Sony MDR-EX15LP / EX15AP
| 9 mm Driver | Neodymium Magnet |
🎧 We are reviewing the Sony MDR-EX15LP / Sony MDR-EX15AP, the cheapest Sony in-ear headphone that you can buy. The Sony MDR-EX15LP / Sony MDR-EX15AP besides being the cheapest they are also the baseline entry level in-ear headphones from Sony (as you might expect).
You might be wondering why the model name on the title of this page is named Sony MDR-EX15LP / EX15AP Review. Sony offers this earphone in 2 “flavors”, an Android compatible version and what they call the “standard” version, Sony has set two different names to identify them. The Sony MDR-EX15LP refers to the “standard” version which basically has no mic/control and the Sony MDR-EX15AP is the Android version with a mic/control compatible with Android devices.
Sony is a massive company that develops a crazy amount of devices and in most of their manufacturing categories they create one or more outstanding products that rank among the best in their class, for example:
- The Sony MDR-1000X, in the Headphones Active Noise Cancelling world; next to the BOSE QuietComfort25 and BOSE QuietComfort 35
- The Sony MDR-Z1R, in the HiFi Headphones world.
- The Sony MDR-EX1000 and the Sony MDR-EX800st in the In-Ear Monitor world.
- The Sony α9, Sony α99 II, Sony α7r II and Sony α7s II in the Digital SLR Camera world.
- The Sony Playstation, in the Gaming world.
- The Sony XZ Premium, in the Smartphone world.
- The Sony Bravia 65 inch A1E OLED 4K Ultra HD TV or the Sony XBR Z9D 75 inch Led 4K HDR Smart TV in the TV and Smart TV world.
Going back to the Sony MDR-EX15LP / Sony MDR-EX15AP Review; the housings are made of plastic, are light weighted and ultra small, in fact, if you look at our photographs you will see that the housings have practically the same size as the eartips. Regarding the cable, they are rounded, slightly rubberized and quite thin. Probably the Sony MDR-EX15LP / Sony MDR-EX15AP will not be an earphone with an award for the toughest build but they will withstand normal use if some care is taken.
The Sony MDR-EX15AP version has an inline microphone and 1-button control that allows to skip songs, play/pause music and answer/reject calls. The mic/control and the headphone jack section are also constructed in plastic.
You can buy the Sony MDR-EX15LP / Sony MDR-EX15AP in a variety of colors:
- Sony MDR-EX15LP / Sony MDR-EX15AP Black (as the unit that we are reviewing)
- Sony MDR-EX15LP / Sony MDR-EX15AP Blue
- Sony MDR-EX15LP / Sony MDR-EX15AP White
- Sony MDR-EX15LP / Sony MDR-EX15AP Violet
- Sony MDR-EX15LP / Sony MDR-EX15AP Pink
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Accessories & Packaging
As the Sony MDR-EX15LP / Sony MDR-EX15AP are the cheapest entry level in-ear headphones from Sony they have packed it in a very simple transparent plastic blister (we hate every blister packaging for their unpractical opening system). Inside the blister you will get 2 pair of silicon eartips, besides the pair already been placed on the earpieces.
The bass coming from the 9 mm dynamic diver and the neodymium magnet of the Sony MDR-EX15LP / Sony MDR-EX15AP is rich, with good punch and enough sub-bass depth, it is not a skull-breaking basshead type of bass but is still energetic and deep to cover any type of genre without an issue. There are better adapted earphones for EDM styled music but for the rest of the music genres their bass will be excellent and will be a great asset for people looking for a rich bass response with a bit of balanced flavor.
Please note that the bass of the Sony MDR-EX15LP / Sony MDR-EX15AP has a peculiarity, if low or too moderate volumes are used their bass sounds more conservative than powerful, so, if you are perceiving their bass a bit shallow or punchless just crank up the volume a notch and let the Sony’s 9 mm dynamic driver with the neodymium magnet show it’s potential.
Applying an EQ, bass got noticeably punchier and clearly extra depth is added.
Putting the Sony MDR-EX15LP / Sony MDR-EX15AP through our standardized extreme bass tests, they were able to handle up to 50% of a Fiio E12 Mont Blanc‘s maximum power while being set to high gain, applying a custom basshead EQ and turning on the bass boost of the Fiio E12. With this huge amplification the Sony MDR-EX15LP / Sony MDR-EX15AP got an incredible increase of mid-bass and sub-bass even reaching some impact and rumble but could not enter basshead territory. Expect something below the KZ ATE, Xiaomi Mi Pro HD or the SOUL K-POP and nowhere near the Elecom EHP-CA3580, Xiaomi Mi In-Ear Headphones Pro, Sony MDR-XB50AP or the bestial Sony MDR-EX800st.
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Lower mids and lower vocals do not suffer from excessive mid-bass bleed and do not sound congested. Lower vocals sound warm and smooth with still enough energetic presence. Higher mids are crisp enough and to their benefit rarely exhibit harsh peaks.
With an EQ there is a fair removal of recession of the lower mids with a bit more energetic lower vocals but can become boxy sounding very easily if pushed up too much; higher mids start to show some harshness.
The highs of the Sony MDR-EX15LP / Sony MDR-EX15AP have some brightness but with a recessed darkish tint and there is no detail resolved by their highs. On the positive side, piercing and sibilant highs are nearly 100% absent.
An EQ adds a noticeable amount of brightness and some detail is revealed.
The sound that leaks out of these in-ear headphones is on the same level of most average ones; with a moderate volume the audio leaking will be absolutely tolerable under any normal situation and on normal city activities it will blend with environmental sounds. If a very high volume is used the levels leaking out will be clearly heard by people nearby.
Noise isolation is quite good, a bit better than most average earphones. A moderate or low volume can be set and the Sony MDR-EX15LP / Sony MDR-EX15AP will provide a fairly effective level of isolation.
With the ultra light weight of the overall unit and the tiny housings the Sony MDR-EX15LP / Sony MDR-EX15AP are extremely comfortable in-ear headphones that can be worn without having to worry about discomfort or in-ear pain.
Response to Equalization
With custom EQs the Sony MDR-EX15LP / Sony MDR-EX15AP were able to add a quantifiable amount of energetic bass; mids achieved clearer lower vocals but boxy sounding if overdone and higher mids started to show harsh peaks; highs added up a appreciable amount of brightness and a bit of detail.
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Sony MDR-EX15LP / EX15AP
|Cord||Y-type, round cord|
|Plug||Stereo mini plug|
|Supplied Accessories||3x Earphone tips|
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