Sony MDR-CD1000

The MDR-CD1000 are closed headphones released by Sony in 1991, and part of the same line as the famous CD3000. The CD1000 actually uses the same biocellulose drivers found in the CD3000. Same ear pads and similar structure. The difference is in the cups and slightly lower quality cable.

It is a rather large and bulky headphone, with attached cable. Isolation is moderate. Comfort is pretty good, because they’re not heavy and the suspension strap (though a bit worn on my pair, with low clamp) helps distributing the weight. The pads aren’t the original ones but some aftermarket pleather pair. It’s quite easy to drive. The CD1000 is a pretty rare headphone, less common than the CD3000 or R10.

○ Release : 1991
○ Current status : Discontinued
○ Type : Over-ear / Closed-back
○ Measured weight : 350g
○ Impedance : 32 Ohms
○ Sensitivity : 104 dB/mW
○ Average used price : $250-400

Sound Impression
The CD1000, based on old head-fi impressions and threads, shouldn’t sound too far from a CD3000. The general description of the CD3000 is close to what I’m hearing with the CD1000. It’s an overall bright and lean headphone. There isn’t a lot of bass impact. Sometimes I can hear some extension below 70 Hz, but that’s about it. 

The midrange is generally decent, but a bit thin and lacking body in the low-mids. The upper-midrange does not sound shouty or boosted and has about 4-5 dB less energy than an HD580and HD600. Unfortunately the treble is the problematic area.

The general sound is quite “airy”, wide and light, but pretty articulated. The resolution is close to impressive for an upper midrange closed headphone from almost 30 years ago. The advanced biocel drivers are showing their technicalities here. The overall detail on this headphone is very close to an HD600.

The treble is problematic because it’s simply too elevated around 8-12 khz. It’s very zippy and quite sharp. The treble has good resolution and sounds fast, so it makes the mid/upper-treble peak even more tiring.

I mainly listen to acoustic, mid-centric or classical music with the CD1000. It sounds good on anything that doesn’t have lot of information below 100hz and after 8-9 khz. Very specific headphone, with promising technicalities but the bright tuning is quite rough. The CD1700 still has the best balance (and especially midrange) I’ve heard from any Sony headphone.

Measurements & Resources

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *