The Sony MDR-HW700 claims to produce a 9.1-channel surround sound effect without the need for multiple speakers. That being said, these are not the type of headphones that you would want to wear while commuting, but the kind of headphones you would want to use when watching movies or playing games without having to wake up the entire neighborhood while you’re at it. Speaking of surround sound capabilities, it is clear right from the onset that this is not made for music listening.
The Sony MDR-HW700 is Good for Games and Movies, But Not so Much for Music
Even though it may not be entirely good for music listening, the Sony MDR-HW700 is still built with comfort in mind. There is a nice wrap of cushioned leather running the entire length of the headband, while there are plush leather found on each of the earcups. It should also be noted that the leather covering the earcups, or rather the ear cans, are over an inch thick.
When providing surround sound capabilities, focusing on comfort immediately makes sense. After all, you would wear them for long hours during long gaming sessions, or for watching the entire Lord of the Rings movies (including The Hobbit).
The design and build quality is attractive enough to get you noticed wearing them from a distance. However, the MDR-HW700 is not the type of headphone you would want to wear outside anyway. But it does not look the high-end part as the entire unit (sans the leather) looks plasticky. Well, a very tough and thick plastic anyway.
Controls are found on each ear can. On the left, there’s the main Power On button, and a USB port for attaching the USB cable for charging purposes. At the bottom edge of the right ear can are a simple volume control wheel and a menu button for when you’re connected to a device that is also connected to a screen via HDMI. Still on the right can, there’s an input button, which provides additional allows you to toggle through different sound processing options.
Yet another unique feature here is that the headphone can be used with a 4K switchbox. When you feed a source into said box and a 4K source will emerge on the output menu on your screen. Therefore, you can immediately “beam” audio straight from the box to the headset.
Sound quality for the Sony MDR-HW700 is nothing short of spectacular, well, for movie and gaming anyways. When it comes to music listening, all you get is average performance. But hook them up to a source for gaming or movie watching and you’re in for an absolute treat, without waking the entire family.