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Sony X Series Headphones Ride Pro Audio Legacy

Leaning on its heritage in the pro audio market as an endorsement for the latest consumer audio products, Sony unveiled the MDR-X05 over-ear headphones Thursday at a press event in New York City.

Sony’s MDR-X05 headphones

The MDR-X05 is a smaller, more lightweight version of the MDR-X10s, previously released. The X series, developed in collaboration with record producer and TV host Simon Cowell, feature 40mm drivers and pressure-relieving memory foam ear pads, meant to conform to individual ear shapes.

Stylish color-accented headbands are available in five variations: red on silver, black on silver, white on silver, black on red, and red on black. The headphones fold up for portability. The tangle-resistant cord comes complete with the three-button control and microphone for Apple devices, providing basic control for most Android devices too. Notably, the X05s will retail for about half the price of many other high-end headphones.

Sony Electronics president and COO Phil Molyneux made the announcement and was joined by other executives to brief press on Sony’s latest tablet, the Xperia Z, released last week in Barcelona at the Mobile World Congress, as well as demoing its fleet of 4K TVs and headphones in side by side comparisons with the competing models from other brands. Sony also demoed a range of new cameras, identifying emerging areas of interest to lure consumers away from relying on smartphone cameras. The event was held at the Museum of Natural History, where press were loaned the new camera models to test out on tours of the museum.

The Xperia tablet is said to be the thinnest and lightest in the 10-inch (iPad mini) class. It supports more colors and features NFC technology, which Sony refers to as One-Touch. Sony is doubling down big on NFC with around 30 products scheduled for release this year with the connectivity standard.

Sony’s TV SideView application is available from the Google Play store, allowing Xperia Z users more interactivity for second screen viewing. SideView allows users to discover new content with a more interactive TV guide, share on social networks, cross search other applications like Netflix and YouTube, and change channels with the tablet’s IR feature. The Xperia Z is scheduled to start shipping at the end of May.

The other major push by Sony was highlighting the new sound system in its 65- and 55-inch 4K TVs. A magnetic fluid technology replaces dampers, so the speakers achieve a thinner profile, by about 10-12mm and have a quicker response than when traditional material is used. Molyneux passed around a sample of the fluid with a magnet to demonstrate the immediate response.