AUX extension cable mod for Sony MH755

After having tried many different AUX extension cables, I really like this short 0.5m 3.5mm male to female AUX extension cable from DTECH. The TPE material is nice and soft and blends well with the MH755 cable unlike the fabric ones that sorely stand out.

Please note that this is a 3.5mm 3 pole (TRS) cable and doesn’t work with 3.5mm 4 pole microphone (TRRS) connectors.

Tyll would have loved the ER2XR

While reviewing the Etymotic ER4SR and ER4XR here is what Tyll had to say about bass response:

For me, the bass level on the ER4SR simply isn’t enough. Frankly, even the ER4XR doesn’t have enough bass for me, but it’s much better. I believe quite strongly that bass response on headphone should have about a 5dB bass boost below about 150Hz.

Tyll Hertsens in 25 Years of Making a Good Thing Better: The Etymotic ER4sr and ER4XR on Page 2

Tyll would have loved the ER2XR πŸ™‚:

When the ER4XR was launched, Tyll applauded Etymotic for making the brave move of catering to user preferences and deviating from that they believed to be technically “accurate”. I think Etymotic went further with the ER2XR (and it’s almost like they took his feedback into account) and for that I am grateful as the ER2XR has just the right bass response for my preferences πŸ€—.

For me, having over 20 years of close experience interacting with Etymotic and the ER4 product evolution, I find it an interesting example of corporate learning at work. On the one hand, Etymotic has very strong reasons to believe they have a grip on what “accurate” means, on the other, they have 20 years of experience with customer feedback about the desire for more bass. Adding bass willy-nilly is simply not something this audiometry company would do; but having strong feedback that customers want more bass can’t be denied either. Making the corporate decision to deviate from technically accurate to cater to user preference is actually a pretty brave move from their point of view. I applaud this development!

Tyll Hertsens in 25 Years of Making a Good Thing Better: The Etymotic ER4sr and ER4XR on Page 2

Seekers vs. Tinkerers

You can judge IEMs/headphones on whether they sound good to you out of the box or also on their potential.

People from the former camp (seekers) might go down the path of finding the ones that perfectly match their preferences. IMO, the probability of this is so low that it seems futile to chase the perfect match. At best they might find something that is close to some of their preferences, but not others.

People from the latter camp (tinkeres) recognize they might not find the perfect match and are willing to put in the work to take advantage of potential. They do this either via EQ or modding. A prerequisite for this is potential. You might be able to fix tonality to some extent but you can’t fix things like technicalities, coherence, etc. if there isn’t a potential for it. Even tonality might not be fixable in some cases.

Some good example of tinkeres are james444 and the folks over at audioreview.org and a great example of an IEM being recognized for it’s potential is the JVC HA-FD01 which was modded by james444 and eventually resulted in the now legendary Drop+JVC HA-FDX1.

Of course there are many other dimensions along which to categories ourselves in the hobby but I think this is an interesting dichotomy to highlight.

So which are you, a seeker or a tinkerer? Are there better terms for these?

ddHiFi TC35B USB type-C to 3.5mm Adapter Dongle DAC – First Look

ddHifi’s TC35B is a beautifully crafted dongle DAC. It’s housing is made of 316 stainless steel and it’s possibly as small as a dongle DAC can get.

You can buy the TC35B from ddhifi’s official Aliexpress Store.

Here are it’s published specifications:

  • USB CODEC: ALC5686

  • Output Power: 30mW@32Ξ©

  • THD+N: <-92dB; DNR: >110dB; SNR: >120dB

  • Drive Ability: 16~200Ξ©

  • Frequency Response: 20Hz~20kHz

  • PCM Sampling Rate Supported Up to: 32bit/384kHz

  • Weight: 6g; Dimensions: 18.8*11.2*10.2mm (exclusive of Type-C plug)

Where to buy original Sony MH755 in India (might also be applicable to other countries)

If you’re looking at buying a Sony MH755, you already know why it’s special, so I won’t get into that here. Let’s dive right in and look at all the options you have for buying a genuine one. I’ll be focusing on India but some of these may apply to other countries as well.

Sony SBH56 and SBH24

The most risk-free way to get an original Sony MH755 is to buy the Sony SBH56 or Sony SBH24. These are Bluetooth headsets that the Sony MH755 comes bundled with. This is how I got my first one (I think I got the last listed one at Croma.com). You can still (as of February 2020) find them in authorized Sony Centers in Mumbai and very likely in other parts of India. I have also walked into smaller shops selling mobile phones and electronics and found them (as of February 2020). I also occasionally find them online, for e.g., I’ve seen them on TataCliq.com as recently as February 2020.

This is obviously an expensive option (compared to the next one) because you’re also paying for the Bluetooth receiver (SBH56 is Bluetooth 4 and SBH24 is Bluetooth 4.2, and both only supports SBC and AAC) but you can find them on discount and even negotiate a cheaper rate in some places.

Standalone MH755 (OEM Version)

If you just want the standalone MH755 (OEM version) and have searched online, you will come across this list of confirmed genuine Sony MH755 eBay sellers that is a great starting point (though not all of them ship to India). I’ve bought MH755s from the following three sellers from that list and can confirm the units I got were legit:

  1. kanoya (Japan)
  2. xirui_01 (China)
  3. rwtf3024 (China)

Note 1: I have ordered many white units from kanoya and they were all legit but the one and only black unit I got from them was not, and they promptly issued a refund and unlisted the black one after realizing it wasn’t legit. So there’s still a chance you could get fake ones (I’ll be making another post soon about how to detect fake ones).

Note 2: The tips of the OEM version are slightly different from the ones you get with SBH56/SBH24 and there is a very very minor difference in the sound quality because of it (I’ll talk about this in another post soon) but the difference is so minor that it shouldn’t be of concern for most people and the OEM version is just as good as the one that comes with the Sony Bluetooth headsets.

Pre-modded MH755

If you’ve done your research on the MH755, you’ll know that it was meant to be used with Bluetooth headsets and therefore has a very short J-cable, i.e., the right-side cable above the y-split is longer than the left-side (designed to wear around the back of your head which was (is?) apparently popular in Japan). This makes them very inconvenient and annoying. Most people generally end up modding it (I’ll be doing a separate post on the different ways in which you can mod the MH755).

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of modding it yourself, you can find people that sell pre-modded MH755s online. I’ve bought a pre-modded MMCX MH755 from mh755seller on ebay and can vouch for the one I received. He has many options that also include upgrade cables.

Pre-owned MH755

Lastly, you can try asking in the Pre Loved Gear for Sale – by The Indian Audiophile Forum (or similar selling and trading groups in your country), to see if someone wants to part ways with their MH755.

And… that’s all I got. If you know of any other way to buy a legit Sony MH755, let me know in the comments. Happy listening.

Sony MDR-EX800ST/MDR7550 – Brief Encounter

Thanks to someone from the Indian Audiophile community, I got to try the Sony MDR-EX800ST/MDR7550 for about 20 min and really loved them.

Here are my quick and dirty notes:

  • Treble was rolled off and I was missing some treble detail.
  • Bass was slower compared to my ER2XR (couldn’t A/B) but in general the bass (had punch but didn’t sound boomy) and especially the sub-bass was such a treat.
  • The sense of space, air and the natural timbre gave me goosebumps on some songs.
  • The cable wouldn’t sit on my ear (twists away from the ear) but it didn’t affect the fit as much and overall the fit was not bad.

Blon BL-03 vs. Sony MH755 – Initial Impressions

  • BLON03 is more efficient than MH755
  • I experience driver flex on both of them
  • I get slightly better isolation on MH755
  • BLON03 is more brighter than MH755
  • MH755 has more sub-bass/rumble and feels more viseral
  • BLON03 is more punchy/boomy than MH755 and sounds more “fun”
  • Bass is slightly faster on MH755
  • Vocals sound slightly veiled on MH755
  • String instruments, high hats and cymbals sound more natural and have more detail on MH755