@raypin Yup, there was a defect with the left driver that was discovered by Pak Rudiwidjaja (yes, his excellency King Rudi) when he tried my original MDR-1000X unit after having dinner with him and Sid Malhotra of Wired For Sound here in Jakarta almost two months ago. King Rudi noticed that while playing an audiophile recording that featured Japanese drums the left driver had woolier and scattered bass (I hope I am making any sense here); King Rudi opined that there might be microtears in the diaphragm, hence the woolly sound. What I appreciate with Sony's distro in Indonesia is they didn't ask additional queries when I sent my unit for RMA. That said, the turnaround took around two months, which is quite slow considering Sony's size. Then again, according to the local distro, stocks of the MDR-1000X has been quite low due to its popularity. Yep, when I compare its sound against my other gear, it pales in comparison. That said, I have very specific uses for the MDR-1000X (while traveling, especially in planes, and while walking around Jakarta during weekends). I am amazed with its ANC feature (which I feel is better than the Bose QC35), as well as the other features you've mentioned. If judged solely on sound, the MDR-1000X doesn't make any sense. But when you consider its overall feature set for your specific set of uses, I think the MDR-1000X acquits itself rather well.