Report: Sony’s event in Milan. Headphones & portable speakers galore!

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Sony has a long history of making quality audio products. Their heritage is one of rare attention to detail and quality above everything else, even though they’ve become more of a “mainstream” manufacturer in the last several years. The Japanese firm is slowly going back to its roots, as the IFA 2016 announcements show, and I could not be happier for them. I’ve had a chance to take a look at a few of their audio products at an event held in Milan yesterday evening.

First of all I would like to apologise for the terrible pictures: lighting was far from ideal and the small sensor on my Lumix G6 had a hard time taking adequate pictures without the help of a tripod. This is the best I could do!

Four main product categories were on show yesterday: large, party-like speakers, portable Bluetooth speakers, sport earphones and headphones. They all have that genuinely Sony design, made of gentle curves and solid shapes.

The spotlight was on the headphones (quite literally, too!): Sony had the MDR-1000X, the MDR-XB650BT and a few other products on display. Trying them out was difficult because of all the noise – it was more like a party with people, music and shouts after all – but I could appreciate their solid build. The MDR-1000X caught my eye with their classic design and the Active Noise Canceling technology. I really hope to try them out in the near future as they seem interesting at least.

The MDR-XB650BT is, on the other hand, an example of younger and more modern design, albeit classy enough to be wore by businessmen. In contrast with the MDR-1000X these seem to only offer Bluetooth connectivity, so if the battery runs out you’re out of luck. In the few minutes I played with them, I thought that it looks like the plastic build could withstand the average daily use without particular issues.

Speakers were the second category I found interesting: Sony had a few Bluetooth units – namely the XB2 and XB3 – and a couple speakers made for home, the XB5 and XB7, included in the High Power Audio line. In spite of all the surrounding noise, I could easily hear two coupled XB3s play music at a remarkable volume; while assessing sound quality proved to be a difficult task, there was no distortion.

I would have preferred a quiet space to listen to products and provide you with a better insight in Sony’s products, but I got a chance to go hands-on with a few products I did not play with yet and I hope I will be able to review them in the coming weeks.

About Riccardo Robecchi

Living in Glasgow, Scotland but born and raised near Milan, Italy, I got the the passion for music listening as a legacy from my father and my grandfather. I have reported on technology for major Italian publications since 2011.
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