Sony Reveals Three New Headphones In Its Midrange MDR-10 Line


The news from Sony this week was dominated by its stunning new iDevice-compatible QX lenses (and the blogger leaks that revealed the lenses before Sony wanted the lenses revealed).

But there’s also news from Sony’s audio corner; it’s evolutionary rather than revolutionary, but still exciting: Three new models have been added to the company’s midrange MDR-10 line of headphones, including one with what looks like class-busting noise-canceling abilities and another equipped with Bluetooth and NFC.

First, let’s take a look at what all three share in common. Each is equipped with 40mm drivers, fairly standard for cans of this class, and the language in the press release seems to position all three ‘phones as balanced in terms of sound bias. Each is also equipped with “enlarged air vents,” which Sony says should make the cans more responsive to lower frequency sound (which means higher-quality bass). They also get tangle-free cords.

Here’s where they differ.

Sony says the $270 noise-canceling MDR-10RNC will eliminate 99.4 percent of ambient noise — that’s huge, and should vault the 10RNC into the leagues of Sony’s much more expensive, $500 MDR1-RNC. The ‘phones are also able to automatically select between one of three noise-canceling modes.

The $250 Bluetooth variant, the MDR-10RBT, obviously offer wireless sound, and also the ability to pair with a device through NFC. As we’re increasingly seeing in streaming headphones of this caliber, the 10RBT supports the aptX codec for cleaner streamed audio. You’ll also be able to use the set as a standard wired pair if the 17-hour battery runs out.

Then there’s the plain vanilla MDR-10R at $200.

Both the standard MDR-10R and the noise-canceling MDR-10RNC should hit shelves next month, with the MDR-10RBT arriving in November.

About the author

Eli MilchmanWhen he was eight, Eli Milchman came home from frolicking in the Veld one day and was given an Atari 400. Since then, his fascination with technology has made him an intrepid early adopter of whatever charming new contraption crosses his path — which explains why he's Cult of Mac's test editor-at-large. He calls San Francisco home, where he works as a journalist and photographer. Eli has contributed to the pages of and BIKE Magazine, among others. Hang with him on Twitter.

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