Great-sounding headphones are usually pretty pricey--$100 or more--so you can imagine my pleasant surprise at finding out that Sony's MDR-710LP portable headphones cost $59. These stylish, foldable headphones sound great. I listened to a pair attached to the Sony NW-E407
MP3 player, which is an excellent-sounding player on its own (this helps the headphones' cause, of course). The music that pumped through the MDR-710LP was crystal clear--sparkling
is actually the adjective that immediately comes to mind--and the 'phones gave me the impression that I was in a room with the music. Bass response was also good. The small ear cups were comfortable for the few minutes I was listening, though after extended use, I could imagine them making the cartilage of my outer ear sore. Of course, I'm an earbud girl, so this could be a personal thing. The MDR-710LPs are due out in the first quarter of 2006 and will ship with a convenient and protective hard case.