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Sony MDR-SA5000 Review-Pictorial

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MDR-SA5000 | Super Audio Stereo Headphone

Primary Source: DVP-S9000ES

Portable Source: MZ-EH1 + XIN SuperMacro-III

Overview

The very first impression I had of the MDR-SA5000 is that this thing is a beast! But at the same time I was so drawn to its industrial design. The build quality overall is superb! The SA5000 is made of magnesium and employs a pair of very soft natural leather ear pads. The combination of the two aforementioned materials leads to one of the most comfortable headphones I have worn thus far – extremely light weight (I dare say almost as light as the Eggo series) and no significant pressure to any part of the head.

Of all the headphones I have listened to, the MDR-SA5000 in my opinion is a very “neutral” headphone. By neutral, I mean its sound signature is extremely well balanced and providing great details and dynamics – it is very accurate, very clean. As a result, both instruments and vocal sounds are very crisp and realistic. Of course, the recording needs to be of high quality. Otherwise, one will certainly hear immediate discrepancy within a sub par recording.

Some users of the SA5000 have noted that it does not have a wide soundstage (perhaps, the only significant shortcoming of the SA5000 for some users). Since, I have not experience a whole lot of headphones of the same tier, I can only say from my observations that the SA5000 does offer very accurate and lifelike soundstage – so accurate that I feel I was next to Yo-Yo Ma with his cello playing Bach’s Suite for solo cello No. 1 in G major, BWV 1007. As I mentioned in the preceding paragraph, the SA5000 offers great details and dynamics. This is evident as I listen to the “Silk Road Journeys: Beyond the Horizon” with the SA5000. True joy indeed! Bass quality is very well-balanced – tight and not bloated. The mid-range is just right, very true to how the recording was originally intended and the high-range is just so detailed.

Conclusion

Highly recommended! If you are looking for a neutral headphone that presents recording as it was originally intended, then this is it. The MDR-SA5000 guarantees complete bliss with no artificial or rather enhanced sound.

SUMMARY

The Good:

  1. Very neutral
  2. The SA5000 offers superb true soundstage
  3. Extremely detailed with clean and crisp sounds
  4. Excellent vocal detail
  5. Excellent comfort level
  6. Excellent build quality
  7. Bundled with useful metal headphone stand
The Bad:
  1. Soundstage may not be wide enough for certain users
  2. Its neutrality could be an issue for some
Specifications

Type: Circumaural Open-Back Dynamic Stereo Headphones

Driver Unit: 50mm diameter, dome type

Diaphragm: Nano composite HD

Magnet: Neodymium (360kJ/m3)

Headband: Structure Magnesium Frame; and Wire frame with self adjusting mechanism

Earpads: Natural Leather

Frequency Range: 5 Hz - 110 kHz

Impedance: 70 Ohms @ 1kHz

Sensitivity: 100dB/mW

Maximum Input Power: 1500 mW

Connectors: 1 x 1/4" Stereo Phone

Cable Length: 11.5' (3.5 m)

Weight: 9 oz (255 g)

Enjoy the pictorial. ^_^

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gotta get one up on ol' damage ishi?

lovely pics as usual ish, these seem to have highly angled drivers, how heat efficient is the faux-leather when in combination with such open 'phones?

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gotta get one up on ol' damage ishi?

He's an inspiration. This is one of the many overdue pictorial I need to set up. B)

lovely pics as usual ish, these seem to have highly angled drivers, how heat efficient is the faux-leather when in combination with such open 'phones?

Thanks for the kind comments, Adrian. Indeed, the SA5000 are powered by 50mm Nano composite HD angled drivers. As for the ear pads, they are actually made of natural leather and are somewhat heat efficient – the ear pads only heat up considerably after about 90mins.

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gotta get one up on ol' damage ishi?

lovely pics as usual ish, these seem to have highly angled drivers, how heat efficient is the faux-leather when in combination with such open 'phones?

How about a friendly rival? :)

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