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$9 Headphone Review: Sony MDR-ZX110

xykreinov

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Oh, and for the ZX110, you should try plunging Amir's measurement data into AEQ or use my settings.
I remember first thinking female vocals sounded wonky as well when I used the RAA filters on AEQ's results page. The filters for the ZX110 on the AEQ results page used measurements from Reference Audio Analyzer, which isn't nearly as good for tuning to the Harman Target as measurents from Amir's Gras rig.
It would be super cool to see @jaakkopasanen incorporate Amir's measurements into AEQ results somehow.
 
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Mark Lawless

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I'm wondering what android apps and especially what PC apps are available to adjust the EQ. I would be willing to try out these headphones just to see what the results turned out to be. I listen to most of my music off of a Bluesound Vault but I can stream from my desktop computer as well. I do have Foobar2000. So I'm not sure what the best way is to try and use these headphones in an optimal way.
 

Doodski

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I'm wondering what android apps and especially what PC apps are available to adjust the EQ. I would be willing to try out these headphones just to see what the results turned out to be. I listen to most of my music off of a Bluesound Vault but I can stream from my desktop computer as well. I do have Foobar2000. So I'm not sure what the best way is to try and use these headphones in an optimal way.
Here's some PEQ/EQ software.
 

JEntwistle

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I'm glad this thread got bumped so I ran across it yesterday. For $10 I can hear "reference quality" sound with EQ parameters provided by Amir? So I picked up a pair at Target (they have them for $10 currently) and finally figured out how to configure my EQ software (I'm using MathAudio inside Foobar2000).

This is a fantastic opportunity to learn about this stuff, and I now have a baseline to reference against Amir's reviews. I've also gone and EQ'd my other headphones.

To me, these are nice sounding headphones. My only real complaint is that I find the ear pads too small. These will be used at my desk for a change of pace sometimes and also probably become my travel headphones. They are amazing for $10, as everyone else has said. I'm tempted to buy another pair as a backup just in case they decide to raise the price one day.

I just wanted to encourage anyone else who isn't sure about EQ and what is a good "baseline" reference point to pick up a pair and experiment.
 

audioholic63

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Got a set for kicks. $9 delivered to my door why not? Arguably out of the box they don't sound that bad, depending on the music. Have tried various peq settings gleaned from this thread (Win10 laptop w/AutoEQ/Peace). They can definitely get a good tone on small jazz and chamber music. Studio pop or even live rock venue...not so much but that is ok. The singular issue I have with them is comfort. The headband needs padding up top but that is not hard to deal with. The ear pads however...good god this is the worst feeling crinkle pleather I have ever had the displeasure to have touch my ears. I have never hear microphonic ear pads. Every time I move my head there is an irritating rustling as they shift around. The lack of any real clamping force just exacerbates this tendency.

Has anyone attempted pad mods on these? My supply of all sorts of replacement pads for Grado and Koss and AKG and Sennheiser yields no natural fit. I feel like a larger velour type pad could get good results. Something like an HD-650 but round and scaled down.
 

oversky

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Got a set for kicks. $9 delivered to my door why not? Arguably out of the box they don't sound that bad, depending on the music. Have tried various peq settings gleaned from this thread (Win10 laptop w/AutoEQ/Peace). They can definitely get a good tone on small jazz and chamber music. Studio pop or even live rock venue...not so much but that is ok. The singular issue I have with them is comfort. The headband needs padding up top but that is not hard to deal with. The ear pads however...good god this is the worst feeling crinkle pleather I have ever had the displeasure to have touch my ears. I have never hear microphonic ear pads. Every time I move my head there is an irritating rustling as they shift around. The lack of any real clamping force just exacerbates this tendency.

Has anyone attempted pad mods on these? My supply of all sorts of replacement pads for Grado and Koss and AKG and Sennheiser yields no natural fit. I feel like a larger velour type pad could get good results. Something like an HD-650 but round and scaled down.
This is designed as an "on ear" headphone.
Maybe "over ear" headphone is more suitable for you.
 

audioholic63

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This is designed as an "on ear" headphone.
Maybe "over ear" headphone is more suitable for you.
I like supra aural headphones. I generally prefer them. This is a horrible on-ear design. Looking at some Geekria pads that are velour and have substantially more padding. This will probably alter the sound but that's why we have peq. :) Of course the pads cost more than the cans!
 

audioholic63

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Sony blows my mind sometimes. High value audio in unlooked for places. A good case in point are the SSCS5 bookshelf speaker. Not "high end" by any stretch of the imagination but at the typical street of $129USD and the occasional sub-$100 sale price they are astonishingly good. They were supplanted on my desktop by a set of Wharfedale Denton 80's but they are currently the best surround channel satellites I have ever had in the tv room.

Last night while noodling with these cans I heard background scatting on "Falling In Love With Love" on Jeremy Monteiro's "Blues For The Saxophone Club". I must have listened to this album 200 times over the last 20 years and I have never heard this - on any speaker or headphone. I just listened to one of my litmus test tracks for almost subliminal vocals, Oscar Peterson Trio "You Look Good To Me" from the 1964 "We Get Requests". This is the closest I have come to being able to discern what the hell Ray Brown is vocalizing under the bass line.

I think these headphones have numerous limitations but they cost $9! Years ago I had a set of the venerable Sony MDR-7506 for five minutes. Hated them for many reasons and flipped them immediately to a buddy for pretty much what I paid. I still don't think that would be a good set for me but I am seriously thinking I need to reconsider some Sony headphones from further up their food chain.
 
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phoenixsong

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Sony blows my mind sometimes. High value audio in unlooked for places. A good case in point are the SSCS5 bookshelf speaker. Not "high end" by any stretch of the imagination but at the typical street of $129USD and the occasional sub-$100 sale price they are astonishingly good. They were supplanted on my desktop by a set of Wharfedale Denton 80's but they are currently the best surround channel satellites I have ever had in the tv room.

Last night while noodling with these cans I heard background scatting on "Falling In Love With Love" on Jeremy Monteiro's "Jazz From The Saxophone Club". I must have listened to this album 200 times over the last 20 years and I have never heard this - on any speaker or headphone. I just listened to one of my litmus test tracks for almost subliminal vocals, Oscar Peterson Trio "You Look Good To Me" from the 1964 "We Get Requests". This is the closest I have come to being able to discern what the hell Ray Brown is vocalizing under the bass line.

I think these headphones have numerous limitations but they cost $9! Years ago I had a set of the venerable Sony MDR-7506 for five minutes. Hated them for many reasons and flipped them immediately to a buddy for pretty much what I paid. I still don't think that would be a good set for me but I am seriously thinking I need to reconsider some Sony headphones from further up their food chain.
True. In my experience with Sony products, their range is so vast and diverse that there are both stellar and atrocious products in each category alike. Some time back I purchased some iems of theirs which turned out decent, and shortly after one so bad that it made me steer clear of their iems for a number of years. Recently I bought one of their cheapest models to try and ended up quite impressed. I have heard a number of their headphones over the years, but nothing good enough to warrant a purchase at their retail prices and for my own standards (didn't get to try the R10 though)
 

infinitesymphony

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I finally caved and bought a pair of ZX110s to demo after my usual supra-aural travel set showed signs of deterioration. My goal was to find something that was cheap enough not to care about breaking, losing, or damaging, but also good enough for basic writing and rough editing/mixing purposes.

Even out of the box without EQ, I think these are as good as it gets in the <$50 USD range for on- or over-ear headphones. There's a good sense of detail and space, and while the extension in either direction is not extreme, what's there is surprisingly good. Far cleaner in terms of distortion than the Koss PortaPro, for a fraction of the cost.

Thanks for the recommendation.
 

audioholic63

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Final thoughts...

Geekria velour pads are an order of magnitude improvement, along with a pair of their Sennheiser PX-100 pads on the headband. It's wearable now. That being said, despite the pleasant sound signature, the cheap creakiness of all the plastics are really annoying any time I move my head. Experiment officially over. :)

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amsterdance

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Hello people.

I want to get these headphones for my pc and smartphone but I've read that there are some differences between the "normal" version and the AP (the one with mic), is that true and which one would you recommend?.

Thanks!.
 

amsterdance

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Hello people.

I want to get these headphones for my pc and smartphone but I've read that there are some differences between the "normal" version and the AP (the one with mic), is that true and which one would you recommend?.

Thanks!.

Sorry for double post but can anyone help me with that?, some people say that the normal model is a bit bassy and a lot of others say that they're flat and even some AP reviews say that they're even more flat than the non AP so I don't know which one pick. I like some bass because I listen to trance but I like 70s/80s music like Fleetwood Mac so I'd like to know what is the best model. :)
 

infinitesymphony

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Sorry for double post but can anyone help me with that?, some people say that the normal model is a bit bassy and a lot of others say that they're flat and even some AP reviews say that they're even more flat than the non AP so I don't know which one pick. I like some bass because I listen to trance but I like 70s/80s music like Fleetwood Mac so I'd like to know what is the best model. :)
Can't speak for the mic model, but for the regular model Amir says, "My quick listen resulted in impression of somewhat muffled sound and slight over-presence of upper bass." That has also been my experience. It substitutes mid bass for low bass and is a bit unclear in that range. The overall impression is warm neutral.
 

solderdude

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My overall impression of it is that it is only suited for conference calls.
The drivers have serious issues that cannot be solved with EQ.

The AP version is the exact same thing. Only the cable is different as the mic/remote is in the cable.
 

amsterdance

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I got the normal model because the AP was out of stock and yes, the sound is very warm and muffled, I didn't like it at all without EQ and even with some EQ like Amir's is still bad imo, now I'm trying some others and the best I can get for my taste is the zykreinov EQ rising up the highs just a bit, lowering the sub bass to 13/10 and pre amp to -6.0 (sorry but I can't listen anything with -20 haha). Of course the experience isn't VERY good with these settings but the sound is more clear, bright and with some nice bass.

Is really the AP model the same in terms of sound?, I've read a lot of reviews saying that they're more balanced.

I can't use Wavelet in my shi*** phone, would anyone recommend me any other EQ app?.
 

amsterdance

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What do you think about this pads?

D_NQ_NP_950151-MLA42620671571_072020-O.webp

They seem better than the stock crap but I don't know if that would affect the sound and comfort, they're only $5 here but out of stock till next month.
 
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