The Sony MDR-1AM2 and the Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7NC are both 300 bucks. At that price, they should both sound awesome. But their sound signatures are so different. Which one lends itself best to your listening style? And is one objectively better? We’re about to find out in this Sony MDR-1AM2 Versus Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7NC Review.
Sony MDR-1AM2 Versus Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7NC Review
IN the BOX – Sony MDR-1AM2 Versus Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7NC Review
|Sony MDR-1AM2 Circumaural Headphones||Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7NC SonicPro High-Resolution Headphones with Active Noise Cancellation|
|Carrying Pouch||Carrying Pouch|
|Detachable Headphone Cable with In-Line Remote and Microphone (3.9′)||Detachable 3.9′ Standard Cable with 1/8″ Connector|
|Detachable 3.9′ Cable & In-Line Mic and Controls with 1/8″ Connector|
|Balanced-Connection Headphone Cable (3.9′)|
|USB Charging Cable|
|Limited 1-Year Warranty||Limited 2-Year Warranty|
FIT & DESIGN – Sony MDR-1AM2 Versus Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7NC Review
The Sony MDR-1AM2 is a good fit for smaller ears. The ear pads are narrower than the ATH-MSR7NC. So, if your ears are on the larger end, the Audio-Technica will probably be a more comfortable fit. The ATH-MSR7NC is also tighter and has a better seal. Sony is a significantly lighter headphone, and the Audio-Technica felt quite a bit heavier on the head. On the flip side, the ATH-MSR7NC feels a lot more solid, as it’s made from aluminum versus Sony’s plastic structure. The ATH-MSR7NC also has the noise cancelling feature (it works in passive mode), which is missing in the MDR-1AM2. The final major difference lies in the impedance. Sony is only 16 Ohms, while Audio Technica is 150 Ohms. So, while Audio-Technica can handle a more powerful signal, it might not be the best option for listening on your mobile device unless you use an amp. Both headphones have a cable with a mic and remote, but Sony also comes with a balanced cable.
SOUND – Sony MDR-1AM2 Versus Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7NC Review
The Sony MDR-1AM2 is defined by its clarity and crispness. Audio-Technica’s ATH-MSR7NC is playful and airy, but doesn’t have as much transparency as the Sony. Sony also has a better overall balance. Let’s explore the details below.
Sony doesn’t have a huge bass, but it’s deeper than the Audio-Technica’s lows. I would say that Sony is more fun to listen to in this range, but neither seem to excel in the hip hop, pop and EDM genres.
Sony definitely wins here. The MDR-1AM2 has great transparency and warmth. Acoustic guitars have great texture, and vocal presence is fantastic. It really shines in the folk and rock genres. Conversely, Audio Technica is a little hollow in the mid range, especially in the lower mids.
The MDR-1AM2 has overly emphasized highs, and sibilance is a problem at times. At the same time, you hear great definition, especially with percussion and strings. The highs on Audio Technica are, for sure, easier on the ears. And listening to classical music, I enjoyed the ATH-MSR7NC more in this range.
The Sony MDR-1AM2 doesn’t have a huge soundstage, but it’s definitely more spacious than than the ATH-MSR7NC. Sony’s imaging is also more accurate. Live recordings are fun to listen to, and in this category, Sony definitely takes the cake.
SUMMARY – Sony MDR-1AM2 Versus Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7NC Review
The Sony MDR-1AM2 seems to have won. Apart from the overextended highs, Sony wins in terms of balance, clarity, fullness and all around listening enjoyment.
You can find these headphones for the best price at:
Audio 46: Sony MDR-1AM2 Headphones
Audio 46: Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7NC
SPECIFICATIONS – Sony MDR-1AM2 Versus Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7NC Review
|Sony MDR-1AM2||Audio Technica ATH-MSR7NC|
|Headphone Type||Closed Dynamic|
|Driver Unit||40 mm||45 mm|
|Impedance||16 Ohms||150 Ohms (active mode)|
|Frequency Response||3-100,00Hz||5-40,000 Hz|
|Sensitivity||98 dB||104 dB (active mode)|
|Cord Length||47 ¼ Inches|
|Battery Life||N/A||30 hours|
|Weight||6.6 oz||10.8 oz|