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Sony's latest headphones tackle high-res and bass-heavy listening

Billy Steele
September 3, 2014
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While several other audio outfits have already unveiled hi-fi minded and bass-heavy options, Sony's looking to add some more of the same. First, the MDR-1a is a high-res set of on-ear cans aimed at listeners who fancy high-end aesthetics, with a bit more sophisticated look than the MDR-1. There are silver accents with leather-like material wrapping both the earcups and headband for "long-term" comfort and silent joints keep movement from muddying the tunes. Inside, sound reproduction ticks the meter at up to 100kHz to keep things clear with 40mm drivers powering beats. Of course, there are two cables included -- for those who prefer in-line controls -- designed to curb signal loss and a folding design that tucks nicely into that rucksack. Sound too good to pass up? The MDR-1a will arrive later this month with a $300 price tag that matches several other high-end options.

Gallery: Sony MDR-XB950BT and MDR-1a headphones | 6 Photos

For folks who fancy a wireless set with a heavy dose of bass, Sony is adding to its existing line that focuses on those tones with the MDR-XB950BT. This time around, the over-ear unit with built-in electronic bass boost and 40mm drivers cuts the tether and goes full-on wireless -- as the alphanumeric moniker suggests. The Bluetooth connectivity handles streaming with AAC and apt-X support alongside a mic for making calls. What's more, NFC allows for quick and easy pairing with your smartphone or streaming device of choice. And of course, if you gobble up that 20 hours of advertised battery life, there's a passive option with a cord so you can still listen while you find an outlet. They have a bit of the leather-esque material of their own too, in case that's a dealbreaker. These are set to arrive mid-September for $200 where Sony's gadgets are usually sold. For now though, take a look at both sets in the hands-on gallery below.

Gallery: Sony MDR-XB950BT and MDR-1a headphones hands-on | 9 Photos

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