Sony MDR-XB950 Extra Bass vs Audio-Technica ATH-WS550 Solid Bass Review

Sony MDR-XB950 Extra Bass vs Audio-Technica ATH-WS550iS Solid Bass Review

Ok, my little bass-heads. Let’s get down and dirty with these bassy headphones until we feel our love handles vibrate. We’ll figure out which headphone suits your musical taste and desire for bass in this Sony MDR-XB950 Extra Bass vs Audio-Technica ATH-WS550 Solid Bass Review.

Sony MDR-XB950 Extra Bass vs Audio-Technica ATH-WS550 Solid Bass Review

FIT

If you have big ears or you like a really roomy feel, go with the Audio-Technica Solid Bass. You’ll get wider inlets in the earpads and a generally more luxurious feel. That being said, the Sony Extra Bass provides better isolation from outside noise.


Sony MDR-XB950 Extra Bass vs Audio-Technica ATH-WS550iS Solid Bass Review

DESIGN

Audio-Technica says go big or go home. If you want to really bling out, these cans are the perfect fashion accessory. They come in white, black/red and gold. Sony is a little more subdued in its style, but I’ll let you decide which one works best with your outfit.

Sony MDR-XB950 Extra Bass vs Audio-Technica ATH-WS550iS Solid Bass Review

Both headphones seem equal in terms of durability. They’re both made from plastic and have metal yolks with ridges that help you get an accurate fit. They also come with flat cables, which should minimize tangles. Finally, both headphones come with a mic and remote. Neither headphones fold, but they both swivel flat.

Sony MDR-XB950 Extra Bass vs Audio-Technica ATH-WS550iS Solid Bass Review

With respect to specs, Sony has a frequency range of 3 – 28,000 Hz, while the Audio-Technica offers 15 – 22,000 Hz. So, in theory, you’d expect lower lows and higher highs from the Sony. But specifications can be deceiving. So, let’s talk sound.

SOUND

Overall Impressions: Sony’s massive bass vs Audio-Technica’s clarity.

Lows

Sony is not joking around when it says “extra bass.” You’ll get much deeper and thicker lows from the Sony MDR-XB950. It’s fun. But it’s also a bit muddy in this frequency range. And while the Audio-Technica headphone doesn’t thump your brains out like the Sony, it does offer a lot more clarity and separation between the lows and highs. So, if really want to get the most out of Drake’s stunning vocals and heartbreaking poetry, go with the Audio-Technica.

Mids

If you like a really meaty sound, you’ll probably prefer the Sony cans. Audio-Technica still gives you a warm and full-bodied sound when listening to rock, but if you value a cleaner profile, go with the Audio-Technica. Listening to folk music, acoustic guitars came out crystal clear compared to the Sony. That being said, considering Sony’s choice in sound signature, it does a pretty good job with respect to transparency in the middle frequencies. But it certainly doesn’t have the lightness or playful feel of the Audio-Technica.

Highs

They exist on the Audio-Technica.

Soundstage

Sony wins in this department. It has a wider and more multidimensional soundstage than the Audio-Technica and is more accurate in its placement of instruments

SUMMARY

I love a big bass just as much as the next guy. But I think the engineers at Sony might have been a little high when designing their Extra Bass headphone. Listen, it’s a really really good time. So, if all you want is incredibly huge lows, the Sony Extra Bass is the way to go. And for some, the Audio-Technica Solid Bass might fall short of being bassy enough. But if you prefer a clearer sound and you listen to all types of music, it’s probably a better idea to buy the Audio-Technica cans. They look cool, sound decent and are a great bang for your buck.

You can find these headphones for the best price at:

Audio 46: Audio-Technica ATH-WS550 Solid Bass Headphones (Use our promo code, “majorhifi” and get a 10% discount)

Amazon: Sony XB950N1 Extra Bass Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones, Black

Amazon: audio-technica SOLID BASS Portable Headphone Black Gold ATH-WS550 BGD

SPECIFICATIONS

Sony MDR-XB950 Extra Bass
Audio-Technica ATH-WS550 Solid Bass
Driver 40 mm Dynamic 53 mm Dynamic
Frequency Response 3 – 28,000 Hz 8 – 24,000 Hz
Impedance Not Specified 38 Ohms
Sensitivity 102 dB 106 dB
Cable Length 1.2 meters 1.2 meters
Weight 280 grams 254 grams