Good sound, but at a painful price
- Accurate bass, moderate mid-range, great isolation
- Supremely uncomfortable
Sony’s MDRAS100W headphones are marketed as 'Sports Active', but we found them too uncomfortable to wear for anything more than short bursts. Sound quality is good and they block out a lot of background noise, but make sure you try them on before committing to a pair.
Price$ 199.00 (AUD)
Sony has a history of creating out-there, contemporary headphones and this pair is no different. The two in-ear plugs produce lively, involving sound and the headband does a good job of keeping the headphones securely attached. The downside of this unique-looking model is the high clamping force and the extremely invasive nature of the ear plugs, which makes them difficult to wear for long periods of time.
The styling of the headset is certainly contemporary. Black rubber ear-tips and plugs are complemented by gloss silver, while the headband is comprised of matte silver and rubberised plastic. The sports focus of these headphones is signified by the fact that the cable is only attached to one ear-piece rather than both — allowing for increased movement and less cable vibration.
We can't fault the aesthetics — they look stylish — and the sound isn't too bad either. These headphones are a significant departure from other in-ear units we've used (possibly due to the fact they're significantly larger), with measured, accurate bass and moderate amounts of mid-range.
Treble from the unit is sweet, if slightly muffled, with a noticeable higher frequency roll-off that makes the headphones sound very warm and rich. This gave a very distinctive tone to music that we found pleasant and involving.
In-ear headphones are usually biased towards lower frequencies, thanks to the reverberation possible within the ear canal. Mid-range here has been moderated, though, so it doesn't sound bloated and overpowering. This works well — detail is still noticeable during guitar-heavy sections of music (which are always most demanding on mid-range).
Bass is certainly present: it's the most obvious element of the headphones. This makes them great for electronica and other beat-driven music — ideal for the gym. Despite being the most prominent frequency, lower bass notes are still tight and accurate, giving a powerful kick rather than a rumbling boom.
These headphones look good, and they sound good as well. The one thing that hampers them, then, is the fact that they're simply not very comfortable. We took these headphones to the gym, in order to test out Sony's 'Sports Active' mentality. From a functional perspective they worked perfectly, remaining secure and firmly wedged during running. In terms of comfort, they didn't fare as admirably.
In-ear headphones are a difficult beast at the best of times, requiring invasive insertion deep into the ear canal. These headphones add to the difficulty by not offering a great deal of adjustability. The end result of this is that the headphones consistently press against the top of the ear canal, becoming extremely fatiguing after only short periods of time. This might not be a problem if you're only wearing them for short periods, but we found ourselves constantly shifting and adjusting them in order to alleviate the discomfort — and eventually relenting and taking them off.
If you have ear canals that can take the punishment, Sony's MDRAS100W in-ear sports headphones are a great option. They sound good and look futuristically stylish. If you've got less-than-Herculean ears, though, you might find these headphones a little uncomfortable.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei P10 smartphone review
- 2 Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Motorola Moto G5 smartphone review
- 4 Oppo A57 phone: full, in-depth review
- 5 Moto G5 Plus phone: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Apple's AirPods could deliver audio with multiple wireless protocols
- First look: Nuheara IQbuds smart Bluetooth ear buds do more than just music
- Convoy International restructures business focus
- Beats Solo2 headphones go wireless for $399
- Astro A38 review: A staggering price to pay for convenience
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Asus ROG Strix Z270F Gaming motherboard review
- The simple RAM buying guide
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- FTProcurement OfficerACT
- FTNV1 Cleared Software Configuration Engineer - Defence Projects - North Ryde areaNSW
- FTIT Systems EngineerTAS
- TPDelivery Coordinator - ProjectsQLD
- TPReporting DeveloperWA
- FTWeb Content WriterACT
- CCJunior .NET DeveloperQLD
- FTData Analyst / Reporting SpecialistNSW
- FTNetwork Solution Architect -Telecommunications InfrastructureNSW
- FTSecurity ConsultantVIC
- CCSenior Project ManagerNSW
- FTDevOps Engineer | $90 p/hrVIC
- FTSolution ArchitectACT
- FTManual TesterACT
- TPDigital ProducerVIC
- CCSolution Designer with PEGA experience- TelcoVIC
- FTSecurity Engineer (Cisco ASA) - Professional Services - Permanent - Sydney CBDNSW
- FTPMO CoordinatorVIC
- FTSenior System AdministratorNSW
- FTOperations Manager - NV1 Cleared - Defence Projects - North Ryde areaNSW
- FTSenior Analyst - Rostering ProjectNSW
- FTSolution ArchitectNSW
- FTSenior Solution Designer/ ConsultantVIC
- CCNetwork EngineerNSW