Sony MDR-XB400 On-Ear Headphones Review

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Editor rating

4.6/5 on January 10, 2016 Reviewed by: Peter Alexander

User's rating

114 reviews

PROS

  • Tangle-free cable
  • Excellent comfort
  • Great noise isolation
  • Very enjoyable bass

CONS

  • The headband feels fragile
  • Easy to scratch plastic finishing

VERDICT

The Sony MDR-XB400 On-Ear Headphones are one of the most enjoyable headphones for casual listening, but their design could be improved. Some parts seem overly fragile, and the headphones don’t give you the confidence to take them everywhere with you. That’s a big shame since they would otherwise be perfect for travel and commuting. As it is, we recommend the MDR-XB400 for home/office/dorm use. Those are some of many situations where you greatly appreciate their excellent passive noise isolation.

The Sony MDR-XB400 On-Ear Headphones have been designed with travelers and commuters in mind. Sony went their way to give customers an all-in-one package that mixes a sleek, folding design with comfort. Let’s see how Sony used their years of experience, and whether they truly managed to offer a better deal than what is already available on the market.

Design and build

It doesn’t take too much to notice that Sony went for something a little bit extraordinary this time around. Their MDR-XB400 headphones are available in 7 color variants, giving users plenty of choices to pick the one that matches their style and taste.

The headphones are built out of plastic materials, which is relatively surprising given their construction. The headband, in particular, doesn’t give much confidence as it doesn’t have any metal reinforcing at all; however, we haven’t stumbled upon any reports of users experiencing issues with the headphones.

All color variations look very attractive, but their finish is a fingerprint magnet and also easy to scratch. We believe that these headphones won’t look as pretty after a month or two of use as they do straight out of the box.

We like the fact that the 30mm ear pieces can be turned down, allowing the headphones to lay down flat. The earpads are comfortable and suitable for long listening sessions.

The 1.2-meter long flat cable is designed to prevent tangling issues, but it comes without built-in controls.

Sound quality

The Sony MDR-XB400 On-Ear Headphones have a frequency response of 5Hz to 22kHz. The deep low end works flawlessly with dubstep, 80’s-90’s old school rap, and other similar music genres. When these headphones have the opportunity to show you just how much power is in them, they don’t hesitate even for a second.

Highs and mids are not as impressive as the low end, but they still sit comfortably above your average on-ear headphones.

Sony doesn’t advertise these headphones to offer a great noise isolation. We were pleasantly surprised to discover that these headphones are able to greatly mute the world around you, giving you a quite listening space where you can enjoy your music and concentrate on any task that requires your attention.

What is in the box?

In the box, you will find a brief manual and a limited warranty.