SONY MDR EX300SL EARBUDS
Recommend this product?
If you are in the market for a moderately priced set of earbuds to enhance your music listening experience, you might want to check out the Sony MDR-EX300SL Earbuds. I must confess that in general, I am not a big fan of earbuds of almost any variety, and I prefer headphones that would be designated as being suitable for studio monitoring. That being said, the Sony MDR-EX300SL Earbuds surprised me with their quality, and as such, I decided to give them a work out, and then review them. Simply put, the Sony MDR-EX300SL Earbuds are a pretty good sounding pair of earbuds. Read on and see if these earbuds sound like something you might be interested in taking a listen to the next time you are considering a purchase of some moderately priced earbuds.
The Sony MDR-EX300SL Earbuds have a list price of $79.99, but they can be relatively easily found selling for a discounted price of around $43.00. I have seen them selling for about $12.00 less than this price on the Internet from some dealers that I am not very familiar with, and thus can not comment on them. However, a word of caution when shopping on the Internet is warranted here. Be sure that you know what the shipping and handling costs are going to be before you make your purchase, as I have seen markups for shipping and handling fees as high as $10 Dollars on these earbuds from some dealers, and that can certainly eat up any benefits to getting the biggest discount on these earbuds.
The Sony MDR-EX300SL Earbuds are advertized as being suitable candidates to consider when one is planning to upgrade their listening experience when compared to the typical inexpensive earbuds that come with a number of portable listening devices. The Sony MDR-EX300SL Earbuds are basically vertical in-ear earbuds, which are in-effect, mini-headphones. These earbuds offer a surprisingly good level of sound blockage. In my work, I am used to more conventionally designed headphones that fit over a person's head, with a circumaural type of design, and with a closed-back. I was introduced to these headphones when one of my children asked me to give a listen to a song that they had composed and recorded, and then later stored on their iPod along with some other tunes. The Sony MDR-EX300SL Earbuds come with several ear tips of differing sizes, so that one can custom fit the earbuds to fit comfortably in one's ear. The larger size seemed to fit my ear very comfortably, and did a very good job of blocking out extraneous noises from the environment. Regarding the stability of using these earbuds during athletic activity, I personally found this to be a problem, at least for me. I did a few jumping jacks, and the earbuds began to work their way out of my ears, and obviously I did not care for this. However, for just plain walking on a treadmill, they were fine. I should point out that my son claims that these earbuds do not fall out of his ears when he is performing various other physical activities, such as doing light yard work or riding our lawn tractor.
When one is going to be using a set of earbuds for a prolonged period of listening, it is vitally important that the earbuds feel comfortable. This was certainly the case with the Sony MDR-EX300SL Earbuds. These mini-headphones are, as you would expect, exceptionally light, but they were also comfortable to wear. The cord is very slender, as you would expect with a set of earbuds, and it is just a tad short of reaching 4 feet in length. The Sony MDR-EX300SL Earbuds also come with a small carrying case and a clip for the wires. The plug at the end of the cord is a gold plated L shaped stereo mini plug. Of course one can attach an adaptor to this mini plug to make the Sony MDR-EX300 Earbuds adaptable to other devices that require a quarter inch stereo phone jack, such as might be the case with your home stereo system.
The Sony MDR-EX300SL Earbuds have a frequency response of 4 Hz. to 28,000 Hz. The listed frequency response of a set of headphones, or in this ease earbuds, delineates the range of sounds or frequencies that can be reproduced by the headphones without distortion under normal listening conditions. I am sure that a number of readers may be asking themselves why would any one need a set of earbuds that has a frequency response that goes both above and below the range of hearing for a normal healthy human being, which happens to be between 20 Hz. and 20,000 Hz. The answer is that earbuds with a very wide frequency response will lessen the likelihood of distortion that might potentially result due to the mini-speakers being unable to handle the frequency response of the music that one is listening to under normal listening conditions. Thus, when listening to musical sounds that usually will range from about 20 Hz. to 20,000 Hz. or less, there is a significantly decreased likelihood of distortion being heard at normal listening volumes. Thus any distortion that one hears through these earbuds is not going to be due to their inability to adequately reproduce the frequencies that they are channeling. One does not have to be a professional sound engineer to understand or know that distortion free listening conditions are always desirable, whether it be in a profession studio environment, or just for one's listening pleasure. That is one of the reasons I thought that these earbuds were worthy of reviewing. There are many inexpensive earbuds on the market that do not have an extended frequency response, and for studio professional use or just for plain listening enjoyment, I feel that this is a very important feature for a set of headphones, or in this case earbuds, to have.
The Sony MDR-EX300SL Earbuds have a sensitivity rating of 105dB and an impedance of 16 Ohms. That is actually about average for a set of earbuds in this price range, and with this impedance rating. In general headphone sensitivity, or in this case earbud sensitivity, is measured by supplying 1 milliwatt of power to a set of phones and then measuring the number of dB in sound pressure level (SPL) that is delivered at the ear piece. The higher the sensitivity rating a set of headphones has, the better they will perform at different power levels, and the louder sounding they are apt to be. These headphones are about average in their sensitivity rating for this level of impedance. The Sony MDR-EX300SL Earbuds have an impedance rating of 16 Ohms, and as such this clearly makes them low impedance earbuds. Why is the impedance rating of a set of earbuds important to mention and discuss? All else being equal, the lower the impedance, the louder the sound will be in the headphones, because they are able to draw more power and do it more efficiently. Many headphones, or in this case earbuds, that are considered appropriate for use with portable listening devices, such as MP3 Players, will have a rather low impedance rating, such as 16 Ohms, as this can make the sound of the music louder for the listener, as well as not put as much of a drain on the battery of the device that they are being plugged in to.
Well how do the Sony MDR-EX300SL Earbuds sound, and who are they best suited for? These earbuds actually sound surprisingly good for a set of earbuds in this price range. Although not flat sounding, the sound of music was pretty balanced in these earbuds, without too much accentuation or sweetening of any specific set of sonic frequencies. The bass was very clear, deep, and rich sounding, and was not boomy or muddy. The midrange frequencies were also very nice, and the sound of the human voice on vocals was clear and crisp. The sound of the higher end frequencies was also clear and crisp, and was not abrasive or tinny. This is one of my biggest complaints regarding earbuds in general, but I could not lodge this complaint about the Sony MDR-EX300 Earbuds. I would feel comfortable in recommending the Sony MDR-EX300 Earbuds to someone who is looking to upgrade their listening experience from the realm of tinny sounding inexpensive earbuds. These earbuds are certainly suitable for casual listening purposes, mild athletic activities such as walking, as well as for gaming, especially because of their extended frequency response and good overall sound quality. In short, I was impressed with the Sony MDR-EX300 and can certainly see why they are so popular with so many people.
Well I would like to thank you for taking the time to read my review, but now if you will excuse me, I must get back to my practicing. Good luck and good listening.