Sony enlists ex-Idol judge again to help craft its MDR-X05 cans

Sony MDR-X05 collapsedToday, Sony announced its latest addition to the X Headphone line, the on-ear MDR-X05. The new model is said to focus on high-quality audio, while sporting a compact, lightweight, and “aggressive” design.

Perhaps that last adjective is born of the fact that, like the Sony X, Simon Cowell served as a consultant in creating the phones. While you’d think anything that passes muster for the jaded and perpetually sour-pussed ex-Idol judge should sound excellent, our experience with Sony’s X Headphone offerings has been underwhelming.

Unfortunately, none of the models we tested in the X line have received ratings higher than a 6 here at DT. Sony makes some outstanding headphones, we just don’t think the X line represents the company’s best work. TheseSony MDR-X05 whitecans could break the spell, but they’re lumped together with some pretty dubious offerings.

You won’t, however, see anything too alarming on the MDR-X05’s spec sheet. The headphones have a reported frequency response of 4Hz to 24 kHz (beyond the range of human hearing in both directions – interesting), impedance of 40 ohms at 1 kHz, and 104 dB/mW sensitivity – all just about perfect for use with low-powered mobile devices.

Bottom line here: Be cautious when approaching these cans. The company one keeps may not always be an effective basis for judgement, but it can certainly serve as a red flag in the early stages of a relationship.

Sony’s new headphones are available for pre-order now at a price point of $200, and are expected to ship March 25, 2013.