Sony have been producing consumer audio equipment for decades and as a result have a reputation that make other brands envious. See what we think about this offering in the full Sony MDR EX50LP review.
There was a time when Sony was associated more with mid range to high end audio equipment. These days however, its seems that much of their focus has shifted towards the cheaper end of the market.
At this end of the product range, Sony offer no frills products with simple packaging & simple design – this is where we find the MDR EX50 earphones.
As is the case with many products from Sony these days, the packaging is functional – most definitely not stylish or overly designed and for less than £15 you wouldn’t expect it to be either. The bubble packet says pick me off the shelf, what you see is what you get. There is no soul or enhanced consumer experience here, just a open it up and use them approach.
The MDR EX50 earphones themselves are made from plastic and feel very light. The finish to the earpieces is as you’d expect from Sony, very good. The silicone ear tips look to sit at a slightly odd angle in relation to the earpieces themselves, but in use this helps them fit and stay in your ear brilliantly.
The silicone cable used does feel and look a little cheap – mainly thanks to the old style figure eight cable lower down. Having said that, the cable is fantastically light and has very little microphonic noise transfer when you touch or knock the cable. It is also worth noting that this lightness likely comes at the cost of toughness – this won’t survive the same rough treatment as the cables used on earphones in the £30 price bracket.
The headphone jack is the usual right angled 3.5mm type – typically molded onto the cable. While the overall design and build is simple, there is one nice additional touch. This appears at the strain relief point where the two cables join – there is a small slider so you can adjust the meeting point. Simple, but effective.
In the packaging you get 3 sets of silicone ear tips (nicely paired in colours for easy identification) and a cable winder – the packaging states that the cable winder is so you can adjust the length of the cable in use…we can’t see that being useful as in comparison to the cable the winder is huge and bulky. It could be used as a form of storage, but its not really worth using.
A Sound Budget That Delivers
So what so of sound do you get for less than £15? You can’t realistically expect the Sony MDR EX50LP earphones to sound as good as a set of earphones in the £30 range, but you can expect good value for money. The sound quality did take us by surprise a little – prejudgment aside, they are a lot better than we expected.
The sound character is most definitely of a Hi-Fi style – boosted bass and treble with soft midrange. The bass is deep, warm and soft – it doesn’t have much punch or attack but does have good depth. the mid range is lacking detail mainly due to it having been scooped away by the Hi_fi character. The treble is quite precise and emphasized – its not natural or airy, to put it another way, it sounds quite ‘pop’ or FM radio.
Given that the Sony MDR EX50 earphones are made from plastic, they do a good job at producing a decent sound. The plastic will always prevent them from having and much punch as a set of earphones made from metal or the natural sound and warmth from a wooden set. Despite this the price has to be considered as well – and for the money, they do sound very good indeed.
Sony MDR EX50LP Review Conclusion
While the construction of the Sony MDR EX 50LP in ear headphones feels a little cheap, the price is cheap, and for the money they sound great. The cable may not be as strong or last as long as a more expensive set – but that’s to be expected as corners have to be cut somewhere in order to keep the price down. If you want a cheap set of earphones that sound like a decent Hi-Fi, the Sony MDR EX50LP earphones are for you…simple, no frills and a decent sound.
- High Quality Finish
- Low Price
- Good Hi-Fi Sound
- No Storage Case
- Lightweight Cable
Sound: Rich, soft, deep bass with well defined treble - mid range is very soft and lacks punch
Design: Simple, clean looks with a good choice of colours
Quality: Earpiece quality is very good, cable could be stronger
Value: fantastic value for money
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