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Sony MDR-XB50: All of your basses...all of them.

post #1 of 72
Thread Starter 

Hello Head-Fiers,


 

Just starting a thread for the new MDR-XB50, since it is a fairly new product, and not much has been said. IMO, for sub $100 budget bassy IEMs that I have tried/own, they are at the top of the heap.


 

"Extra Basses"






Some stats from the back of the box:


 

Driver - 12mm closed dynamic

Power Handling - 100 mW

Impedence - 16 ohms at 1kHz

Sensitivity - 110db/mW

Frequency Response - 4 Hz to 24,000 Hz


 

The cable is 1.2m in length, which is about the right length.


 

For those that own them, what do you think?

 


Edited by B9Scrambler - 9/17/14 at 8:03pm
post #2 of 72
Thread Starter 

Update!


 


 

Now that I've been listening to these for pretty much 24 hours straight, I think I have a decent grasp on how they sound. To date, I have not noticed any difference in sound signature since unboxing them.
 


 

Mids and treble are significantly more recessed than I was expecting, probably due to the bass overwhelming everything. EQ out some of the bass, and you will find that these are surprisingly detailed, however; you have to ditch the reason for buying them in the first place to really experience this, soooooo, take that as you will.


 

I have been using Gramatik's The Age of Reason primarily for my testing. The bass on every song sounds phenomenal as expected. The XB50 bully the FX3X all day in this aspect. Electric guitars prevalent throughout most of the album sound alright, but again they are overshadowed by the mountains of bass thundering around.


 

'Brave Men' is a standout song for these phones, especially around the 3:40 mark when the song transitions from electric guitar to sub-bass heavy electronic. I thought the transition was amazing on the 3X, but the XB50 shows them how its done.


 

Bluestep does a good job of exemplifying both the strengths and weaknesses of the XB50. There is a deep bassline that runs throughout the majority of the song, which sounds stunning. There is also a good mix of voicework and guitar, both of which sound quiet and much too subtle. This song better matches the 3X where the bass kicks hard, but does not overshadow the rest of the song.


 

So far I find the XB50 to be a very pleasant IEM, with tons of bass. They are extremely comfortable despite their absurd size, and not at all fatiguing to listen to. This is likely in part due to the mellow mids and highs. While I don't think they are worse than the 3X, I do think they compliment each other nicely.


 

Build quality seems spot on and the cable is a good length. The lined texture on the cable does produce some significant microphonics depending on what the cord rubs against. It is particularly noticeable during phone calls, per the other person I was speaking with. This is somewhat disappointing, but not the reason why I bought them. On the plus side, the cable feels exceptionally durable, and does not tangle too easily (IMO).


 

I must also note that they are exceptionally easy to drive. I actually use them on the lowest possible volume on my Moto G, most of the time. First IEM I've ever had that experience with. Great for battery life :D


 

For anyone who has these, please post your impressions! I am curious to see what you think.

post #3 of 72

Thanks for the review! I wish they made an iPhone variant of these. I have the MDR-XB21iP and they are my gotos right now, even though I've owned them for a good 4 years or more now... I'm sure these sound better but I think the XB line of Sony's earbuds are the most underrated of their lineup and a fantastic value for the quality!

post #4 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrXiro View Post

 

Thanks for the review! I wish they made an iPhone variant of these. I have the MDR-XB21iP and they are my gotos right now, even though I've owned them for a good 4 years or more now... I'm sure these sound better but I think the XB line of Sony's earbuds are the most underrated of their lineup and a fantastic value for the quality!


You are welcome. Hopefully everything made sense. They do work fine on the iPhone, just no volume control. I completely understand if that would lead to a pass. I've been using Android forever and volume control never works, so no biggie, lol.

post #5 of 72

Well the right ear of my XB21iP has crapped out so I might have to look into getting these. Though I am a big fan of the volume control so I'm hoping an "iP" version comes out. I do like the look of these too.

 

Everything made sense and I'm sure the quality is probably similar to the pair I have. I think I actually purchased mine for much cheaper a few years ago. Something closer to $20 after my Sony discount (I used to work for Sony Pictures) But since then the discounts haven't been as good, it used to be closer to 60% off depending on the model (I think it was like 5% over cost) but now it's 40% even. :(

 

Anyway I'd pick up the XB50s if they weren't back ordered right now.

post #6 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrXiro View Post

Well the right ear of my XB21iP has crapped out so I might have to look into getting these. Though I am a big fan of the volume control so I'm hoping an "iP" version comes out. I do like the look of these too.

Everything made sense and I'm sure the quality is probably similar to the pair I have. I think I actually purchased mine for much cheaper a few years ago. Something closer to $20 after my Sony discount (I used to work for Sony Pictures) But since then the discounts haven't been as good, it used to be closer to 60% off depending on the model (I think it was like 5% over cost) but now it's 40% even. frown.gif

Anyway I'd pick up the XB50s if they weren't back ordered right now.

Future Shop and The Source here in London ON Canada seem to have them in stock. Future Shop has them on sale for 44Cad. not sure if this helpful to you or anyone.
post #7 of 72

I'm in Los Angeles in the US... it's possible that it hasn't released here yet. It's on the Sony Website but back ordered which sometimes is just a placeholder for new products.

post #8 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrXiro View Post

I'm in Los Angeles in the US... it's possible that it hasn't released here yet. It's on the Sony Website but back ordered which sometimes is just a placeholder for new products.

Makes sense. if future shop ships to the us, it might be worth it. I'm kinda surprised they are already on sale given how new they are.
post #9 of 72

Finally came in at the Sony Store. They aren't "ON" sale. They're FOR sale now. I don't think they were being sold yet at the time. I ordered a pair with my employee discount for $30. 

 

What do you think of them now after a little more time using them? Worth the $? I'm excited to try mine. They come in today.

post #10 of 72
Thread Starter 
In all honesty, I stopped using them for the most part. While the bass is great, everything else is overshadowed and doesn't stand out enough for my tastes.

For 30 USD, they are definitely worth it, and I think you will be pleased with them. I'll stick with my 3X though tongue.gif
post #11 of 72

Did you ever try the XB21iP? Those were my previous buds of choice until the right ear crapped out on me. They were a bit bass heavy and muffled on the other fronts but cleared up a bit after burn in. Not the most clear of headphones I owned but probably my favorite earbuds for many years.

post #12 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrXiro View Post

 

Did you ever try the XB21iP? Those were my previous buds of choice until the right ear crapped out on me. They were a bit bass heavy and muffled on the other fronts but cleared up a bit after burn in. Not the most clear of headphones I owned but probably my favorite earbuds for many years.


Nope. These XB50s are the first Sony IEMs I've tried/owned. I'm happy with my DR-ZX302 (which everyone here hates apparently) "modded" with Marley Revolution pads, and figured I would try another Sony headphone.

post #13 of 72

Those aren't bad for the price. I tested them out a few years ago. My favorite headphone are the MDR-R10BT currently. Bluetooth with line in feature. Great quality sound and a rich bass. I'd say they are like Grado SR-80 with more base. But they are that clean and detailed... price was good for them too. I believe they were selling in stores as low as 150 earlier in the year. With my discount I was able to score a pair for about 100 even. The non Bluetooth MDR-R10 are just as good but not wireless.

post #14 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrXiro View Post

 

Those aren't bad for the price. I tested them out a few years ago. My favorite headphone are the MDR-R10BT currently. Bluetooth with line in feature. Great quality sound and a rich bass. I'd say they are like Grado SR-80 with more base. But they are that clean and detailed... price was good for them too. I believe they were selling in stores as low as 150 earlier in the year. With my discount I was able to score a pair for about 100 even. The non Bluetooth MDR-R10 are just as good but not wireless.


Those sound interesting. I have had the opportunity to test the Grado SR-80 once in a noisy store for about 15 minutes (always the best way to experience headphones), and found them to be pretty nice. I've always been wary of most Sony products (especially TVs) since they always seem to die within months of the warranty ending. After a plethora of bad apples, countered by my PS VITA experience, which has been perfect...PERFECT...I decided to try some more Sony products, starting with the ZX302s, followed by the XB50s.

 

The XB50s are impressive when it comes to price, build quality, presence (I think they are butt ugly, but they definitely attract attention), and bass. I certainly recommend them, but not to someone who wants more than just bass. If I had the chance to spend a week with them before picking them up, or could have returned them, they would not be in my IEM stable right now. They just don't fit with my preferred sound signature, which seems to be fairly balanced with a propensity for mids and highs.

 

The AKG 512 mkii with a bit of treble dialed out is a fantastic headphone. The NarMoo S1 is also a good representation of what I enjoy in an IEM. The XB50 is nothing like either of these :P

post #15 of 72

I just picked mine up. I got the red ones and yeah they are a little funny looking. My previous ones XB21iP had the same shape but these are a bit bigger and more gaudy looking. The red of the cable is a bit more plasticky looking than I would like but I actually enjoy the sound signature. Definitely not balanced but they're not bad. They're similar to my previous pair, maybe slightly more clear and louder. I immediately replaced the silicone tips with Comply tips, I loath silicone tips. The comply's give a warmer sound and slightly brighter highs and mids... it might be a better seal. I also enjoy a more bloated sounding bass so long as it isn't muddy, which these aren't.

I'm sure after a burn in these will be pretty good for my uses, which is for my lunch time walks at work.

 

My only problem with my Grados are that they are open. So I take in fair bit of outside noise and everyone around me can hear what I'm listening to.

 

Thanks a lot for your input. I'll check out the NarMoo S1 if I ever see a pair. I've never heard of them before.

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