what Nokia is to phones, Sony is to music devices. More or less. And unlike Nokia, which got complacent, Sony is trying to ensure that its name continues to shine into the headphone and speaker market by fast adapting itself to the changing demands of consumers. Over the last one year, Sony has launched several new headphones in India, most of them part of its Extra Bass line. The company also started a new line of headphones named “h.ear on”. This line deals with the high-definition audio, something that more consumers have started noticing.
The MDR-100ABN is the second headphone in the series. Priced at Rs 21,990 the 100ABN is definitely not cheap. But it is feature-rich and offers technologies like the digital noise cancellation and wireless. It sure looks fairly compelling. For long, Sony has relied on the same headphone design. All its headphones, Extra Bass or otherwise, look similar more or less. The “h.ear on” headphones hence come across as something fresh, something new compared to what the company has offered until now. The design of 100ABN is simple but beautiful in its own understated way.
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The smooth curves, body with faux metal finish, and soft cushions make it a sight to look at. It is elegant and minimalist and if you are into this sort of design, you will love the 100ABN. The body is made of plastic although Sony has given a faux metal finish to it. Also, the headband, under its plastic layer, has a piece of metal which gives it durability and required rigidity.
The bottom of headband is covered with a soft leather-like cushion. The whole design of the headphone is very good. It sits lightly on the head and even after wearing it for hours we didn’t feel any fatigue. Although, we also feel that it could have been due to the somewhat loose fit. We think that clamp force could have been higher to make the headphone. The MDR-100ABN is extremely comfortable to wear. Although that is mostly true for indoor use. If you are using it outside, for example, while commuting or while walking in the park, it tends to make the ears hot, especially in Delhi’s current summer season. The material used in the earpads is not porous enough to remain cool. It makes the ear sweaty and uncomfortable. The right earpad has volume buttons and media toggle switch.
The media toggle can also be used to manage calls on the phone. The left earpad has the power button, a microUSB port for charging, a 3.5mm audio input jack, and a noise cancellation button. We’ll talk more about the noise cancellation later. Both the earpads have microphones for better sound when you are on a call. All the controls are easily accessible and responsive to touch. The headphone supports Near Field Communication (NFC) which allows it to connect to a compatible phone instantly. Or you can connect it using Bluetooth.
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The earpads on the 100ABN can be folded under the headband, making it easier to carry while travelling. The company also packs in a carry box with the headphones. The box looks equally elegant and neat. With the “h.ear on” series Sony has tried to add taste and class in its headphones. And we have to say that the company has done a good job with it.