Sony MDR-XB950BT Extra Bass Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphones Review

Editor rating

4/5 on July 18, 2016 Reviewed by: Mark Torrent

User's rating

2,364 reviews

PROS

  • Fantastic detail
  • Enjoyable bass
  • Interesting design
  • Good build quality

CONS

  • Uncomfortable for extended wearing

VERDICT

If Sony nailed down the comfort of these headphones, we would be looking at a very attractive option for everyone who things that there’s never enough bass. As it is, the headphones can only be recommended to people who are looking for a dedicated pair of headphones for use on the go. There are other more comfortable options on the market, which should be your first choice.

Sony MDR-XB950BT are stylish Bluetooth headphones with an electronic bass boost functionality. In practice, the bass boost works similarly to an equalizer, but it’s optimized to match the sound signature of the headphones, thus providing listeners with the best possible sound quality.

Design and Build Quality

The MDR-XB950BT are modern headphones that will fit into any urban setting. We like the choice of the matte finish and appreciate that Sony has decided to keep things simple. An excellent comfort is provided by a pair of soft earpads. The headband is nearly without padding, but the lightweight construction means that it’s really not an issue.

The earcups can swivel from side to side, allowing you to store the headphones flat. All connectors and control buttons are located on the left earcup. There’s a microUSB port for charging, 3.5mm audio connector for wired listening, power button, and bass boost button.

The headphones connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth 4.0 and the pairing process is done with the help of NFC technology. The connection is strong enough that you can often leave your phone in one room and listen from another one without any degradation of sound quality.

Sound Quality

We would first like to say a few words about the bass boost functionality. Its main purpose is to substitute the equalizer found in your smartphone. Why would you need something like that? The idea is that a dedicated bass boost feature can be optimized to match the sound signature of the headphones, thus providing listeners with the best performance. It does, indeed, work well and we found ourselves using it every time we listened to bass-heavy music.

When you leave the bass boost off, the headphones will surprise you with plenty of detail and a very spacious soundscape. This makes the Sony MDR-XB950BT excellent for watching movies or playing video games.

The pair of deep earpads in combination with the closed-back construction ensure that you won’t be disturbed by what’s going on around you. The built-in microphone for hands-free phone calling also does a good job of blocking unwanted background noise.

What’s in the Box

It’s a shame that Sony has decided to omit a case, including only a microUSB cable for charging. We guess that’s better than nothing, but even a soft pouch would be a nice addition, given how easy it is to scratch the matte surface of the headphones.

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