Sony MDR-V500DJ Headband Headphones - Black Reviews
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Sony MDR-V500DJ Headband Headphones - Black

12 ratings (10 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating: Very Good
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Sony should be ashamed to sell this product.

Aug 18, 2003 (Updated Apr 29, 2004)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Good sound quality, very portable

Cons:Very uncomfortable, can't wear for long periods of time

The Bottom Line: They're great sounding headphones, but they're simply not comfortable enough to use.

I need to start with a small preface, I love sound, I’m obsessed with it, and I listen to sound all day and all night on all different speakers and TV’s and car systems. Due to my audiophile nature it is very possible there are things that would bother me in a set of speakers that most people wouldn’t notice, or care about.

I bought these headphones about a week ago while in London. My favorite pair of headphones that I’ve had for the last 6 years, and which had, I kid you not, impressions of my ears in the pads, finally died. They served me well for a long time, but now it’s time to start a very serious hunt!

My new crusade is not like most of the time when I test out headphones. Usually I test out headphones just for the fun of it and to gain new knowledge about what is out there, but now I am hunting for MY headphones, and this is a job I take seriously. Unfortunately these were not the right headphones. I didn’t expect to find the right ones straight out of the box, but you never know right?

My hands were somewhat tied on this, my first purchasing decision. As I was in a foreign country, had limited Internet, and few choices of locations to purchase high quality headsets, I went into things somewhat blindly. I went into several stores and basically took headset after headset and tried them out and tried them out, these were the best I was able to find in the limited shopping period I had, but I really didn’t look nearly long enough or hard enough it would seem.

There are two key areas to consider when purchasing a set of headphones.

Sound Quality:

To most people, this is the most important element for obvious reasons. These offer very high quality sound, especially from a portable device.

The bass is solid and presentable. It’s very sharp and crisp, but it experiences trouble near the lower half of its range. It doesn’t produce the really low pulsing base line, but few headphones for portables do.

The mid range notes are extremely strong, and amazingly sharp. You can really hear the demarcation between each new sound. They were very well balanced with the rest of the system as well.

The highs are very good for any set of headphones, but the fact that the highs are this nice in a sealed set is awesome considering that sealed cans usually have poorer quality high notes.


The headphones feature a three-piece design consisting of the two earpieces and the headband. The earpieces attach on small protrusions that ride in a slot that runs up the headband in the headband; the dents in this long track allow the user to adjust them accurately to fit the users head. They’re very portable, with the legs swinging up into the body making them a good bit smaller, and the ear cups are very versatile in terms of swinging around so you can listen to them any which way.

The seal is great, people were literally talking right next to me on the plane and I couldn’t hear what they were saying, not even the, “muh mar mer” background kind of noise.

In terms of comfort they’re horrific. I wore them for just the first two hours of the flight and my ears were sore and I had a pounding headache. They were okay for the first hour, but into the second hour they just became unbearable. They grip the head like a vise and don’t let go. This provides a great seal, and horrible ear-pain problems. The band is uncomfortable, for some reason the padding is all on top of the band, not the part that actually touches your head. They’re really uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time, and they should be ashamed of selling a product this expensive with this little comfort. Any headphone that costs 60 pounds (about $100) should be wearable for far longer then an hour before it gets uncomfortable.

As a note, I realize this is very expensive for these headphones, but London is the single most expensive city in Europe, I priced these at several stores and they were all the same.

Bottom Line:

**note, these are related to price, EG, it’s not sound quality related to the best sound in the world, it’s sound quality related to the other things in this price range.**

Sound Quality: A
Portability: A-
Comfort:F (this is the first F I’ve ever given to anything)

Recommend this product? No

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