Sony MDR-XD200

Aug 09 2005



I wanted to upgrade my $10 Labtec headphones that had 40mm drivers. I wanted a circumaural design so that the earpads wrapped around my ears and not rest on my ears. It was irritating when my ears would fatigue due to the pressure of the headphones on them. With the circumaural design I thought this should minimize the problem. The cushion on this XD200 provided enough space for my ear so they didn't get excessively pressed down.

These cans are equipped with 40mm drivers. The first thing I noticed with this headphone was how much expansive the sound was coming out of them considering my labtec also had 40mm drivers and it didn't even come close to this Sony headphones. In audiophile terms, the sound was more roomier.

On each earcups are sliders that opens and closes inner port holes. Supposedly, when the ports are open they allow extra bass to bleed through from the back of the driver and into your ear. When they are closed it's supposed to produce more neutral sounds. The effect is extremely subtle. I myself had trouble differentiating when the ports were closed and when they were open. It was there but it's not that critical.

One thing I overlooked with circumaural headphones was that they are closed-cups by design. My ears get hot after a while and I would have to take the headphones off to ventilate my ears. I guess this would be fine during winter but in the summer it gets unbearable quickly. I wonder if the ones with holes on them like the Senheissers would provide better cooling.

These cans won't win any beauty pageant. This headphone is rather bulky. The cups protrude to the side and make you look like a robot. It's not heavy despite the bulkiness.