Unless you're a music lover who lives alone, you'll likely own a set of headphones for some private sonic enjoyment. As such, you'll appreciate that wearing cans for extended periods isn't always the most comfortable of experiences. Sony is looking to address this with a new range of headphones and earbuds which give comfort just as much importance as sound quality.

Given that the flagship MDR-Z1000 professional monitor headphones are designed for studio use, sound quality is paramount. They feature a lightweight magnesium housing, ultra-wide range HD Neodymium driver units and the newly developed liquid crystal polymer film diaphragm – a lightweight, rigid material that's said to dramatically reduce resonance.

Sony says that users also benefit from an advanced noise isolation design for excellent attenuation of ambient noise, and a detachable, single-sided 7N Grade oxygen-free copper cord to minimize transmission loss. The frequency response is 5 - 80,000 Hz, there's an impedance of 24 ohms, and a sensitivity of 108 dB/mW.

In the comfort department, the US$500 headphones sport pressure-relieving, low-repulsion urethane-cushioned earpads for comfortable extended wear.

Like the flagship cans above, the MDR-EX1000 earbuds also benefit from a liquid crystal polymer film diaphragm, magnesium housing and 7N Grade copper headphone cord. Sound is delivered by a newly developed 16mm driver unit and a hybrid silicone/urethane ear buds help reduce ambient noise.

This model has a 32 ohm impedance and a frequency response of 3 - 30,000 Hz. An over-the-ear design helps ensure a comfortable, secure fit. These too will cost US$500.

Suited more for home/mobile than studio use, the MDR-EX510LP earbuds feature large, vertically-mounted 13.5mm driver units and Sony's unique multiple diaphragm design that uses a specially-formulated ABS plastic to cut out unwanted resonance and vibration. If full headphones are more your thing then the US$120 MDR-ZX700 may well fit the bill. This model benefits from large 50mm drivers, noise isolation earpads and snug-fit urethane cushion earpads.

The new range will be available shortly from Sony Style.