Sony MDR-EX70 port blocking: update


Sam Williams

New member
Sony MDR-EX70 port blocking: revised method

I know a couple of people have already tried this mod, and are really pleased with the improved sound of the earplugs. For newcomers, the mod simply involves blocking the three small ports on the exterior surface of the plugs with Blu-Tack (or your local equivalent), and reduces their bass-heaviness substantially. Many 'loungers consider the EX-70 to be a great iPod headphone with excellent isolation and comfort, but excessive bass.

The only small drawback with the Blu-Tack mod is that the Blu-Tack itself is slightly sticky and can attract dust and fluff while the plugs are stored; also, because it's so malleable, it can move around over time, which again looks messy.

So today, I decided to try an improved mod, and it worked nicely. Here it is... I don't have a camera, sadly, but these instructions should serve the purpose:

Blocking the ports on your Sony MDR-EX70s:

1. Place a -tiny- amount of Blu-Tack (perhaps a ball one millimetre in diameter) near the three ports.
2. Work it into place so that it forms a single, roughly lozenge-shaped blob which covers and partially intrudes into all three ports.
3. Flatten the surface of the Blu-Tack so that it is smooth, and shape the edges so you have a smooth lozenge shape fitting inside the circular indentation which contains the ports
4. Apply a drop of Loctite Superglue (or your favourite brand) to the top of the Blu-Tack.
5. Use the tip of the Superglue bottle to gently spread the Superglue droplet so it covers roughly the same area as the circular indentation. You should use just enough Superglue so it forms a clearly raised 'dome' nestling in the circle, and completely covers the Blu-Tack.
6. Rest the earplugs on a surface with the ports facing skywards and leave them to dry for an hour or so. I won't even warn people not to put them in before they're certain the glue is dry... ;-)

The end result is that the ports are blocked very neatly, and the dried Superglue forms a totally clear, hard, touchable surface with a similar feel to the surrounding silvery plastic. No more fluff!

This mod is obviously fairly irreversible, so if you haven't yet blocked the ports, I'd advise you to try the Blu-Tack-only mod for a couple of days first. Feedback (and success/failure stories) welcome - especially the hilarious failures which end up with headphones stuck in amusing places. Good luck!

Sam

PS. I have a pair of MDR-EX71SLs on order currently. When they arrive, I'll modify them too - watch this space.
 
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Sam Williams

New member
That's intriguing, elephantgarlic... My reading is that the specs of the 70s and 71s are identical, but perhaps there have been some unlisted changes. Have you tried a pair of 70s for comparison?

I'm looking forward even more to receiving my own 71s now - the purchase was mainly for cosmetic reasons, but if there's a sonic improvement, it'll be a bonus.
 

breadbox

New member
can't you just directly put the loctite and not bother with the blu-tack (what is that anyway???!))
just wondering.
where thoses 3 holes lead to anyway? anybody know?
 
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Boomer

Musical Klutz
This may be a silly question but why not just use a nice little piece/strip of electrical tape or similar stuff. Then there are no worries about gunk and fuzzies and permanently bonding your fingers together, etc. It may not be elegant but it is simple and reversible.

I just bought the EX71's and I'm not experiencing the boominess described here, but I just thought I'd belabor the obvious!

Boom
 

Boomer

Musical Klutz
I owned the EX71's for all of four hours today and couldn't return them fast enough. They are horrid little tranducers with icepick treble and little bass response.

While the fit, comfort and convenience was top notch, anyone actually wanting to own and listen to them is beyond my comprehension.

I'll give a listen to the Shure e2c's when my dealer gets some in. Perhaps their high end won't make me want to puncture my eardrums and never hear again.

Yes, they were inserted in the canal correctly.

For now I'll stick my mid sized Grados and carry a slightly larger kit.


Boom

I apologize if I've offended anyone, but these are evil, evil things. If you spend any time in the audio world and were forced to listen to these, you'd fly to Japan and beat Nobuyuki Idei, the CEO of Sony, sensless or at least until he promised to get out of the audio business and only concentrate on video!
 
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markypants

New member
You've got to be kidding. I've had the EX70's and now a new pair of EX71's (white from Asia... Very nice). They are by far the best in ear phones at that price range, bar none. If you are using them with an iPod, then by fiddling with the EQ settings you can find a setting that suits your need or lack of need for bass. They are comfortable, isolate outside noise very successfully, and look good. There is no high treble, I can only think that your phones were in fact faulty, or you have impaired hearing? I use the Shure e2c's for work and although they are a superior, you're going to pay the premium... And, dare I say it, for most users they wouldn't notice the difference, all they will notice (I did) is that badly encoded MP3's sound really really bad on the Shure's and you'll find yourself sneakily using cheaper phones some of the time.

So. Don't be a blatant Sony basher. The phones didn't work for you, but by your heightened response, my guess is the phones were broken, or maybe not broken in properly or for long enough? I'm very, very surprised.

~Markypants~
 

Mediahound

New member
You obviously didn't let them break in. They start sounding better after a few days of break in.

"I owned the EX71's for all of four hours today and couldn't return them fast enough. They are horrid little tranducers with icepick treble and little bass response. "
 

Boomer

Musical Klutz
markypants said:
So. Don't be a blatant Sony basher. The phones didn't work for you, but by your heightened response, my guess is the phones were broken, or maybe not broken in properly or for long enough? I'm very, very surprised.
I'll bash Sony audio products until the day I die! Most of their home audio amplifiers and CD players are bright and sterile sounding and their car audio CD players also exhibit similar tonal tendencies. I'm not talking about their entry level products either.

Perhaps they needed to broken in or they were defective, but either way, they will never darken my door again.

I don't mind paying a premium for the Shure buds and if a dealer had them in stock this week I never would have looked twice at the Sony buds.

Again, while I hate Sony audio, I've owned Sony Video products for many, many years.

As to your comment that I may have impaired hearing ... I am a musician and take very good care of my ears. I wear protection and have my hearing tested regularly. Perhaps it is you that is missing a part of the upper range and therefore you don't hear or feel the icepick being rammed into your eardurms!

Boom
 

Mediahound

New member
you should know that most of the CDs you buy were mastered using Sony headphones, the Sony MDR-7506 Studio Monitors are the industry standard in recording and mixing studios for music and feature film.

but we aren't really talking about other headphones and/or cd players, etc. we are talking about the EX70/EX71 earbuds.

you only kept them for 4 hours, which is not nearly long enough to let them break in. also, you have to make sure they you are using the proper size inserts for your ear.
 

Boomer

Musical Klutz
Mediahound said:
you should know that most of the CDs you buy were mastered using Sony headphones, the Sony MDR-7506 Studio Monitors are the industry standard in recording and mixing studios for music and feature film.

but we aren't really talking about other headphones and/or cd players, etc. we are talking about the EX70/EX71 earbuds.

you only kept them for 4 hours, which is not nearly long enough to let them break in. also, you have to make sure they you are using the proper size inserts for your ear.
As I mentioned, I'm a musician and headphones of any kind are not used to master any CD's that I've ever seen (of course I don't listen to hip-hop/rap crap so I may be missing something special there). Someone may use a set to see how the mix lays with phones, but no one does any final mastering with phones. I've been in studios from Criteria to Skywalker Ranch and have never seen Sony monitors as "the industry standard".

As I said, they may have needed breaking in or they were defective, but they really just reinforced my feelings about Sony audio.

I am aware of the sizing of the inserts and I'm also aware the speakers need a break-in period. I do it all the time with guitar and bass speakers as well as doing it with my home audio speakers. Hell, I even break in my cables. The point here is that I could have broken these in until the cows came home and it wouldn't have made enough difference.

Boom

Sorry, but they just didn't do it for me!
 
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Mediahound

New member
no actually i think the point is that you did not break them in long enough to actually break them in and then made a hasty conclusion based upon just owning them for 4 hours only. you could have broken them in longer and you would have heard a difference, but instead you prefer to say that it would have made no difference. actually, it would have.

oh well, no use trying to talk to the furniture... the EX70/71 earbuds are obviously not for you.
 
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Boomer

Musical Klutz
Mediahound said:
no actually i think the point is that you did not break them in long enough to actually break them in and then made a hasty conclusion based upon just owning them for 4 hours only. you could have broken them in longer and you would have heard a difference, but instead you prefer to say that it would have made no difference. actually, it would have.

oh well, no use trying to talk to the furniture... the EX70/71 earbuds are obviously not for you.
I'm furniture? You apparently have no ability to comprehend what you read.

I didn't take a shot at you personally, but apparently your love of mediocre headphones constitutes the same thing in your tiny little world. I can just imagine how you would have reacted if I'd said another player was better than an iPod. Grow up! This is the internet, not kindergarden!

Sheesh!
 

Bob

Active member
Administrator
Boomer,
You've taken the Ex71's back for "icepick treble and little bass response" - one of the main side effects of not wearing them properly is that. You need to get the seal right to get the best out of them.
It was the numerous reports of poor sound that prompted the creation of this sticky.
If you go for the E2's or any other in-ear phones the same rule applies - you have to get a good acoustic seal.
 

Boomer

Musical Klutz
MadPict said:
Boomer,
You've taken the Ex71's back for "icepick treble and little bass response" - one of the main side effects of not wearing them properly is that. You need to get the seal right to get the best out of them.
It was the numerous reports of poor sound that prompted the creation of this sticky.
If you go for the E2's or any other in-ear phones the same rule applies - you have to get a good acoustic seal.
Mad, I appreciate your point and I did spend time with all three inserts looking for the best seal. Looking back, one set did have obviously better bottom end than the others but in the end it was the upper registers that were intolerable.

As I mentioned, I have always found Sony audio products to have a brittle and sterile high end and I'm not sure why I should have expected these to be any different.

I have a set of older MDR-V somethings, maybe 6's that are fair sounding but they are the wrong impedance and don't play very loud using the iPod. My Grados sound pretty good, so until I can find the Shures I'll use them. I'm headed for LA in the morning and perhaps I'll have time to find a pair while I'm out there.

Boom
 

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