Sony MDR-EX81LP In-Ear only Headphones - Black Reviews

Sony MDR-EX81LP In-Ear only Headphones - Black

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Sound good but not good for gym, replace yearly

Dec 29, 2005 (Updated Dec 30, 2005)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:sound good, keep noise out, over-the-ear design

Cons:expensive ($50 retail), die after 6 months, 32 ohms impedance, 90 day warranty

The Bottom Line: I would recommend these if you dont plan on sweating while wearing them. If you're looking for gym headphones look elsewhere


I bought these headphones for one purpose only: to use while exercising with my iPod. I did a lot of research before purchasing them, searching google for reviews on various headphones for sound quality, prices, resistance to sweat, comfort, etc, because my other headphones, Sony's MDR-A35G S2 Sports™ Headphones, had died twice on me in the past and I assumed the reason was because of sweat ruining the speaker driver.

Now I know what you're thinking, sports headphones should be sweat resistant. I agree, but apparently Sony does not since their "sports headphones" seemed to last about 3-5 months on my head before one of the speakers would die. I got tired of purchasing $20 headphones every few months so I purchased these headphones instead, the MDR-EX81LP's.

First, I'll start with the good:
--They sound good for their size and they keep noise out, which is good as long as you dont need to hear outside noises.
--Other people can't hear what you're listening to while you're wearing these like they can with open-eared designs.
--Over-the-ear is nice because you dont have a band going over your head.
--they fit quite snug and dont fall out easily.

Now the bad:
--They dont get as loud as the Sony's MDR-A35G headphones that I was using before. I'm guessing that's because those were 108db sensitivity and 16 ohm and these are only 100db and 32 ohms, but the lack of loudness is not necessarily a bad thing because these keep other noises out better so I can hear everything fine.
--They can't handle sweat. I used them ~1 hour daily for six months before they died.
--I don't like the design where a long cord goes to one side then draps over to the next. I like the Y cords they use to have.
--At $50 retail I'd expect them to last a little longer and have a little better than a 90-day limited warranty from Sony. I found several other Sony and Koss over-the-ear designs for less than $20 with higher sensitivity and lower impedance (16 vs 32).


Recommend this product? No


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