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Sony's new MDR-1000X noise-canceling headphones are its best yet

Judging by the fact that it kicked off its IFA 2016 press conference with audio-related announcements, music and sound seem to be a major priority for Sony. While the first spot went to its new Signature Series audio products, Sony followed up with something that is probably more attractive to your average music listener, its new flagship noise-canceling headphones, the MDR-1000X.

Sony says it has made a number of advances that give the MDR-1000X its best noise cancellation yet, but it has also made it much easier to find the right noise cancellation for you. The headphones include a personal noise cancellation optimizer that analyzes the shape of your head and other factors like hair style and whether or not you’re wearing glasses. Then, its new Sense Engine 2 takes that data and customizes the noise cancellation.

“The MDR-1000X are not just Sony’s best-ever noise-canceling headphones,” Sony Electronics director of mobile audio Dunja LaRosa said in a statement. “They are also great looking, and most importantly, fantastic sounding headphones worthy of the Sony name and tradition.”

Blocking out noise is great, but it doesn’t mean a thing if the audio quality is lacking — but that shouldn’t be the case here. Sony’s LDAC technology is used to deliver audio at what the company says is three times the quality of traditional Bluetooth streaming. The headphones support hi-res audio when in wired mode, and when playing wirelessly, the MDR-1000X use Sony’s DSEE HX, which can upscale audio to near hi-res quality.

A few features are included to ensure the world around you isn’t obscured. Quick Attention mode is activated by placing a hand on the side of the headphones, allowing outside sound to come through, whether it’s an announcement or simply a co-worker asking a question. Ambient Sound Mode lets outside sound through, while still allowing the listener to listen to their music.


With the MDR-1000X, there is no need to worry about a long day or long flight wearing down your battery. Sony claims a playback time of up to 20 hours, and that’s with noise cancellation turned on.

Two color options are available for the MDR-1000X; black and gray-beige. No matter which color you pick, the headphones come with a synthetic leather carrying case, power and audio cables, and an airplane adapter.

The MDR-1000X retail for $400, and will be available beginning in October from Amazon, B&H Photo-Video, and most Best Buy and InMotion Entertainment stores. If you want to reserve yourself a pair, pre-sales are available now.

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