Sony MDR-XB450

Average User Rating:
3.5/5,
  1. SaturnVuk
    4.5/5,
    "Sony at its best !!!"
    Pros - VERY well made, very comfortable, the best "enjoyable "fun" sound of any enequlised headphone!!!
    Cons - None at this price
    Okay, takes a deep breath because I know I'm going to be dissed to hell over this review and my comments on the sound of these headphones. All I ask is you read what I'm actually saying all of the way through and take ALL of the points I make into consideration.
    I LOVE both transparent and flat and equalised sound in equal measure ! ! !  I'm lucky because most of the time I can plug in my AKG and my Sennhizeiser headphones (both of which I love) and when I fancy a change of sound, from the mind set of.....don't dare to listen, or even try to appreciate music in any way if the frequency response has been altered in any way (well you know the thought process that pervades in the "audiophile" culture in that respect......so to hell with it, I have a little fun, I crank up the lows take out the lower mids and push the highs to reveal hidden depths and enjoyment of my music that would remain hidden without my tinkering around with the frequency's. Both the AKGs and the Sennhizeisers stand up to my flooding of the the very low ends and highs so well, and both produce a wonderfully "rich" and clear delightful sound and never sound like they are been pushed close to there limits, rather BOTH sets of headphones chew it up and ask me for more, and trust me I push them both VERY hard sometimes!!!
    Bla bla bla (sorry to go on) nearly 50 so I have the right and I don't care what anyone else thinks any more,oh the joys of getting old! ! ! !
    This brings me to the Sony MDR XB 450 and the sound they produce out of the box, of the bat with NO equalization at all. There a dream, flat.....probably not! Do I care not one bit, what this set of headphones dose is produce a sound, the very best equalized sound without the £200 equalizer and the £300 amp! They are a joy to pick up and plug in, mmmmmmm, in ALL the right places they draw the sound frequencys that matter to produce the richest, warmest most easy and enjoyable and fun to sound produced by ANY headphone. Yes I said FUN but don't let that word put you of trying them.....go on audiophiles with your £1000 plus headphones I dare you ! ! ! take your snazzy £500 music player, select your number one song of time plug in the Sonys and prepare to hear your songs bassline as you have probably never been able to hear and appreciate it before, yet....still have the clarity of the top end coming through!
    This is a truly GREAT set of headphones, to be clear NO there not flat and transparent!!! But what they do ,do is something totally magical with the sound in the most wonderful way!!!
    I rate the Sony MDR XB 450 as one of the most underrated and unappreciated headphones within the audiophile community, sometimes some thing dose not HAVE to be £300 plus to just simply sound fantastic or as in the case of the mighty  Sennhizeiser PX100mk2 the size of dinner plates to sound truly stunning and well balanced........again I'm NOT saying the Sonys are balanced, but I encourage you, if you haven't, next time your in Currys plug your player in stick your top song on and just try them (you might be surprised) and if you can get past the "but there £40 headphones so there crap" you might actually enjoy the sound, you know just for a change every now and then, just for a little but of fun!
    Well done Sony (Oh and by the way the lesser mortals amongst us (i.e. the none "audiophiles") LOVE your headphone the reviews and comments from the mortals are outstanding on Amazon and rightly so, that's the REAL testament to your fantastically well made, comfortable, durable, engineered masterpiece that is the MDR XB 450 ! ! !
  2. Airey
    4.0/5,
    "Fun Headphones... With a little help"
    Pros - Lots of bass, great looks, comfortable pads, flat cable
    Cons - Extremely recessed mids and highs without an amp or an equalizer, headband is pretty standard, microphone is sub-par
    Got these ones at aprox. 20 dollars since they were on discount in a store nearby.
     
    Looks: I found them to be bigger and more comfortable than the XB400, their predecessor headphones, as well as better looking. A pad or soft cushion on the headband would have been nice, and the Headband itself feels too thin as if it's going to break anytime, but it isn't an uncomfortable pair of headphones at all. The grip is okay, not too tight or too loose for my head. They're not heavy to carry and are comfortable to wear when I'm using glasses, which is something I really appreciate. They have Swivel Earcups, which helps if you're carrying them in a backpack, but the headphones themselves aren't foldable. There are plenty of colors to choose from like Yellow, Blue, Red, Silver or Black.
     
    Sound: These are definitely not audiophile headphones. If you listen to them directly out of your cellphone or PC you'll find they feature an overwhelming, loud, punchy bass, which is has been the main characteristic of all the XB headphones Sony has put out so far. The problem is that the mids are completely veiled and recessed, and the highs are almost nowhere to be heard. These headphones really shine in EDM or Hip Hop songs, but their performance is disappointing on Acoustic or Metal songs.
     
    However, I used them in my PC with the built-in equalizer turned on and the treble maxed, and the audio quality improves incredibly. The mids and highs stop being veiled and the bass remains as punchy as before. The soundstage is still flawed, but their sound definitely becomes more balanced and really fun to hear, even better in my opinion than that of the XB-920 headphones, which have even more bloated bass than these cans.
     
    Overall I'd recommend them a lot if you're a basshead and can make the treble stand out via amp or EQ. They're definitely worth the price I paid for, but I've seen them full price at 40 to 60 dollars in retail stores. If you're going to use them directly out of your cellphone and don't have an amp or EQ I'd recommend the Sennheiser HD201 or specially the HD202 more, since they have a less-bassy but more balanced stand-alone sound at a lower price.
  3. bva91
    2.0/5,
    "Decent Looks, Subpar Performance"
    Pros - Decent Looks at the price point, Flat Cables, Comfortable for On Ears
    Cons - Bass lacks Definition and Detail, Hollow Mids, Recessed Highs
    BUILD & LOOKS
     
    I personally thought the XB450 was a well designed headphone but its not for everyone, as some might find it too flashy for the taste.
    The headphone was quite comfortable for a pair of On-Ears, but the non-replaceable ear pads are a huge let down. A redeeming feature of the headphones are the flat cables, which don't tangle easily. 
    Overall i feel the build quality is decent but nothing impressive.
     
    SOUND
     
    I expected the Sony XB450 to be an upgrade sound quality wise to the XB400, but that wasnt the case unfortunately. It still retains the bloated bass of the earlier model and lacks definition or detail.
    Mids sound hollow and highs are very recessed compared to the Sennheiser HD202. The soundstange was also also poor and the isolation was average. 
     
    CONCLUSION
     
    The XB450 is a good pair for casual use but personally i'd recommend the Sennheiser HD202 which sounds better, while sacrificing some of those flashy looks. The Superlux HD 681 is a better buy than both but a less popular brand in india. Also both these models come with replaceable earpads. The XB450 isn't unusable or anything but the Sennheiser HD202 and Superlux HD681 are better buys from audio quality perspective strictly. 
     
    [​IMG]