Sony MDR-570LP

There are times when I want to have a light and portable headphone for listening to music outdoors. The big and serious cans won’t do here, and as excellent as IEMs are, there are times when I just prefer the feel of a lightweight portable headphone. In the past, I’ve used popular headphones such as the Koss Portapro or the Sennheiser PX100, which are good for what they do. But I have to admit that they are not perfect headphones, and I still look for other options that improves on some of the areas that they lack. The Sony MDR-570LP is actually one of the newest releases from Sony. They’re so new that we’ve just published a news of their release not so long ago, and so I was surprised to find them already available at the stores. When I auditioned it, I liked it enough that I ended up buying one for my portable use.

sony_mdr570lp_1

We all know that Sony makes good looking gears, but for the majority of gears that Sony produced, we are not too thrilled about their sound quality. In the same Sony tradition, the MDR-570LP is very good looking, and the ergonomics and comfort is one of the best among other headphones in its class, but this Sony actually has quite a likable sound signature.

sony_mdr570lp_2

The MDR-570LP is actually quite different than the majority of other Sony headphones. It’s not trying too hard to impress you with an abundance of bass, nor with an aggressive treble. The sound is very warm and smooth, and with an emphasis on midrange. The treble is relaxed, and it works well for long term listening even with the majority of pop recordings with over boosted treble, because the MDR-570LP tends to neutralize any harshness or sibilance you might find. Even with the bass, the MDR-570LP doesn’t try too hard to impress you with bass quantity here. While it may lose on bass contests, it’s actually great for casual listening, as the bass is quite relaxed, but never thin sounding or lacking. While the bass doesn’t go low enough and is more limited to the upper bass region, they are quite fine for reproducing the midbass punch on a typical Pop or Jazz tunes. The keyword with the 570LP seems to be moderate and casual, and likewise, the soundstage on these are just enough. They never feel claustrophobic, and yet big enough for casual listening.

Comfort and fit is the MDR-570LP’s biggest strength. The MDR-570LP is definitely more comfortable to wear than other portables such as the PX100 and the Portapro, mainly because of the superbly designed pads. With a housing diameter roughly the size of a Grado comfies, the Sony sits very nicely on the ears. The pads are fully covered by synthetic leather, and they provide a very comfortable feel. The pads is also fairly good at following the shape of my ears, and they result in better isolation than smaller size portables like the PX100.

While the MDR-570LP drives just fine straight from an Ipod, adding a portable amplifier definitely improves the sound, giving more weight and control on the bass, as well as improving the separation. It’s not mandatory however, and I do find myself using it more unamped, simply due to the simplicity of the set up. They’re also available in four different colors. I quickly went for black color, being a big fan of black, but I kinda regretted not choosing the more fashionable color like brown.

Overall the MDR-570LP provides just the perfect combination of a relaxed sound, a good looking design, good ergonomics, and easy drivability to makes it a joy for casual listening. Of course the modern casual design is also a big plus for taking them outdoors, as they won’t leave you looking like a gadget or a headphone nerd.


System for auditioning:
Headphones: MDR-570LP
Source: Ipod Classic
Amplifier: Audiotrak imAmp



Specifications:
Type: Closed, dynamic, supra-aural.
Driver unit: 30mm, dome type (CCAW Voice Coil)
Power handling capacity: 1,000mW (IEC)
Impedance: 24? at 1 kHz
Sensitivity: 105 dB/mW
Frequency response: 12-22,000 Hz
Cord: 1.2m, Y-type.
Plug: Gold-plated stereo mini plug
Mass: Approx. 110g without cord.
Price: $49

Sony MDR-570LP
3.7 (73.33%) 6 votes

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22 Comments

  • Reply June 21, 2010

    rpj

    Hey Mike, read your review of the jays headphones, how would you compare the Sony MDR-570LP to the v-jays?

    • Reply June 21, 2010

      Mike

      Hi, I would say that the Sony MDR-570LP is more midrange oriented, while the V-Jays is more lively with good quality treble and bass.

  • Reply August 14, 2010

    roman

    Hi Mike, how do you think these fair compared to the Portapro? I have a pair of the portapro, I really like the sound, but can't get used to their annoying plastic edges, metal headband and cheap cushions! Will appreciate, I really want to get good sound out of my potables, as I use them more than my P5, note that I don't consider P5 portable, as they are too heavy and bulky for the road! Plus how heavy the Sony feel on the ear? Much appreciated!

    • Reply August 14, 2010

      Mike

      The Sony is FAR more comfortable on the ear than a Portapro. But they are a little bigger than a Portapro, although not as heavy as the P5. You may also look into the V-Jays, which currently is my favorite portable. http://headfonia.com/v-jays-and-c-jays/

  • Reply January 31, 2011

    Daniel

    Hello,

    I wish to buy this headphones, but I have a great question: are those too hot to wear in the summer? Bacause they are under smooth, without notch: http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a192/AgonyLover/IMG_6719.jpg
    Please help me to understand this! πŸ™‚

    by
    Daniel

    p.s. I’m sorry for my bad english!

    • Reply February 1, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hmmm.. they are fairly comfortable, but like all headphones, I think you
      will start sweating pretty fast when you wear it in the summer.

      • Reply February 1, 2011

        Daniel

        Thanks for reply! πŸ™‚

        Do you belive there is not difference from a smooth surface and an hole surface like this?
        http://www.head-fi.org/image/id/900180/width/1000/height/500/flags/LL

        I mean about my fear: I’m scared if feel too hot and sweat in contact with skin because there are not the two holes in the center. Just my paranoia at last? Because the Sony 570 are looking very nice, but this paranoia stopped me to buy.
        Please can you tell me more about what do you think? πŸ˜›
        n.b.
        I know they are personal considerations and that the choice is still to me, but I would like an outside opinion about the difference between “holes”and “smooth”…

        Thanks!

        • Reply February 1, 2011

          Anonymous

          Yes, there would be a difference. What I’m saying is, if I wear both
          headphones on a hot sunny day, regardless of the pads design, it’ll get
          hot and sweaty. The MDR-570LP’s pads design is probably going to be more
          sweaty, but I think that at the end, headphones are just uncomfortable
          for hot summer days.

          Cheers πŸ™‚

  • Reply March 4, 2011

    Chong

    I’m planning to get a portable headphones for daily usage and I’m contemplating between this and Sennheiser HD228 (or maybe HD 238).

    Which do you recommend for casual listening especially when I’m gonna use it for a bit of everything including connecting to the laptop for most of the time.

    Thanks.

    • Reply March 4, 2011

      Anonymous

      Yes, definitely it would be good for casual listening and most modern
      recordings. The 570LP has a warmer and more mid centric tone than the
      HD228/238 — which is a more lively version of the typical Senn sound.

      • Reply March 4, 2011

        Chong

        Alright. Thanks for the info!

        • Reply March 4, 2011

          Anonymous

          n/p.

          Nice Avatar πŸ™‚

  • Reply January 27, 2012

    Dejg

    would the headband be uncomfortable since its so thin??

    • Reply January 27, 2012

      Mike

      For some reason it’s actually quite comfortable.

      • Reply January 28, 2012

        Dejg

        ok thanks for quick reply =]

  • Reply March 19, 2012

    Ketan Krishna

    Hi Mike, I’m looking for a decent, entry-level portable headphones for listening to mostly classic rock and blues. What would you suggest, based solely on sound quality. price range : $40 – $80

  • Reply April 7, 2012

    Mr. Ertai

    Mike, you are good. Everything you described about this headphone is exactly how it sounded. My sister have a pair and it sounds really nice on midrange! The vocal is closer, intimate and more forward. You are also spot on about the mid-upper bass region, and the relaxed treble. It made Norah Jones sounds sooo gooood, as if she’s singing right in front of Β me! Ooooh

    For anyone who love vocals, I would strongly recommend these cans!I really do wonder how much difference it would be compared to the ATH-ES7/ESW9 (strictly speaking on midrange)?

    • Reply April 7, 2012

      Mike

      The ESW-9 is still a more complete headphone compared to the MDR-570LP. Both have warm vocals, but the MDR-570LP really push out the full mids even more than the ESW-9.

  • Reply February 14, 2013

    Fuad Dhahana

    Hmm, what about this headphone if I compare to KSC75?? wich better SQ?? I like listening Led Zeppelin songs at all.

    • Reply February 15, 2013

      dalethorn

      What I read says the KSC75 is open, but the Sony gives much better isolation. The Sony also gets better reviews on average. But if you check Amazon it says this Sony is replaced by a newer model, and this one is no longer available direct from Amazon. Most people looking in this price range would like some extra bass, and what I read says the KSC75 is better for bass. So many differences….

    • Reply February 15, 2013

      Mike

      I would go for the koss for led zepp

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