Sony MDRE829V In-Ear only Headphones - Black Reviews
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Sony MDRE829V In-Ear only Headphones - Black

9 ratings (7 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating: Excellent
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$59.95
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Good buy at a great price - while they work.....

Jan 1, 2006 (Updated Sep 4, 2006)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Sound quality, price, volume control on cord, carrying case

Cons:Cord a bit shorter than usual - more important, left side earbud problem.

The Bottom Line: Okay buy at a great price. Good sound; the carrying case and volume control are great extra features. But not durable; maybe "you get what you pay for".


Since I have owned portable music players for many years, I have gone through more than my share of portable ear and headphones, of many brands. The earbuds that come with music players usually have poor sound quality. I have bought earbuds but was sometimes annoyed with the foam covers for the earpieces that would keep coming off; often the sound quality was poor, especially for bass sounds. I have bought portable headphones with great sound, but when I wasn’t listening to music the headphones would break after a few trips around the town in my backpack, damaged by other items.

So, when I bought the Sony MDR-E829V, I was hoping for earbuds with decent sound that I could hang on to for a while. I bought the earbuds at the end of November 2005 from Amazon.com for $9.20. I have used them for about a month and am very satisfied.

I am not a serious audiophile – but even if I were, how much could I reasonably demand of earbud phones that cost less than $10? Anyway, I am very satisfied with the bass and treble coming out of these buds. The earbuds are certainly better than just about any earbuds I have used that were included with music players I have bought. As another reviewer mentioned, the sound quality is good enough that at times the sound seems to be coming from outside speakers, rather than little buds in one’s ears.

The carrying case has been very useful in protecting the headphones – I have had earbuds with cases in the past, and often found the cases too bulky. So I would stop carrying the case, which then defeated the purpose of buying phones with a case in the first place. The case for these earbuds is not too bulky, and the buds fit nicely in the case. Using the case I haven’t had any problems with the foam covers coming off the earbuds.

As a useful extra feature, there is a volume control dial on the cord leading from the earbuds to the player. The dial works flawlessly – at the lowest level, you can still hear some sounds through the earbuds, but you can still hold a conversation with, for instance, a cashier in a store. The volume control dial section of the cord is slim enough that it doesn’t cause any problems when one winds up the cord to put it in the carrying case. I don’t always remember to use the volume control when I need to talk with someone, but it is a useful feature to have.

There are about 14 1/2 inches of cord from the end of the earpiece to the beginning of the volume control dial; after the dial the cords unify into one cord leading to the music source. It’s about 24 1/2 inches from the bottom of the volume control dial to the end of the earbuds’ cord. I have found the length of the cord adequate, though a bit shorter than some other earbuds I have used. In the past I sometimes left my music player in my backpack while I was wearing it, and listened to the music with the earbud cord snaking up my back and leading up to my ears. With a cord less than forty inches long, it’s a little harder to do the same with these earbuds. I can leave the player in my backpack and listen with these earbuds, but the volume control dial ends up sitting on my shoulder, which is not particularly convenient if I want to change the volume, and slightly uncomfortable. (On the other hand, the shorter cord means that the cord is less likely to get tangled when I am running on a treadmill and leave the player in a slot near the treadmill controls.)

I’m a 70-inch-tall male, and have found the earbuds comfortable. If I take a bit of care in putting the earbuds in my ears securely, the earbuds rarely fall out of my ears, and I have worn them for hours without discomfort.

I would definitely buy these earbuds again if I needed to, and at present I see no reason to get another set of earbuds or portable headphones. These earbuds are great for listening to music from portable players.

September 2006 Update: unfortunately, things did not continue so well for me and the MDR-E829V. After not too long a time I was no longer able to get sound through the left earbud. I initially thought that it was a problem with my MP3 player because I tried an old earphone that I had lying around (coincidentally also a Sony earbud, though different model) and I still didn't get sound on the left side.

It turned out that BOTH earbuds had the same problem with no sound on the left - I tried other headphones and earbuds and they worked fine.

I haven't used the MDR-E829V since. I am planning to replace it shortly, but I won't buy another one. On the one hand it was worth the small amount I spent on it. On the other hand, this time I would rather spend a bit more for better sound and (hopefully) much better durability. I will let the Epinions community know what I try next!


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