Sony MDR-100ABN was released back in 2016. This is a very decent looking headphone offering different color options. The design is very clean, stylish and minimal. This is a type of headphone for people who wants everything because it is packed with features, most importantly ANC (Active Noise Cancellation). And it is not cheap, rather expensive. It is priced at $348.
The unboxing experience is nothing fancy. After opening the box, you’ll find a carrying pouch. The headphone is folded inside the carrying pouch. The carrying pouch has a pretty nice touch to it and the quality is pretty good as well. The box also includes a 3.5mm cable for wired audio source and a micro USB for charging.
Build Quality and Features
This headphone is well built. Metal and good quality plastic are used to build it. The earcups are large which sits over the ear, not on the ear. The padding on the adjustable headband is very soft and comforting. The ear cushions are very soft and comfortable but after extended usage, ears might get a bit sweaty as it is a closed-back headphone. Letting a bit air in after long-term usage is recommended. It weighs 290g which is not light but it does not feel heavy on the head at all, it feels very light thanks to its design.
The Sony MDR-100ABN is very flexible and the metal which is used in the headband helps to keep its form and prevent cracking, breaking apart or any other permanent damage. Overall, there are no complaints about the headphone’s build quality and the headphone is very sturdy. It looks and feels like a premium flagship headphone.
This headphone has LDAC support which can be used to transmit very high-quality audio to the headphone. But to take advantage of the LDAC, high-end Sony mp3 player or Xperia phones are needed. The headphone provides aptX support which can also provide high-quality audio, but not as high as the LDAC.
There is a dedicated button to turn on/off noise canceling. The button arrangement is very neat. Noise cancellation button which is slightly raised and textured, the power button, micro USB button, analog audio jack (3.5mm port) and microphone is situated on the left earcup. And on the right earcup, toggle for play/pause, rewind, fast forward which also functions as call receive/ reject and the second microphone are available . The good thing about the noise cancellation button is that it is slightly raised which helps to distinguish between the power button. The buttons also feel very premium and satisfying.
The ANC works just fine. It won’t totally block surrounding sounds while walking on a road or a subway, but it does a very good job muffling it. It blocks out nearly everything allowing very less sound to come in. The ANC function is equipped with AI which helps it to gradually learn its surroundings and perform better. Sony MDR-100ABN does not perform as well as the WX-1000XM3 which is obvious considering this is an older model. All in all, the ANC performance is quite satisfactory.
Suggested read: Best Sony Noise Canceling Headphones
As it is a Bluetooth headset, it can be connected via Bluetooth. Connection through NFC is also available resulting in a quick pairing. NFC compatible device is required to avail this option. Analog cable can also be used in case the battery dies. The Bluetooth connection is very stable, no interruption, no drop.
The Sony MDR-100ABN has a robust battery life. This headphone lasts around 20 hours ANC on with a fully charged battery which is really good. So, it can last up to 4 days with 5 hours of usage a day. It uses a micro USB port to charge and it can be fully charged within 4 hours and 30 minutes.
How Does it Sound?
This headphone features two 40mm drivers which supports frequency up to 40KHz. And this is why these headphones carry a Hi-Res sticker. It delivers very good depth in audio. The detail is crisp and clear. It might not be the loudest pair of headphones around, but it is loud enough. And if ANC is used, 50% volume is just enough to enjoy music in a loud atmosphere.
It delivers very clear highs that are not harsh and distorted, rather decent, detailed and smooth. The mid-end is balanced with crisp clean vocals, it has a sweetness and is very pleasant to listen. While the bass is very powerful, deep and punchy but not overpowering at all. The bass is good enough to satisfy a bass head’s needs. However, the bass does not overwhelm the high and the mid-end and ensures a balanced enjoyment of any genre of music.
The soundstage is surprisingly wide considering the fact that this is an open back pair of headphones. Every instrument can be separated from one another individually without any issue and the direction of each instrument can be pinpointed. The ANC adds more detail to this enjoyment. After turning on the ANC, anyone can get submerged into music and it can deliver an immerse experience like enjoying music at a live concert where the band is playing right in front of the user of this headphone. So overall, the sound quality is not revolutionary or something very exceptional. But the sound quality is excellent as it performs well in every sector. Though it is a bit heavy on the bass side, which might be an issue for people who prefer a balanced sound profile. It can overall satisfy a music listener’s needs.
You might want to check out Sony WH-XB900N
This might not be the best pair of headphones Sony has ever produced. But this is a premium headphone and offers a lot of features. It is very well built, comfortable, looks great, delivers crisp, clear, detailed audio, good ANC performance and offers smooth wireless connectivity. All of these make this the almost perfect pair of headphones. And it is a great buy for people who are looking for a good ANC performance added with Hi-Res support.