Sony MDR-EX450 – Review

Sony MDR-EX450AP

Sony MDR-EX450

| 12mm Dynamic Driver | Neodymium Magnets |

🎧 We are reviewing the Sony MDR-EX450, an affordable in-ear headphone from Sony with widespread popularity.

The Sony MDR-EX450 is the little brother of the Sony MDR-EX650 with, also, a more affordable price but with many similar main tech specs, such as magnet type and dynamic drivers size.

Inside the tiny housings, Sony somehow was able to fit a very large 12mm dynamic driver with strong neodymium magnets which can cover a wide frequency response of 5Hz to 25000Hz.

The shells of the Sony MDR-EX450 are rugged and built with a combination of aluminum and plastic, which results in a durable feel but fairly light weighted. The rear main housing is the section build in metal with a truncated cone shape and the front section and the angled nozzles are made of plastic.

The cable of the Sony MDR-EX450 looks and feels like other Sony cables that are Kevlar-reinforced but the brand does not seem to make any references to this on the EX450. The 3.5mm plug is L-shaped with a 90 degree angle – a type of plug that many users prefer over the straight connector.

Sony tends to use a dual naming for their headphones, in which the one ending with the letters “AP” correspond to the model with an inline remote and microphone, while the model without the “AP” letters denotes the lack of a mic/remote. As so, the Sony MDR-EX450 can be also found as Sony MDR-EX450AP when it comes with the mic/remote.

You can buy the Sony MDR-EX450 in 8 different flavors:

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Sony MDR-EX450 Review

Tests & Scores



Sony MDR-EX450 weight in Ounces and Sony MDR-EX450 weight in grams.

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Accessories & Packaging

The Sony MDR-EX450 unboxing results in a carrying pouch with a very nice fabric type and 4 pair of eartips with the classic high-quality silicone that Sony usually uses.

On the other hand, the packaging of the EX450 is simple and nothing fancy.



Bass & Sub Bass

The Sony MDR-EX450 large 12mm dynamic driver has also a dome size equivalent to 16mm drivers to maximize their bass response.

Indeed, Sony did not disappoint in the bass department of the Sony MDR-EX450, which is able to deliver a lower frequencies tuning that is super punchy and massively deep.

User should expect a super fun and highly energetic sound style that will cover any heavily bass-hungry and intensive genre without issues.

The Sony MDR-EX450 will be a joy for listeners that have a predilection for strong and powerful bass on their listening sessions.

Said so, this will not be for buyers in search for a lean and anemic bass response.

Using an EQ can add an insane sub-bass depth and a much punchier mid-bass profile.

Putting the Sony MDR-EX450 through our extreme basshead tests showed a maximum power handling near 50% of the max of a FiiO A5, pushing their sub-bass and mid-bass into insane basshead rumble and impact worthy of entering our Top Basshead Charts but remaining  just a tad below the bigger brother (Sony MDR-EX650) and not being able to reach the potential of the high-tier Sony MDR-EX800st.


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Sony MDR-EX450AP
Sony MDR-EX450AP


Mids & Vocals

The Sony MDR-EX450 have very warm midrange and noticeable mid-bass bleed.

This mid-bass bleeding will add “busyness” to their lower midrange. Nonetheless, they provide non-distant lower vocals but congested at times.

Higher mids are crisp and energetic that result in a clear upper midrange – yet, without exhibiting frequent harsh peaks.

An EQ can grant a very noticeable reduction of mid-bass bleed and a general clearing up of lower vocals while retaining a very warm and cozy personality and crisp higher mids.



Highs & Treble

The Sony MDR-EX450 highs have good brightness and bit of detail – sufficient for most consumers and standard listening sessions.

The upper end tends to be rolled-off which will make it less open than more audiophile-tuned earphones but also less fatiguing than many of them.

During the test, the EX450 did not show frequent piercing peaks but some sibilance was present on noticeably sibilant-prone songs.

An EQ can make them significantly brighter and more detailed, overall much more open and better sounding, but expect stronger sibilance and piercing peaks.


Sony MDR-EX450AP
Sony MDR-EX450AP


Sound Leak

The sound leaking out of the MDR-EX450 is a bit less noticeable than on most average headphones.

These are far from being an award-winning headphone for their silent leakage, yet they will not be much of an issue on normally everyday noisy situations or daily commuting.


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Sound Isolation

The sound isolation of the Sony MDR-EX450 will show an immediate partial isolation that will be slightly stronger than on many normal earphones.

Nonetheless, users should not expect absolute isolation unless they crank up the volume way above moderate.


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The Sony MDR-EX450 has a great design regarding ergonomics and comfort.

The truncated end and small size makes it transportable and easy to manage while the angled nozzles fit inside the ears comfortably but at the same time deeply and securely.

The form factor and details of the shapes on the MDR-EX450 make it an extremely comfortable earphone to wear for hours and with ability to fit any ears size without issues.


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Response to Equalization

The response to EQ of the Sony MDR-EX450 was nearly flawless besides the addition of stronger fatiguing peaks. Mids and highs were remarkably refined while their bass could be pushed into basshead territory.


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Scores Scores

Sony MDR-EX450 Scores

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Frequency Response (raw)

Sony MDR-EX450 Frequency Response Curve

Sony MDR-EX450AP frequency response curve
Sony MDR-EX450AP frequency response curve

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Sony MDR-EX450 Technical Specifications


Driver Unit12mm
Power Capacity100mW
Impedance16 ohms
Frequency Response5-25,000Hz
MagnetNeodymium N48
CordY-type, round cord
Cord Length1.2m
PlugStereo mini plug
WeightApprox. 6g + cord weight
Supplied Accessories4x Earphone tips; pouch

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Sony MDR-EX450





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