i bought a pair of ex71sl's last summer when i was in england, and i used them almost non stop for about 5 months, when all of sudden, then center manget driver on the left headphone completly stopped working. (i kept them in the carrying case all the time, so they wern't damaged). i tried to get the sony branch near my house to look at them, but i only go turned away and told that there was nothing they could do about it. And so, i decided that buying a new pair was the only option, and so i did....4 months later, the LEFT headphone driver on that pair also went and died...this got me thinking...perhaps this was a design fault in the actual headphones?...i'm pretty sure that my iPod is incappable of producing frequencies that would incappacitate my i'm all out of ideas about why this would be happening....anyone else out there have this problem?
..probably important to note that only the CENTER driver on both pairs died, not the entire headphone...i.e. if you remove the pad, then you are again able to hear most of the sound coming through, however uncomfortable this is.

Posted by Charlie on March 17, 2004 at 7:06 AM (PDT) Comment 81

Hi I wanted to know what the difference between Sony MDR-EX51LP and MDR-EX71SL, since the spec on is exactly the same for the two, but the price is 10 bucks different. Plus I am planning to get either one of these for my mini which does not have a remote, and so I was wondering which would be a better fit for me. Thanks!

Posted by speedy on March 20, 2004 at 2:27 AM (PDT) Comment 82

I bought these earphones from a Sony centre in Leicester UK. It must just be me and the shape of my ears, but i could not get these to comfortably stay in my ears, they kept 'popping' out after a few minutes. If you are sitting at a desk no problem, but the slightest movement of the head and they start slipping out of the ears. The people who claim they can jog and cycle in these headphones and they block out all the noise are just not being honest i'm afraid. When the earphones are pushed deep into the ear canal then the sound is quite good, good enough for the 30 i spent on them? I would probably say no.
Oh yeah, i forget to mention the build quality of these earphones, they are extremely delicate and poorly made. Two months after buying them, they lost all bass and the left earphone lost most of its volume.
Based on my experiences of this product i would recommend you avoid them like the plague.

Posted by Mat Fascione on April 12, 2004 at 3:03 AM (PDT) Comment 83

These are the best of 5 headphones I've tried with my ipod (almost as many as the faulty ipods I've had replaces but that is another story). The only problem is cord length which is way too short, or way too long with the extension. I just asked my wife to listen to some loud Gil Evans on these and the Apple in ear phones - her reaction? throw them away (the Apples).

Posted by Geraint on April 19, 2004 at 1:44 AM (PDT) Comment 84

These are the best of 5 headphones I've tried with my ipod (almost as many as the faulty ipods I've had replaces but that is another story). The only problem is cord length which is way too short, or way too long with the extension. I just asked my wife to listen to some loud Gil Evans on these and the Apple in ear phones - her reaction? throw them away (the Apples).

Posted by Geraint on April 19, 2004 at 1:45 AM (PDT) Comment 85

Hello, I've been donig a lot of online research lately trying to find the best headphones for my ipod. I was thinking of the Etymotic ER6 or the Shure 3cs, but after reading these reviews, I am very tempted to buy these Sonys. I would really appreciate any input from anyone who has tried any of these other headphones, or any other brands that would be good. I don't really have a problem spending the $180 if it will be worth it, but if I can spend $50 and get the same quality than of course I'd rather that!

Posted by David on April 19, 2004 at 3:59 PM (PDT) Comment 86

I just bought the 71s and they're pretty clearly the best headphones I own; I'm debating returning them to try the Etymotics, but I like these so far.

Note - anyone who comments that they sound "tinny" needs to PUSH THEM FARTHER INTO YOUR EAR. If you just let them "rest" againt your ear canal, you will not get good sound; they need to be IN there and sealed.

Posted by minus0db on April 22, 2004 at 12:14 PM (PDT) Comment 87

I bought the MDR-EX71s based on these reviews.

Boy am I disappointed. These headphones **suck**. The bass response is poor and they are way too bright. I am admittedly a bit of an audiophile, and it is not fair to compare these phones to my expensive Sennheisers I use in the office, but the MDR-EX71s do suck.

They are for sale, if anybody is wanting them.

Posted by lophophore on April 23, 2004 at 4:11 PM (PDT) Comment 88

FYI - MDREX71SL Fontopia - currently $31.94 @ compared to $49.87 @ Circuit City.

Posted by scubaPSU on April 27, 2004 at 3:21 AM (PDT) Comment 89

I've figured out why most of these people LOVE these things. Theyre upgrading from the included... things. I tried them and they SUCK.

Posted by MetalMike on April 27, 2004 at 11:47 AM (PDT) Comment 90

I bought the white MDR-EX71SL ear buds (called nudex in the Far East) from .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) since they are not available in the UK. The purchase was very smooth and straightforward and I paid no UK duty. The price was only as in the UK ie no saving, but I do have the white model!
Bluetin were fast and efficient.

Posted by Mike Smith on May 4, 2004 at 10:42 PM (PDT) Comment 91

i just picked up the mdr-ex71sl in white yesterday. you definitely need to break them in before you can hear the difference. one thing that sucks is that with the ipod remote, the left earphone tends to pop out. i know you can clip the remote to your shirt, but i'm one of those people that likes to just let it hang. also, maybe it's just me, but mine don't seem to be as loud as i had hoped. i use a higher volume setting than i had with the original ipod earphones. nonetheless, it was a great buy and i'd buy them again.

Posted by j0hn00 on May 6, 2004 at 3:40 AM (PDT) Comment 92

i picked up the mdr-ex71sl in white a few days ago. you definitely need to break them in before you can appreciate them. the only problem i can find is that when the wind is blowing, you can hear it amplified. one other minor detail is that they don't seem to be as loud as i thought they would be. with all the exterior noise eliminated, i assumed i'd use a lower volume setting, not more. go figure. nonetheless, i love these and would buy them again.

Posted by j0hn00 on May 7, 2004 at 6:21 PM (PDT) Comment 93

These earphones are truly great. Bass is excellent. They stay in fine for long runs, and the only minor problem is the cord is a little short. But this is fine if you have the remote control.

I got the white ones (highly suggested) from, and while some people have complained about their service on this board, the service and follow-up for my order was spectacular (even wrote me personally saying that item was undelivered originally, as I wasn't at home at the time). Ordered on a Sunday, item was at my door the next thursday.

Posted by Ray on May 9, 2004 at 1:26 PM (PDT) Comment 94

I wish I had noticed an earlier comment that it was like wearing a stethoscope while running, or maybe even walking. That is my experience also. I walk a lot and it sounds like a quiet wind tunnel. I like the noise isolation, passing cars and lawn mowers no longer overwhelm, but I am not sure it is worth the trade off.

I have tried all 3 sizes and no matter how I adjust them the noise remains. Even the slightest breeze amplifies the effect.

Posted by Frank on May 20, 2004 at 9:15 AM (PDT) Comment 95

Yup, I love it. The isolation is great, and the bass on this thing is like, super low, no distortion, and sensitive. Many folks complained about lack of bass, but I satisfied the bass response. I've owned couple headphones around $50, and I think this one just tops it all. Brought them from, very friendly people, ordered it on Monday and got package arrived in Thursday via EMS Express. I really recommend them.

Posted by truckson on May 22, 2004 at 7:54 AM (PDT) Comment 96

These are a fantastic set of earphones, the sound quality is very impressive considering their price. I can also testify they are very robust. I accidentaly washed them (full cycle hot water) in my jacket pocket the other day. They did not appear damaged and when I plugged them in they worked fine. As to whether there is any permenant damage (rusting) in the future only time will tell. I also washed the iPod remote with it (yes I know, how stupid). This did appear to not work properly after the wash (would turn off iPod when fwd. button pushed and pause when vol. increase pushed). However after exposure to lots of warm dry air it seems to be working fine (fingers crossed). Luckily I did not also wash my 20Gig iPod, then I would have cried.

Posted by CrazyMedic on May 27, 2004 at 1:30 AM (PDT) Comment 97

i've just got these earbuds and so far am pretty impressed: the bass response is good, and not excessive. classical music is nicely reproduced with good instrument separation. the buds fit comfortably and stay positioned whilst moving around. external noises are excluded but i don't find it is too isolating as some people seem to. the main irritation is the stupidly short cord which means i need to use the extension and consequently have too much cord stuffed in my pocket. i got these buds from (they were cheap and had them in white) but DO NOT BUY FROM WAREHOUSE123.COM - they billed my card the day they got my order (mid-april) and i've only just got the earbuds (early june).

Posted by Isaac on June 5, 2004 at 5:24 AM (PDT) Comment 98

Anyone wiling to trade/sell me their MEDIUM size plugs? I have large and SMALL never used to trade. Also intrested in buying that small plastic case.

Posted by Mike on June 6, 2004 at 11:39 AM (PDT) Comment 99

does anyone else find that the ex71's are not loud enough even compared to the ones that come w/ the ipod?

Posted by david zeisler on June 9, 2004 at 5:19 PM (PDT) Comment 100

i found that these headphones were not loud enough so i returned them. has anyone else has a similar problem?

Posted by david on June 19, 2004 at 2:22 PM (PDT) Comment 101

I just ordered the 71's in white from MiniDisco. I've bought from them in the past and they are great!!! They ship everthing real fast.....

Posted by sheila on June 25, 2004 at 5:57 PM (PDT) Comment 102

Does anybody know the difference between the MDR-EX51's and the MDR-EX71 or 70's?

I bought them thinking they were the 70's but when i got in the car i noticed it said 51 and the body is slightly different. i would appreciate it if someone told me they sound the same and the only reason for the # change is a slight change in the body, shape, color, and lack of an extension.

Posted by andrew on July 3, 2004 at 2:58 PM (PDT) Comment 103

Nevermind. All i needed to do was a little research. Someguy posted this on another forum:

The clarify the statement of the 51 and 71 being the same except for the extension cord, this is only partially a valid statement. I've had both pairs. I used to have the 51 (or the predecessor to the 51 which was previously a different model number). That set had 1 continously long cord like any other set of ear/head phones. I manage to get the really long cord of my 51s caught on something (which was sharp) and cut the cord.

These phones are so great, I had to have another set. I now have the 71s. The 71s are same in terms of the phones themselves but the cords are completely different. They have a very short cord and an extension to make that cord the same overall length of the cord on the 51s. The 71s were designed for newer audio gear like MP3 players, MD players, and other portables that come with an "in-line" remote as part of the ear phone cord. The cord on the 51s is way too long to have hanging off the report of an iPod for example. I have the new XtremeMac iPod arm band and the 71s. The short cord is the PERFECT length to reach the iPod on my left arm with no extension, no excess length (enough for free range of motion though), and no bundling up extra cable.

In short, if you have any audio device with an "in-line" remote or you think you may some day purchase such a device, go with the 71s. You will not be sorry. And these are probably the best ear phones, and easily the best sub-$100 ear buds made. They not only produce incredible sound, but they reduce external noise. They are great for mowing and airplanes. And I have never had them fall out of my ears.

BTW.....there is a white version of the 71s available on eBay that is otherwise only available in Japan I believe.

Posted by andrew on July 3, 2004 at 3:06 PM (PDT) Comment 104

i was read some replies regarding the cord thength of these headphones. when you compare them to the standard ipod headphones, how much shorter are they???

Posted by enycekid on July 7, 2004 at 12:02 AM (PDT) Comment 105
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