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Sony MDR-XB650BT/B Wireless Headphone, Overview
It’s undeniable, this is the golden generation of the bass lovers or as they’re more popularly known, ‘bassheads’.
Everywhere you look a headphone is being released that’s specifically targeted at them. And I’m not just talking about your regular low-end boost lover, nope! I’m talking about the people who want to literally feel like they’re locked in the basement of some nightclub with subwoofer equivalents pounding at them from every angle.
Those are the people Sony’s XB series is aimed at and with the MDR-XB650BT/B they may have just outdone themselves once again. By the way, just in case you’re wondering, that XB literally means ‘Extra Bass’.
The XB650BT/B’s are ‘supra-aural’, a fancy way of saying they are on-ear headphones.
Coming in three colors, Red, Blue or Black, these headphones are made of plastic that’s been made to look a little like Aluminum. The effort is convincing and gives the $100 headphones a premium feel to them.
The earpads are distinctly circular swiveling beauties, with a large helping of cushion material lining their inside, making them ultra-comfortable despite that they’re on-ears.
The same material lines the headband, so that’s comfortable as well. Said headband can be adjusted on both sides to accommodate different head sizes with a reasonably tight seal.
Because they are wireless, the controls are housed on the earcups, specifically the right earcup. So that’s where you’ll find the power controls, volume and a rocker that controls track navigation and playback/call management. A mic is also located on the same earcups, as is a micro USB port for recharging the battery.
All the controls are arranged in such a way that the headphone maintains its’ trendy look with minimum fuss, something all the minimalists will appreciate. Unfortunately, Sony decided just the wireless feature was enough and didn’t throw in a cable for when you run out of battery or can’t use Bluetooth which is kind of stingy but not uncommon for a headphone in this price range.
Sound Performance and Bluetooth
One thing the folks at Sony weren’t shy about though is Bass. The XB650BT/B packs a whole lot of it, and I do mean a lot. It’s the kind of bass that thumps so hard you almost feel it in your throat.
The good thing though is there’s enough presence in there to keep things on the intelligible side. Mids are decidedly clear with a hint of enhancement that’s clearly meant to balance things out a little. The highs meanwhile offer the same sort of consistency and on the whole, they manage to offer enough balance to keep the sound from distorting and getting muddy at high volumes.
Incidentally, the volume is independent of your device’s volume so you’ll definitely get enough of it to lose yourself in music wonderland even in the noisiest of places.
Speaking of noisy places. Passive isolation is very good and sound leakage is kept to a minimum.
Moving on from the sound performance, Bluetooth is quite good, with the range an excellent 10 meters. Besides the great range, connectivity is really simple too.
Once you pair with your device the first time, NFC (Near Field Communication) will handle it for you every time after that saving you the trouble of digging into your settings every time you turn your headphones on and off.Battery life is rated at a full 30 hours by Sony but is more around 26 when you’re at full volume, which is still pretty good.
Battery life is rated at a full 30 hours by Sony but is more around 26 when you’re at full volume, which is still pretty good.
Sony’s MDR-XB650BT/B headphone is to all intents and purposes a niche headphone, made for the bass lover. In that, it excels and there aren’t many $100 headphones that do that quite so well.
The only problem with this set is probably the all plastic frame, which while looking and even feeling a little premium could be susceptible to wear and tear.
That said I’m sure there’s no one expecting a headphone in this price range to be metal, so you’ll just have to take extra care with it while you enjoy that Extra Bass boost so generously given by Sony.
Any questions? Just let me know in the comments below!
Comfort & Design
For anyone who needs the ‘Extra Bass’, the Sony MDR-XB650BT/B is a solid choice!