Budget Headphone Review: Sony MDR-V150 and Sony MDR-EX15
I decided to grab the white model since the black display version felt rather cheap. A major plus is the packaging, unlike previously when the jaws of life were needed to open a package, this time around, all it took was removing some plastic flaps from the rear cardboard cover.
Turning to build quality, I will rate it as okay, it should survive a fall onto the sidewalk or floor but some parts will probably break. The materials are plastic and this permits a lower weight, 120g, perfect for traveling. The cable length is 2m and is round, not flat like the anti-tangle cable of the MDR-V55s. The cushions are soft and feel comfortable around the ears and can be worn for extended periods without causing discomfort. I like the fact that Sony opted for black cushions instead of white ones since any dirt/discolouration will not be visible. A clever accessory included is a 1/4in (6.35mm) adapter which attaches onto the 3.5mm jack with no need to screw it in. From what I noticed, said adapter can be used with any regular 3.5mm jack and be automatically converted to a 1/4 in variety.
When it comes to the sound quality, the V150s do not win any awards for stellar sound but that does not mean sound quality is poor. That being said, the V150s seem to lack some oomph you could say. The drivers are 30mm and while the bass sounds fine, it still not as deep as it could be. The highs at times feel a bit too strong but this also varies from song to song. Listening to some songs, the music sounded hallow, like there was a lack in the mids or highs. I will not provide any ratings or stars, but will say at 19 Euros, I feel these are worth the buck and a good pair of headphones to use until they break. As for the DJ tag, not a chance.
(click for larger size)
Next up are the MDR-EX15s. Small and inexpensive, they are suitable for any occasion, travel, school, leisure and business. This version does not include the volume controls in the cord since they will not be used with a cell phone. The driver is 9mm and the same size as the MDR-EX71s which I will be using as a comparison. Packaging is also an improvement on previous iterations, removal of a single piece of tape frees the headphones from the package. The cable is 1.5m and very thin, almost too thin I feel. I have a feeling if I pull with little effort on the cord, it will rip. In addition, the area where the cord exists the headphones also feels rather flimsy and could use with some strengthening. Apart from those 2 little issues, the headphones have good build quality and. The buds are not the same that come with higher end in-ear Sony headphones but instead ship with some thin grey ones. This is unfortunate but considering the price, 11 Euros this was expected.
Sound quality is pretty decent for this price, slight hallow sound and weaker bass than the EX71s. Of course I should not compare these together, since one cost 11 Euros and the other over 60 Euros 7 years ago. I will admit if I had to choose between the V150s or the EX15s, I would opt for the smaller and cheaper EX15 since they provide slightly better sound since they are in-ear. Would I recommend these over other Sony EX headphones? Unlikely, for more 20 Euros you can purchase the EX110 which I have used before and they sound much better and ship with better buds.
If in-ear headphones will be your daily driver, a wiser choice would be to invest in a more expensive pair, either MDR-EX450 or MDR-EX650 or go even higher to a pair of Sony XBAH1s.
Stay tuned for my W-Series review, I have access to a W273S and will be testing it over the next 2-3 weeks and have a review up soon after.