After reading such raving reviews, I am extremely tempted to buy a pair for myself.

I totally agree with Mat's comment. My earbuds ahve nearly worn out so luckily, I have an excuse to buy a new set. At the moment I'm leaning towards a pair of the Sony 71's in white :D The problem is, that I want to buy the iPod remote and the only way I can do that, is if I pay for another set of earbuds as well. ($AU75 for earbuds and remote)

Posted by Katherine G on April 1, 2005 at 2:26 AM (PDT) Comment 181

Ok, after spending several DAYS reading and re-reading the reviews for these earbuds, I decided to purchase them (EX71-SL) from (decent price and pretty fast service, received them within 3 days after clicking "purchase")... I chose the black earbuds because of the increase in theft of iPODs in NYC (figured if I use a different color, I could possibly deter theft).

I'm hoping that I made the right purchase... but, as it stands right now, it's not looking like I did!!! I plugged these into my ipod, and was very disappointed that I wasn't "hearing" what so many other reviewers were hearing... absolutely no bass, pure treble and my music sounds as though there it has absolutely no EQ... It sounds as though all of the bass is GONE... as though my music was obtained from a cheap clock radio!!!!

I re-read thru the reviews, to see whether or not I should give these badboys a chance... and decided to "break them in" to see if maybe a few hours or so of loud music will adjust the sounds to what I "should be hearing"...

I'll give these buds till the end of this week...

If I don't hear any improvements, I will return them and deal with the ones that came with my ipod or try to find ones that will satisfy my needs

I will say, though, that these earbuds truly do block out sound, all I hear is music (treble and all). And the fit is superb!!! The extension cord is a bit quirky but, eh Sony's trying to revolutionize the way earbuds are made so I'll deal with their "new, ergodynamic" design. The cord seems thin, as though the slightest tug will pull it out of the socket (again one of Sony's new designs).

I'm really hoping that these buds will develop into the rave that I've been reading... it would really suck if they didn't!!! :(

Say a prayer for these earbuds, and I will post the results of my experiment.

Posted by Luv_Mah_ipod on April 7, 2005 at 12:36 PM (PDT) Comment 182


Approximately one day into pumping loud music into these earphones, and the sound has improved somewhat...

I checked the reviews and many of them say that these earbuds are good, one also suggested "breaking them in," so something must be right with these or so many couldn't be wrong...

I'll continue with the experiment, and will post my results.

My only peeve is WHY do I have to break them in???!!! They should work right away!!!!

Posted by Luv_Mah_ipod on April 8, 2005 at 6:29 AM (PDT) Comment 183


After almost 24 hours of pumping music at full stereo capacity thru these things, I truly feel that I am going to have to return them.

Although the sound has improved, but only slightly, I decided to plug these into a cd player to see if maybe the sound would be different compared to that of the ipod... they sounded better in the CD player!!! I personally do not feel these buds were meant for the ipod.

I even asked someone else to take a listen thinking that my hearing may be going... that person concurred... the Sony MDR-EX71SL's are GARBAGE!!!!

The reason why these earbuds originally sold for $80 ($29 at is beyond me...

To those who have already purchased these earbuds, do the "break in" test and see if the sound improves...

But, as I stated in my previous post, I don't see why I should have to break in any damn earbuds... as soon as I plug them in to any equipment, they should deliver what is advertised: superior bass and premium sound right away... especially if they're fresh out the box.

As far as the rating and the rave reviews that they've received.... I look at it like this: opinions are like buttholes, everyone has one!!!

Posted by Luv_Mah_ipod on April 8, 2005 at 10:53 AM (PDT) Comment 184

I've had these Sonys for the last 4 years, and I've always thought they were great, but flawed. Sure, if you're used to the Apple earbuds, you'll be amazed at the bass these put out. But if you're looking for audiophile-quality sound, forget it. They would sound pretty nice if only they weren't so boomy. Don't get me wrong- I love bass (I'm a bass player), but Sony went overboard with these. I have accumulated about a dozen other earphones at home in my search for great portables, and since the EX70 came out so long ago, I figured there must be something better by now. So I did some research, and decided to give the Panasonic RP-HJE50 a try (and it cost less than half as much as the Sony). A very similar design, but a very different sound. At first, next to the EX70, it sounds like it lacks bass, but after burn-in and with a little extended listening, I realized the HJE50 is much more balanced, with a much more realistic low end. The EX70 has a little better high end, but I find them fatiguing due to the boomy bass. The HJE50 has a great, rich, full sound, and is much nicer to listen to for longer periods. My new away-from-home favorite.

Posted by rodneyg on April 12, 2005 at 7:12 PM (PDT) Comment 185

These are great headphones, i just picked them up today. They are definately worth the money, I might even buy them for $75!!!

Posted by Fastball723 on April 16, 2005 at 9:50 PM (PDT) Comment 186

Does anybody know where I could get the Altec Lansing iM3 for a cheap price, like for around $100?

Posted by Fastball723 on April 16, 2005 at 9:53 PM (PDT) Comment 187

Just got a set of the MDR-EX71LP and they are a great improvment over the factory buds

Posted by falman308 on April 18, 2005 at 7:43 PM (PDT) Comment 188

DONT order them from AUDIOCUBES.COM. They sent me the wrong color (I ordered the pair in white, but got them in black instead) and now are expecting me to pay for the shipments back and forth from Japan to fix their mistake. Horrible costumer service.

Posted by ezmei on April 23, 2005 at 11:04 AM (PDT) Comment 189

I got them from Best Buy in white for 50 moola

Posted by Fastball723 on April 23, 2005 at 9:30 PM (PDT) Comment 190

I bought these headphones due to the excellent review. I returned them only after 1 day. Bass
while powerfil is totally lacking in detail. Mids are dull and lifeless. Highs are tinny. The earbuds that came with my mini are significantly better. I would rate these Sony's a F. I ordered a pair of Shure's 3c's recommended by a salesman at a local high end store.


Posted by YF on May 20, 2005 at 11:20 PM (PDT) Comment 191

Shure 3c's generally retail around $200...these headphones retailed at $50...that's like comparing a $80K BMW with a $20K Honda! Which one do you THINK will be better? heh, that just struck me as funny...

I've had these for over a year, and despite shortcomings (cord length, the tendency to lose those damn rubber parts), I like them a lot.

I'm not an audiophile, but I don't exactly have an untrained ear, either, and I think these headphones _definitely_ sound "$50 earbud good" under ideal circumstances. Then again, people's opinions vary so widely, your mileage may have a big part to do with the way your ear is shaped, or which pair you get (maybe Sony has bad quality control on these, or their component toleranes are too high). My advice would be to find a friend with them first and try theirs if at all possible...if not, buy them someplace you can return them.

If they get pulled out of your ear ever so slightly they lose a lot of quality (all the low frequencies drop off almost immediately) - that said my main uses are walking/riding my bicycle around and underneath my motorcylce helmet. Their ability to block outside noise relatively well, and extremely compact design, naturally are major factors for using them with my motorcycle, since with regular headphones (assuming they'd fit) i'd have to crank the sound to hearing-damaging levels to hear over the road noise on the freeway, but with these, I can keep it at a comfortable level.

Posted by Lanceka on June 22, 2005 at 2:36 PM (PDT) Comment 192

I recently order the JVC HA-FX55 Gumy phone from It's only 25 bucks. Comparing to the EX71, it is a lot difference compared to my old Sony EX-71s. Sound stage is greatly improved with vocals becoming very clear, and the bass is powerful but not as deep as the Sonys, but then again the ex71s never really had any mid range like that of the FX55.

Posted by servers_max on June 23, 2005 at 10:35 AM (PDT) Comment 193

These are great, BUT: Having owned a pair of the 71SLs for about 6 months now, my cord has torn in a few places. AH! First off, I do take very good care of these headphones, I do not jog with them, etc. The extent of my use is ~2 hrs a day commuting on a train.

The soft, rubbery material that covers the wires has proved to be not at all durable. The three tears have exposed the wires underneath, forcing me to tape them, which obviously looks ghetto.

I'm upset about this because these truly are great headphones otherwise--they're quite comfortable and provide awesome sound. So now I don't know what to do--it seems pointless to buy another pair if they're just going to tear again; but I can't give up the quality!

Posted by zzaug on July 7, 2005 at 7:47 AM (PDT) Comment 194

my pair were delivered in the week before christmas '03 and have been excellent. Unfortunately, the right bud stopped completely today (had been a bit sporadic for a while wrt volume). when investigating this, I found that the wire had worn thin from within the metal piece where the R earbud's wire branches from the main cord. it cannot be fixed easily and i am pretty peeved. given this, i will be buying another pair (costs more now) from bluetin (where i got it last time) because they ship to australia at a non-murderous cost.

given this, it was not my actions that caused the break. with the rigid-metal piece over the branch, the very-thin cord is forced to bend if you place the cord behind your ear (as opposed to a chinstrap). It is a design fault (i would say), but the headphones are cheap and good enough for me to warrant buyinh another pair despite them only lasting about a year and a half.

still to anyone out there, they are really worth it.

Posted by t i m on August 7, 2005 at 3:37 AM (PDT) Comment 195

I was not sure if i liked these when i first bought them. i thought they were ok, not what i excpected. I was hoping that they would be half as good as everyone was saying. after a month of owning, i can say, THEY ARE AWEFUL. dont waste your money. And they don't stay put when you are running. i am now back with original buds untill i can waste more money on some high end ones.

Posted by woodypeoples on September 17, 2005 at 3:10 PM (PDT) Comment 196

I have the white ones but with my nano the cord is way too short. It doesn't reach my belt no matter my pocket. with the extension it almost reaches the floor and is way too long. Before I could use them with the apple remote and the lenght was great. Looks like I will have to replace them which is a shame.

Posted by tenbears10 on October 13, 2005 at 6:11 AM (PDT) Comment 197

I can't believe people actually think these earbuds will work while running! Let's be realistic here guys, you need something that attaches to your ears strongly, not earbuds. Just get yourself a pair of behind-the-neck headphones especially for jogging, because it's just stupid to think that these will stay in your ears. Complaining that these earbuds suck just because you're and idiot for expecting them to serve a purpose other than they were created for is just pathetic.

Anyway, I just bought these earbuds yesterday. So far they're decent - better than the prepackaged ipod earbuds. I'm waiting to see if they will indeed "break-in." Also, I'm still getting used to the cord length (either too long or too short, depending on whether you use the extension cord). One thing to note: if your earbud cord rubs against, say the hood on your hoodie, you WILL hear a scratching noise. Can be obnoxious sometimes, but not enough to rag on these cans.

Posted by JasonDelta on November 27, 2005 at 4:03 AM (PDT) Comment 198

This is the 2nd pair I've purchased in the past 12 months; turns out my PH balance melts the rubber. I really love the quality of the audio on this, but like I said, my chemical make up makes the rubber on the cords melt (I work out daily).

The 2nd pair was just purchased today and I already eroded the rubber. I've got a friend who's had the same problem but I'm not seeing anyone here who has mentioned it. So am I unique or have they just not posted?

Posted by Rage Infected Monkey on December 21, 2005 at 1:30 AM (PDT) Comment 199

you arent the only one. I originally bought the white ones in march and within a week of listening to my ipod at work at my desk the cord tore. I took them back and they only had the black ones left, which turned out to be a good thing because I've not had a single problem other than losing a couple of the buds. I was wondering if this was just a freak incident. the white cord also seems to get dirty almost immediatley

Posted by raygv on December 31, 2005 at 2:54 AM (PDT) Comment 200

These buds have good sound, but, I have always had problems with this type of in-ear sound seal - they may work for many, but not for me!

I think that my ear canals must be larger than most - (along with the rest of me!) in seconds the bass is lost, and not long after that the buds drop from my ears - even with the largest adapters.

But! I have a partial solution. I have taken the largest adapters and turned them around - installed them reversed. They seal and stay put much better - much less time between adjustments.

I can't dance around like the folks on the iPod commercials but, I am able to listen while working without too much time spent adjusting my phones.

Hope this helps someone,


Posted by steve_is on May 3, 2006 at 7:42 PM (PDT) Comment 201

My earphones also had the "break-in period", in which I was about to return them to the Apple Store where I bought them. Right now, I tried them on my notebook and they sound B E A U T I F U L.

Patience is a currency, spend it wisely.

Posted by Gustavo AG on June 12, 2006 at 12:37 PM (PDT) Comment 202

I was just wondering what is the difference between the MDR-EX70LP and the MDR-EX51LP.

Posted by Kurt V on July 15, 2006 at 9:26 PM (PDT) Comment 203
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