Sony MDR-EX110AP full review
Apart from the glossy red finish of these headphones, the Sony MDR-EX110APs are as nondescript as headphones get – a pair of tiny drivers with black rubber grommets and a small, single-button remote dangling from the left-hand cable. The audio cable is thin – compared to the fabric used on RHA's MA450i headphones - and feels like it might not stand up to much abuse. Also see: 6 best budget headphones 2014
See also: The best headphones of 2014
The remote control is a welcome sight, and on our test iPhone it had no problem picking up our side of a voice call and relaying it down the line. The remote only one button, so although you can start and stop music (or trigger the voice-activated Siri assistant on an iPhone), the only way to change volume is to reach into your pocket. The final touch is a cable tie, around which you can wrap the EX110AP’s 1.2-metre wire, allowing you to avoid key-ensnaring tangles forming in your pocket.
Still, at £18 we’re happy to sacrifice a few luxuries if decent sound quality is on offer. In fairness, the EX110APs do offer a decent sound. There’s a decent amount of volume, and pop music in particular sounds pretty reasonable: bright and clear with a detailed top end that sits just on the right side over overly-sharp. The upshot is that there’s enough treble to make different instruments and stereo channels sound distinct without the sound being cutting or crispy.
At the other end, there’s enough bass to do the job, which is impressive from such a small pair of headphones. The drawback is that the bass isn’t particularly clever: there’s a bit of boom to keep pop-pickers happy, but fans of more traditional bass guitar sounds will notice a distinct lack of timbre compared to pricier headphones. We were unable to find any music that made the headphones sound poor, though – there’s easily enough quality here to keep casual music fans happy.
All levels of music aficionado will appreciate Sony’s ergonomics – the EX110APs are very, very comfortable. The very low weight means they don’t need to grip the ear canal too tightly, which can be an irritating bugbear on larger ear canal headphones. It also makes them less prone to falling out, which makes these a good choice for those looking for something to wear while exercising.
For the price, this is an excellent set of headphones we’re happy to recommend. They’re comfortable, affordable and the sound quality, while not of the highest order, is satisfying enough. We don’t think you’ll regret spending the extra on the RHA MA450i headphones, but for those on a budget these are a decent choice.
Sony MDR-EX110AP: Specs
- In-ear headphones
- Frequency response: 5-24,000Hz
- Nominal impedence:16 ohms
- Sensitivity: 103dB
- Extras: 1-button in-line remote and microphone, 3x pairs of grommets, carry case
- Cable length: 1.2m
- Weight: 12g