headphones

Sony MDR-EX600 Review

A decent set of in-ears, but look at a bunch of reviews before buying.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Introduction

They’re not a bad get for the money, but they don’t excel in any area that would make them the top of the heap for their price range. However, that’s not to say that the Sony MDR-EX600s (MSRP $199) aren’t without their bright spots: they’re exceptionally durable for their price tag, and easy to port around and maintain.

Comfort Design & Features

The EX600s are fairly uncomfortable, very lightweight, and easy to safely tote around.

The Sony MDR-EX600s are in-ears, yes, but they seem to be fine sitting at the very outside of the ear canal, rather than digging in deep. The re-enforced cabling at the top of the bud helps the wire to withstand use-related friction, and it definitely redistributes weight to your pinna (outer ear) well. Not exactly comfortable, but not painful either.

The Sony MDR-EX600s come packaged with a carrying case that has a decent cable management system. Tweet It

Conveniently enough, the Sony MDR-EX600s come packaged with a carrying case that has a decent cable management system, so you won’t cause a bunch of internal wear and tear on your (admittedly replaceable) cables. The case is rigid and seems durable enough, so feel free to jam it into your bag on the morning commute or a long car or plane ride.

When you buy a set of in-ears, one of the first things you’ll notice is the fact that the cables are probably going to be the first thing to break, and those of the MDR-EX600s are especially fragile. One of the nicer features we see on these in-ears is the ability to replace broken cables when they do bite the dust, not only protecting your investment in good headphones, but also your sanity should something break before a long trip. You'll notice the odd-looking coupling where the cable meets the earbud is actually a screw apparatus that allows you to easily detach the cable in the event of breakage.

Audio Quality

The MDR-EX600s don’t truly impress, but they won’t make you recoil in horror either.

The MDR-EX600s have a wonky response, with some odd areas of underemphasis. On the whole though, the bass frequencies aren’t boosted to an unreasonable level, and the MDR-EX600s stay roughly within our ideal limits. Essentially, the necessary variety of sounds are more or less evenly represented, which is relatively good.

Their distortion was minimal, and their tracking (channel favoring) was perfect. Tweet It

Their distortion was minimal, and their tracking (channel favoring) was perfect, as far as perceptibility is concerned. However, the distortion does pick up considerably at high volumes if you like to make your skull rattle.

Interestingly enough, of the many sleeves included with the MDR-EX600s are "noise cancelling" sleeves that actually do a worse job at attenuation (noise cancellation) than the regular sleeves by themselves. Overall, expect fairly average isolation results, but keep in mind that in-ears by their very design prevent a lot of outside noise from reaching your ear canal.

Conclusion

The Sony MDR-EX600s are good ear buds—they are neither amazing, nor are they terrible.

The MDR-EX600s (MSRP $199) offer average audio performance, but aren’t really anything special in any one category—they certainly aren’t the best isolators or value buy for their cost. That being said, they are extremely durable as far as in-ears go, and really, there are so many factors going into an informed purchase that there are plenty of reasons to pick these up over other headphones if you like what you see here. You’re definitely getting what you pay for, which is a plus, but keep in mind that there are headphones out there that cost less and perform with a more impressive flair than these do at the tradeoff of lower durability.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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