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on 8 August 2007
I bought these headphones as a replacement for my Sony EX71SL's when they fell to bits on me last week. Having used the new ones for a couple of days I have found the following pros and cons over my old headphones:


Sound quality is absolutely fantastic. No distortion in the bass at all - even at louder volumes, clear mids and crisp treble. On performing a direct comparison the sound is much more open and life like - fantastic. You can feel totally engrossed in the music and pick out subtle details you would never have heard with the EX71s. Whilst the EX90s do produce noticably less bass than the EX71s, it is by no means non existant and in my opinion is much more realistic. The bass has a much richer sound to it.

These headphones are not as expensive as some "higher end" models available. Given the sound quality they produce, I think they represent pretty good value for money.


The headphones are larger and make my ears ache slightly after extended use - and can be awkward to insert on occasion.

The headphones do not isolate as well - this has the effect of drowning out the bass levels in a more noisy environment and leaking more sound to irritate your fellow commuters. This has the advantage, though, that announcements can be heard without having to remove the headphones - sparing you the embarrassment of having to be physically evicted from a train which has broken down.


In conclusion I am extremely happy with the new headphones. They offer a clarity massively surpassing that of the EX71s. I am slightly disappointed that the headphones do not isolate as well and leak more noise (hence the loss of one star), though this is more than made up for by the improvement in the overall sound. Highly recommended.
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on 1 May 2008
When I first heard these headphones I was absolutely blown away - really, really great headphones... So I thought I'd buy them on the marketplace as they were so cheap.

Unfortunately when they arrived they sounded like the cheapest earphones I'd ever heard -so I knew something was wrong. Having looked a bit on the internet, sure enough I found that the packaging and quality clearly shows they are fake.

This might explain why there are quite a few bad reviews - simply because there are a lot of fakes in circulation on eBay and Amazon Marketplace. If you want these headphones, please make sure you buy them directly from Amazon rather than a 3rd party - otherwise you'll probably end up in the situation I'm in now.
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on 25 January 2007
Always been a fan of sony ear phones since back in the day when a walkman was a tape player. Recently bought some sony ex 71s - great fit, good sound but frankly awful. The ear buds fell off and if you lost them - silly money to replace (now you can buy them for a couple of quid here on Amazon), the wire coating was too soft and it kinked, stretched and the rubber came away exposing very frail copper strands. So they went in the bin. Looked for new ear phones. These looked good, but my last experince of Sonys put me off. A few months down the line after reading lots of reviews I took the plunge.

They are amazing! Superb sound compared to ex71s, I've played a range of music and it all sounds superb - my eclectic tastes range form Kate Rusby, via the Gorillaz, to Hendrix so I've tried them with a range of musical styles. On full volume it was very reminiscent of being 12 and putting the stereo speakers very close together then putting your head between them! Great stuff.

Robust metal phone bodies. Same silly rubber ear buds but now its a couple of quid to get replacements so no big deal. Big bonus which I would expect at this price a proper storage case (leather) with a hard plastic winder insert. The cables look considerably more robust, fingers crossed. I'll be hanging onto my guarantee card and receipt just in case.
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on 27 August 2008
I also own:

A pair of MDR EX85LP which are slightly bass heavy until you crank up the volume, then the mid-range cuts in. They are very detailed.

A pair of cheap "MDR EX90LP" from a non-Amazon seller. These look identical to the Amazon supplied units, although they came in a blister pack. There are a couple of differences however; the earbuds do not fit the carrier well - they get a little stuck - and the sound is compressed and "muffled" or "confused". They cost £12 and I guess you get what you pay for at that price, I got a fake.

Now I also own a pair of these Amazon supplied MDR EX90LP at roughly £50.

These Amazon supplied MDR EX90LP are supremely detailed. The bass isn't as heavy as the EX85LP. In back to back listening its even perhaps a little light. However it extends a tad deeper. Overall its a more balanced sound.

Unlike the 85LP There's no need to raise the volume to get the mid-range to cut in because the mid-range is there all the time.

Initially I thought the 90LP sounded a little bright, but a few minutes of listening had them settling down. Like any new speakers or 'phones they benefit from being used for a while before the real sound appears.

My verdict is that these are some of the best earbuds that I have ever heard.

My warning to all of you is to avoid the cheapest sellers, as you'll only regret it later. Buy the real units, not the fakes, and you won't have any problems. The offer price is a big hint about the origin of the units.

If you did buy some 90LP units and they sound compressed and muffled, you simply haven't got genuine Sony drive units in those pretty casings.
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on 2 February 2009
I've had these headphones for a few months now, since June 2008, so i thought I'd give my views on them, after plenty of experience with them.

When i first got these, i was more than a little impressed with them. The sound quality was clear and crisp, and the bass was also nicely suited for most of my music.
I noticed it took a little while to kinda 'break them in' though. They weren't amazing instantly, and to begin with the bass and treble sounded a little flat, though after a few days of vigorous use, I loved them.

Unfortunately over the past few weeks they've not been as impressive. I've noticed the sound quality gradually decreasing, to the point where some of my music is becoming hard to listen to. When there's heavy bass, it keeps becoming slightly distorted and can be very off-putting when listening to ambient tracks, though at the same time the treble is becoming more and more shrill/piercing, even when the volume is kinda low.
They still sound alright with a lot of my music, and there's some which still sounds as good as always, but there's also quite a bit which I've pretty much given up on, since these headphones no longer do them justice, or causes them to be almost painful to listen to.
Enya, for example, has some beautiful music and an amazing voice, but I can no longer listen to her work through these headphones because the treble becomes far too dominant and piercing, even with the treble-reducing EQ on my iPod.

I'd like to recommend them, but at the same time i wouldn't, since i don't know whether the problems I'm having are a common issue or not. They definitely gave me good first impressions, it's just a shame that they couldn't keep up their performance.

(I'll also note that i wrote this review whilst browsing Amazon for their replacements)
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on 22 January 2008
there are alot of counterfeit EX headphones around, i bought some from a marketplace seller, and they were awful DEFINATELY not real.

if genuine, these headphones are stunning, so do take the bad reviews lightly.
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on 6 August 2007
These were the highest rated headphones in a recent Which? review. I was a bit dubious about in-ear plugs, as I've found them uncomfortable in the past. However, these are very comfortable indeed, with the variable sizing options particularly useful (my hubbie has one earhole smaller than the other - honest!!). Sound excellent, as you'd expect from Sony & the plugs mean a) no leakage (great on plane) & b) external background noise is cut out. Recommend them highly.
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on 11 July 2007
I bought these to replace my cheaper fontopia earphones for use with my ipod and to be honest i wasn't expecting them to be that much better - how wrong i was. Once i'd got the correct fit ear piece fitted they sounded amazing. Using my old fontopias i would have the volume on full, with these i only have them half way because they sound so much better and so much louder.

For me the bass doesn't sound too heavy at all (and i've been listening to Timbaland!) , in fact it sounds feeble if your EQ is set to flat. Changing the EQ mode on iPod provides drastic changes in sound (especially bass) and i honestly think they compliment the iPod perfectly, i can't speak for other mp3 players? I have them plugged in to my ears for an hour or two at a time and they feel very comfortable and background noise isolation is excellent.

I listen to everything from Ambient to dance to heavy rock and these earphones deliver no matter what i'm playing. The sound quality is superb. Highly recommended.
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on 30 April 2008
I bought these headphones as a replacement for a pair of Sennheiser CX300 headphones I had previously. I wasn't replacing them because I was unhappy, more because I had lost the adjustable ear-buds that come with them so they were fairly unusable. Anyway, initially the Sony's were OK. The sound-quality is fair, I like to hear a lot of base, which these have but the overall sound seems a tad muffled. I also found them quite uncomfortable in my ears due to the design. After owning them for a few months the right ear-phone broke completely. (I may have trodden on them or something I'm not completely sure) I decided to attach the ear-buds from my Sony earphones to my Sennheiser ones, which are what I have gone back to and which, on balance I would recommend to someone looking for discreet high-quality earphones.
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on 5 May 2007
I was satisfied with the earphones that came with my iPod nano. However, after 5 months of use, it became faulty with the volume of the right speaker becoming totally soft. So I decided to treat myself to new earphones, and then I found these babies.

It just arrived today and I love almost everything about it. Sound quality is top notch, with perfect bass and superb clarity. Design is elegant as with most Sony products and the earbuds fit snugly in my ear. The only problem I have is that sound does indeed leak others have previously said. This doesn't really bug me, but it might for those who intend to use it in work environments. Other than that, its perfect!
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