When it comes to quality cans we've been impressed with Sony's prestige MDR-1 over-ear headphones. Now the range has expanded to encompass smaller fit and more budget designs, with the new MDR-10RBT over-ears sitting between the top-spec MDR-1R and also-just-announced MDR-10C on-ears.
We took a look at the middling model at this year's IFA electronics show in Berlin and, just like the top-spec MDR-1R, are pleased to report it's good stuff. We're not entirely convinced that the MDR-range needed to push into a lower market as it brings into question the highest-spec models (and their equally high-spec price points). Anyway, that's a whole other issue. As it is the MDR-10RBT headphones are part and parcel of the range.
Comfortable wear is assured thanks to a soft and squishy black headband, while the adjustable band means each earcup can be individually positioned on the left and right sides.
And as these are Bluetooth headphones no cable is required to listen. You'll get a claimed 17-hours of playback from a single charge.
The 40mm drivers deliver a claimed 5Hz-40kHz when plugged in, or 20Hz-20kHz when used wirelessly with Bluetooth. If the on-board battery dies then passive use is still possible. Bass, mids and treble are delivered with clarity and the outside world feels muffled from your headspace. A good escape.
The medium-size and lightweight 210g finish will be what appeals to many, as it's not too big and not too heavy. Perfect for on-the-go use, unlike the original MDR-1R over-ears which are rather chunky and probably best used in the home.
Oh, and the 10RBTs are also developed in collaboration with The Script. Not that that'll be the reason you'll want to go and by a pair, we expect.