More like Extra 'Bloat' headphones

A Review On: Sony MDR-XB500 40mm XB Diaphragm Driver Extra Bass Headphones

Sony MDR-XB500 40mm XB Diaphragm Driver Extra Bass Headphones

Rated # 253 in Headphones
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Pros: Comfort, bass, portability

Cons: The rest of the frequency spectrum, isolation

I've heard the XB500 many times before actually being able to give a good review on it. Each time I put it on, I'm always very disappointed.

Back before I was into higher quality audio like I am now, I had always judged a headphone on how clean sounding it was. Mid bass bloat was what I tried to stay away from most.
I am SO glad I didn't purchase these before then. I would have been upset with how they sound.
When the term 'bass' comes to mind, I think of earth-shaking lows at or under 80Hz. To my ears, these are warm bloat cans that don't have those resonating lows.

To be blunt, I can't stand the XB500's signature.

At the low end, we have a very very warm presentation. The bass is not punchy or tight, but instead, it's more sloppy. Sub-bass is only average, in my opinion. What I hear is basically everything I was initially trying to AVOID in a headphone.

Mids are quite recessed in the spectrum. As a result, vocals sound a bit distant. The mids are just overall unnatural sounding.

Normally, I like treble, even harsh treble, but the treble of the XB500 is just purely annoying to my ears. I can't stand it. It's got pretty good clarity, honestly, but has a peak that makes some music less-than-enjoyable. I also find it to be pretty grainy and non-transparent.

Soundstage is bland. Width and depth are just 'okay'

As for everything other than sound, these are a nice pair of headphones.

The build on the XB500 is quite good. It's lightweight and durable. The headband is made out of plastic, but doesn't feel like it would easily break.
Cable can be a bit iffy. It's got that 'tangle-free' cord that makes me question just how much protection the cable really has.

Comfort of the XB500 is just incredible. The pads are thick, soft, and squishy. It really feels like I'm wearing a pillow on my head. Absolutely incredible comfort.

Overall, if you're into the sound signature given by the XB500, by all means, I would recommend these. They would be a very good pair for someone that enjoys this kind of sound.
They're just not for me.


Did you know that the "XB" stands for extra bass?
I'm not really sure what you were expecting from these...
Of course I know the XB stands for extra bass. I have the Monoprice 8323, which I feel have a pretty bassy output, but they don't lack in mids and highs. Same goes for the Panasonic RP HTF600. Powerful bass, but mids and highs aren't completely sacrificed for that bass.
100% agree with your review. You have helped make the world a better place informing people. I felt exactly the same, once the initial mid bass pounding sensation wears thin you're left with one average headphone in mids and highs. The're only good for bassing out, and mid bass at that.
they are 50$ extra bass headphones... and you can eq them for a very good and balanced sound... certainly the best in their price range.... and bass is more powerful(including both mid bass and sub bass) than anything out there... a great deal i would say... if you did a little research then ultrasone hfi 580 would be better for you...
Best in their price range? Not even a bit. Like I said, the Monoprice 8323 outperform the XB500 in every way, except bass quantity. Quality is much better on the 8323. Plus, those are half the price of the XB500