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Sony XB500 Question

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

After doing a lot of research and going over the huge "BASS IMPACT" thread, it seems to be a common opinion that the Sony XB500's have the most bass impact (kick/punch) for an unamped portable.  Is there anyone who has heard it and disagrees?  If so, what other similarly priced pair has more with an unamped portable?  I'm very close to purchasing them, because I love bass and I need a cheaper pair of 'phones to satisfy my bass cravings.  I can buy them for about $55.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated. 

post #2 of 28

To my knowledge the only only headphones I can think of that would offe that sound are HD 212's and SRH750DJ's. I love mine though and wouldn't trade them for either of those models.

post #3 of 28

Sony XB700 has more sub bass extension, but XB500 has a bit more of the mids, so maybe you can have a listen to those too.

post #4 of 28

The xb500 was very fun to listen to, but i will try to explain the misconceptions about the xb series.  Its common to think the xb series is saturated with bass.  Like, there is always a super thick low end at all times, but its not.  When bass notes come through, they are deep, very deep.  

on the Xb700, they go even deeper and are more WHOMPing, stomach turning bass in a good way.  Its not THICK sounding, its very clean.  Which is why its considered among the best BASSY headphones because of the overall quality of the bass as well as it having just a lot of it lol




post #5 of 28

I have the xb700. They're easily the most comfortable phones that can also beat (no pun intended) the "best" bass sounding headphones that the uninformed public believes in (I'm looking at you, Dre Beats).

post #6 of 28

I tend to agree with you, but the comfort of the XB700 comes with a price. They are so well-padded and sealed they cause my ears to heat up and sweat like hell even after wearing them for an hour inside an air-conditioned room, don't you think so? Especially that you're in Hong Kong? 

Originally Posted by blitzraider View Post

I have the xb700. They're easily the most comfortable phones that can also beat (no pun intended) the "best" bass sounding headphones that the uninformed public believes in (I'm looking at you, Dre Beats).

post #7 of 28

I would also add that the XB700's are anything but portable.

post #8 of 28

There's not much more to be said to OP's post, the XB500 is prolly the headphone with most impact/punch but it covers not just the punchy upper bass but also the very lowest frequencies and it's far more easily driven than XB700, XB500 doesn't need an amp and XB700 does for good results. I'd rate XB700 like 70/30 ratio in terms of sub-bass (<80Hz) / punchy (>80Hz-200Hz) upper bass focus while XB500 is more like 45/55 unamped and XB500 has a noticable bigger bass quantity. With a suitable amp the XB700 will probably get a lot punchier with more impact and Gary's PA2V2 amp did make it punchier for me but I didn't really like the result with it anyway, I personally prefer a balance in sub-bass and punchy upper bass and want pretty much equal much of both. XB500 has maybe slightly less dry midrange, XB700 is more like a DT880 in that regard or in overall for Beyer headphones, not horrible by any means especially for this price but then again due to the slight lack of impact/punch the bass won't overhelm it either, XB500's mids needs to be more present due to the punchier bass and it seems to be the case too, I feel the mids may be slightly less recessed in order to balance the bass out. Highs again stand out almost too much for my liking on XB700 while XB500 sounds smoother to give more space for the mids. It's a matter of personal preference though not what sounds better cuz that's impossible to answer IMO, you just get subjective opinions that may not cope with your own prefers.


I haven't had any problems with sweat with the XB500, maybe XB700 is worse in that regard I dunno as I haven't used the XB700 that much but XB500 I've spent long gaming sessions of many hrs and haven't had any issues, I remember having more problems with sweat with ATH-M50 only wearing it for an hour.

Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 10/15/10 at 11:48am
post #9 of 28
Thread Starter 

From what I've heard about the XB700's, they aren't for me.  I hear they're tougher to push, have less kick, I'd like to avoid too much size, and I also heard from 1 source that the adapter is 1/4" and requires an adapter for a standard jack.  Not sure if that last one is true or if there are different versions, but I seem to prefer everything about the XB500 when it comes to differences with the XB700.  Only exception would be the upside in bass with an amp, but I don't ever see myself using one.  The only things that I've heard that I don't like about the XB500 are:


1)  it has vents that leak a lot of sound

distant 2)  it doesn't have a single-sided cable

distant 3)  the cushions are big, but I hear the comfort goes a long way to make up for it. 


The next closest competitor I had to it was the Solo/Solo HD.  I've heard that the Sony's have more bass kick and better sound quality, but I'm not sure if it's actually true or if it's biased.  I have noticed a ton of hate on Dre's phones on here.  But 2 huge issues with them to me are that they are triple the cost and I don't have an Ipod/Iphone, so the included cable won't work correctly.  But admittedly, I love the more compact size, the single-sided cable, and I'm guessing that they leak much less.  So it seems like the XB500's are the logical choice among the 2 of them. 


The 750DJ's seem too bulky to me.  Anyone have any additional thoughts on the HD 212's?

post #10 of 28

The XB500's don't leak that much, especially while on your ears, they aren't even loud when around my neck pushing 4,000 mW.

post #11 of 28

At least the XB500 leaks less than XB700 as the vents are so much bigger on XB700 but it may still be enough of a prob if wearing in public in quiet environments, in noisy environments or even at schools during breaks for example I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be a prob.


As for the Sennheiser HD 212 Pro, I'm using these at my parent's place whenever I go for a visit there and I'm there atm and listening to them atm, I used to use these before as well before on my own comp. What I like about these that also would fit you would be the fact they shut off ambient noise very well and they are very lightweight and doesn't leak any sound at all. The bass by my personal boomy / punchy bass rating I'd rate it 55/45 compared to 45/55 for the XB500. So the 212 are slightly on the boomy side but they also pack a lot of punch. The bass quality sounds a bit worse than on the XB500 as well but it's not horrible by any means, in fact it's the strongest point of the headphone really. As for the quantity, well 212 has slightly less quantity compared to XB500 but it's got more than XB700 so somewhere in-between those. The overall sound signature is somewhere in-between aggressive and laid-back and the XB500 is more on the aggressive side. The midrange is quite recessed and the highs are very bright and "thin" and lacks the fine detail heard in better headphones, XB500 is the opposite with smooth highs but better quality even if they don't stick out as much cuz on the 212 they do it in a rather bad way that can be ear-piercing sometimes depending on your EQ settings as usual. With precise EQing you can get relatively good results though for both for the price, both headphones really benefit from EQing a lot and XB500 needs it especially to "unsmooth" the overall sound for better clarity that is got by having especially 250 - 500Hz range lower and raising 4 - 16kHz range. 212 Pro needs a boost especially at midrange, ie 1 - 2kHz and also especially 250 - 500Hz so a bit of the opposite compared to XB500 or else they sound rather boring and "lifeless". The 212 are also easily driven, not quite like XB500 but fairly close so an amp isn't a necessity at all (more like an amp won't improve the sound by any remarkable amount). Oh and another interesting point I'd like to point out is that they are suprisingly well fit as gaming headphones if you disregarding sound quality, it's easy to pick out the directions the sound comes from on these headphones.


Have you concidered an AKG K 518 DJ though? They are good for portable use, they look awesome (IMO at least), very compact and lightweight and these packs a lot of  bass punch & impact but they are rather tame in the sub-bass range below 80Hz or so. They are like the opposite of XB700 in bass, if I'd rate the XB700 like 70/30 % (boomy / punchy) ratio then the AKGs get the opposite 30/70. The bass punch is very close to that of XB500 but they don't do dubstep or hardstyle music with deep bass justice IMO due to the poor sub-bass extension. Another thing you need to know about them is the comfortability, non-stretched these sit very very tight on your head, the clamping force is so huge I got earpain after 20~30 mins of use but after stretching them overnight for 3 nights over the box they arrived in, that problem disappeared. They are also very easily driven, nearly as easy as the XB500 and I've found that they sound rather good from a lot of different sources, especially straight out of my TV so that's where I mainly use those these days whenever I don't want any1 else hear when I'm watching some silly programs like Idol. tongue.gif They share a bit similar sound signature as the XB500 too with very smooth/dark sounding highs a reasonable midrange that has the vocals sticking out clearly. The soundstage is however fairly enclosed sounding, XB500 has a more open or airy sound. The price is pretty much the same as for the XB500 too.


Hope this helps.

Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 10/15/10 at 3:57pm
post #12 of 28
Thread Starter 

Sounds like I prefer the XB500 over the 212 in everything except for the sound isolation, which isn't a huge deal, just a luxury.  I also have Monster Turbine Pro Gold's, so I can use those if portability and/or sound isolation are required.  I would just still prefer to avoid anything too bulky.  I am looking into some gaming phones as well.  I think I've got that narrowed down to the Turtle Beach PX21 and the DSS surround sound mixer.  Need the mic with it as well.  Otherwise I would take the 212's into consideration more for that benefit. 


And yeah, I did consider those AKG's at first.  I'm actually coming from the similar JBL Ref 410's which broke.  I totally agree with the comfort issue.  That and the fact that I had to readjust them after every use was very annoying.  Not sure if those AKG's have that problem, too, or not.  But I really liked that bass and certainly wouldn't mind even more, so I decided to pass on the AKG's.  And yes, you have been very helpful.  Feeling even better about my XB500 purchase.  I even found out that I can get them for about $10 through my Sony Rewards account.  Might just wait a little longer to gain more points and make it even cheaper.  I'd appreciate any other views in the meantime. 

post #13 of 28

The AKG K 518 DJ doesn't need to be stretched more than once, they always feel the same now after I've stretched them, they sit gently on the ears now and I can wear them for AT LEAST 2hrs, haven't tested any longer. I would still recommend XB500 over the AKG if sound leaking and ambient noise isolation aren't the most important factors for you. Only the pads make it seem somewhat big but the XB500 pads are far smaller (but equal thick) than XB700 and I think XB500 is even more comfortable due to the weight of only 185g, you won't notice u're wearing a headphone.

Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 10/15/10 at 6:03pm
post #14 of 28
Thread Starter 

If it's not too much trouble, could an XB500 owner measure the diameter of the ear openings?  Just curious as to whether they would qualify as being over-the-ear or partially on-the-ear for me.  I was actually under the impression they were super-sized on-the-ear 'phones at first. 

post #15 of 28

I would if I had been at my student appartment. :s They feel like they sit around my ears though and my ears are pretty big. The pads are so soft it's actually difficult to say if whole ear fits inside and they will slightly adjust to your ear shape over time. The inner diameter isn't round anymore on mine, the backside of it has been shaped according to my earglobe and it's a bit more oval than round.

Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 10/16/10 at 6:12am
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