Review of Sony MDR-ZX750DC Headphones

I am not normally a review writer, and I realize this may seem a little piss poor after several months of radio silence. However, when I tried to find interviews on these, other than a single review on the Costco website, I found nothing. So, I’m going to put this out there, just so there is another source of information for a poor soul who is coming up empty.

In the interest of full disclosure, I found these on a display at Costco, and there was a sample available to try. It was impressive. Of course, the person before me had cranked the volume up, but even when I turned the volume down as low as it would go on the sample unit, I could not hear what my friend was saying. This peaked my interest, as I had been keeping an eye out for noise cancelling headphones–these being Bluetooth was a definite bonus, in my mind. They were more on-ear than over-ear, which was a tad disappointing, but not a dealbreaker for me (especially since my ears are on the small side). Costco cost was $169.99 USD–that’s the price in store and online. I went back and forth, and decided to do more investigating.

I found a pair on Ebay for a fair bit less. They weren’t dirt cheap, but they were reasonable enough for me to feel comfortable purchasing. The Costco reviewer had mentioned the ones from Costco came with extra cables that non-Costco headsets did not. I tried to ask the buyer about this multiple times, but never received a response, so I had to wait until the product arrived.

Here is a photo of what I got:

IMAG0125

 

There is one cable that is not pictured–the mini usb charging cable. It’s not pictured because I didn’t realize it was still in the black bag.

My assumption, based on what I received, is that the Costco product comes with an Iphone cable of some sort. To me, the standard product was perfectly fine, as I have an Android anyway.

A list of what was there:

  • Mini Usb Charger
  • A/C Adapter with fold-in plugs for Mini Usb Charger
  • Regular male/male audio cable (3.5 mm)
  • Phone male/male audio cable (with mic) (3.5 mm)
  • Headphones (obviously)
  • Hard Canvas-ish Case
  • Warranty info and 2 Guides: Quick and Full
  • Inner foldover cloth bag for the cables

The headphones have to be charged before they can be paired to anything. The guide recommends that you only use the mini USB provided by Sony, as other USBs may or may not work. Of course, with it being Sony, they also had little short cuts for pairing Sony products (via an app). I didn’t want to go that route because it seemed like just a Sony thing, and I’m perfectly fine with an old fashioned Bluetooth pairing.

I should probably note that it took a minute for the charge indicator light to come on once I had plugged the headphones into my computer to charge. To be accurate, it probably took a full 10 seconds–not extreme, but just enough to make me worried for a minute. So, if your light isn’t turning on, give it a bit, or try unplugging and replugging, and then still give it a bit.

The guide says charging can take up to 2.5 hours. For me, the initial charge only took about 45 minutes.

The pairing process was simple enough: hold the power button down until it flashes red/blue, and then scan for your headphones on whatever pairing device you want. I had no issues pairing. It might be worth mentioning, though, that these were detected by my paired devices as the BN version of the headphones, not the DC. So, it is possible that the DC could just be a slightly different version of the BN, like an LE sedan versus an LS sedan. So, if you’re looking for reviews of the DC, it might be worthwhile to also search for reviews of the BN. A quick search on my part revealed that the overall consensus is good, but the headphones get uncomfortable around 4 hours and more of wear, so that’s a point to consider (I haven’t worn them for that long yet).

Far as audio quality, I admit I am not an audiophile, but I tend to like Classical pre-configurations when listening to music. I find it gives the bass the right amount of punch without muddying everything else, and the melodies are richer. With that being said, I would say these headphones are not quite as good as others, but they’re close enough.

Now onto the noise cancelling. I was not in a noisy environment when I tested these, so I turned on an oscillating fan to give a bit of drone. These headphones supposedly have 3 levels of noise cancellation, and adjust accordingly to the ambient noise levels.

When I turned on the NC, I definitely heard a drop in sound from the fan, but it could still clearly be heard. I tried music on an extra low volume, and I could still hear the fan. I then realized that at the store, even turning the test pair all the way down still brought the volume only down to about mid-range. Once I bumped my volume up to mid-range, the fan noise was drowned out. But, at that point, I couldn’t really say if it was due to the noise cancellation or due to just being drowned out by something louder.

Mr. Miles has Bose headphones, so I have tried those before, and these are no match in NC. But, as with the audio, they are good enough, and all the extra cables and such that they come with make it a more versatile purchase, in my book. If Bose NC is 10/10, I’d give these a 7/10.

This is just my quick initial review; I have not put these through the paces as they should be (especially for noisy environments and for long periods of time). Again, I’d recommend checking reviews of the BN model, as that model is very similar and has a lot more feedback. My main goal was to give an overall picture of what you get and what to expect.

I don’t regret my purchase, but I am glad I didn’t pay full price for these.

Top Albums

I started to make this a Top 10 List…then it became a Top 20 list.

I then realized I haven’t listened to even half the music in the world to make an authoritative list–only a personal one. So, it’s probably just easiest to call it Top Albums in My Music Collection. In no particular order:

  • OneRepublic: Waking Up. Awesome album. It has a great range from classical melodic, to light rock, to ballad. It covers the gamut. I have multiple favorites on this record, so I could easily put up 4 or 5 links, but the song that made me want the album was “Secrets.”

  • Coldplay: Rush of Blood to the Head. Coldplay has put out a lot of great albums, and I have them all. Still, I have a soft spot for this one, followed closely  by “Parachutes” and “X&Y.” This album had some really great singles. I’ve never been a huge fan of the first track (a little too bang bang bang-ey for me), but it’s a solid album. I am an absolute sucker for a pretty riff (this also applies to my previous bullet song choice), so my track of choice would be “In My Place.”

  • Superchick: Rock What You Got. Again, another album with great range. I have all their albums, and it’s really cool to see the metamorphosis the band has gone through from their first album through now, and it was cool to see them nominated for a Grammy with this one. This one is an especially excellent driving album. I’m pretty sure I listened to this album for at least 3 months straight when it came out. Track of choice: “Rock What You Got.”

  • Muse: Absolution. This is an album for someone who can appreciate both classical and rock genres, because it seamlessly seems to blend them, especially on certain tracks. This one stayed in rotation in my car for quite awhile. Track of choice: “Hysteria.”

  • Switchfoot: Nothing Is Sound. This album makes generational cynicism and angst sound so cool. Pretty much the whole album is solid for good sing-along tracks. Track of Choice: “Lonely Nation.”

  • Ingrid Michaelson: Girls and Boys. I unfortunately didn’t discover Ingrid, my housemate (who also has pretty good music taste) did. However, thankfully, she let me rip a copy of this album, and it’s been one of my favs. I’m honestly kind of surprised more people haven’t heard of Ingrid cause she’s awesome. Track of Choice: “Breakable.”

  • Train: Save Me San Francisco. I realize what I newb I sound like with this being the newest album on the whole list. What can I say? I don’t follow Top 40 culture as much as I used to. “Drops of Jupiter” used to be my favorite Train album, but it’s really hard to argue with the catchiness of this one (and it has several great singles). It sucks you in, in a good way. Track of Choice: “If It’s Love.”

  • Ben Pasley: Chair and Microphone, Vol. 1. I think this may be one of the rawest albums I own. I love all the songs on it. It is what it says: chair and mic (ok, and in this case, guitar). I also highly recommend Aaron Strumpel’s Chair and Mic Vol. 2 album. Track of Choice: “Pieces.” I literally cannot find a video for this anywhere, so Grooveshark will have to do.

   http://grooveshark.com/#!/album/Chair+and+Microphone+Vol+1/4573126

  • Cake: Comfort Eagle. This is just a fun album that will make you smile. And the songs stay in your head. Track of Choice: “Opera Singer.”

  • Landon Pigg: Coffee Shop and LP. I really like both of these albums, so it’s really hard to judge one as being superior over the other. Very laid back, easygoing music. And the track that got me interested in him in the first place is very sweet with one of those darned pretty riffs, hence making it my track of choice (but don’t let that keep you from checking out both albums): “Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop.”

  • Fireflight: Unbreakable. This is a hard rocking album with some strong songs. It was my go to during some tough and lonely days. Track of Choice: “Wrapped in Your Arms.”

  • David Crowder Band: Illuminate. I admit, I haven’t listened to this album in awhile, but it is still a favorite. This was my soundtrack for a couple of summers. It has a good range. Track of Choice: “Revolutionary Love.”

  • Starfield: Starfield and Beauty in the Broken. I would be lying if I didn’t admit I used to listen to a lot of Starfield. After 3 albums, I kind of fell off. But they still have some great music. Both of these albums are great. “Over My Head” is my favorite track on Starfield, and I think “My Generation” would probably be top of the list for the second album.

  • Robbie Seay Band: Better Days. For male vocals, my favorites are two types, and they are extremes of each other. The first type is the ultra-vibrato, smooth vocal (like Aaron Neville or Kevin Max). The second type is the raw, gritty vocal (like Chris Cornell or Robbie Seay). This is a great laid-back album with some solid songs and a nice gritty vocal. It’s a good album to listen to going for a drive in the spring or summer. Track of Choice: “Breathing Air Again.”

  • Hootie and the Blowfish: Cracked Rear View. I know, this album is old as crap now, but doesn’t mean the album is crap. It’s got some of my favorite sing-along songs (although that movie “Ted” kinda ruined “I Only Wanna Be with You”). A good bluesy record. And I must say, I’m really glad that when Darius Rucker decided to do country, he didn’t try to “fakey twang” up his voice, because I would’ve been very mad at him. Track of Choice: “Let Her Cry.”

  • Mainstay: Well-Meaning Fiction. This one was another that a friend introduced to me. I like the mellow tone of this album. If I’m having a blue day, this is a good soundtrack. But besides that, it’s a good album. Track of Choice: “Overnight on Nicollet.” There was an amateur video for this on Youtube, but it was so awful I couldn’t post it, so to Grooveshark!

   grooveshark.com/album/Well+Meaning+Fiction/637573

  • Fastball: All the Pain Money Can Buy. This was one of the first albums I ever bought, and over ten years later, I still don’t get tired of it. Track of Choice: “The Way” (though “Ocean” from a later album is a lot of fun).