Sony MDR-1RBT Premium Over-Ear Bluetooth Headphones Review


Editor rating

4/5 on July 21, 2016 Reviewed by: Peter Alexander

User's rating

327 reviews


  • Sound and build quality
  • NFC pairing
  • Well thought-out control scheme
  • Elegant design
  • Stylish packaging


  • Price


The Sony MDR-1RBT will make you very happy about your purchase. Their sound quality is excellent, the well thought-out control schemes makes them easy to use, and the stylish packaging they come in provides a lot of subtle hints about the level of care Sony put into this product. Buy them if you have the money.

Engineers over at Sony steadily innovate the fundamental technologies that push boundaries of consumer electronics and audio equipment. Their premium Bluetooth headphones, the Sony MDR-1RBT, are a culmination of Sony’s experience and dedication to raise to the very top.

Design and Build Quality

Right from the start, we were very impressed by the elegant box the headphones came in. The MDR1RBT are displayed like a piece of art. Covered in a black cloth, they appeal mysterious and very, very luxurious. This impression continuous even when you finally take them in your hands and feel the weight of the high-quality metal construction.

All parts that come into contact with your body are covered in a very soft pleather, which lets in a lot of air but otherwise feels almost indistinguishable from the real thing. The Sony MDR-1RBT weight 10.48 oz, which is barely noticeable thanks to generous padding.

When you look at the left earcup, you discover a power button that allows you to put the headphones into a Bluetooth pairing mode. Right under this button is a micro USB port and a 3.5 mm jack. Moving on to the right earcup, you will find the volume rocker button, a NFC on/off sliding switch, a play/pause/track sliding push-switch and a small phone button.

Pairing is done either via the integrated NFC chip or like any other Bluetooth headphones. The integrated rechargeable battery provides up to 30 hours of listening time on a single charge.

Sound Quality

Sony used their 40 mm liquid crystal polymer film diaphragms that are designed to provide the rigidity and internal loss necessary for balanced, highly accurate sound reproduction. Combined with a very good seal, the resulting listening experience feel deeply personal and very exciting.

You will quickly learn that it doesn’t pay off to use low bitrate MP3 files. The MDR-1RBT poses such an incredible level of detail that uncompressed music suddenly starts to make a lot of sense. We also have to mention how great the deep bass sounds. The headphones can reproduce the lowest of lows and you feel like you are standing right next to huge concert loudspeakers.

What’s in the Box

The packaging includes a USB to micro USB charging cable and 3.5 mm male to male connecting cable. There’s also a handy carrying pouch for storage and travel.

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