Sony MDR-710LP portable headphones
Sony offers a broad assortment of well-designed, high-performance headphones ranging from full-size studio monitors such as the all the way down to Fontopia-series earbuds, such as the MDR-EX71SL. At CES 2006, the company introduced several new additions to its headphone lineup. The $59 Sony MDR-710LPs are a portable headband model that strikes a good balance between style, comfort, performance, and value.
Sony's MDR-710LP headphones successfully combine revealing sonic performance with an ultraportable, collapsible headband design. We appreciate the soft, lightweight, leatherette ear pads, which give the headphones an exceptionally comfortable fit. The black, silver, and gray color scheme and sleek style lend the Sonys a modern, pricey appearance. Frequent travelers will make good use of the included hard plastic clamshell-type carrying case (3.8 inches by 2.3 inches), which can protect the headphones when they're folded up.
The Sony MDR-710LP's 4-foot cord is ideal for connecting to a portable audio device that's stashed in your coat pocket or to an MP3 player's in-line remote control, but it's most likely too short for use with home-theater gear. Unlike some other portable 'phones, these don't include an extension cord for domestic use.
These headphones' greatest sonic asset is the tight, punchy bass response generated by its 30mm drivers, which reminds us of what you get from pro studio models. However, we wish the Sony MDR-710LPs sounded fuller in the midrange and treble registers. You'll definitely hear an exceptional amount of detail in your music, but don't expect velvety warmth.
Despite falling short of perfection, the Sony MDR-710LPs are nonetheless comfortable, decent-sounding 'phones that we wouldn't hesitate to snap up, considering the price.