These Sony earphones carry the same model number as a pair of popular black earphones from the company, though the model number is their only similarity.
Without the slightest exaggeration, these have a lower sound quality than pairs I have bought as back-ups from Poundland...only they cost nearly ten times as much. They make anything you listen to, be it a film or music, sound totally artificial - nothing like the "natural" sound they promise you. They lack the bass that the black pair have, which might sound picky but it truly does make the world of difference in terms of sound - particularly if you want to be able to listen to music in public places. This grey pair allows the sound to get drowned out by the slightest passing traffic, whereas the superior black pair delivers a high quality sound that blends naturally into your ear, without being too loud and without the noise of your surroundings acting as an interference. Adding the cushioned buds only makes things worse, making the already compromised sound become muffled as well. In extension of my complaints about the product, they don't hold the noise quite so well either. So if you're using them at home surrounded by a bunch of other people, or on public transport, these are far more likely to be audible to those around you at even a reasonable volume. A personal aside, they also sit less comfortably in the ear. The earpiece extends down to about half the length of that of the black pair, which means they don't sit comfortably on the side of your face, and they simply are more prone to falling out.
My one attempt at a positive about the product is that they are significantly more lightweight than the black pair, which weren't particularly heavy but it would usually be a nice touch all the same. Unfortunately, this lighter weight is managed by using a cheaper, thinner and more wiry plastic. They immediately feel cheap and disposable (again, in the same league or worse as pound shop earphones) and to be quite honest, they live up to the disposable part. Cheap though? Only in quality... certainly not in price.
I bought these as a replacement for my current pair (I own the black pair) which recently broke. The black version tend to last me about 8 months with heavy daily usage, and the quality of them is very high. I wasn't aware of the change in design until after purchase, as they carry the same model number as the black pair. A precautionary warning to catalogue shop buyers - be careful to check earphones before making a payment. I was denied a refund on the grounds that they are the same brand, they work fine and that "versions may vary". These earphones take that statement to new extremes - if you can't get hold of the black version, I'd recommend finding an alternative or simply buying some temporary ones from a pound shop until you can get hold of them. These are a disposable pound-shop pair that somehow got Sony printed on them.
I have had the black ones of these for the last 2 years and when they began to fail i ordered what i thought to be another pair, however i ended up with these. They have the same model number as the black ones but these are grey and sound terrible, on the packaging it states natural sound but sound tinny and have no bass so i returned them asked for if possible to have the black ones, which fortunately were still available. The black ones state bass sound and that makes such a difference, so be aware when ordering from catalogue shops you may end up with these instead of the better sounding ones.