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Sony MDR-ZX500 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £33
inc VAT

Although they’re not the best headphones money can buy, this set from Sony is comfortable, lightweight and has a big, fun sound

Sony’s MDR-ZX500 headphones are lightweight and fairly modestly priced, but their sound quality and construction is fantastic. The padded cups fitted comfortably around our ears, despite being shallower than most circumaural headphones. The padding on the headband also isn’t very deep, but it was comfortable and felt fairly secure. The ear cups didn’t feel very tight, but this reduced the sense of pressure and discomfort over extended listening periods.

We were pleased to find that – except at the loudest volumes – their closed drivers suffered from minimal sound leakage. As such, they’re good for blocking out a noisy environment without contributing to it for others. The headphones don’t come with any extras and have a standard 1.2m cable with a 3.5mm stereo plug on the end.

These headphones sound really punchy, with a strong bass and loads of volume if you connect them to a powerful amplifier, but they’re also sensitive enough to use with a standard MP3 player. Their sound is quite detailed, but we found it a little compressed, with most of the emphasis being placed on the bass and mid-range and a few subtle details getting lost in the mix. Despite this, they didn’t sound too muddy but instead had an expansive quality with a great sense of space.

Sony MDR-ZX500

The MDR-ZX500 headphones lack the precision to satisfy most dedicated of audio enthusiasts, but they have a big, exciting and fun sound which makes them a pleasure to listen to. Their light weight can feel a little insecure, but they’re comfortable to wear for extended periods – particularly on the move – and they don’t leak sound too badly. If you want to add a bit of oomph to your listening without breaking the bank, these are a good buy. If you want more detailed sound, however, the Shure SRH550DJ headphones are worth the extra outlay.




Typeover-ear headphones
Active noise-cancellingno
Power sourcenone
Frequency response8-25,000Hz
Impedence70 ohms
Plug type3.5mm headset jack plug
Inline volumeNo
Cable length1.20m

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