Jump to content
Sony Insider Forums
streaml1ne

Sony MDR-SA5000 Pictorial & Review

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

Sony MDR-SA5000

IPB Image

IPB Image

IPB Image

IPB Image

Specifications

Headphone Type: Open Circumaural, Dynamic Driver

Driver: 50mm CCAW voicecoil, dome type

Power Handling Capacity: 1,500mW (IEC)

Impedance (Ohms): 70 at 1 kHz

Sensitivity (dB/mW): 102

Frequency (Hz): 5 - 110,000

Weight (g): 260

Diaphragm: Nanocomposite High Definition

Magnet: Neodymium (360kJ/m3)

Earpads: Natural Leather

Cord: 6N-OFC, 3.5m texture type cord

Plug: 1/4" gold plated

Supplied Accessories: Metal headphone stand

Review

Coming soon...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brilliant! I am a MDR-SA5000 owner as well (recently replaced a three month old MDR-SA3000 with the MDR-SA5000) and I just love the way it present music - very clean, crisp and full of details - and of course its structure. Even though its frame is mostly made of metal, it's very lightweight and not a burden at all on my head.

I look forward to your impressions and thanks for sharing the pictures. ;)

pictorial pinned

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shit... they look huge!!! Look liek full industrial size things :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pros:

Fast Response

These are the 'quickest' headphones I've ever heard. They are extremely tight throughout all frequencies. You can easily hear the edges of notes or minute variations in the plucks of strings, etc. They definitely provide a higher resolution reproduction to your ear. This is a byproduct of the nano composites used in the driver, sounds like the same attributes as Infinity's CMMD driver technology. Highly rigid, low extra resonance.

Clear

To say that these headphones are extremely clear is an understatement. They reproduce ALL instruments in a piece of music with equal clarity. They do it so well that it becomes trivial to focus on one instrument and listen to all its nuance without the other instruments muddying up the reproduction. Even with my MDR-7509s I'd have a hard time focusing on one instrument, with the SA5000's it's a cakewalk.

Flat

The SA5000 reproduce frequencies in a pretty flat manner. I don't mean they're flat sounding, quite the contrary, they're exceptionally vibrant, but the reproduction is faithful to the frequencies coming from the source. Listening to a tone sweep on the SA5000's reveals small volume increases twice between around 1kHz and 4kHz, but otherwise they're flat. I won't say much more than this since sound coloring is largely a personal preference. Any coloration the SA5000's provide pleasing to my ear. YMMV

Construction

The build quality on these phones is exceptional. The frame is mostly all magnesium. The cups are real leather. The magnesium makes them very lightweight and the wide headband helps make them extremely comfortable to wear for extended periods. Since they're open I find my ears don't get as warm as with the 7509s or my Eggos.

Cons:

Cord

I'm not a fan of each can getting its own cord and having a cable vee under my neck. I always preferred the studio style single cord going to the left can. Also, this cord has a synthetic cloth-like covering on it that tends to bind up on itself. It also seems to twist up easily usually resulting in having to unplug everything to let the cord unwind itself. Lastly, the cord transfers alot of noise back to the phones if it rubs against something. If I'm doing any critical listening I find myself holding the cord to avoid rubbing.

Connector

Sony packaged a metal stand with the headphones, but no 1/4" to 1/8" adapter. The 1/4" adapter is the default which is fine for plugging into your high-fi, but you're SOL if you want to plug into a MD. Granted, you can buy an adapter, but generally they're gargantuan and unweildy. Obviously Sony didn't intend these phones to be portable so I can understand using 1/4" by default, but most of their other top end phones were 1/8" with a compact threaded 1/4" adapter. It would have been welcome here as well.

Overall I love these phones, they're the best I've ever heard! They really bring out every nuance in your source material which is great, but can also be a curse =) I love the fact that they let me dissect individual notes and instruments. But what makes them even better is that, while they provide that level of detail, they still remain musical and very much NOT sanitary and cold. I can't imagine finding a more vibrant and detailed set of headphones under $1000 anytime soon...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

what are you using as a source streamline?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

what are you using as a source streamline?

CD, SACD, DVD-Audio on my Denon 2200S all going through my Harman Kardon AVR 325 via 6-channel analog direct inputs. I haven't even connected the phones to a MD player yet. The music has been alot of classical, some rap (for the bass), rock. I've been picking the most detailed music of the lot to test with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ishiyoshi,

Did you notice a volume increase after about 10-15 hours of use? Maybe it's just my ears, but they seem louder now than when they first came out of the box.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ishiyoshi,

Did you notice a volume increase after about 10-15 hours of use? Maybe it's just my ears, but they seem louder now than when they first came out of the box.

Yes, with significant burn-in time, the MDR-SA5000 is somewhat louder and definitely more detail at my end. Were you able to discern any change in detail before and after burn-in?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've just noticed that the volume even seems to increase after a few minutes of play :blink: . Maybe because they're not fully broken in yet. I definitely notice more detail, and this is only after maybe 18 hours of use. I'm looking forward to how seasoned they become after 50-100 hours. One thing I've noticed with these phones that I forgot to mention in the review is how they handle harshness in music. Some tracks I've listened to either have instrument combinations or voices that get harsh to the point where I find myself actually cringing on other phones. The SA5000's smooth those points out very well, definitely no more cringing, it's nice :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ishiyoshi,

Did you notice a volume increase after about 10-15 hours of use? Maybe it's just my ears, but they seem louder now than when they first came out of the box.

After I burned my MDR-XD200 Sony Headphones in for 100hrs... I noticed a HUGE increase in volume!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Found a review on the SA5000's on head-fi. Fits my sentiments almost exactly:

http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?t=135351

edit: Well, except for the conclusion about not being good phones for people that want a warmer musical reproduction. If the recording is crap to begin with changing the headphone to falsely color the music seems silly to me. Find a better recording :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the recording is crap to begin with changing the headphone to falsely color the music seems silly to me. Find a better recording :D

I couldn't agree more with you. It is imperative that the source is of good quality. Otherwise, the MDR-SA5000 will reveal the deficiency of the recording.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

damn those are huge!

Perhaps, but they're featherweights. They're not really much larger than my 7509s, just in a different direction. The SA5000's are wide and short, but the 7509s are tall and not so wide.

The more sound I've put through them the more cohesive and musical they've gotten, it's really quite nice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ishiyoshi may be able to speak to this. I believe he has or had a pair of A900's. I'm done with buying headphones for now :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still have the A900, but I don’t use it as much now. In my opinion, you can’t really compare the A900 and the SA5000 as they are both in completely different tier of high-end headphones. The SA5000’s soundstage is superior to the A900 in all regards – especially in terms of clarity and detail. But as a consolation, the A900 works very well without an amp – a great match with certain MD units. Bottom line: SA5000 > A900

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do buy.com charge tax and duties etc>? Or do they get round it?

They do charge tax according to one's location in the States.

Etronics.com seems the better route to acquire the MDR-SA5000 as they offer free ground shipping within the US (bringing the total to $365.00) and they do ship internationally as well. Nice catch streaml1ne. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yea, etronics is great, they're my first source for electronics now. It's also nice that they're located in New York so even ground shipping becomes 1-day to New Jersey :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×