Sony Electronics has long been revered in the realm of professional audio—its monitor headphones are the frequent choice of top recording artists and engineers. With its newest set of ear cans, the MDR-Z1000 ($500), Sony continues this legacy, while offering a professional-grade listening experience to pros and consumers alike.
The large (50 mm) diaphragms are composed of a liquid-crystal-polymer film that is both thin and extremely rigid, allowing for quick, accurate sonic delivery. These are driven by oxygen-free copper coils mated to neodymium magnets able to produce as much as 360 kilojoules per cubic meter of energy. According to Sony, all that juice provides a frequency response ranging from 5 Hz to 80 kHz, which gives engineers the ability to fine-tune the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, and gives consumers the luxury of detecting such musical detail.
The urethane foam ear pads are conducive to long listening sessions and help with noise isolation, while the magnesium housing makes the phones quite durable for listening on the go and allows for a weight of just 9.5 ounces. Sony also smartly designed these models with a detachable cable input and includes two cables with the headphones—a 10-foot cable and a 4-foot cable—making it easy for engineers to move freely around the studio and for the everyday listener to pair these puppies with an iPod without getting tangled in excess cabling. (www.sonystyle.com)