Sony MDR-CD570: A Fair Pair
Sep 8, 1999
Review by tom
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Great first pair, durable, long chord.
Cons:Closed style is stuffy, they are bulky, and somewhat heavy
Note: I own the 550's which are no longer in production. The 570's have replaced them and include a few improvements in the head strap designed improve comfort but are essentially the same unit.
Recommend this product?
I bought a pair of Sony MDR CD550 headphones five years ago, and although I've been extremely happy with my purchase, I would not buy Sony MDR CD headphones again. Let me explain:
These are a fantastic first set of headphones. To the average user, the sound is excellent, and the closed style means that little outside sound makes its way into your ears. The hard plastic casing is amazingly durable -- I've taken them around the world on airplanes, trains, and busses, and they have lived through bangs, drops, and smashes. These things will last. The only vulnerability of these headphones is to the sun -- my roommate in college melted the plastic padding at the beach, and so the padding has been shriveled and sticky for the past year. Nevertheless, they keep on chugging.
Other great features include a really long chord (almost 6 feet!) which means that you can use these headphones with your home stereo or on an airplane with ease. Additionally, they don't require an amp which is great for use with portable electronics. Plug in and listen!
Why wouldn't I buy these again? A few reasons: when I bought this pair, my priority was to find headphones that would last under any conditions while providing solid sound. And that's what I've found. But here's what's missing from the Sony headphones:
* Sound Quality -- it's not top of the line. The closed style (which means that the ear piece is completely solid so that no sound can get in our out) creates a tinny sound because the speakers are broadcasting to an enclosed area. Compare this to Grado open style, and you'll instantly hear the difference: Grado are lighter and purer than the Sony.
* Comfort -- too heavy! With the benefit of solid, durable construction comes the downside of a HEAVY pair of headphones. After a few hours of wearing them, you'll start to get a sore neck.
* Comfort -- too hot! Don't try to wear these in temperatures above 70 degrees -- you'll find that your ears begin to sweat after about 15 minutes.
* Size -- they are huge. It's like walking around with a helmet on your head. It was stylish in the early 1990's, but the sleeker models are the cutting edge nowadays.
Let me make a recommendation: these are perfect headphones for teenage boys who want a first pair of "good" headphones. Reasonably priced, amazingly durable, and very good sound from a reliable manufacturer. They will survive any college dorm and countless road trips. They are also an excellent pair for commuters who want to shut out the noise of those around them. You should probably get these over any other models if you fit one of these descriptions.
On the other hand, if you are looking for an at-work pair of headphones or headphones to use with your home stereo, certainly look elsewhere. I'd recommend the Grado SR-60's for comfort, lightness, and sound quality. Be warned that the Grado are more fragile, but you'll fall in love with those.
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