Edited by Diablito - 11/25/14 at 9:05am
- 84 Posts. Joined 11/2014
- Location: Point Pleasant, NJ
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Edited by Diablito - 11/25/14 at 9:05am
Not gonna be keepers for me. Without the bass boost the sound is thin with very little thumb, with it the bass is just over powering and muffled! Like standing next to a car that has its stereo blasting (like mine), you can hear it but theirs very little detail. The bass is crazy stong, I didnt think it would be possible to put a sub woofer on my head but Sony have done it. If I was to use these for a week I would be deaf. I love bass but I also need treble (drum and bass head).
Its a shame as comfort is excellent, no part of my ear is touching the inside of the cup and the band is comfy. The headphones are so light you could forget you are wearing them apart from the ear heat. While I love bass I want it to pump and I liked the Beats Studio wirless bass alot so this is my bench mark. May bail on the bluetooth dream although I really want the freedom of movement they offer. All Ive got left on my list to try is the MDR1RBT MK2s.
So... I couldn't resist the $99 asking price at Best Buy, and I thought I liked what I heard in the demo, so... here I am with 1 pair.
I must say... I am very pleasantly surprised... because even at $199, I don't think I can find a better Bluetooth headphone. Couple of impressions:
Bass: strong, impactful, and pretty well-tuned. It's a bit boomy and muddy, and a bit distorted, but... well, for $100, and wireless, what am I expecting?
Midrange: warm, with good presence. Not too forward, and not too tiring. No weird peak either. Only very slightly nasal. Sounds pretty flat to my ears otherwise, which is a big plus for this headphone.
Treble: a bit recessed, not enough air on top as some say, but it's smooth and pretty well-controlled with no sibilance, which is another big plus for me. I can stand a bit of a closed-in sound, but I absolutely can't stand sibilance.
Soundstage: closed, but pretty well separated. Good enough.
Please keep in mind that I'm using my HE-560 as a point of reference, which... is vastly and far superior to these in pretty much every aspect, except that it's not wireless, closed-back, or portable.
For its price, and for its features, I think the XB950BT does very admirably, and for whatever it lacks I'd say... no problem. It is a bass headphone, and... bass, it does deliver. The quantity is just slightly more than my HE-560 with no bass boost, and since I know my HE-560 is flat neutral, I'd say this headphone is already very close to neutral already.
Anyway, loving it for portable use! Could be slightly more comfortable (less clamping, bigger ear pads opening), but then... I'm already too used to the HE-560, which practically disappears on my head as soon as I put it on, so... this one is just having an unfair customer.
Edit: mods and instructions incoming. This headphone improves like nothing I have ever heard before after some mods.
Well, couple of potential downsides I'm noticing:
1) Bluetooth runs through a pretty poorly implemented amp circuitry (likely to save battery life), so it has slight hiss, and also rolled off sub bass. This is not apparent at stock, but once modded for more accurate bass, then the rolled off bass is pretty apparent. Turning on bass boost would fix that instantly, though, so not that big an issue.
2) At stock, plugging the headphone directly can cause it to have too much bass, since I'm quite certain that the headphone was tuned specifically for bluetooth operation. Modding it can alleviate this issue, so sub bass is there with plugged in cable, but it's tighter and not so overpowering.
3) Modding can somewhat fix the slight nasal tonality with vocals, and improve soundstaging ever so slightly. But I have also found that making bass tighter (more accurate) would also mean a decreased bass quantity. This makes sense because the extra bass was just excess ringing. But still, this would be a downside for some, so I thought I'd mention it. The upside to this is that vocals are more forward, yet not necessarily shouty or sibilant, and there is more clarity without adding more treble.
All things considered, it's not like everyone who purchased this headphone wanted it for its technical prowess, and more because of its bass, so I don't think I'll release the mods just yet. If there is enough interest in it, then I'll see...
But all that said, this is... in my opinions, the best portable headphone I have ever used or had the pleasure of listening to. I'd think it is still a good value at $199. At $99, this is just a steal.
Purchasing a 2nd pair for my brother in 3, 2, 1...