*Impressive build quality
*Dedicated Bass button
*Good audio experince
Sony is a well-known name when it comes to audio products, with its line-up including numerous feature-loaded headphones, earphones and other accessories. The company recently expanded its portfolio with the launch of the MDR XB950B1. Priced at Rs 12,990, the pair of Bluetooth headphones was first unveiled at CES, earlier this year. Primarily targeted at bass lovers, the MDR XB950B1 is claimed to offer exceptional sound quality with enhanced battery life. But is it really any good?
We used the Sony MDR XB950B1 for some time and here’s what we think about it.
The MDR XB950B1 is claimed to have been especially designed for bass lovers. It has an impressive metallic design and the angular earcups make for a better user experience. They are well-cushioned and don’t cause any discomfort even when worn for long periods of time. The earcups also have an adjustable metallic headband, which itself is cushioned for more comfort. Both sides of the headband have levers which can be used to adjust it for a perfect fit. As for the earcups, they are made of plastic and consist of all the controls.
The left earcup has the power button, microphone, USB charging port, 3.5mm audio jack and a special ‘Bass effect’ button. On the other hand, the right earcup is where the volume rocker, and a toggle to manage music and handle calls is located.
All said, we found the design and build quality of the MDR XB950B1 to be impressive.
Coming to performance, the Sony MDR XB950B1 managed to impress us in many ways. To get started, you just have to press the power button and the device automatically connects to a nearby Bluetooth source for pairing. The headphones come with 40mm drivers which help in delivering amazing audio output. The ‘Bass effect’ button instantly enhances the bass output. We loved this feature and it contributed in making our music-listening experience an enriching one.
We listened to some EDM tracks and could feel the vibration in our ears. Apart from high bass output, the MDR XB950B1 offers good noise-cancellation. The earcups cover the ears completely, further blocking any surrounding noises while listening to music.
Sony MDR XB950B1 comes with a detachable cable, so you can enjoy music even when the battery runs out. Bluetooth connectivity was fine during our testing. However, there were occasional disconnections when using the headphones in underground areas such as subways and metro stations. Apart from Bluetooth, you can use NFC to connect your smartphone and listen to music. The pair of headphones claims to have up to 10 hours of battery life on a single charge. During our testing, we managed to get around 8 hours of music playback, which is good for a pair of Bluetooth-powered headphones.
Sony MDR XB950B1 can be used with a companion ‘Connect’ app that lets users choose multiple listening environments such as Arena, Club and Concert hall. The ‘Bass effect’ functionality can be controlled via the app as well.
Overall, the pair of headphones offered excellent sound performance during our testing. Audio output is excellent, and the output is loud and crisp. Listening to any kind of music, be it Pop, EDM or Hip-hop, turned out to be a delight. Apart from music, handling calls also worked as intended.
At a price of Rs 12,990/$203, we feel that the Sony MDR XB950B1 is a good buy if you’re looking for an all-rounder pair of headphones. It excels in both sound and build quality. For those looking at alternatives, the Sennheiser wireless headphones HD 4.50BTNC priced at Rs 14,990. The headphones come with the advanced wireless technology and audio codec and claims to offer 19 hours of battery backup.