Sony MDR-J20 Headband Headphones - Black/Silver

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I Should've Stuck With Philips Because These Sony Headphones Suck

Jul 1, 2010
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Long cord, were on sale, over-the-ear design, L jack.

Cons:Cord is flimsy, strange design, won't last more than a month,

The Bottom Line: Why is it that "new and improved" usually means "this is gonna suck"?





I am hard on headphones but I have to give credit where credit is due. The pair of Philips headphones I bought a couple years ago outlasted every other pair I have ever owned. I'm not just talking day to day use, I am talking hours of use at a time, being dropped, shoved in a backpack and at the gym. Not to mention being a constant companion at the hospital and through physical therapy. Even so, the telltale sign of their downward spiral started when I heard a light crackling noise followed up with some sound cut-out in one ear. Knowing that the clock was ticking I grabbed a pair of these at Office Depot where they were on sale for $7.99. I trusted the Sony name and the over-the-ear design but these are mutts in the world of pedigree.

There are some good points, I like the L shape of the plug end; for an iPod or iPod Touch this can really mean a lot more use because the end of the cord doesn’t get smashed up or bent as much. For a flat rectangular MP3 player you want something with a straight end so there isn't as much pressure on it when you are putting it in your pocket or carrying it around. I put these on and wore them for about five hours when I was out and about and while the sound quality is average the cord is flimsy and doesn’t hang right even after being out of the package and having time to 'relax'. Sony had the cord looped and tied off so god only knows how long it was sitting there waiting for someone to spring it free.

Sony's new ad campaign "Make.Beleive" fits this product perfectly. Make believe you are getting something that is going to last more than a month. It comes with a limited 90 day warrant and if they last that long I will be completely surprised. I am extremely disappointed in the way that these feel and the slightly tinny sound from them. Even when I changed the play and sound mode on the laptop and MP3 player it still sounded really flat.

I am a fan of the over-the-ear headphones. I was cursed with weird ears that usually result in most ear buds popping out or having one that constantly needs repositioning. These have a standard over-the-ear look but you will feel like a real freak when wearing them because instead of them having a streamline design, it looks more like something you would see on the set of Star Trek. Most of the other over-the-ear headphones like this are easy to get in your ear. This one requires that you think before you insert [kind of like sex]. Instead of the ear pod being in line with the over-the-ear stem it is face away from it so the bottom part that holds the cord sticks out from your face a little. If you have to sit there and think about how to put them in your ear it’s a sure sign that it is a poor design which is probably why they were on sale / clearance.

While they do stay on / over your ear when you are moving around you do have to occasionally push the ear pod back in your ear. This is purely because of the moronic design of them. If they would have stuck with the original design instead of trying to improve it, they would have had a winner on their hands. I will openly admit that I am hard on headphones but these are just too light weight [in respect to the cord] for them to be used outside the house. I will keep using them until I can get another pair of Philips but so far no store I have hit has had them in stock.

I listen to a lot of different music; everything from metal to spoken word. The only time that these sounded above average was with your usual pop fodder that didn’t have a lot of bass to it. This was a complete fail with all my Type O Negative tracks as well as Clutch and Pantera. Even when I turned the volume down the sound quality was lacking. I know that there is a period of sound adjustment when switching headphone, especially when you are used to a certain type of sound but these are not of usual Sony quality. They are good for listening to spoken word, PodCasts and scanners but that's about it. If you are only going to use these for those things then you might enjoy these but if you are getting them for a variety of music and broadcasts chances are you aren’t going to be impressed with them.

For the price I should have known that these were going to, for the most part, suck. They look goofy when you are wearing them, the song is average at best and they are not what I expected from a Sony product. If I wasn't hard up for a pair of headphones when I bought these I would have went back to Office Depot and got my money back but there were no other stores in the downtown area that had headphones. I guess if you are only using these a couple times a week they might be a good pick if you can get them on sale but if you are an every-day user then you are going to be disappointed with the design of them as well as the sound you get from them.


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^V^ © 2010 Freak369 ^V^
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