When we first looked at the MDR-ZX100 it was obvious that they were Sony’s response to Beats by Dre. They feature the same simple over-the-head over-ear design, glossy finish, and large logo as Dre’s headphones. But at less than half of the price of their high-end counterpart, the ZX100 aims to satisfy a more budget-conscious consumer.
Sony commands an impressive reputation within retail electronics industry so you definitely shouldn’t consider these just a cheap knock-off. We’ll get into the nitty-gritty in a moment.
Design and Construction
As we mentioned earlier, the MDR-ZX100 by Sony bears an uncanny resemblance to the headphone offerings of Beats by Dre. But of course we noticed differences between the two that make the stylishly fresh ZX100 an affordable alternative.
For instance, we immediately discovered that the frame is completely fabricated of plastic. The plastic frame is smooth, sturdy, lightweight; these headphones don’t feel cheap in your hands at all.
Their padded ear cups are covered with a soft material that feels like synthetic leather. Additionally, the ear cups pivot in all directions so that they fit nearly anyone’s head. The wide headband connecting the earcups is so stable that you nearly forget that you’re wearing it, though it does start to feel tight after wearing it for several hours.
The MDR-ZX100’s quality construction and attention to detail rates very well among current users. Only minor points were subtracted for the reports of slight discomfort experienced during extended usage.
The other way we found that Sony keeps the MDR-ZX100 affordable is through sound quality. They perform well but music is as crisp and clear as you’d expect from budget-minded headphones. Intricate musical pieces can become muddy sounding but listening to something like a lecture posed no problems.
Sony’s MDR-ZX100 offer better sound quality than most headphones in its class. Its easy treble balances out the expectedly canned sound of inexpensive headphones. And though they don’t have noise canceling technology; the thick padded ear cups do a good job of keeping out most sounds.
The MDR-ZX100 perform remarkably well for a budget pair of headphones. They, expectedly, aren’t perfect; but they are definitely comparable- quality construction, good sound, sleek looks. The plastic frame is sturdy but not cheap; the sound is well balanced; and it’s topped with a glossy black finish. All in all these are a pretty cool option if you like the look of the more expensive offerings but want to stay within an affordable price range.