Sony is one of the most recognized consumer electronics brands on the planet. Their headphone line ranges from inexpensive everyday headphones to top of the line noise cancelling headphones with premium sound. One of Sony’s latest creations is the MDR-XB650BT headphone. It’s a wireless on-ear headphone with the added feature of “Extra Bass” which is direct competition with Apple’s Beats headphones. So how does the sound for a wireless headphone? And how does it compare in price to other popular bass heavy headphones? Let’s run it through a full review and find out.
Sony MDR-XB650BT Headphone Review
IN THE BOX
The Sony MDR-XB650BT doesn’t come with a lot of extras but you don’t need them. This is a wireless on-ear headphone with a rechargeable battery so you’ll get a manual and charging cable in the box. It’s everything you need and nothing you don’t.
DESIGN & FEATURES
Style / Comfort / Durability / Portability
Sony has a reputation for well built products and the MDR-XB650BT is no exception. This low-cost headphone has a solid feel but isn’t too heavy. It’s a portable, everyday headphone that you can take anywhere. As you can see from the photos, the MDR-XB650BT has a sophisticated design with a little bit of tech flair. It comes in 3 colors… black, red or blue.
I found this headphone to be comfortable even though I’m not usually a fan of on ear headphones. The cushioning on the headband and the earpads was exceptional. The low-profile design makes the MDR-XB650BT Extra Bass headphone perfect for daily commutes, trips to the park or long distance travel.
The Sony MDR-XB650BT headphone is simple to use. It has all the controls on the right earcup including power, play, pause, track advance and a microphone for phone calls. Connecting to my smartphone took no time at all and no instruction needed. Just hold the power button and the headphone automatically goes into pairing mode. You can use Bluetooth or NFC to connect. Once your connected you can listen to music and make calls.
The XB650BT headphone also has a built in battery so you won’t be fidgeting around with batteries and broken battery caps. It takes a charge in around 4 hours and promises a life of up to 30 hours which is incredible for a wireless headphone.
One thing I did notice about the MDR-XB650BT is the Bluetooth connection stayed solid when I moved away from my mobile device for quite a distance. I was easily 30 feet away and even had solid reception around corners. As with most wireless headphones however I did get a spotty signal once passing into another room. Sending Bluetooth signal through walls will most likely be an issue for a long time but it is an issue that all Bluetooth headphones share. In many applications however, being far away from the music source is not necessary so it’s not going to be a big deal.
I also noticed the volume control didn’t directly control the volume on my iPhone. Most wireless Bluetooth headphones will directly control the volume on your smartphone device. With the MDR-XB650BT I needed to turn the volume up on my phone first and then turn the headphone up or down separately. It’s not a deal breaker for me but still interesting considering this headphone utilizes Bluetooth 4.0.
Sound Signature (Frequency Response, Driver Size and Type, Impedance, Isolation)
The Sony MDR-XB650BT is marketed as a headphone with “Extra Bass” and indeed this wireless headphone delivers on that promise. The 1.18 inch neodymium drivers may seem small but they pack a big punch. I found myself skimming around on Spotify looking for different genres and testing this headphone with lots of tracks and found the bass was in fact deeper than I expected. Mashing pop and indie rock tracks was fun but it was when I started in on the EDM and hip-hop that I found the depths of the bass. In fact I landed on the ever popular playlist “Rap Caviar” on Spotify and started running through track after track. I was immediately impressed with the sub-bass capability of this headphone.
That being said, I did find the mids and high frequencies suffered a little when auditioning certain types of music. It’s a delicate balance when a manufacturer creates a headphone with this kind of intense bass. This Sony wireless headphone definitely delivers and at this price point I’m not complaining. Overall the Sony MDR-XB650BT Extra Bass headphone in fact pushes decent SPL (up to 95dB at 24 Ohms) with heavy bass and bass-heads won’t be disappointed.
Sony makes headphone in all kinds of price ranges and the MDR-XB650BT is a reasonably priced wireless headphone with literally “Extra Bass” for music lovers who want intensity. This headphone is totally bass-ready and portable making it excellent for everyday use. It’s a high-quality wireless headphone for under $150. I highly recommend fans of electronic and hip-hop music should to put the Sony MDR-XB650BT against the higher priced Apple’s Beats headphones and discover what kind of bass you can get for a lot less money. You can grab one at the Sony Headphone store at Audio46 or on Amazon