Head-Fi.org › Head Gear › Headphones › Over-Ear › Sony mdr xb 1000 › Reviews › Ahzari's Review

More refined bass for the XB Series

A Review On: Sony mdr xb 1000

Sony mdr xb 1000

Rated # 186 in Over-Ear
See all 7 reviews
Recent Pricing:
Review Details:
Audio Quality
Purchased on:
Price paid: $349.00
Posted · 24017 Views · 17 Comments

Pros: Bass pressure, sound isolation, sound stage

Cons: expensive for the audio quality, gimmicky big cups

I owned the XB 500, 700, and the 1000s. I currently own Denon D7000 and Ultrasone Pro 2900 (so I may compare).. The XB 500 and 700 didn't give me any benefit to my current setup, they sounded muffled, the bass was present but not very clean, they didn't suit my taste. I read a great deal about the 1000s so I took the plunge once they became available in the US. I was really excited to get them cause I thought the ultra huge pad look would be kinda cool and comfortable.. But after wearing them for about an hour I have to say, I'm not crazy about having those massive pads on my head, almost feels claustrophobic, not because they are closed phones, but because they are huge and you really sense it when its on your head.


As far as sound quality the 1000s definitely sound much much better than the lower lineup. They don't have loud thumping bass that the 500s had, but they have this weird ability to create almost a suction type feeling on your ear drums when sub bass hits, it was actually so weird I had to take them off the first time I heard it. They are neat in that respect (hopefully thats safe for your ears-long term), but their audio quality doesn't come very close to my other headphones and it didn't give me enough of something different (sound wise) to merit keeping them. So I did return them after a trial period and personally for the price I would recommend other headphones with similar costs (and there are many like the Ultrasone Pro series, the Sen HD650s - Amazon sells them for $360 often - even the Denon D2000s sound better - another pair I previously owned).


I can't really merit a recommendation for this headphone for the price, maybe if it could be had for $200 it would be fun, but if you're looking for your first big purchase of a nice headphone, i would do some research and get a pair with better sound quality.


I do want to mention something, I read a few peoples reviews stating that the 1000s sound "amazing" for house and electronic music... I think they sound ok, I listen mostly to electronic music and both my Denon and Ultrasones do them much better justice than the Sonys did, especially in clarity, bass reproduction, and vocals (just my opinion).


Hey thanks for this review. I was considering getting one but I keep on seeing guys that sell them or return them. Must not be all that is what my thoughts were. As a current owner of the D2000 you helped clear it up for me..
No problem, glad to help... I had the D2000s previously and I think they outperform the XB1000s in every way. Like you said, I feel there are few active supporters of these headphones (kinda a love or hate relationship). If you have the D2000s and are looking for a new headphone to compliment them I would look into the Ultrasone Pro lineup, they have a different sound that plays well with certain genres (and outperforms the Denons for movies and games).
Would you say the SONY MDR XB1000 are worth getting for a purchace price of $180.00?
thats a pretty good price, if you already have another set of headphones that are great all-arounders and want this for just messing around with sometimes then yea $180s not bad. I personally wouldn't go there again because I have headphones that can do everything better than the XB1000s. If i were you, and this is considering you don't already have a great pair.. I would save up and get some Denons DX000 or Sennheisers 650s or even Beyer Dynamics DT 880/990s for around $250-300... all do much better than the XBs.
In your opinion, since you own 3 of them, which are the best, in terms of deep, thumping bass that you can like, feel in your chest. Bass that just blows you away. I don't care about sound quality I'm going for BASS. Which has the overpowering bass that will blow your socks off?
Also, I do not care about price, just bass
I'd go for the XB500s.. they sound pretty bad SQ wise but you can equalize them to sound MUCH much better and the bass is the most thumping of the three... I'd recommend that one personally, just bought it as a gift too. If price isn't a issue for you, you might want to look into the Denon d5000s.. that thing is a bas monster and has great SQ...
Thats a bummer, I was really looking forward to gettin the XB1000's because I thought they would be amazing, and I really like the look of them, and u thought with the huge 70 mm drivers they would be good. Or at least the 700's. But alright, I'll look into it.
Yea I totally feel you, I was really really excited about the XB1000s.. the idea of them just sounded so cool in my head. When I got it though it became evident that I just liked the huge pads, and the wow factor fades fast then you listen and you're even more disappointed haha.. but yea man if you want just bass.. XB500s, if you want sound quality and bass look towards Ultrasone Pro series and Denon Dx000 series. I'm a bass lover too and so far my Denon D7000s and my Ultrasone Pro2900s have been my favorites...
Do you think the XB1000's would be better with an amp?
I tried it on one amp and another dac/amp hybrid (peachtree audio decco2)... without an amp you're not doing most mid-high end headphones justice... with an amp the XB1000 sound just cleaned up a bit, but still not that great of a can. There is really nothing you can do to make this sound better than any of the other headphones I mentioned.
q.Q' yay, I have the xb700 with a Fiio E6 atm... I just lost my E6 amp so -.- after having that setup for 6 months I'm hoping to upgrade to xb1000 and Fiio E11.
It's good to head that xb 1000 is a worth while upgrade! ^^
i had these and they seemed under powered depending on what you plug them into.. for my phone these headphones needed a headphone amp and that solved the problem..
These are better than beats pro right? Please no anecdotal evidence :)
I haven't spent that much time with the beats pro - from what I remember I didnt find them as refined as the XB1000s, one thing I can tell you is that these are not very portable - they are huge on your head. I know they discontinued the XB1000 headphones so unless you can get a great price on them I'd look elsewhere. If you're looking for bass'y headphones try looking towards the Ultrasone Pro lineup they are pretty famous for their bass - plus better build and sound than the Beats imo.
Wow, this review actually forced me to buy them. ''...when the sub bass hits, it was actually so weird I had to take them off the first time I heard it.'' - just awesome description.
I am finding something that is special, what normal speakers don't bring to me. (unless you don't have rotary subwoofer).
People say these are for electronic music, with that deep accurate bass it must sound perfect. Sad but true, they are **** for any other genre..
yea they definitely have a audio character that I have never heard in any other headphone - in that sense it makes them pretty special.. I didn't keep them because I didn't see myself using them very often.. Glad you're enjoying them.
Head-Fi.org › Head Gear › Headphones › Over-Ear › Sony mdr xb 1000 › Reviews › Ahzari's Review