Review: Sony MDR-10RBT Headphones

March 12, 2014
1085 words, a 6 minutes read

I have received these headphones about a week ago, and I think it is time to review them.

First of all, I count myself as sort-of audiophile, but that all depends on what one thinks. I listen to a lot of different music, so I’m not the guy who is satisfied with bassy Beats headphones. Just to give you a roooough overview, here are some of the artists I listen to (really shortened)

  • Celtic Woman
  • DLG (german Hiphop)
  • Imagine Dragons
  • Linkin Park
  • Marina and the Diamonds
  • and countless others

As a reference, I used to listen on my Shure SHR440 studio headphones, as well as my first wireless Philips SHB9100/00. These headphones are replacing my speaker set, so I’m using these at work in the office and at home, ergo: all the time.

I am using those headphones on my computer (with a cheap 20 CHF Bluetooth adapter) as well as on my Galaxy Note 3.
And sorry, I won’t display any technical specs here. You can find them anywhere you want and, unless you’re an engineer (or you understand far more than me, in which case you wouldn’t be looking here for advice) you won’t understand them anyway (I don’t).

If you’re looking for reference, check the product page and the manual (hard to find but very good!)

Sound Quality

I have set it to the best codec available (aptX) using the manual, and so far I could connect to all of my devices without any issue. To sum it up, it sounds very well.

I gave them to some colleagues at work, and feedback was quite good. One pointed out, that sound is sometimes not so clear, but after fixing the length of the headstrap, it worked for him as well. Yes, my Shure headphones are sometimes a little “sharper”, but these are wireless and it’s complaining about the very top of the first world problems.

Interestingly, the phones are not pressing right against your ear, but they are turned to sound into your ear canal. I tried to photograph it, but it’s not showing on any of the photos.

Unlike Beats, they have a fine and very noticeable bass, *but* they are great in high pitches (Celtic Woman) or rock music aswell. They seem very balanced and not “biased” to any genre.

Again, I am not a sound engineer or a musician, but in a subjective way, they sound very good to me. If all you’ve been looking for is my opinion on the sound, buy it. I can’t give you any detailed analysis, they just sound really great.

You may have read that these were designed in collaboration with The Script. I tested with their current album and noticed no difference to any other sound. It all sounds very great too, like any other song :)


This was something I was looking for far more, after I knew that sound quality is great. Since I am wearing them about 8+ hours a day, this may become an issue quickly. To make sure this doesn’t happen, I used them for 8 hours on my work shift and then another 4 hours at home.
Up to this point, I noticed nothing. Apart from a little sweat that happens with every piece you press to your skin for any longer time, I noticed absolutely nothing. I could have not worn them and it would’ve felt the same.

Nothing on these headphones is hurting or pressing against your head, everything is soft and great to wear. It really feels like you’re wearing a pair of cushions with speakers in it. Another great plus in this section!

What’s in the Box

In the box, you find a micro USB cable to charge it. Great, that everyone’s now using it (except the prima donna Apple). Additionally, there is a 3.5mm audio jack cable, and a little bag. I haven’t used the bag though, because it is not closing and only there to protect your headphones from scratching, while travelling in suitcase.

Battery Life

Sony says it’s 17h with the default codec and 14h with aptX. To be fair, I haven’t brought them to death yet. I’ve done my 12h test above all on the remaining capacity when I unboxed them.


I really like the buttons on these headphones. On the left side, there is the less used Power button, a charger connector and an audio jack. If you messed up anything, you can reset them there too, via a hidden button.

On the right side, there is everything you need daily, and I won’t complain that this is the wrong side for the lefty of me. You have two sliders:
The first is for track and call handling. Slide up for the next, down for the last track. Press for play/pause or pick up/put back a call. Beneath that, there is a volume rocker. The plus side has a tiny knob on it, so you can feel which button you’re pressing. Really well thought out and a big recommendation again!


I had not bought them as a headset, but I used them quite accidentally - a friend called while I was listening to music on my phone. I then picked up that call, and it all went very well. I was exiting a train, there were people around me, I was near a high-current device and  there were no problems at all.

He understood me quite well and you can handle the call by pressing the attached buttons. I definitely recommend doing calls this way now.


There is one feature I really like: using it as a normal headphone with a cable. When your battery eventually dies, just grab a normal audio jack cable, plug it in, and you’re fine to go. No “but I need a battery because I’m usually a wireless headphone!”. They just turn into normal headphones and may sound a little better, but I haven’t tested this.

The handling of multiple devices is very cool too. I have connected them to my phone all the time, but when I connect them to my computer, audio switches to my computer. When I receive a phone call tough, it switches back to my phone, only to switch back to my computer after, automatically. I’d rather call that automagically, because it’s really nice and thought-free.


Buy, buy, buy!
They sound great, they feel great, they handle great. I would not buy any other headphone, if the price is not an issue.