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Earbud Review: Sony MDR-ED12LP Earbuds (Silver)

Updated on January 16, 2014
Close-Up detail of Sony MDR-ED12LP earbud-style headphones
Close-Up detail of Sony MDR-ED12LP earbud-style headphones | Source

Earbud Introduction

In my recent quest to find the perfect set of earbuds - which I expect to be unending (for me, at least) - I stumbled across this set of earbuds which I'd bought some time ago, used a few times, stuck in a drawer and neglected ever since.

How could I have overlooked these? I decided it was time to dig them out, dust them off and see how they compare to my more recent offerings, such as the Klipsch Image S4, NuForce NE600x, ThinkSound TS02, JVC HA-FX3X among others.

Impressions and Performance

First impressions: Unlike many newer (and more popular) earbuds, there are not designed to be inserted into the ear canal. They have an organic-looking shape which rests just lightly but securely inside the ear opening and has a fairly small, flexible nub which sticks just slightly into the ear canal. This - combined with the oval-shape - works to hold them in the ear very well, being easy to place and comfortable once fitted. They do not seem to fall out under activity and remain in position very well. The 1.2m long, rubber cord is quiet, with little noticeable noise while moving and ends in a nice, nickel-plated, 90 degree tip which offers a more compact connection and should be less prone to breakage than a straight 180 degree plug.

Sound: Since I've had these for longer than I remember (literally, since I don't remember when I bought them), I'm fairly certain that they're broken in. The sound is balanced, bright and clear, with little distortion even when pushed to higher volume levels. The bass is solid, but not exaggerated as it seems to be on the NuForce NE-600x and JVC HS-FX3X, mid-range is not quite as warm as the ThinkSound TS02. Overall, I would have to say that the sound profile seems to compare more closely with the Klipsch S4, though with a more pronounced mid-range and perhaps just a slightly smaller sound stage (but still very good).


  • Driver Unit : 16mm
  • Frequency Response : 8-22,000Hz
  • Impedance : 16 ohms
  • Sensitivity (db) : 108dB/mW
  • Magnet : neodymium
  • Plug : L-shaped, nickel-plated, 3.5mm
  • Power Handling Capacity : 100mW
  • Cord Length (Approx.) : 3.9 feet (1.2m)
  • Weight (Approx.) : .21 oz (5g) -without cord
  • Headphone Type : Open-air, Dynamic
  • MSRP : $15


Conclusion: The Sony MDR-Ed12LP are a terrific buy, and a very good set of earbuds for the money. They seem to hold up well, despite feeling small and light. It's hard to believe that Sony packed a 16mm driver into them, but the sound it produces is rich and full - a good, balanced set of earbuds that is a bargain at this price, and should serve the owner well for some time. Definitely a solid step up from the cheapo throw-away units that seem to get tossed in with every MP3 player on the shelf.

Did you like this article? Please feel free to leave a comment or feedback below, and for more earbud, headphone and tech reviews, follow me on Twitter! @danpetreikis

© 2013 Daniel Petreikis


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