Ok, so your looking for a new set of headphones, you don't want to spend a fortune, but you don't want a pile of tat either!? You decide to browse the mighty Play.com and find that they offer a stunning range of all sorts of "cans" , from the mega expensive to the less so expensive, the choice is yours, and the choice is an easy one, if your search criteria was anything like mine!
I was looking for a set that would above all else have a very long lead, sublime sound quality, preferably Sony, comfortable and hopefully less then £20 to £30.
Let me explain; the reason for the very long lead, is that as an avid xBox 360 gamer, I needed a set that would be able to be used in conjunction with a very expensive HD TV and COD4 (online multiplayer) into the wee small hours of the morning. I wanted to enjoy the games stunning audio, without waking the whole family. I needed at least 3mtrs of cable, to my surprise the Sony MDR-XD200 has 3.5mtrs, so that's one tick in the box.
The sound quality is in my mind above average and so much better then the Play.com price suggests, the drivers on these headphones are large enough to cover a broad spectrum of music demands. I have used these to listen to Spoken Word (Radio 4 Pod casts) to Hed Kandi dance compilations to Alvin and the Chipmunks!!!! And they have preformed flawlessly. The magnets used in the headphones are Neodymium, which is a very strong magnet, the up side of this is that the sound quality will stay truer for longer, in short, they sound never fail. On each headphone is a switch, that can be switched to either "music" or "movie", this sounds pretty self explanatory, but the curious thing is that the movie setting makes no difference when listening to music, however, when watching a movie from DVD, the setting really comes into its own, it makes a massive difference. When listening to music the bass can be a little flat and uninteresting at times, but not every time, top end is sweet and crisp, but the mid-range can be vibrant and more detailed, especially if driven by a powerful enough amp. Don't get me wrong, to the average occasional listener, you'll be thrilled with the performance.
The headphones should in my eyes be classified as full size, because to be truthful they are on the large side, but having said this, they are well balanced, well built and very very comfortable to wear for quite long periods of time. I know the health implications of wearing headphones for long lengths of time, but you will literally forget that you are wearing them! The Sony designers should be proud on that score.
As far as pricing is concerned, they are an absolute bargain at £12.99, I would have paid £30 for these on the high street without any equivocation, and even then, I would have thought that I'd had a result! It seems silly to me that anybody should consider spending anymore for a what are a very good pair of headphones. I would without doubt buy another pair if I needed to.
As other reviewers' have suggested, don't bother wasting your time looking for a better deal or a better headphone for that matter, I really don't think that you will find one. Purchase these today, and you'll be enjoying sweet music two days later!