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Taron & Andrew Lissimore
|[caption id="" align="alignright" width="198" caption="Unassuming and rather ordinary looking, the Sony MDR-EX56LP sounds terrific."][/caption] Yeah, baby! Now this is what I'm talking about: the Sony MDR-EX56LP is a terrific little low-cost in-ear headphone. Before I go on gushing about how good it sounds though, I'll get a little complaining out of the way. I hate "J-cord" headphones. This is the type of cord where the length of cord after it splits off to each earpiece is different --- the right earpiece cord is usually longer. The intended use of this type of cord is to have the cable come up to the left side of your neck with the left earpiece going into your left ear, and the longer right earpiece cable going around the back of your neck to the right ear. Personally, I like the cables on in-ear headphones to go over the top of your ears and have a keeper to slide up the cable to snug it up at the back of your neck; most people just let them hang. In either case, the "J-cord" just doesn't work well; though it does work reasonably as designed. The other little gripe is that for some reason many of the folks here had a hard time getting these little cans to fit correctly. We've got a lot of experience in this sort of thing and it was rather odd that these proved so troublesome. The tips that come with these little Sony's are very nice, with a soft pliable outer and a stiffer inner section that you'd think made them easier to get seated, but it didn't seem to be the case. Nonetheless, the resulting sound quality once they were properly seated in your ears made the effort worthwhile. [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="298" caption="The MDR-EX56LP frequency response shows a big bass and well extended though somewhat uneven highs."][/caption]Alright, whining over, other than the above gripes, the Sony MDR-EX56LP is simply terrific sounding for an in-ear headphone in this price range. The kids will love the nice big bass that's punchy out without being murky and muddled. And though tilted and a bit uneven the run up through the frequency response range through the mids and highs is reasonably linear and sounds simply terrific for a headphone in this price category. Though you can get quite a bit better sounding headphone for $10 more, I highly recommend these cans for those on a budget.|