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Over-Ear item created by nightmancometh, Feb 24, 2011
Pros - Bass, Comfort, Soundstage
Cons - needs amp
After several reviews and comparisons, I decided to purchase these bad boys basically cause I love deep bass and loved the looks.
I have them as the exclusive laptop audio output, since the day I received them, my 5.1 speakers burned . So I have been using them for all kinds of uses, from youtube videos, 1080p movies and lots of flac audio.
My impressions are not 100% realistic as I think lenovo soundcard must be really crappy. (On 100% laptop volume and 50% external amp bass is horrible, on 60% laptop - 75-80% amp, bass is super clear). I use as an amp a SONY DP-IF5100. I tested them in the beautiful Scarlet 2i2 (http://us.focusrite.com/usb-audio-interfaces/scarlett-2i2) and the difference is day and night. So keep a note that a good dac & amp is demanded to drive them as they were intended.
So!, Sound is very good, bass is intense, clarity could be better (you don't clearly identify all frequencies - musical organs as much as I, at least, would like) (again keep in mind the crappy laptop soundcard).
This thing likes big volumes. It comes alive when amped and volume rises. More frequencies and the bass is really felt in your skull.
At last, Comfortableness is extreme!. I never get tired wearing them for 6-8 straight. The pads come in a very soft leather that you just want to ....er.....love it and touch it all the time???....weird....
Perhaps a llliiiiitttttleeee more softness on the headband, but nothing to worry ...as i said i get 6-8 hours straight with no pain, discomfort.
So...I am glad I got them and saving money for a good dac/amp.
UPDATE after 6 months of everyday use:
Finally chipped in and got a proper dac/amp: Aune T1 ........
WOW! If you read the above, all complaints about clarity and bass were due to the really bad (as it proved) Lenovo Y500 soundcard.
Now, sound has presence, bass is really felt to my skull and it's clean warm bass. You can actually feel the whole headphone vibrating intensely!
Volume of course increased so much that I cannot put amp to 100% at 0dB Gain (only 60%).
Listening to favorite songs for comparizations, it is night and day change.
So keep in mind that if you are considering buying these headphones, you will have to save some extra for amp!
Pros - Timbre, Frequency range, Isolation, Construction and Comfort.
Cons - Low impedance, Value.
This headphone delivers exacly what master engineers was planning on their tracks, giving you a good punch and balance between all frequencys range for any kind of genre.
With a low impedance configuration all SNR can be easy noted from the system used, easy fixed with a good AMP/OP AMP avoiding max level outputs. And like a magik trick all punch's still there giving you a studio or a good tuned night club sound feeling even with this low impedance setup.
Perfect for who wants to listen clear LF's, one masterpiece for all users and a rarity nowdays.
If you want ultra punchs or just mid range ...., XB 1000 will disappoint you.. If your search goes to a clear punch and clarity, monitoring and a good balance audio pleasure, then XB 1000 are perfect for you!
An unique masterpiece for audiophiles.
This is just a short review for the monstrous XB1000 if anybody wants some opinions on it. I realize I'm a little late to the party, but hopefully this thread can go onto Google caches so future people can make an informed decision.
***Disclaimer: This is all opinion-based, but I'm pretty sure my opinions are true. Otherwise I would be an insecure jack wagon***
I received the headphones about a month ago and have had enough time to thoroughly gain a (somewhat) accurate opinion on these. Previously, I had owned the MDR-XB700s which are the 1000's not so little cousins, and being quite satisfied with them, I decided I might as well go ahead and step up the game with the huge 70mm drivers that the 1000's are famous for. Well let me tell you this much, when you receive them in the mail, pictures really cannot do you justice to explain how tremendously huge they are. They are bigger than the width of my palm, and the dictator-sized cushions that Sony lavishes you with are initially extremely comfortable, and are sure to give you lots of strange looks, should you go around town with them (which you probably shouldn't in the first place).
Amp: Fiio E09K desktop amplifier
Source: Android HTC Rezound (with radio turned off to prevent RF interference) @ 320 KBPS MP3. I know I know, get over the fact that I don't have a DAC people.
20 hours of pure white noise applied
Build: These headphones are built very sturdy and have an almost complete metal construction, unlike the 700s which consist of a plastic backing to the actual speakers, while still maintaining a metal band. The complete black look with this odd cube(ish) design on the 1000s is very visually impressive, and it gives them a very urban feel. I haven't really felt like any part of the phones was designed poorly, in such that something might break. They feel very robust and sturdy, which is something I think is a big plus for these.
Comfort: While the huge pillows that rest on the side of your face was initially a very good idea, I think Sony might have really done too much with this one. While they are very comfy for a while, the sheer weight of these monsters start to become extremely noticeable when you wear them for any length of time. The headband has very little padding at all, which is slightly disappointing. I've played games with them before, and after about 2 hours of wear, it becomes almost a burden to see these things in your peripheral vision all of the time. If you try to sleep with them on, forget it. You can't turn your head anywhere except for a straight on 90 degree position (to your actual pillow).
Sound: This is really what you all have come here for, isn't it? Well this is a little bit complicated to explain, and it's probably best to just break it down step by step in accordance to the appropriate frequency ranges as most reviews seem to do.
The lows on this thing are some of the deepest and most lush sound lows I have ever experienced. It can almost be compared to having two huge subwoofers placed directly next to your head. That is how crazy it is. I looked up a bass test on YouTube and did one of those, and holy mother of God, it is so extreme that these headphones were successful in *literally* shaking my head. The drivers on these things are so ridiculously huge that they were almost jumping off my head. It could handle deep sweeps very well (and with ease, might I add), and seemed to handle rough tracks to play very well. It really is just to leave it at this: just think of a really good set of subwoofers in someone's car. That's what these are like. I think that this is the most refined bass in the entire XB series, and it is most certainly noticeable once you first try these out. It manages to be very tight, and is very good with any song that has lots of bass.
This is where we begin to lose it a little bit. I'm not the best at explaining mids, so just bear with me. Since such a disproportionately huge amount of emphasis is placed on the bass, I think the mids are kind of lost in the shuffle and seems like they are almost forgotten about. Voices are sometimes extremely hard to hear, even with the best equalizing, and really aren't that good at describing a tracks more "feel-good" tones. While it is still possible to equalize a song so that you can hear more of your favorite ranges in the mids, it always seems kind of off and not exactly right. For example, when a guitar player is shredding out a really sick solo (think Still Got the Blues by Gary Moore), you can't really feel that crunchy, spine-tingling resonance that Gibson Les Pauls are trademarked for making. It's like you're always thinking about the bass on these headphones, because it's always present and noticeable. Not good.
This is where I have by biggest gripes. I think that the highs are almost completely washed out by all of the other frequencies. Sibilance (the sound produced by pronouncing an "s;" live around the 2-4K range) is a huge problem with these. No amount of vain contesting with the EQ is able to get rid of this problem and it leaves you always cringing whenever the singer sings just the wrong words, or the drummer hits just the wrong symbol. This is something I've noticed almost directly out of the gate, and is probably one of the single most outstanding acoustic design flaws with this set. If highs are what you crave, you might as well be better off buying some Bose QC 3's *gasp*.
Overall impression: I don't know if it was intentionally designed this way or what, but it seems as if this set is produced solely for dubstep, house, rap etc (the stuff with bass). In no way, shape or form are these good for anything like classical, rock, country, pop, Lady Gaga (I consider her to be a completely separate *terrible* genre), or anything of the like. If dubstep or rap is all you listen to, these headphones are great! However, anything else and you will be left in want. Just a word of advice, it is imperative that you use an amp with these because even though they have a relatively low impedance, the 70mm drivers command lots of energy flow to be able to move all of that air.
So, what did I eventually do with these? Sold them.
I hope you all have an excellent morning, noon, afternoon, day, night, midnight, or double sun set if you so happen to live on Tatooine.
Pros - Deep Bass, Comfort,
Cons - Mids could be better, Availability and Price
I had the 500s then I heard about these. The design was particularly to my liking. I read reviews stating that these were most refined in the series. The bass is not as crazy as the 500s and details are presented better. These are perfect for most of the music I listen to regularly (EDM). These headphones are great.
Pros - good quality sound comfortable
my favorite headphone in tha world
Pros - Bass pressure, sound isolation, sound stage
Cons - expensive for the audio quality, gimmicky big cups
I owned the XB 500, 700, and the 1000s. I currently own Denon D7000 and Ultrasone Pro 2900 (so I may compare).. The XB 500 and 700 didn't give me any benefit to my current setup, they sounded muffled, the bass was present but not very clean, they didn't suit my taste. I read a great deal about the 1000s so I took the plunge once they became available in the US. I was really excited to get them cause I thought the ultra huge pad look would be kinda cool and comfortable.. But after wearing them for about an hour I have to say, I'm not crazy about having those massive pads on my head, almost feels claustrophobic, not because they are closed phones, but because they are huge and you really sense it when its on your head.
As far as sound quality the 1000s definitely sound much much better than the lower lineup. They don't have loud thumping bass that the 500s had, but they have this weird ability to create almost a suction type feeling on your ear drums when sub bass hits, it was actually so weird I had to take them off the first time I heard it. They are neat in that respect (hopefully thats safe for your ears-long term), but their audio quality doesn't come very close to my other headphones and it didn't give me enough of something different (sound wise) to merit keeping them. So I did return them after a trial period and personally for the price I would recommend other headphones with similar costs (and there are many like the Ultrasone Pro series, the Sen HD650s - Amazon sells them for $360 often - even the Denon D2000s sound better - another pair I previously owned).
I can't really merit a recommendation for this headphone for the price, maybe if it could be had for $200 it would be fun, but if you're looking for your first big purchase of a nice headphone, i would do some research and get a pair with better sound quality.
I do want to mention something, I read a few peoples reviews stating that the 1000s sound "amazing" for house and electronic music... I think they sound ok, I listen mostly to electronic music and both my Denon and Ultrasones do them much better justice than the Sonys did, especially in clarity, bass reproduction, and vocals (just my opinion).
After spending a bit of time with the two "extra bass" headphones, here are my final thoughts between the two. I hope you guys will find it useful. If you missed the unboxing videos you can watch them here.
Comfort & Design:
The XB700 has a much better seal on my head than the XB1000. The seal is so good that it feels like wearing ear plugs. Both headphones are VERY comfy to wear for hours, but I do wish the headband has more padding.
The XB700 cable is a lot shorter and did not come with a 1/4 adaptor. Looks to be designed for portable use. The XB1000 did come with a 1/4 adaptor and the cable is twice as long. Both are flat cables.
The XB1000 has a MUCH wider soundstage. Bass on the XB1000 is a bit more refined. The XB700 is more "in your face" forward sounding than the XB1000. The mids on the XB1000 are more natural compared to the XB700. The highs on both are very smooth which makes them easy to listen to LOUD. That can be very dangerous to your hearing. The XB1000 needs a bit more power to drive but nothing an iPod or iPhone can't do. Better power on the XB1000 gives you a bit more controlled bass. The XB700 is not as picky due to its overly forward presentation.
Which Genre of Music Sound BEST?
I tired all types of music on these. The final thoughts are Trance/House is BEST, second is Hip Hop/Rap and third is R&B. The XB1000 is very very good with electronic music. The wide soundstage gives you very nice side to side effects.
Is the XB1000 worth the jump?
IMO, YES! The refinements in bass and the HUGE soundstage is a clear winner. I think the XB700's overly forward sound can be a bit too much for long term use. I hope Sony will bring the price down on the XB1000 because it is a GREAT headphones for electronic music.