Sony MDR-XB500 40mm XB Diaphragm Driver Extra Bass Headphones

  1. 12cc2
    Sony MDR-xb500
    Written by 12cc2
    Published Sep 23, 2014
    Pros - Bass, Comfort,durability
    Cons - Non-folding,No hard case, non detachable cord
    Ok we'll these were my first over ear headphones I fell in love with and there's plenty of reasons for that, I'll talk about the durability, comfort level and mind blowing bass first

    - Durability
    These have a plastic design so you might be saying durability ¿? Their plastic but! I have hauled these around as my daily drivers for almost two years now keeping them in my pack pack taking them on road trips and long bus rides and they have held up fine. They have taken a beating and lots of drops as I bought them when I was a freshman and am now a senior and I have to say it was the best buy because needless to say I wasn't carefully at all with them in the beginning and I'm sure I've stepped on them once or twice over their lifetime.

    - Comfort
    I have yet to see a pair of headphones that match these in comfort, the headband isn't super tight so a lot of movement will cause them to slide on your head but to me that's not at all a downfall because their over ear cans so most generally you won't be crazy active in these cans. I have ran with these on at cross country meets and they will stay on when running in them as long as you aren't thrashing your head around. The soft pads these sport are amazing, I've had multiple people tell me they are the most comfortable headphones they've tried on and I totally agree I can listen to these indefinitely and have no issues of ear soreness or head fatigue.
    - Bass
    Now if your not a bass lover you might think why would I want to get a pair of cans that are designed with bass as a key point we'll you wouldn't so theirs no argument there but IMHO these bass cans have a nice tuning to them so the bass doesn't over power the music, unless you tune it up with EQ's, so you still hear great music just with a bit more bass. The highs could be more crisp and the bass does bleed into the kids but no worries there for me. I claim to anyone that these headphones will make Beats by Dr. Dre look like little kids headphones and beat lovers always disagree until they put them on and see for the selfs that you can have good bass headphones without sacrificing good quality music, not to mention only half the cost.

    Overall I give these headphones a 9/10 because of some key cons to the design. They don't have a detachable cord so if you rip out your cord your out of luck and they do not come with a hard case only a soft pouch so they could be damaged inside your bag moving around, and lastly they do not fold so they can become a big hassle to pack along on a road trip because they aren't very compact. In the end I love these headphones and even if your not a bass head I think you would too as they are superb in comfort level and I after all If you can't wear your headphones then they just are an expensive necklace.
  2. SonyMDRer
    Sony MDR-XB500... The Bass-Pumper Headphone !
    Written by SonyMDRer
    Published May 8, 2014
    Pros - Great headphone for those looking for ONLY bass
    Cons - Mid / Treble is heavily drowned out, very veil sounding
    This is my review for the Sony MDR-XB500 Extra-Bass Headphone.
    My initial reaction to this headphone was just 'WOW' and not in a good way. I was amazed at how much bass a headphone can have! I should emphasis at the point that this headphone is not used / was not intended to be used for mixing and mastering, so you first have to understand that this headphone is made for those that love the fun sound signature of having a really bassy headphone and nothing else! However, I found this problematic as the headphone just provided too much bass and there was not much else to be enjoyed.
    I made a note in my video review that this is still a headphone and therefore, it must be judged to be such. In other words, you cannot only judge only the bass region, but all the other regions must also be taken into consideration, and this is where the XB500 fell short of being a good headphone. All the other frequencies aside from the bass region was frankly.... not very good.
    Therefore, I suggest to recommend a headphone for those that enjoy bass, but also at the same time wanted really good sound quality for the price, get the Logitech Ultimate Ears UE6000 ! What a great headphone that is for bass lovers and it even comes with an extra, which is the noise cancellation circuit! I hope I was not too hard on this review, but I really hope to share my thoughts on how I thoughts about this headphone!
    For a more detailed review, please see my video review located here:
    1. Mshenay
      What you no like the Fart Cannons ;3 
      also here's the worst part... years ago when those where in production the XB 700 could be had for about $80 new and sounded better imo than the UE 6000, now fast forward to today and the XB 700 might run you $200 if you can find one and the UE 6000 is really just a better b ang for the buck! Sony biggest mistake was discountinuing these to make their new even numbered line :/ 
      Mshenay, May 9, 2014
    2. SonyMDRer
      Lol thanks for the funny comment :p

      You are absolutely right. I think the XB700 is quite a good headphone, so different compared to the XB500! But as far as current generation of headphones goes, I think the UE6000 is a hard headphone to beat!
      SonyMDRer, May 9, 2014
  3. KonKossKang
    An equalizer removes the headphone's usage for me.still use it for the comfort, soft doesnt squeeze you either
    Written by KonKossKang
    Published Apr 15, 2014
    Pros - the sound is good for 80 bucks maximum.soft cushions will never hurt your ears ever.
    Cons - headphones in the 60-100 price range sound better even when bassboosts are applied via an equalizer.
    After being a basshead for like 4 years it dawned on me i didnt need to buy headphones like this because 2 years ago i discovered equalizers that actually does that.I was curious as to why the flat response fellows wanted flat response headphones, when i found that thing i understood.also the bass extensions comes directly from the cussions, i took those off(not recommended) and they sounded like a slightly watered down grado 80 dollar set.
    these headphones are far from the worst option for mixing, but if not EQ'd they will be tricky to mix on :/
    three years ago i would look at this review and say wtf, but i get it now.dudes you better off with dt660s.
  4. jockhater2
    Great bass head headphones for the price
    Written by jockhater2
    Published Oct 3, 2013
    Pros - Bass and recessed highs
    Cons - In my opinion. Could still use more bass.
    Love these head phones. I own 2 pairs. One remains brand new in the box until my other pair breaks. The pair I am using I have had now for 2 years +. I take them everywhere and do everything in them. You would think they are a pair of earphones with how much I use them. I love how light they are. I get no head fatigue or ear fatigue. My ears only get hot when I run in them.
    A lot of people complain that the bass is too overwhelming. Coming from a guy who has 2 12s in his car on a 8,000 real watts (2 alternators, 3 batteries). No these are not too much bass. I could definitely go for some more. But they are great the way they are. I love the recessed highs because I really dislike bright highs. Mids could be be better of course.
    They may feel flimsy but they have lasted me 2 years + going everywhere with me. Even in my back. And I do not use a carrying case of any kind.
    1. takato14
      Nobody cares about your car setup. Stop bragging about how you spent thousands of dollars to make your car an annoying, rolling fart cannon. It lacks any sort of relevancy and makes you come off as a self-important ass.
      takato14, Oct 4, 2013
  5. derbigpr
    Be careful what you wish for
    Written by derbigpr
    Published May 22, 2013
    Pros - A lot of bass, lightweight, very comfortable, cheap, easy to power.
    Cons - Very recessed mids and highs relative to the bass, muddy sound, low overall sound quality with very little detail, short cable.
    I bought these headphones just for the fun of it, to see how they sound with all that apparently amazing bass.
    Well, for $50, they're ok sounding for extra bass headphones.  They do have a lot of bass, but its not a high quality detailed bass, its that one-note boomy mess that makes
    a boomy muddy messy veil over the rest of the sound frequencies.   Compared to my 6 year old Sennheiser HD212pro, which was a headphone in the same price range back then as the XB500 is today, I'd say the HD212pro is considerably better in about every single way. While it doesn't have quite as much bass, it has about 90% of the bass quantity and higher bass quality, while the rest of the frequencies are much less recessed and much more detailed. 
    Also, the extension and punch of the bass on the XB500 doesn't seem to be great.  For example, and this is going to sound crazy to some people,  AKG K701 has much better bass extension. Bass on XB500 noticeably rolls off, regardless of amplifier used, and especially when used unamped out of some portable device. If I were to test both headphones at lets say 80 hz, and volume match them, then playing a 30 hz tone on both headphones would reveal that K701 stayed pretty much at the same volume level, while the volume on the XB500 dropped considerably. 
    Another thing is the punch of the bass. Again, even compared to so called "bass light" headphones such as K701, XB500 has less bass punch. It's just too slow and muddy to have any sharp and fast punchy impact.  Listening to Infected Mushroom albums, its clear the K701 is in a different league when it comes to bass punch, so, for an "extra bass" headphone, XB500 doesn't really do that well.  Well, it has a lot of bass quantity, but in a positive and negative way depending on the recording. Sometimes, the bass is ok, when the only thing in the track you're listening to is bass, and everything else is pushed back.  If you listen to a bassy track that has a lot of other sounds going on in the mids and highs, its going to be a muddy mess.
    Going from HD212 to XB500 on certain more congested track feels like you've added some pillows between the drivers and your ears that block all the sound except the bass, and still, there's not that much more bass on the XB500.
    All in all, it gets a good mark for portability, lightness, comfort and a lot of bass, which is good if that's what you're looking for.
    If you want a bassy headphone that does all genres well, look elsewhere.  I mean, the clarity and detail of the mids and highs in the XB500 is on a level of earbuds that I got with my Samsung Galaxy phone.
  6. noobyguy
    Written by noobyguy
    Published Dec 30, 2012
    Pros - good bass, comfortable
    Cons - bad sound quality
    It is very good for the price but the sound quality is not as good as i thought it would be but the bass is very good. i find the bass as good as the beyerdynamics dt 770 80 maybe even more so as it really gets in your face but the beyrdynamics are much clearer 
  7. gientsosage
    hottest headphones around(literally)
    Written by gientsosage
    Published Dec 26, 2012
    Pros - super soft pads, clear bass, good highs and lows.
    Cons - Like taping hot hands to your ears. Headband could be softer. The mids are pretty tinny.
    For the price these are the best headphones I have gotten or tried from a big box store. Other than the lack of band padding and how hot my ears get I don't have any complaints.
    1. XxDobermanxX
      Pros: better than beats
      XxDobermanxX, Dec 26, 2012
  8. AHorseNamedJeff
    Hidden Gem!
    Written by AHorseNamedJeff
    Published Nov 24, 2012
    Pros - FANTASTIC comfort, Clear sound, Flat cable, Headband bends nicely
    Cons - Cables aren't detachable, Cables feel a bit loose, Not as closed as you'd like to believe
    I got these used from my friend because I wanted a closed back can for walking around school with, and he was selling them like-new (2 hours max) for $20 [​IMG]


    I absolutely love these headphones, and their warm luscious sound was a nice change from my Sennheiser HD518s. These can be run clearly and cleanly out of almost any source, although if you REALLY want brain mashing bass, a FiiO e7/E17 with bass boost will smash your skull.
    Don't get me wrong if you think that these are just a basshead's cans, these have clear sound throughout the spectrum, the highs sparkle, the mids come through clear and present, and the bass, well, the bass is thumpy, and just sounds fun.
    Their soundstage isn't as wide as my HD518's, it is still quite good, especially for a closed can. It has a very IMMERSIVE sound, and vocals can sound as close as up to your ear, or sound like they're a mile away. It has more of a fun than a critical sound.


    The design has some flaws, but not many, or any deal-breakers.
    1.) The flat cord is a lot more useful than you'd expect, it really does keep it from tangelling, but with that comes a downside (mostly for me and other OCD people) in that the cord becomes 'wavey' when you lay it flat.
    2.) The ultra-light headband is awesome, and really trims down on the weight.
    3.) The sliding motion of the headband is smooth, and easy to pick notches, while not slipping while you're wearing it
    4.) Earpads get warm within an hour, but usually a quick lift off of your head will cool it down.
    1.) It seems to me that either 1. the Y split is too far down the cable, or 2. the cable is just too short
    2.) where the black rubber connects to the silver plastic on the earcup, they separate, and feel really loose.
    3.) Although the vents on the earcups do help with overall sound, it makes them leak noticeably, and it doesn't isolate as well as it could.
    4.) Earpads are very squishy, people in the hallway come up and squish them sometimes XD.

    Final Notes

    I love these cans, and would definitely recommend these if you can find them for less than $75 USD. A basshead would love these, and so would the average person. If you're looking for a set of critical listening cans, these are not it. These have a very warm and fun sound. Great for rap/hip-hop/pop/ALL electric music, or other bass heavy music. Decent with rock/metal, but not very good for classical, or jazz. These are great headphones, and if you end up buying these, I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.
  9. DanSRX
    Quality & Comfort
    Written by DanSRX
    Published Nov 23, 2012
    Pros - Deep Bass, Comfort, Flat Cable, Style, Sound Quality, Build Quality, Solid Bass, Clear Definition.
    Cons - Style, Short Lead, Material
    Having used these cans on a daily basis I feel a review is in order.
       The most important aspect, above everything else! I have used these phones for listning to music across all genres and they do not dissapoint. The bass is obviously the main design for these cans and it can take pretty much anything you throw at it without any muddy distortion. From fast, powerful, punchy drum and bass tunes to deep dubstep the low end remains clear and defined loosing no power. The Mid range can tend to be a bit lost though, due to the bass being quite overpowering. After a bit of 'burn in' they seem to come out a bit more which is nice but is a subtle improvement.
       Other types of music like acoustic, mellow genres, and Pop/ electronic sound great. The clarity is there and the sound remains 'full' and 'round'. You hear sounds that were never there before on cheaper headphones, the way club tracks were ment to be heard. If your after a true Hi-fi sound then these may seem a few steps away from what your after, but for the value and comfort, these easy to drive cans offer a fun way to explore the low end sound.
       I gave the design 3 stars. But that doesnt reflect anything. I only did this to be fair as i know people will either love it or hate it. The Japanese designer was inspired by comfy old leather sofas when putting these together and each ear cushion is hand stiched soft leather.
       My personal opinion is that they are great. The leather really is amazingly soft you have to feel to believe. They fit perfectly around the ear and can stay there for hours with no aggitation. Your ears sometimes can become hot though, but not often.
       I wear these out and about. Call me crazy or whatever but they are not that big. Some style concious people would not wear these out but would happily pay for a fake pair of Dre Beats. (Thats Crazy). But this is why i gave 3 stars.
       The build quality on the other hand is very nice although some metal could be used. They are a luxuary to have and even come with a nice bag to store them in. The flat cables means little to no time wasted on annoying tangles and more time with the music. My only wish is that there could have been some nice aluminum finishing etc.  
       If your after a decent pair of cans for a fair price, or are looking to move slightly up the ladder, then i couldnt be happier in reccomending these. Style, Comfort, Sound & Price should give you more than enough reason to waste away hours with your music collection.
    1. pro1137
      I don't understand how you like the sound of these.
      pro1137, Nov 23, 2012
  10. pro1137
    More like Extra 'Bloat' headphones
    Written by pro1137
    Published Nov 14, 2012
    Pros - Comfort, bass, portability
    Cons - The rest of the frequency spectrum, isolation
    I've heard the XB500 many times before actually being able to give a good review on it. Each time I put it on, I'm always very disappointed.

    Back before I was into higher quality audio like I am now, I had always judged a headphone on how clean sounding it was. Mid bass bloat was what I tried to stay away from most.
    I am SO glad I didn't purchase these before then. I would have been upset with how they sound.
    When the term 'bass' comes to mind, I think of earth-shaking lows at or under 80Hz. To my ears, these are warm bloat cans that don't have those resonating lows.

    To be blunt, I can't stand the XB500's signature.

    At the low end, we have a very very warm presentation. The bass is not punchy or tight, but instead, it's more sloppy. Sub-bass is only average, in my opinion. What I hear is basically everything I was initially trying to AVOID in a headphone.

    Mids are quite recessed in the spectrum. As a result, vocals sound a bit distant. The mids are just overall unnatural sounding.

    Normally, I like treble, even harsh treble, but the treble of the XB500 is just purely annoying to my ears. I can't stand it. It's got pretty good clarity, honestly, but has a peak that makes some music less-than-enjoyable. I also find it to be pretty grainy and non-transparent.

    Soundstage is bland. Width and depth are just 'okay'

    As for everything other than sound, these are a nice pair of headphones.

    The build on the XB500 is quite good. It's lightweight and durable. The headband is made out of plastic, but doesn't feel like it would easily break.
    Cable can be a bit iffy. It's got that 'tangle-free' cord that makes me question just how much protection the cable really has.

    Comfort of the XB500 is just incredible. The pads are thick, soft, and squishy. It really feels like I'm wearing a pillow on my head. Absolutely incredible comfort.

    Overall, if you're into the sound signature given by the XB500, by all means, I would recommend these. They would be a very good pair for someone that enjoys this kind of sound.
    They're just not for me.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. H20Fidelity
      100% agree with your review. You have helped make the world a better place informing people. I felt exactly the same, once the initial mid bass pounding sensation wears thin you're left with one average headphone in mids and highs. The're only good for bassing out, and mid bass at that.
      H20Fidelity, Nov 15, 2012
    3. h4mm3r 0f th0r
      they are 50$ extra bass headphones... and you can eq them for a very good and balanced sound... certainly the best in their price range.... and bass is more powerful(including both mid bass and sub bass) than anything out there... a great deal i would say... if you did a little research then ultrasone hfi 580 would be better for you...
      h4mm3r 0f th0r, Nov 15, 2012
    4. pro1137
      Best in their price range? Not even a bit. Like I said, the Monoprice 8323 outperform the XB500 in every way, except bass quantity. Quality is much better on the 8323. Plus, those are half the price of the XB500
      pro1137, Nov 15, 2012