sony bt-dr50

Over the past few months I have tried various Bluetooth and wired headphones. I can see the appeal with Bluetooth headphones. Wireless, convenient, the ability to use them with various devices, such as computer, games console, mobile phone. What’s not to like about that?

There is one minor problem though. Sound quality. Compared to a wired pair of headphones, all the Bluetooth headphones I have tried sound harsh, thumpy and hissy.

However, this is about to change with the Sony DR-BT50 Bluetooth Headphones. They are based on the Bluetooth 2.0 standard and support the usual A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile) along with AVRCP, HSP and HFP. SBC and MP3 codecs are supported. Specification wise, they tick all the boxes. They paired with my Apple Mac Mini and Nokia N95 without any problems and work flawlessly.

I have been using these headphones at work and at home for the past 2 weeks and I am very impressed. Sony quote a 17 hour battery life and once charged they do actually last for over 17 hours on a full charge. More than double the battery life of the other Bluetooth headphones I have tested. There is no audible hiss and the sound quality is by far the best I have heard from all the Bluetooth headphones I have tested. The bass is extremely deep and the treble is open and smooth. The drivers are 40mm and the frequency range is quoted as 10Hz – 25Khz. A 24bit DAC is built into the headphones and this combination must be the reason for the high quality sound.

They compare well to a wired pair of headphones. Compared to a pair of Grado SR60 headphones, they don’t sound as open, but the treble is smoother and the bass is much deeper. To my ears, they sound similar to the Goldring NS1000 noise canceling headphones. Smooth and yet sweet sounding, with a deep and powerful bass.

The best Bluetooth Headphones yet? Without hesitation. Yes.

My Verdict

+Excellent integration with other Bluetooth devices
+Excellent battery life (over 17 hours)
+Deep bass
+Sound is comparable to a good pair of wired headphones
+No hiss
+24bit DAC
+Bluetooth 2.0

-Why do Sony insist on using proprietary connectors? A Mini-USB socket would be more useful
-Slight Sync issue with Video when used in Windows or OS X, which can be corrected by using VLC and adjusting the audio delay (-290 in OS X and -245 in Windows)

My Score
8 out of 10