Sony MDR-J10 Headphones Review

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I decided I need to get in shape. What does a Gadgeteer do when he wants to get into shape? He (or at least me) looks for a technological solution. Since I already own a 3rd generation Nano, I decided to give the Nike + iPod kit a spin.

This left me with four needs. First I needed the kit. Next I needed a way to retrofit my non-Nike shoes for the sensor. Luckily the Marware Sportsuit Sensor + was reviewed here 3 1/2 years ago. Next I would need an armband (which I will review later, and finally I needed headphones.

I have a LOT of headphones. Seems any device that can play audio comes with a set of headphones. Not particularly good headphones, but headphones nonetheless. But if you are going to run, you have needs. If you are me, and are going to run, perspiration is an issue. So I was looking for:

  1. No sweat-soaking foam
  2. No slip-prone ear buds
  3. Comfort
  4. Inexpensive
  5. Sound quality

So my rather large collection of ear buds were out. Looking online I quickly decided on over-the-ear clip-ons. When I found these available, I’ll be honest, $9.99 was the most compelling specification. For those with more discerning tastes I will add:

  • Driver Unit : 13.5mm
  • Frequency Response : 20Hz – 20,000Hz
  • Impedance : 16 ohms
  • Sensitivity (db) : 104dB/mW

What you get is pretty basic, these are just headphones:

The cord is 4 feet long. Actually a bit long for my tastes, since I planned on using an armband, but easy to tuck some of the cord in the armband.


The key performance factor for me was that they needed to stay secure, and feel comfortable. These headphones succeed on both accounts. Here is a shot of them in my ear:

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The only complaint I have on fit is that it would be nice to be able to rotate the speakers to direct the sound into the ear better. They tend to point slightly out so you lose some volume. On the other hand, it does make the ambient noise easier to hear, and running along the street, this can’t be a bad thing.

As far as sound quality, I think it is fine for the application. I looked at far more expensive options, but these are for running, on the street, not for audiophile listening.

These were a great purchase, and I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for good, solid headphones for their workout.


Product Information

  • Secure Fit
  • Comfortable
  • Cheap
  • Not very adjustable

11 thoughts on “Sony MDR-J10 Headphones Review”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. any thoughts on how compatible the headphones are when wearing sunglasses? conflict between the temple pieces of the sunglasses and the over-ear loops for the headphones?

  3. I used to use these all the time and I loved them but I have to say DO NOT BUY THEM! They are very fragile and would only last me a few months. 🙁

  4. @mikey
    Good to know. So far they are working fine for me. It’s been a couple of months, 19 runs and almost 14 hours of use. Obviously that is not much at this point. I will definitely comment again when/if they fail. For $10 my expectations are not that high. If they don’t last long I will look at some higher-prices options.

  5. Mine lasted a few months of normal use, with the most stress being coiling them up when I wasn’t use them. I use Sony one still with a flat cord, but they are in ear ones. They have been going strong for 10 months so far!

  6. @Mikey

    That is good to know as well. I am incredibly compulsive when it comes to cords. I never wind any cords. So perhaps with extra care mine will last longer. Not saying you abused them, just treated them like most normal people… 🙂

  7. I just ordered my second pair. The pair I am using now has lasted me well over 2 years. I use them for running (20-30+ MPW), and I sweat ALOT and these held up very nicely, hence why I am buying a second pair. The sound quality is decent for running and you don’t lose situational awareness as you can still hear what’s going on around you without sacificing much sound volume.

  8. Not sure if something is wrong with my ears, but I cannot hear any low tones when wearing these, unless I push them in. Really disappointed. They sound really bad, only high tones. Well if you want to listen to lectures, please feel free, because the music does not sound any close to what it should.

  9. I had these earphones for at least 6 years & I loved them. Sadly, I lost them. Recently I purchased another pair on Amazon, but they were too big! (On the back of the box at the bottom, there is an L next to the color, so I’m assuming that is the size.) Apparently they have different sizes & no one seems to know about it. (The Amazon vendor didn’t.) If you have knowledge about a smaller size I would LOVE to know about it. I haven’t found another pair as comfortable as these.

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