Sony MDR-E818LP In-Ear only Headphones - Black Reviews
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Sony MDR-E818LP In-Ear only Headphones - Black

16 ratings (14 Epinions reviews)
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MDR-E818

Nov 22, 2007 (Updated Nov 22, 2007)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Low impedance.

Cons:Mediocre sound at best, dull 90's design, fragile plastic enclosures.

The Bottom Line: Not recommended. Check Sennheiser, AKG, Audio-Technica, Denon, JVC, Koss, TDK or any other maker for better earbuds.


Those are the standard run-of-the-mill earbuds.

First off, out of all headphone types, earbuds are perhaps the most obnoxious. They fit into the earshell, chafing and pressing against the ear from the inside. Earbuds sit too close to the tympanic membrane; listening fatigue is high, and after a while earbuds start "drilling" the hearing.

A typical problem with earbuds is that if they don't chafe or stress the earshell from inside, they don't fit well.

These Sony earbuds are somewhere in-between the other two sets here, AKG K-12P and nameless Radio Shack earbuds (OEMed by Koss). They fit, but they don't stress the inside of ears as much as the K-12P (which can be painful), they don't hang inside moving freely like the Radio Shack earbuds, either. Both those sets sound much better though.

Construction is semi-open - each earbud has two exhausts, one in front of the diaphragm, another at the rear of enclosure, near the cable hole.

They look cheap, they perform cheap. Sounding is relatively clear, but as most cheap earbuds and/or closed headphones, they honk. There are some highs, there is a tad of bass, but the mid-range is pretty much all there is. Highs aren't as obvious as with most earbuds either.

"Nothing too special" is the best rating for those; "honkers" is more appropriate. There's hardly anything except mid-range.

The only two possible advantages of earbuds (any earbuds) are: price and high sensitivity with low impedance, which means most earbuds don't require a headphone amplifier. Earbuds work with any small underpowered portable player. And they can sound defined enough, though lacking some presence and largeness of sounding which real headphones have.

But these... As usual with Sony's consumer products, they're mediocre at best. There are better offerings out there - by JVC, Philips, Koss, AKG, Sennheiser, TDK, Denon. Cheapest Sennheiser earbuds (MX300) cost pretty much the same, US$10.

For those looking for great-sounding headphones without all the troubles associated with earbuds (fit, chafing, pain), Koss KSC-75/KSC-55 can be had for around/under US$20. The first are clip-on headphones, the second behind-the-back neckband-style. With a further cheap modding the KSC-75 can be fit into any compatible headband from cheapest supermarket-brand headphones (there are guides to this a quick search away). Sennheiser HD-202 are in the $20-25 range as well. Just a bit more, and there're IGrado and Denon AH-D500 in the $30-$40 range. And any portable player (Cowon, Apple IPod, Meizu, IRiver, etc.) will have enough power to drive any of those headphones.


Recommend this product? No


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