Deciding how much to fork out for headphones has always been something that is a very touchy subject — is it worth spending lots of money on good quality headphones when they have a tendency to be broken or lost very easily, or should you just settle for poorer sound quality but not be reduced to tears when the cable dies or you leave them on the train.
Well Sony have released the MDR-570LP headphones which aim to sit somewhere in-between and offer a good compromise and whilst Sony isn’t a company that are known for their low price tags these aim to be affordable to all whilst offering the sound quality that you would expect from something twice the price! And do they succeed? Read on…
One of the main reservations that I had when I first started to test these headphones was the fact that they merely rest on the ears rather than ‘cupping’ them which as a general rule results in poor quality (especially with bass), a high level of sound leakage and an annoying tendency to refuse to stay on your ears.
This does raise the question as to why you would choose not to have cups, but the increased portability of being able to twist the headphones round (and thus making them ‘flat’, or at least flatter) which makes them not only more comfortable to wear but also a lot easier to slip into bags or even large coat pockets.
However despite offering the flexibility of the open style, the Sony MDR-570LP headphones don’t suffer from any of the problems mentioned: the sound quality is very impressive — not amazing but definitely the quality you would expect from headphones in the £50-£70 price range and even compared to the more expensive ZOWIE Hammer Gaming Headset that we looked at a while back they fare very well.
I was especially impressed with the bass which was a lot ‘thumpier’ than I was expecting and whilst the higher tones weren’t quite as impressive it is easily forgivable and definitely forgettable. Sound leakage is also minimal as the noise becomes indistinguishable from background noise at a distance of about 1m even at full volume.
Finally the combination of very well padded ear pieces and a flexible but still firm head means they do a good job of staying on your head: perhaps not for anything overly exuberant such as running, but they should cope with the occasional dash for a train.
As you can imagine they are of high quality and despite being a measly 110g they don’t feel like they are about to fall apart — although they could have done with having slightly thicker wires from each earpiece as they do feel a little feeble and one can imagine that will be the first thing to break.
Ignoring that they are almost without fault as they feel sturdy, the twisting actions retain its rigidity and even after a few weeks of use they look just like they did when they were taken out of the packet. Likewise the 3.5mm jack is also very solid and unlike many headphones doesn’t look or feel like it could just be pulled apart.
With regards to colours Sony have also done a good job as the whole range look very understated which I feel is a value very much underestimated! Another nice feature that Sony have added is a small cable tidy that allows you to loop the cable around to shorten the 1.2m lead (which is frustratingly a little too short for PCs situated on the floor) which is brilliant for both packing them away and when you already have an extension adapter if you are listening to your phone!
In case you hadn’t already caught on I was very impressed with the Sony MDR-570LP headphones and in fact would put them up as one of the best products (for the price) that I have seen in a while. A bold claim I know, but they do exactly what you expect and then a bit more and I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for some portable headphones and don’t wish to break the bank: the RRP is £34.99 but with a bit of shopping you can get them down to around £17.99 which is very good value!