Looking for a suitable headphone may not as easy as it seems. First you have to define what you are looking for since there are so many options out there start from the type itself to what kind of sound you want to hear. In today Sony MDR 1A vs 1R article, we are going to compare these brothers to give you more information regarding what you can expect from them. If one/both of them took your interest, go check our article below.
In this article we are going to give you information about:
– What are Sony MDR 1A and 1R
– What Sony MDR 1A and 1R Look Like
– How Sony MDR 1A and 1R will sound
– How are the comfort of Sony MDR 1A and 1R
About Sony MDR 1A and 1R
As you may already know MDR A1 is the successor of 1R and 1R MKII, so you can expect there are so many similarities in these two headphones. The older brother was released around late 2012 while the predecessor was launched around 2 years after. The original is actually already good enough and got so many praising from the users as well as online reviewers when it was first available in the market but Sony even more upgrade what’s already good to create MDR 1A.
What you have to know is both of Sony MDR 1A and 1R are meant for the luxury headphone market. These two are a closed back, over ear, full sized headphones that were designed and created to give you the best experience for the price point. Branded for the prestigious, Sony seems to be very confident in these headphones and if you are looking for a headphone that not only look good but also sounds great, one of these two may be the one for you. (Read also : Sony MDR1A vs Audio-Technica ATH-M50x)
Sony MDR 1A and 1R Design
From the outside, these two brothers look very similar and you probably won’t be able to state the difference. When you take a look at them, you will know that these two are indeed made to look “not-cheap” because some of other headphones out there in the same range of price would made out of plastic, this one is made with a combination of aluminum, high-grade synthetic leather and plastic.
What’s seems to be different is when you lift both of them, you may notice that 1A is slightly lighter than 1R even though the older is already said to be light enough for the model. When you took a closer look to the cable connector of these headphones, you will also notice that 1A has gold ring plated at the base of the connector, which is not available in the older model. When you purchase the headphone you will get a carrying case and a standard cable that has one-button inline remote and microphone.
Sony MDR 1A and 1R Sound Quality
When talking about a headphone, the most important thing is probably the sound because you are going to use it to listen to a song. In term of sound quality, the older model is rich-sounding with a prominent emphasis on bass. It is not suitable for audiophiles because it is not particularly neutral but the marketing campaign itself already indicate where this headphone is aimed towards. Taken from CNET, a benefit comes from this type of headphone is the tonal balance makes harsh MP3s or streamed audio more tolerable than those with treble details.
If you compare the older model with 1A, the newer sounds clearer from the bass all the way through the treble. When you listen to it and switch back to 1R, you can feel that 1R low bass was muddier, thicker and less clear but the vocals and guitars are also brought into sharper focus over the 1A. Overall the difference are not that huge, but it is clearly there.
Sony MDR 1A and 1R Comfort
Another thing that you may consider when looking for a headphone is the comfort. As you may already expect from these two design, they are indeed made to be able to stay longer in your head. The best thing from these headphones are the light build to ensure they won’t give an uncomfortable tension for prolonged use. The user replaceable ear cushion are unusually soft and pliant in older model that are pretty comfortable as well as better than average seal to block outside noise.
The fit and feel of 1R are overall excellent with the exude quality leather cushion and metal ear cups that pivot horizontally as well as vertically. This pivot range is said to be greater than usual. Even though the connector between two ear cups are made of plastic to ensure proper weight, it feels sturdy enough. What’s improve in the newer model is now the pad is improved to be more comfortable than the older model.
Both of Sony MDR 1A and 1R are regular headphone, which means that they are not capable of doing wireless performance because they don’t have NFV or built-in Bluetooth to play your music without the cord. Another thing is they also can’t cover your ear and protect it from outside noise when you are in crowded space with many noises mixed for they are not an ANC, so you may want to reconsider your choice if you want to use it in open office or public transportation.
Now, let’s compare Sony MDR 1A with 1R. As you already know, the 1A is an upgraded version on 1R, so it is supposed to be better. What separates them are first, the design because the newer model is slightly lighter and has more comfortable padding than the 1R. 1A connector base also plated with gold ring, which is not available in older model. Another difference is the sound. Both of them sound rather similar but 1A has clearer sound from bass throughout the treble.
This improvement may be better for some point but if you use it to listen to harsh MP3s or streamed audio, it will also become less tolerable unlike with 1R.
Sony MDR 1A vs MDR 1R
- Sound Reproduction up to 100 kHz, 40 mm driver units with ALCP for articulate audio reproduction
- 4-conductor cable for better signal separation and resulting sound quality
- Ergonomic ear pads for powerful response and long-term comfort
- 40mm Liquid Crystal polymer film diaphragms (5-24Hz)
- Beat Response Control for improved bass and transient response
- Comfortable ear pads deliver powerful bass response and long-term comfort
All in all, the decision is all yours to make. In our opinion, both of them are similarly good and not that far apart with MDR 1A being the better model. When looking at the price, we also know that these two are not priced with a huge gap, so you may choose base on which is more convenient for you. However, if you don’t mind about the price, we will recommend you MDR 1A for the better comfort, lighter body, and improved sound.