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Sony MDR XB500

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, this is my first post here and I apologize if I have posted this in the wrong section...

 

So I'm planning to get the Sony MDR XB500, and I was wondering if there are other headphones that are roughly the same price $60 that are a better choice than the XB500's. 

 

Thanks dt880smile.png

post #2 of 17

In my opinion, the XB500 is a bad choice. They are plasticy, sound boomy and fatigueing and have a very congested and boxy soundstage and depth. I own the XB700 btw. and only like it for dubstep. Not for critical listening. My impressions are based on comparing my friend's XB500 to my 700. For your budget I'd go with one of these:  

 

- Superlux HD668b (killer headphone, semi-open) 

- AKG K518DJ

- Jays V-Jays (open)

- Fischer Audio FA-004

 

- secondhand pair of ATH-M50's 

- Secondhand pair of Grado SR60i's (open)

 

Do they have to be closed headphones? For $60 you can get some good budget in-ears like the Fischer Audio Eterna, Fischer Audio Silver Bullet, Brainwavz M2, Soundmagic PL50 etc. 


Edited by Negakinu - 12/15/10 at 5:29am
post #3 of 17

depending on what you after with your first pair of headphone.  If you want something more serious toward an audiophile headphone then no, but if you want something fun then yes.  If you list what you are trying to get them for it might help.

 

this is another one you might want to try to look into that I think would be nice also: don't be push away by it's name because they use the same driver as the denon D1001

 

creative live aurvana: the use one fall under your price bracket

 

http://www.amazon.com/Creative-Labs-EF0060-Aurvana-Headphones/dp/B000ZJZ7OA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1292421018&sr=8-1

post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by borischan12 View Post

Hey guys, this is my first post here and I apologize if I have posted this in the wrong section...

 

So I'm planning to get the Sony MDR XB500, and I was wondering if there are other headphones that are roughly the same price $60 that are a better choice than the XB500's. 

 

Thanks dt880smile.png

 

Totally depends on the genres of music you listen to and the source used to play them.  If it's mostly electronic music out of an ipod then the XB500 is difficult to beat for the money.


 

post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lex View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by borischan12 View Post

Hey guys, this is my first post here and I apologize if I have posted this in the wrong section...

 

So I'm planning to get the Sony MDR XB500, and I was wondering if there are other headphones that are roughly the same price $60 that are a better choice than the XB500's. 

 

Thanks dt880smile.png

 

Totally depends on the genres of music you listen to and the source used to play them.  If it's mostly electronic music out of an ipod then the XB500 is difficult to beat for the money.


 


I generally listen to rock/electronic music, I like the bass.

 

But how about the Sennheiser HD 205? Is it comparable with the XB500's?

post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by borischan12 View Post


I generally listen to rock/electronic music, I like the bass.

 

But how about the Sennheiser HD 205? Is it comparable with the XB500's?

 

The XB500's are meant for bassheads, the problem is that the midrange is not clear enough. You'll need some eq tweaks. 
 

I never owned/listened the 205's. 

post #7 of 17

Why would you consider the HD205 when you've already received perfectly sensible recommendations? :) I own the HD205 and they are mediocre at best. 

post #8 of 17

The XB500 doesn't sound bad but it's down to what you're looking for I suppose, I absolutely hated BeyerDynamic DT770 Pro that costed 3.5x as much but absolutely love the XB500 that costed 3.5x as little, strange isn't it. XB500 do need some EQ adjustment for optimal result though, unEQ'd it's a bit too smooth sounding that masks the fine details in the sound, boosting highs and possibly lowering 125 - 500Hz a bit takes care of that. I listen to everything from trance, pop to some rock to ballads and orchestra (video game music) and I love them just as much for every genre, with or without the bass. I can drag 32 - 125Hz sliders to -12dB (ie. decrease it to the bottom of the EQ) and still like the sound without the bass, but looks like Audigy 2 ZS with kX Audio drivers are like perfect match for them too, different equipment will provide different results.

 

The most important would be to know what kind of sound you prefer, ofc difficult to say if you haven't tried out different headphones. XB500 are meant for fun listening experience, far from critical listening/studio use. :p


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 12/15/10 at 2:45pm
post #9 of 17

I can't believe the advice on here.  Ditch the XB500 and get the XB700. 

They are super duper cheap on Amazon right now.  no tax, free shipping, $70.

 

There is really no substitute for this bass in your face can. 

The difference is the 40mm vs. 50mm driver. 

The bigger the driver, the lower the bass response. 

Get the Sonys, EQ up the treble to your liking. 

 

If you want a good phone, you'll need to spend a lot more. 

For $70, nothing and I mean nothing beats the XB700 at what it does.

BASS IN YO FACE.  

 

post #10 of 17
Hmm, after trying both the XB500 and XB700 on the same computer with the same songs...the XB500 just sounds a lot better with a generous amount of bass. Maybe I will give the XB700 some "white noise" burn-in time, but as of right now, they aren't that great.
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by RaZrReD View Post

Hmm, after trying both the XB500 and XB700 on the same computer with the same songs...the XB500 just sounds a lot better with a generous amount of bass. Maybe I will give the XB700 some "white noise" burn-in time, but as of right now, they aren't that great.


Yep, I bought XB700 first and thought it sounded pretty good for the price, used it for maybe up to 2 weeks, decided to try out XB500 based on some comments and it was like "love at first hear", it was like very easy to tell I liked XB500 more when kept switching between the two and I didn't even need to burn in the XB500 to feel they were better for me. The mids are a bit worse on XB700, the overall sound is "thinner", closer to DT770 style sound because of the slight laid-back sound and somewhat recessed mids and somewhat exaggerated highs vs XB500's warm sound, smoother highs and slightly less recessed mids with punchier bass. UnEQ'd vs unEQ'd the XB700 is clearer sounding but still worse sounding for me, with slight EQ adjustment the somewhat extensive smoothness of the XB500 can be fixed and the sound is very good in all possible ways for the price, I tried EQing the XB700 a lot as well and could make it better sounding too but XB500 clearly benefitted even more from EQing. It's interesting how differently headphones in the same series can sound like despite using same type of drivers and design. The XB500 is also incredibly cheap around here, 43€ which usually would correspond to $45 or so in the US if comparing prices of other headphones.

 

In the end it comes down to if you prefer warm or laid-back sound, XB700's sound signature is much more common though with deep/boomy/soft bass and laid-back sound and quite bright highs while XB500's very warm sound and smooth/darker highs and great balance between upper and deep bass which is much more rare (Denon D1100 is one example, AKG K518/81 DJs (altough sub-bass extension isn't exactly amazing on those) V-moda Crossfades another but the sound quality of those is poor so not worth mentioning).

 

Will be interesting comparing XB500 vs D1100, I wouldn't be too suprised if XB500 would be more to my liking, ofc it would be unfair to compare XB500 that has like 1000hrs of use without giving D1100 some burn-in time and see what it can do with proper EQing and I'll just burn them in while I spend xmas at parents place to be able to give a proper review when I come back. Hopefully the Denons would arrive soon tho cuz expected arrival date was 15 - 21th so should arrive any day now (no tracking code is used from where I bought them so can't tell what's the status with the package).


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 12/15/10 at 2:44pm
post #12 of 17

Guys, sorry for zombieing this thread... I just bought a refurbished XB500.

 

I've been using a Philips SHP805 for years, this thing is just beautiful, natural sounding and rich for little price. I bought the XB500 basically because of his premise of extra bass, however it's still sounding unnatural to me.

 

I put him up and compared to the SHP805 it was just too much bass, little mids and highs and unnatural sound.

 

My question is: Does every headphone require a certain amount of burn-in to stop sounding too boxy, unnatural?

post #13 of 17

Hi there, I'm a new poster here, so please be kind to me.

 

As for the question, I believe it was specified as what would be recommended within a similar price range.

This may be my option, but I hold a 'similar price range' tag as within $10 - $15 difference, and mostly geared to higher cost than lower.

That being said, you may actually get lucky once in a while. If you order online, like Amazon for instance, then you'd get relatively better prices than your

average consumer electronic stores (like Bestbuy for instance, or Futureshop or LondonDrugs if you live in Canada.)  

 

Now, as for the question. To be honest, it's quite hard to say what would match the XBR-500 at a similar price range. If you can get the Shure-SRH240 for $10 - $15 more, then by all means, I'd recommend them. In fact, I went through at least 6 pairs of headphones in the last 2 months in search for the ideal pair (for me) and somehow I keep coming back to the XBR500's.  

In fact, one of the pairs I tried were the SRH240M+ which are of the same exact specs and acoustic quality of the SRH240, with only few differences of a different wiring/cable system as they come

with built in audio controls and a mic for calls; obviously devised for portability with ipod/iphone/ipad and what not.  They sound very good, good sound stage, clear mids and high. The bass response is of course opinion based as to what one will consider 'good bass' as. They obviously can't match the 500's in that department, but I honestly found them just right with that department. Of course if you listen to the 500's for a few days and then try to go back after your ear and brain is accustomed to that sound, you'd feel as if you've been spoiled and can't go back. It's almost addictive to an extent. Kind of like eating average quality food, then introduced to high end food delicacies for a few days and then brought back... You'd feel slightly cheated in way.. If that makes sense. 

 

I know some may recommend A few different Sennheiser models like the 428, 408, 202 .. and some maybe within the price range, but be aware of a few things when it comes to Sennheiser.

I'm not bashing any of them since Senns make quality products, however, they're budget models that sell in stores (not online) at $50 - $150 range will not satisfy you. They didn't satisfy me, so I'm going with that reference. First off, you should know that most senns models produce flat response through their drives. Not a bad thing if you like to hear your music as it was recorded. However, that aspect takes away any character the music you listen to may carry through your headphones.  Unless, you're a sound producer or a DJ, I don't recommend such headphones for personal or portable use. Further, if you are, you would know that you'd have to spend at least $200 (store price) to get a decent pair in order to reproduce an accurate sound. 

Another issue I found with the higher brand models like Shure and Sennheiser, is that in their entry level models, the wires/cables are too thin, whether they are 10 feet long or 4 feet long, single sided or Y shaped. I personally had to return 2 Seenheiser models (202, 418) and the Shure240M+ because of that reason. The wiring are simply far too flimsy, and anyone who had them or own a pair knows what I am talking about. They literally feel as if they can snap by a single accidental snag. And let's face it, snags do happen, whether you have a $20 pair or a $500 Beat Pro Detox... and they all break at one point. Yes, you can purchase the product protection plan for extra $15 - $20, but then you're going over the said budget... so it's a hassle you don't want.  I noticed that with those higher end brands, once you go over the $150 mark, the sound and built quality increases dramatically, while with all XBR Sony models (including the Marqui model), they all come with the 4-5 long sturdy tough flat cable that is twist and tangle free.  Which makes you wonder, 'why can't one company just get it right?' Because with one, you get really good and sturdy built that would probably last for years, yet the sound quality is somewhat of a let down. Good example is the Philips Oneill Stretch. They're also within the budget, built like a tank and designed with sports activity (like snowboarding, skying and Skateboarding) in mind. Including a stress detachable cable like the Beats Pro have. A nice touch right? But then again, sound quality is of a mixed bag. Clear highs and mids, mediocre bass levels, and slightly lower in volume. So what does it mean? You have to nearly crank your portable device to get the potential sound?  

 

Another example is the Sennheiser HD205-II. While sounding decent (after proper burn-in, 20-25 hours of use, or under white/pink/static noise), they have a fairly long cable which according to a few reviews actually cracks under the stress of being binded and thus, rendering the headphones useless. Further, super tight fit with cuffs which make you wonder if these are over the ear or on-ear. Because they're neither here and not there... So after an hour of use, your ears are burning and itching for relief.

 

So, with all that said, I would suggest trying quite a few pairs since everyone's taste is different. I mean, I didn't like the HD202-II, but you may. Or I may consider the Shure240's wire design too falty to bear with, but you may find it decent with extra care. Same goes for the Philips.  So definitely Try the Shure SRH240, Pioneer SE-M390, which offer pretty good sound (although a bit sibilant) and promise to have good base via ported head-cups. They have a long cable as-well, so binding may be required. But it's a tough cable and is one sided. One downfall is that they have a similar stretch design, so no adjustments, rather self adjusting. I found them sliding off a bit, but this may only be me.  Try the Sony MDRV500 DJ style. Should be within the price range. They are more on-ear headphones, one sided coiled cable. They were on show at Bestbuy next to Sennheiser 428 and a pair of Skullcandy, and the Sony's beat them by 4 to1 sound. They may lack some bass, but if you can live past that, then they can satisfy you. 

 

By the way, I'd stay away from the JVC XX explosive bass headphones. 50mm drives, look nice and strong, but other than bass, everything else is mud.

 

But beyond all those, I don't know much more. Some people may recommend Beyerdynamics, but I found all those brands like Audio Technica to be more of Studio oriented use than personal use. So if that's your game, then by all means. But among the rest I highly recommend the XB500's. They're comfortable, very padded, easy to adjust and come with a nice and tough cable, and in addition, a nice pouch for storage or carry. As for sound, I haven't heard the 700's series or the Japan and import rumored 1000 model that's supposed to blow your head off.  But for the 500's, for the price, it's really hard to beat. I'd honestly say that on bass terms, they do beat any Dre's and Mosnter's incarnation of any headphones. The pros' are slightly brighter, while the closest in soundwise, are the solos (in my opinion). Though I like the 500's better. The good thing is that they respond well to EQ. So depends on your player, but if you have any new ipod, iphone or anything else that can eq beyond the flat response, you can use it. In fact, any Apple user out there can buy the 99c EQu app which will make wonders for sound and bring your headphones to new highs. Of course, that could be said about many headphones, but from what I heard, for this price range, the 500's promise the highest potential.  After all, they have 40mm drives with 4hz to 24Khz Frequency response. Which means, that with the right EQ, they will be as bright as you want, as bassy as you need, or mid or vocal oriented as you wish while able to reproduce high levels of sibilinace to your liking.  I really can't say this about other headphones at this price range. And I do stress, this price range. 

 

I hope this helps.

 

Good luck and happy listening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #14 of 17

Im thinking of buying these as well, but im not shure how they will perform if im using they for tv, movies, ps3 and some music.

 

So could someone help me. Is the sound clear? Overpowered bass?

post #15 of 17
+ 1 for the AKG K518 DJ as they are great for many genres, especially electronica and rock, which is what you listen to. But you have to stretch them out otherwise they clamp damn hard. But the good thing is the bass doesnt drown out anything else, if you take the foam from the middle of the cups, they become more balanced. Also the audio technica SJ5 is similar design with similar sound i think.
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