Pros: Drivers deliver the extra bass promised, can handle a lot of input
Cons: cheaply constructed, not great for some genres
On christmas 2011 I opened a gift from my mom that not only surprised me, but made me grin with anticipation. The sony mdr XB500, dynamic open backed headphones, where not exactly what I expected. I have to say that as much as I expected a lot of extra bass, I thought it was almost pointless how internally eq'd they were, even if I turned on a bass reducer, or put them through a headphone amp, they wouldn't do what I wanted them to do. All that aside though lets get into a formal review. The XB-500 are made almost 100% of plastic, which would be okay, if it wasn't the same cheap plastic you find on their 10 dollar ear buds. Considering the plastic their made of however, they have held up very well, and I take them everywhere, including to snowboard once. So the build isn't top notch. One thing about these headphones that is top notch, however, is the comfort. These headphones have two insanely plush, and thick, leather pads. Its literally like putting two pillows on either side of your head, if the pillows were blasting dubstep in your ears. Its almost worth having them to just put on your head every now and then. Another thing I was pleased with was the cable. Its a flat cable, which doesn't tangle, but it still can get into knots, and it also has very minimal noise. If you turn of your music completely and rub the cable, sure you'll hear some noise. If you have your music at 50 even 25% you won't notice. The only problems with this cable is 1: It goes into both cans, and 2: its not removable, even though it has a design that makes it look like it is. The sound quality is not bad by any respects. The Highs are very clear, and the mids are pronounced, which would be great if the bass wasn't overshadowing them... completely. I have come so close to getting them to a flat enough tone that they sound amazing, but have never quite pulled it off. That being said, these headphones have a amazing soundstage for the price, so plug in some Bon Iver and close your eyes, and he might as well be playing a personal concert for you. The instrument separation is fine, not to go crazy over but no tracks get muddy, and you can always tell everything apart. Overall these headphones are a great buy, but only if your a bass head. Overall I would give them a 7/10, because their definitely not audiophile grade, but they totally kick the beats by dre's sorry ass.