I do not consider myself as an audiophile so it looks a bit strange that a review for an audio product is coming from a person like me, but as simple as this product is, this simple review will definitely help those who do not want to spend so much money on an earphone but still want a good IEM to replace their traditional earphones, which either comes packaged with their iPhone/iPod or any other media device they have. So lets review the Sony MDR-EX300 IEM earphones below.
As with any Sony product the MDR-EX300 comes in a very neat and professional looking packaging. The earphones come packaged with wire management clip, a carrying case and two extra sets of soft rubber ear buds. All in all this is pretty much in comparison with almost every other earphones available in the market.
The Sony MDR-EX300 is the third level product from their line-up of processional series earphones where the flagship model is MDR-EX700 followed by MDR-EX500. Although the specs and price differ for all three the design is actually same and is very unique. As you can see from the following photo, the speaker dome is perpendicular to the ear bud allowing for the space for a larger 13.5mm neodymium driver (more on that later). Sony calls this vertical in-the-ear headphone. While looking on these buds some might actually think that these look uncomfortable but upon real use, I found these to be very very comfortable. Even after continuous use I never felt tired as I felt with my previous Griffin Tunebuds or apple original earphone.
Another thing which is common with most of Sony’s earphones is that the individual speaker wire for each side of the earphone is not the same size. One side is smaller and one is bigger. This really makes it handy and comfortable for over the neck use.
Specifications and Sound Quality:
The specifications as given by Sony on their website are
- Cord Length (Approx.) : OFC neck chain, 47.24 inches (1.2m)
- Case Type : Nylon case with slide out tray to hold headphones
- Magnet : Neodymium (440kJ/m3) for outstanding bass performance in a small driver
- Plug : L shaped stereo mini plug (Gold plated)
- Speaker Type: Closed, Dynamic
- Driver Unit : 13.5mm diameter, dome type(CCAW adopted)
- Frequency Response : 5-24,000Hz
- Impedance : 16 ohms at 1kHz
- Sensitivity (db) : 105dB/mW
- Power Handling Capacity : 100mW (IEC)
The spec above look impressive but how about the actual sound quality. I can safely say that Sony MDR-EX300 sound superb. Keep in mind that sound is one thing which is totally subjective and it depends on the listeners that how they are perceiving the sound from an audio device. EX300 when compared to the Apple earphones which came with my iPhone 3GS or my previous Griffin tunebuds, sound much better. The earphones provide good noise isolating, deep warm bass and extremely good mids and highs. Considering the price at which these earphones are available i.e. $45 EX300 are really good candidates to be standing among some of the higher end IEMs available in the market.
On the negative side, I found EX300’s cable to be a downer. I don’t know, I just started using them today and there is no problem but the cable looks a bit cheap and of low quality. I just hope that it doesn’t die on me too early.
Given the $45 price tag and the superior sound quality, Sony MDR-EX300 should come in as a recommended IEM earphones for those who want to go a step further from the traditional open earphones. Sure there are some other better IEMs available out there but those are really expensive.