Sony MDR-1A – Review

Sony MDR-1A

Sony MDR-1A

| Over-Ear | 40 mm Driver | Neodymium Magnet |


? Sony MDR-1A, a refined looking over-ear headphone from Sony with premium technical specifications.

The Sony MDR-1A features an insane frequency response of 3 Hz- 100.000 Hz, angled drivers, bass-enhancing vents, balanced 4-wire detachable cables and leather earpads.

The drivers of the Sony MDR-1A have aluminum-coated liquid polymer crystal diaphragms, a diameter of 40 mm and neodymium magnets. Sony informs and rates these drivers as “HD drivers” that thanks to their large vents are able to provide punchy bass and due to the aluminum-coated LCP diaphragm achieve quick response for vocals and mid-highs clarity.

With their premium features and tech specs, the Sony MDR-1A sits on the higher-tier range of the brand’s current catalog, below the:

The Sony MDR-1A have a metal headband and earcups that resemble metal but are made of plastic. The headband has pleasant clicky positions that are fluid and very easy to adjust. Furthermore, the headband offers more padding than many average headphones to lower any risk of top headache.

The cables have a very nice textured pattern (seen on other earphones and headphones of the brand, for example the Sony MDR-EX650), are detachable and connect to the left earcup via a 3.5 mm connector.

You can buy the Sony MDR-1A in many different flavors, such as:

  • Sony MDR-1AS – Silver colored model (the “S” just indicates the color)
  • Sony MDR-1ABP – Model that includes a balanced-connection headphone cable
  • Sony MDR-1A – Black colored model; model being reviewed in this article
  • Sony MDR-1AM2 – The 2nd gen of the MDR-1A

Moreover, Sony also offers the Sony MDR-1A in two special version with extra advanced features:

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Sony MDR-1A Review

Tests & Scores



Sony MDR-1A weight in Ounces and Sony MDR-1A weight in grams.

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Accessories & Packaging

The Sony MDR-1A unboxing results in two sets of detachable cables (one with a mic/remote and one without it) and a protective/carrying soft pouch with a very nice fabric. Everything is packed in a large box with a clean design.



Bass & Sub Bass

The Sony MDR-1A bass is super energetic with strong mid-bass and deep sub-bass. Their style is punchy, impacting and very bassy; people loving bassy headphones and bass-intense music will love these. People expecting more conservative bass will find them out of control.

Certainly, Sony did not bluff about their bass-enhancing vents and powerful low-end response. The Sony MDR-1A bass strength will cover absolutely any bass-hungry genre without a single problem.

Applying an EQ there is crazy deep sub-bass, strongly punchier mid-bass and a general style even more energetic than before.


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Sony MDR-1A
Sony MDR-1A


Mids & Vocals

The Sony MDR-1A have very warm mids, noticeable/fairly strong mid-bass bleed but lower vocals fight back despite the congestion added by their mid-bass bleed. Higher mids are not super crisp and a bit rolled-off but offer sufficient crispness for normal listeners. These recession of their higher mids makes them harsh-free.

This tuning is clearly aimed to normal listeners, which usually prefers smooth, cozy mids and vocals and less aggressive higher mids that do not get harsh.

Using an EQ, there is a revolutionary improvement with much more clear sounding lower vocals, strongly reduced (but still there) mid-bass bleed and crispier higher mids. Sincerely, we would had appreciated if the Eq’ed version would had been their baseline mids response.



Highs & Treble

The Sony MDR-1A boomy bass gets also over mid & highs frequencies, making things darker despite some brightness buried below. Nonetheless, there is sufficient detail resolved but may be difficult to identify due to the invading bass. The recessed tuning makes them free of piercing and sibilant highs.

With an EQ, there is a very noticeable extra amount of brightness and detail added, much less dark and muddy sound – miles better. On the other hand, still expect darkish-styled highs and more frequent sibilance.


Sony MDR-1A
Sony MDR-1A


Sound Leak

The sound leaking out of the Sony MDR-1A is lower than on most over-ear headphones, by a noticeable amount. They can be used safely under any normally noisy situation or busy city without disturbing nearby people.


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Sound Isolation

The sound isolation provided by the Sony MDR-1A is more efficient than on many average headphones. They provide a substantial reduction of environmental noises but the isolation will not be absolute unless you are willing to utilize high volume settings.


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Sony MDR-1A
Sony MDR-1A



At first glance you might think that the Sony MDR-1A are hefty and weighty headphones but they are unexpectedly very light thanks to their mostly plastic construction.

The earcups rotate 90+ degrees and tilt a bit less than 45 degrees. These wide range of movements and their well-padded earpads with soft leather allow them to provide an excellent and comfortable fit.

Moreover, the Sony MDR-1A have a swivel folding design that allows them to lay fully flat and improve their ease of transportability.


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Response to Equalization

The response to EQ of the Sony MDR-1A was highly efficient, providing outstanding improvement on mids, lower vocals and mid-bass bleed control. Highs benefited of substantial brightness and detail addition and bass became extra deep and punchy.


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Size & Fit

Sony MDR-1A size and Sony MDR-1A fit.


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Scores Scores

Sony MDR-1A Scores

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Frequency Response (raw)

Sony MDR-1A Frequency Response Curve

Sony MDR-1A Frequency Response Curve
Sony MDR-1A Frequency Response Curve

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Sony MDR-1A Technical Specifications


Driver Unit40mm
Power CapacityN/A
Impedance24 ohms
Frequency Response3-100,000Hz
DiaphragmAluminum-coated, Liquid crystal polymer
Cordround cord
Cord Length3.94 ft
PlugStereo mini plug
WeightApprox. 7.94oz
Supplied Accessoriescarrying pouch; cable w/remote and mic; cable

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How many drivers does the Sony MDR-1A have?

The Sony MDR-1A is a single driver headphone. Which means that the Sony MDR-1A has 1 driver per side.

What type of headphone is the Sony MDR-1A?

The Sony MDR-1A is an over-ear headphone.

The Sony MDR-1A is an open, semi-open or closed back headphone?

The Sony MDR-1A is a closed back headphone.

 Does the Sony MDR-1A have a microphone?

The Sony MDR-1A have a microphone and a remote.

What is the price of the Sony MDR-1A?

You can check the most up-to-date price of the Sony MDR-1A by following THIS LINK.

Where can I buy the Sony MDR-1A?

You can buy the Sony MDR-1A HERE

Which Sony MDR-1A colors are available?

The colors available for the Sony MDR-1A are: black

What cable do the Sony MDR-1A have?

The Sony MDR-1A have a detachable, single-sided, round cable.

What cable connection does the Sony MDR-1A have?

The Sony MDR-1A cable connection has a 3.5mm mini stereo plug.

Are there replacement cables for the Sony MDR-1A ?

The Sony MDR-1A cables can be replaced with compatible 3.5mm replacement cables.

Are there upgrade cables for the Sony MDR-1A ?

The Sony MDR-1A uses 3.5mm cables which are very popular standard cables. You can buy any compatible cable to upgrade the cable.

Does the Sony MDR-1A have Bluetooth / The Sony MDR-1A is a wireless headphone?

The Sony MDR-1A does not have Bluetooth.

Is the Sony MDR-1A compatible with Apple devices?

The Sony MDR-1A is fully compatible with Apple devices.

Is the Sony MDR-1A compatible with Android devices?

The Sony MDR-1A is fully compatible with Android devices.


Sony MDR-1A Photos

We highly discourage anyone from trying to apply our testings to your own earphones, the risk of damaging or permanently breaking your iems is absolutely probable to happen. With our standardized equalization and amplification tests we push the limits of the earphones to the extreme. If anyway you decide to do so, we cannot be held responsible of the damage done to your equipment. Do it at your own risk.

Sony MDR-1A