Weighing in at just 187g, the MDR-1AM2 is extremely light. Wrapped in synthetic leather, the headband distributes the light-weight of the headphones evenly, making it extremely comfortable to wear for prolonged hours with no experience of fatigue. It is in my opinion that the MDR-1AM2 is more comfortable than its predecessor. Given the similarity in design, I can only attribute it to the weight, which is 17% lighter than of the MDR-1A.
While the lightweight frame has aided the comfort level of the headphone, it also made it feel fragile. The bridge together with the hinges is made of plastics which in truth makes one less likely to bring the MDR-1AM2 out with aplomb.
The ear cups and ear pads of the MDR-1AM2 are not huge, however, during the review process, the headphones do fit my ears comfortably with a clamping force that is just right, essential because the ear pads are rather shallow and the sound isolation rather decent. I really like the fit of the MDR-1AM2, however, because the ear pads are not perforated, it does get warm if worn outdoors for extended periods in humid Singapore but if you are in an air-conditioned environment, then it is a non-issue.
The original MDR-1A was initially released with a 3.5 mm single-ended headphone cable and a 3.5 mm single-ended headphone cable with inline remote and microphone, the company later released an MDR-1ABP variant at a premium of SGD 20 in 2017 which included a 4.4 mm balanced headphone cable in place of the 3.5 mm single-ended headphone cable similar to the offering on the MDR-Z1R. The MDR-1AM2 continues the offering of a 3.5mm single-ended cable with inline remote and microphone as well as a 4.4mm balanced cable at the same price as the original MDR-1A at USD 299.99 (SGD 429).
It is interesting to note that the 4.4 mm balanced cable bundled with the MDR-1AM2 feature silver coated oxygen-free copper (OFC) which according to the company minimises resistance and signal-transmission loss, resulting in less sound degradation, finer detail and smoother treble.
With a low impedance of 16Ω and sensitivity of 98dB/mW, the MDR-1AM2 will pair well with most smartphones and is more than capable of adequate volume for normal listening.