Sony has a pretty solid line of audio gears ranging from headphones to speakers. The company recently expanded its Extra Bass series with three new headphones, and one of them is wireless. Sony MDR-XB950B1 is a well-deserved successor to the XB950BT, giving users the thrill of bass coupled with a lasting battery.
We had the chance to review the XB950B1 for a week now and we highly recommend the wireless headphones if experience-rich, clear and extra bass music is your thing.
Let's start with the basics before heading over to the music performance and battery life.
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Sony XB950B1 headphones are designed for comfort. With sufficient padding on the earcups and under the steel head band, we can vouch for the headphone's high comfort regardless of how long you are wearing them. We used these headphones mainly during commute, and boy, it certainly helps to tune out the outer world.
The adjustable headband will guarantee you a comfort fit irrespective of the head size. Overall, the XB950B1 has a premium look and feel in line with Sony's superior brand image. Sony MDR- XB950B1 is like a beautiful coconut with a hard shell and soft core.
Adding to the comfort of the headphones is the ease of use, complimented by the well-placed controls on the headphones. The XB950B1 has the power button on the left earcup, along with the Bass Effect button, microUSB slot, 3.5mm headphone jack and a mic.
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The controls on the left and right earcups are thoughtfully placed as we tend to use our right hand more. Changing songs, adjusting volumes, answering phone calls are frequent operations compared to turning the headphones on and off or using the bass effect for songs. It won't take you long to adjust to the controls and before you know it, it becomes part of your procedural memory.
Since the XB950B1 headphones are wireless, some might be concerned about the pairing. The headphone can connect to any smartphone with Bluetooth, which means your iPhones and Android phones fit the bill. In any case, if you feel that setting up Bluetooth is a pain, try the NFC option and it will be done in a jiffy.
We tested the headphones with Android phones and the connection is pretty neat and stable. Even within a 10 feet range, the Bluetooth picks up the song playing on the phone without any noise. Setting up your XB950B1 with a smartphone is extremely simple and quick. Once paired, the setting will become default for a seamless audio experience.
And don't worry about the battery running out mid-way, as you can always resort to the wired option. There is no difference in the performance in both wired and wireless connections, which is quite impressive. The main purpose of using the XB950B1 with a wire is to save some juice. For instance, you can use a wired connection while working on your PC, but if you are traveling, the wireless connection will come in handy.
Th headphone comes with a microphone to make sure you never miss a call. When paired, any incoming call can be answered from your headphones by pressing the pause/play button on the right earcup. The microphone is close to the mouth and quite comfortably picks up your voice while talking, so you don't have to repeat yourself or speak loudly, which can be awkward while sitting in quite places such as a library.
We were quite impressed by the overall use of Sony XB950B1.
Sony audio gears are known to deliver top-notch sound quality, and the XB950B1 is no different. Since the XB950B1 is a part of Sony's XB series, users can be rest assured that it comes with impressive bass to elevate your listening experience.
Sony XB950B1 have 40mm drivers that ensures high sensitivity, low distortion and rich sound. Even though these headphones are designed for extra bass, we did not feel any loss of clarity even with the extra bass effect on. Sony touches all the nodes with its well-balanced sound and bass.
What's even more impressive is the fact that despite high bass and sound performance, there is hardly any sound leak. So the person sitting next to you isn't going to complain, even if you put the headphones in full blast.
While you can use the headphones with a wire even when the headphones are powered off, you'll need them to be on in order to use the Bass Effect function, which makes no sense. We also noticed that the volume and the track changing controls stopped working while plugged in, but it could be just an issue with the headphones we are reviewing. We'll check on that and update soon.
However, the Bass Effect kicks in only when the volume is turned up. On medium or low volume, the effect leave something to be desired. But the use of the extra bass button is quite useful as it drastically improves the bass of the song with just a single tap.
Overall performance of Sony XB950B1 is nothing short of impressive. For the price, the XB950B1 feels like a worthy investment if you have a penchant for bass-heavy songs.
Finally, the battery life of the XB950B1 is just solid. The company had promised the battery would last up to 18 hours on wireless, and it does hold well. We have been using the headphones for a week, and we had to charge it only once after about 20 hours of extensive use. We also pplugged it in for a while, which might have extended the battery life, but the headphones don't really die on you for a long, long time.
In fact, when left idle, the headphones will automatically turn off, which preserves power and saves you the trouble of keeping a track of whether the headphones are on or off. Depending on your usage, the XB950B1 can last up to 3 weeks on a single charge.
Sony XB950B1 do not take long to charge. For us, it took less than 4 hours to fully charge the headphones, and looks like they are good to go for another two weeks.
In our view, Sony MDR- XB950B1 is for those who love wireless headphones with extra bass and lasting battery. The XB950B1 checks all the boxes. The design is simple and elegant, and combine it with powerful performance, you've the perfect headphones to disconnect from the world.
For Rs. 12,990, we'd say you will be making the right choice. As a bonus, there's also an app that will let you customise your settings, and it's pure bliss.