First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
The Sony MDREX81SL in-ear headphones are an excellent alternative to the poor-quality earbuds that are included with most current MP3 players on the market.
- Great sound quality, low background noise
- Extension cord too long, headphone cord too short, expensive
The MDREX81SL is a worthy buy for anyone who listens to music on the go. White and silver in colour, this headphone set would particularly be a good accessory for iPod owners.
The MDREX81SL uses a small rubber cap inserted over each headphone which sits deep inside your ear. The result is clean, crisp sound with virtually no outside noise--but first-time users be warned: they take a long time to get used to. Sony has packaged three rubber caps with the headphones (small, medium and large) to ensure that they fit all sizes of ears.
The EX81SL headphones use over-the-ear plastic clips to ensure the headphones do not fall out of your ears when you move quickly. We didn't particularly like this feature, but those using the phones while exercising or doing some other form of physical activity will be impressed as the headphones did not fall out once--even when we tugged at the cord. Unfortunately, those who wear glasses while listening to their music will be disappointed--it is quite frustrating to secure the clip when having to deal with the frame of your glasses.
In terms of sound quality, the MDREX81SL headphones are very impressive. There is a good amount of bass, even at lower volume levels. Because the in-ear headphones cancel out background noise, we found ourselves listening to our favourite tunes on a lower volume setting than normal.
The only problem we had with the headphones was the cords. Basically, the extension cord is a little long and becomes easily tangled, and the cord for the headphones is far too short to be used on its own. The cords are very easily tangled around the over-the-ear clips and you're well advised to use the plastic holder which is included in the package. A handy carry case is also included with the headphones, but we would have liked a wind-up case for easier cord management.
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