Sony has been making significant strides in the headphones market in India. Powered by its brand recognition coupled with good pricing, the company has started becoming more visible across the country right from jogging parks to airports. That latest from the company is the hi-fi MDR-100ABN wireless noise-cancelling headphones.
The MDR-100ABN looks like a Sony headset, though the earcups are not as circular as some of the units that are more popular in India. It also comes with a lot of controls—power and noise cancelling on the left, and volume as remote option on the right.
What is good?
The Sony MDR-100ABN is a large over-the-ear model, but it is something you will not regret wearing for long hours. I really enjoyed listening to music for long durations as this is among the few headsets that don’t heat up inside after sometime. Also, the earcups and headband are soft and supple making the experience very enjoyable.
I am a big fan of Bose noise cancelling headphones. But the Sony MDR-100ABN doesn’t seem to be behind in any sense. It gave me near pin drop silence at home and at the office, where there are too many random noises. It was good enough for me to concentrate on my writing.
The audio quality is really good, even over Bluetooth, but wireless headphones have been able to do this for sometime now. However, it was a real joy listening to everything from Rabindra Sangeet to some Kenney Chesney numbers. The headphone stood its ground whatever music I chose. I also loved the fact that this was not a heavy bass unit like some of the newer headphones from Sony.
The battery life on the headphone is impressive. I could squeeze about eight hours of playback over Bluetooth. With just the noise cancelling on, it gave at least four hours more.
What is not that good?
There is nothing really wrong with the MDR-100ABN, but I could find a few areas for improvement. For instance, the remote works only on Bluetooth and not when you are using it as a wired headphone, which is a bit strange. Also, the really comfortable ear-foam seems to sag a bit with use. I am not sure how long this will last if the user is not careful.
Should you buy?
This is one of the best alternatives to a Bose noise cancelling headphone. Also, this is a bit cheaper than the competition. Overall, this is a good buy.
* Estimated street price: Rs 21,990