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Sony MDR-XB1000 Review

When someone tells you that there are tons of headphones out there wishing they could offer half of what Sony offers with its diverse range of products, don’t be too quick to turn the other way because the Sony MDR-XB1000 may just prove them right.

If you’re a fan of large headphones, you’d love the MDR-XB1000. Its gigantic size is one of its most obvious qualities. For some people, that’s a red flag for some people because, obviously, walking around the MDR-XB1000 is like carrying a bag over your head, which is a bit too much. You can’t take a walk in the park without telling the whole world that you’ve got a headset on. However, if size is any guarantee of the worth of a headphone, the Sony MDR-XB1000 passes the test in flying colors, and this is why. It’s one thing for a headphone to have a super bass sound quality, and another for it to have an amazing physical response even to low range sounds. The Sony MDR-XB1000 has both. So, if you’re a bass-head, the Sony MDR-XB1000 could be that dream you can’t wait to bring to reality. Even if you’re not (a bass-head that is), the Sony MDR-XB1000 is worth giving a try for the clarity and purity of its sound.

This article aims to spin out the qualities of the Sony MDR-XB1000 to see if it fits into your ‘must buy’ or ‘mustn’t buy list.

But before that, let’s look at a rundown of the MDR-XB1000’s specifications.

Sony MDR-XB1000 Specifications

Colors: Black

Style: Over-Ear

Body: Metal & Plastic

Connectivity: Wired

Magnet: Neodymium

Weight: 374 g

Driver Tech: Dynamic

Driver Size: 70 mm

Frequency Range: 2 – 30,000

Impedance: 24 ohms

Diaphragm Diameter: 68.58 mm

Cable Length: 2 m

Cable Jack: 3.5 mm

Who It’s For

If you can’t listen to music unless you get a taste of the bass in it, you shouldn’t hesitate to cop the Sony MDR-XB1000. Having a 70 mm driver, the largest in the world means that the sound depth the MDR-XB1000 offers is absolutely crazy.

However, this headphone is not only good for bass. If you’re the type who likes to hear all the sounds used in a song, the MDR-XB1000 is a great choice.

Connection

For all the promise of top-notch sound quality, the Sony MDR-XB1000 isn’t wireless. It operates with a 2 meters long cord. Of course, this brings the fear of dealing with stuff as nasty as tangling cords. But the MDR-XB1000’s cord is strong and uses a Y design to curtail the possibilities of tangling. So, if a cord is something you can do, then you’re safe with the Sony MDR-XB1000.

Battery

Since the Sony MDR-XB1000 has nothing to do with wireless technology, it’s got no battery. Inferentially, it’s a headphone that you can use for as long as you want. As far as you’ve still got some juice in your phone or MP3 player.

Design

It’s not really clear if the Sony MDR-XB1000 would take the Guinness World Record for largest headphone, but I’m certain it’s right there in the lineup. The earcups are really large and would almost cover the side of most faces unless you’ve got a really large face. On the plus side, you don’t have a problem trying to fit your ears into the earcups, and the largeness really makes for an expansiveness of the listening experience. The cushions are 2 inches thick and are made of foam under a lining of leather, which means it’d be as comfortable as sleeping on a bed. The headband is comfy as well and can be adjusted to fit large or smaller head sizes.

The cable is flat with a Y-design that reduces the possibilities of tangling. The cups have 3.5 mm jacks on both cups, which means the cable is detachable. There is also an allowance for a ¼ inch adapter if you want to hook up the headphones to a home theatre or some other professional audio equipment.

Portability

The Sony MDR-XB1000’s large size means that it may not fit easily around your neck like recent headphones or in a bag if you need to carry a really small bag that’s already stuffed. But think about its features. If you’re the type that can sacrifice almost anything for good music, then you can deal with the size. You either create more space in your bag or, better still, buy a slightly larger one. The cable is even detachable, so it helps your case a little.

Comfort

At first sight, Sony’s MDR -XB1000 is undoubtedly scary. I mean, how can one wear something that huge and not get neck pain afterwards? It’s like going to the gym and strapping weights to your neck. Or is it?

Don’t even let the 374 g weight fool you. It may be heavier than some headphones you’ve used, but it’s not that heavy. It definitely doesn’t weigh on you like weights, and it’s the kind of weight you can forget after minutes of use. Besides, the cushioning on the earcups is the stuff of royalty. It’s soft, thick, and makes the listening experience all the merrier.

Whether you’ve got large ears, small ears, a big head or a small one, the large ear cups and adjustable headband ensures that the headphone is a snug fit at all times.

Performance

Now, to the crème-de-la-crème of all MDR-XB1000 features – its performance. The MDR-XB1000 goes for an ‘extra bass’ quality feature, and it’s an absolute hit. There may be other headphones out in the market, much better suited to bass signatures, but I mean, you don’t have to blow your ears out just because you need bass. The MDR-XB1000 is bassy enough to fulfill your needs in music and, more importantly, delivers clear and crisp sounds. The detachable cable feature creates an opportunity for the sound quality and depth to be stretched even further when you switch cables.

The frequency range of these headphones is amazing. While you have other fairly decent headphones out there that lose their quality at high frequencies, the MDR-XB100 maintains that clarity, even when the frequency dips, all the while giving you discernible basslines along the edges.

The Sony MDR-XB1000 gives you the total feel of the bass depth in a song without making it feel too much. It’s also good at the mid-range, delivering vocals with lower intensity than the bass but with the same clarity. Lower intensity doesn’t mean that it’s compromised on its sound quality. It just means that the MDR-XB1000 is also equal to the task in mid-range sounds; only less so than its bass sound. It follows the entire spectrum of a song, sticking to all the sound parameters.

The headphone stays up to par with its treble sounds as well. Although, some people might find it a bit too much, depending on the song that’s playing. However, one good thing about the XB1000 is that the sound spectrum can be adjusted with an equalizer or amplifier. If you know how to, you can play with the frequencies a little until you arrive at what’s perfect for you. With a performance like this, the XB1000 can make listening to any song a pleasant experience.

The MDR-XB1000 also gives you some level of noise cancellation with its sealed acoustics and large ear pads.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Noise Cancelling
  • Bass
  • Clear and Crisp Audio Quality
  • Great Responsiveness
  • 70 mm Driver
  • Can be amplified to enhance productivity

Cons

  • Too Large
  • Not Wireless

Final Thoughts

The Sony MDR-XB1000 is more than decent. Without a doubt, it offers much more than most of the headphones within its price range and even supersedes the quality of some headphones more expensive than it is. There aren’t that many headphones capable of picking and responding to high and low frequencies. It gives you the bass quality you need to hear in your songs but also uncovers other aspects of the spectrum so that you can listen calmly and appreciate every single part of a song. If this doesn’t make the Sony MDR-XB1000 a steal, I don’t know what does.

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