worked seemlessly and without issues by holding down the power button for 5 secs. After all the issues reported with IOS 6.01 and bluetooth
I thought I may at least encounter some connectivity issues similar to the IT7X but hopefully better sounding, but there were no issues at all to report. I played video through wifi and bluetooth for the headphones and both without issues much to my amazement.

The sound quality through these headphones is utterly amazing even through the bluettoth connection, no hiss or static even when nothing is playing. Every sound is so crisp from amazing highs to deep thundering low beats. I have a sudden urge to listen to my whole music collection just to hear it again through these monsters!

I have not even tried the physical connection yet as the bluetooth connection has been so good. I have some wireless Corsair 2000 headphones which the signal appears to break up after approx 10-15 feet away and a wall inbetween but these I have
been wondering all around my house and outside and so far have not gone out of range. But to be honest there is really no comparison.

Overall I would usually never spend such a ridiculous amount of money on a pair of headphones but these are without question worth every penny!
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on 12 December 2012
I'm a bit of a headphone geek and have many pairs my IEMs are the sony mdr ex 1000 and my main over the ears are Shure 840s, I wanted some Bluetooth headphones for my laptop and phone for walking the dog, as wires get on my nerves. I ran them against my shures and they are far the better headphone.
The bass is much much deeper on the songs, and the highs are crisp, so crisp I can hear Stanton Lanier moving across the piano it's that clear.

You can take calls also as they have a builtin mic. They are very comfy and look the business.
Highly recommended, if I had one small issue it's that Bluetooth audio isn't as loud as wired, but that's normal and always has been.
6060 comments| 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 25 October 2014
Nice clear sound, punchy without being overpowering like beats. Very comfy headphones. They do get hot after a while though. The inner pads are so thin and cause the the inner frame of the diaphragm to touch my ears which does cause discomfort and is noticeable after say an hours use. This was highlighted in a hifi review. I still took a chance and that's the only real thing that slightly bothers me. Don't come with an I-control inline remote cable for some strange reason for the huge price?. There not as exciting as say the my logitech ue9000 headphone as they are have a stronger bass. These are a little more accurate though. The battery life is fantastic, they pair so easily via NFC.
I do really really like them, only it don't love them compared to my logitech headphones and who can explain love?...
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on 15 December 2014
I've had these for about 6 months and they are just so uncomfortable. The main issue is that after about 20 minutes my ears just get really hot, and the padding inside them does not really work and put a lot of pressure on my ears (the auricle, to be precise).

The sound quality is fine, but not extreme. The sound is a little warm, but quite pleasant, and the Bluetooth sound quality is nearly identical to wired. You can get that "ahhh" from the wired sound that isn't quite achieved with bluetooth but it's hard to perceive in most listening environments. The battery life is phenomenal.
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on 11 June 2014
for bluetooth headphones they are great sounding, and battery life is more than useful. Ergonomics are a little off as I don't use them too often I can never remember where the buttons are when it is on my head! The skip back/forward/pause button is particularly ineffective, could be better placed and shaped as it's a tiny bit fiddly.

I've tried other BT headsets and returned them immediately as the sound was awful (Sennheiser)

Overall very happy with them.
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on 30 December 2014
just got these headphones and they are amazinnnggg, great mids, great bass but not too much, been waiting for these forever but i'm returning them because for some reason the functions on the ear cups didn't work and the bluetooth didn't seem to work either and i tried on 3 different devices.
Sound is amazing and if they worked perfectly on the first time round these would've gotten 5 stars. i've tried these headphones before actually buying them and i'm gutted i've gotten a rotten one but i can't wait for the replacement!
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on 8 March 2014
I wasn't totally okay with having mediocre bluetooth headphones. So I was in for buying something despite the price. At first I was inclined for Sennheiser 550 (my laptop hasn't got the apt x codec, nor my celular phone), but for the price I had to be sure. So I searched the internet. And searched again.Sony MDR1RBT were the best reviewed in the meta research I made. However I wasn't prepared for this superb quality. Awesome sound, awesome battery.

I guess there will always be experts who don't like this or that. But these headphones are really good.
The price is really high and no headphones should cost this much, but for less you get less quality. The corporations, man. The corporations are here to screw us. At least I can listen to sweet music with these headphones while they do it.
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