Sony MDR-R10 Flagship Headphones - Super Rare and Collectible - World's Best?


Limited edition (2000 units) Flagship headphones from Sony often considered the "world best headphones".

This is an immaculate and complete collector set as you can see from our photos.

**Please note the pictured headphone stand is not included. 

From a CNET article written by the one and only Steve Guttenberg "The Audiophliac":

I've heard most of the world's best headphones, but somehow missed the Sony MDR-R10. Only 2,000 were made. Production started in 1989, and at $2,500 a pair, it was the most expensive headphone in the world. The headphone cognoscenti scooped them all up years ago, and right now MDR-R10s rarely come up for sale. When they do, they usually go for more than $6,000!

The MDR-R10's 50mm "Bio-Cellulose Dome Diaphragms" are credited with producing the headphones' superclear treble and oh-so supple bass. The headphone also sported real lambskin-covered ear pads, and the large sculpted ear cups are made from aged wood from Zelkova trees. Sony did make a few other headphones with Bio Cellulose drivers -- the MDR-CD3000, 1991, MDR-E888 in 1995, MDR-CD1700 in 1996, and the MDR-CD2000 in 2000 -- but those headphones never attained the stature of the MDR-R10. No, it's never just one thing that makes the great ones great, it's the whole design.

The MDR-R10's effortless, unforced, yet still highly detailed and clear sound was world class. They're closed-back headphones, but the wide-open sound-staging was exceptional -- no wonder these long out of production headphones developed cult status. The sound is more lifelike and natural than any other headphone I know, so music sounds realistic in ways that hi-fis rarely do.

Plus they're featured on the famous The Vintage Knob website so you're know they're truly something special:

The KING, really THE KING of headphones.

Introduced along the SS-A5 gem in 1989, the King took the suffix of what was still under development - R10. Namely Sony's anniversary units for the 10 years of CD (CDP-R10 & DAS-R10, 1992) and (with some delay), Sony's fiftieth anniversary in 1995 (SS-R10).

The shape of the cans reflect directly the internal structure : there is an air chamber between the driver and the listener's ears. Like a miniature room so that the ears aren't pressed against the driver and so that some alignment between the driver's plane and the pavilion can take place.

After many different materials were tested, Zelkova, a japanese wood known for its rigidity and light weight, was chosen to hold the diaphragm.

Lamb skin was chosen for the pads and top hoop. This fairly stiff material was retained to keep an even pressure on the listener's head and therefore assure an identical air chamber on both sides.

The flexible hoop is made of braided carbon to avoid it getting disformed along long listening times (days, weeks, months - years).

LC-OFC wiring inside, protected by pure silk sheaths, ending up on a gold-plated rhodium 1/4" plug.



Original Box





Not Applicable


As Pictured

Physical Condition


Working Condition


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