i have recently received my third pair. all of the previous ones dissolved. something happens with the cord after a while. has anyone else experienced the same? have ""

Posted by MadPop on February 9, 2006 at 4:26 PM (PDT) Comment 141

I've had these headphones for about a week and feel pretty satisfied with my $30 purchase. I've always had trouble with the iPod stock headphones as they are too large for my ears and thus never fit or stayed in properly. The smallest buds with these 81s fit nicely into my ears and are much more comfortable. The headphones do a pretty good job of blocking out ambient noise (especially at the gym and on the airplane). I've been using them at the gym and have had to adjust them a little due to movement and sweat. Also, the cord material doesn't seem as thick as with the stock headphones- hope they are durable. I do like the included hard case and small protective case.

I was hesitant to buy these phones due to some of the reviews here. But, I finally took the plunge and have been very satisfied. The 81s sound nice and I'd definitely recommend them for someone looking for a reasonably-priced replacement for the iPod stock headphones, especially for those who find the stock headphones too large.

Posted by jadlow on February 10, 2006 at 8:19 PM (PDT) Comment 142

I purchased these headphones about a month ago, and I am not sure how I feel about them. Maybe it's just my ears, but while the right headphone fits and stay in like a dream, I fight with my left ear all the time. The left headphone loves to fall out on its own, even sometimes if I'm just sitting still. The slight added weight of the cord on the left side is enough to make them come loose. I've tried all 3 sizes and I can't get them to fit just right to where I'd be comfortable walking around with them in for a while. It's such a shame, I love their design and sound but they just don't like my left ear. :(

Posted by shertzerj on March 11, 2006 at 5:00 PM (PDT) Comment 143

I agree, the sound quality is great. But, the rubber that surrounds the wires is soft and wears very easily. In fact the rubber has started to seperate from where it meets the plastic and consequently exposing the wires.

Posted by jfulbright on March 25, 2006 at 8:07 AM (PDT) Comment 144

Update: THE CORD REALLY DOES SUCK. The first few months, I was in love with the sound quality. Now, some of the cord sheath has disintegrated from sweat and abrasion, and some of the wiring is exposed. Until Sony starts using a tougher, slicker, less rubbery material for the cord, I don't recommend these earphones. I'm replacing them after only six months.

Posted by sipecannon on April 21, 2006 at 8:03 AM (PDT) Comment 145

These are the phones/buds I always come back to. I've got 2 pairs of Shures, Sennheisers, AKGs, a big range ... but the EX81s are what I use most. Love the sound, the fit and (yes) the durability. The black versions look even cooler than the white, the brushed metal of the driver shaft (? if that's what you call it) looks great against the black rubber/plastic - and it's really black not dark grey like the '71s. A great product.

Posted by drevo_uk on May 24, 2006 at 10:44 AM (PDT) Comment 146

I have heard a complaint from a few people in reviews that the wire insulation of these earphones break naturally over a short time, (ranging from 6 weeks to 3 months after use) even under normal use. Any objections?

Posted by kendo on June 26, 2006 at 4:52 PM (PDT) Comment 147

To be honest, I think this pair of headphones here don`t even deserve a rating of A. I bought this pair of headphones thinking that it was A-grade around 6 months ago and I`ve hardly used it. I`ve got back to my ipod earbuds which sound so much better.

The the fitting for the 81's are just irritating and it really does irk me. The fitting on my right side is totally find but then it comes down to my left, even though the headphone does stick in my left ear the feeling is just so different as being compared to my right ear.

I have to admit thought that the sound is much more nice but on a downside that I have to boost my volume of my ipod up much more when I use the 81's. I terrible dissappointed with this product. I actually plan to buy the 51's or the 71's soon. At least I wouldn`t have that hook bugging my ears.

Posted by breakdown090447500 on June 29, 2006 at 7:11 AM (PDT) Comment 148

I found the clips to be really odd - they did not fit my ears right at all! I couldnt get the buds in properly, and if you dont get these buds ALL the way in your ear, they sound terrible. Sony would have had a much stronger product here if they had given the option of pruchasing this particular model WITHOUT the clips, or in adjustable sizes.

I'm a 5'5" female, and I do not reccommend this product unless you have large ears!

Posted by bleuberri on August 24, 2006 at 11:34 AM (PDT) Comment 149

Based on this review, I purchased a pair from Amazon. Very comfortable, but NO Base. Did I get the only good pair of headphones with my 60GB; because so far I have not been able to find earbuds that sound as good as the standard pair of Apple's.

Posted by cbjames on September 16, 2006 at 2:46 PM (PDT) Comment 150

I had some probles with the default Apple Earphones so I bought MDR-EX81 today. Its a very good gadget, considering its relativel low price. I recomend this earphones.

Posted by Lanto89 on January 15, 2007 at 10:43 AM (PDT) Comment 151

Wow. I was pretty skeptical about the MDR-EX81s, but my fears quickly disappeared as soon as I put them on my ears.
After experiencing what I do not hesitate to call pain in wearing the Shure E2C earphones, I was afraid that the in-ear style phones just weren't for me. Which would be unfortunate, since nearly all of the high-to-middle-end phones are this style. However, hanging on the recommendation that the MDR-EX81s were on of the most comfortable phones ever, according to iLounge, I went out on a limb and bought them.
The EX81s are indeed very comfortable, and the sound is very good for the price. Though the bass was a little heavy for my tastes, this is a minor quibble, especially since I am used to wearing 30 dollar Sony clip on headphones which hang outside the ear. The sound quality is no comparison.

More importantly, I would like to point out that the isolation is good, but not so good that you couldn't hear someone talking to you, which to me was a godsend. The MDR-EX81s strike the perfect balance of blocking what you don't want to hear, without plugging your ears to anything you might want to hear if you hit the pause button.

Overall, I would recommend these phones to just about anyone who wants to buy a pair for less than a hundred dollars. And I got mine for less than 19 dollars refurbished!

Posted by Munkey on January 18, 2007 at 3:54 PM (PDT) Comment 152

I have now gone through 3 pairs of these earphones, and as fantastic as they are when they work, they are too fragile to keep replacing. There's a big thread in the forums about how the connection between the earbud and the plastic/rubber clip that goes around the ear is fragile, and if the earphones are yanked out of your ear, easily damaged. I don't misuse or abuse my earphones, but sometimes everyday use, and accidents, like getting the cord caught on an object/person/dog means that the cord is jerked a bit violently, and it's meant i've had to send three pairs back to audiocubes, the last of which were replaced by the new, not quite as good MDR-EX85SLs, as the 81s have now been discontinued. They are (so far) proving more sturdy. Very frustrating to have such a fantastic sounding and comfortable earphone ruined by a fragile connection.

Posted by Nuke666 on February 13, 2007 at 4:12 AM (PDT) Comment 153

I recently purchased the 81s... WHOA! The sound it produces is excellent, it does not sound like a broken tweeter! (iPod standard earphones had that problem bad).

I hate earbuds that have crappy agresive bass, the 81s do not have this problem. Its tremble levels are exellent, and its midrange is quite nice as well.

They are really comfortable, the iPod standard earphones bruise my ears, the 81s are quite comphy on your ears (I had to get used to in-ear headphones, but the sound quality is soooo worth it!)

They block a bit of noise, but not as much as noise cancelling headphones; I actually like this. It allows you to be sucked into your music, but if someone needs your attention, they can get it!

If you see the 81s and you have the realitivally low amount of money needed for their purchase (I got mine for $100 Canadian, tax included), and you want something that can kick the crap out of the standard iPod earphones, buy the 81's, you will not regret it!

And trust me, I am fussy with sound! I have returned 5 peices of audio equipment to date because thier lack of balenced sound annoyed me to no end!

Posted by sol_rosenberg84 on March 2, 2007 at 8:58 PM (PDT) Comment 154

After owning the EX81 for several weeks now, my reccomendation remains the same. If you like great sound at a nice price, buy these headphones. They get even more comfortable over time as they shape to your ears!

I tried using the Apple iPod freebies and I could not stand thier sound anymore. I am addicted to my EX81's.

Posted by sol_rosenberg84 on March 12, 2007 at 8:29 PM (PDT) Comment 155

I would like to buy this mdr-ex 81, but the problem is will it fit to capdase crystal clear case??? if not i might buy sennheiser cx300.

Posted by rronald_25 on May 3, 2007 at 2:08 PM (PDT) Comment 156

I got these pair and I got to say they are good. Only problem is they don't look as cool as the in-ear ipod version. However I did find that you can make the sound quality even better by replacing the tips with Etymotic ER4 tips. Just do a search on ebay for "Etymotic ER4 tips for SONY". I paid about $9 or so for them shipped and I think their is only one company making these... They supposedly cancel out up to 35db which is incredible if true(I'm getting mine in a week so we'll see). I also bought the Ipod in-ear version from ebay for like $20 shipped. So I figure I would put the EX81's original tips on the Ipod In-ear version for when I hit the streets and the EX-81 for when I hit the gym and don't care to look cool. - But honestly sony... a loop around your head looks damn near retarded -

Posted by sunray73 on June 5, 2007 at 4:00 PM (PDT) Comment 157

I purchased the EX81-LP based on the review and stopped using them after only a few days and went back to the buds supplied by Ipod. I couldn't believe how tinny these sounded. Then I dropped the buds in sand and had to go back to these. Again I didn't like them, so I was reading reviews for others that I was going to buy. I read a number of reviewers stating how using the right fitting tip was essential. I thought I had used the right one, but I just tried the largest tip. UNBELIEVABLE!!!! Now I understand what everyone was saying. There IS bass and they sound great! I wasn't sealing my ear and didn't get any of the low and middle sound. Sometimes you need to read the directions a few times....

Posted by BobBell on August 23, 2007 at 6:37 PM (PDT) Comment 158
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