Pros - Extremely clean for a bass oriented headphones, almost no leak of low frequencies into mids. Wider soundstage than similar oriented cans.
Cons - Mids are recessed, but let's face it, you don't buy these for critical listening. You need an amp for pushing the bass.
First of all, I want to start my review by declaring that I'm no audiophile and never cared for such signature in my cans. Critical listening, with everything flat isn't my forte nor what I wanted. I'm all about the bass, to be specifically, unbloated, deep bass. And this set, oh man do they deliver!
I once bought the CAL! as a recommendation from HeadFi buddies, and despite their strong bass response, they are nowhere near basshead territory. The mids where something else, as they were excellent, but nevertheless, it wasn't what my ears craved. Around that time I started checking other choices, and found the Beats brand to underperform. Bass was there but they bled into the mid frequencies, it was unacceptable. That's when I heard about Sony's XB line. To be sincere, I thought they were a scam, with more mid bass than real bass with bass leaking into the mids. In the beggining, all I could find were reviews and recommendations for the XB920, which really didn't catch my eye due to being over the ear rather than around the ear, and that's when my search took a 360° turn. A post here mentioned the XB700 as a discontinued but highly sought set of cans, and as impossible and crazy as it might have been (specially as the used price was sky rocket high, around 300ish), I found them in a web site, mildly scratched but at an incredible affordable tag (95 dlls), so without thinking twice, I grabbed them and went home ASAP.
V shape, mids are recessed, but due to the extreme bass boost. Highs are boosted too, but not as high as the bass.
Well, what can I say? they do live up to the hype! They have a 10~12dB bass boost around 70hz that decays evenly until the mids start to kick in, making this headphones powerful on the bass department without mid leaks. Just clean heavenly bass. DO NOT EXPECT MID BASS, as they will disappoint, this is all about the deep bass that you can hear in a kick drum, for example. If you are looking for a pair of warm sounding headphones, these aren't quite what you are looking for, don't misunderstand, they aren't sterile sounding, with ice cold bass, but they aren't fuzzy warm either, they sit right in between.
I didn't really expected a lot, but they do the job. Mediocre at best, mids are recessed but nothing too bad. Thinking about it, they might sound recessed because the bass is boosted to insane levels... anyway, the plus is, they are CLEAN. Let's be honest here, you don't buy this set with creamy mids in mind, it needed to have a trade off.
Highs are ok, they do sound a bit harsh in the beinning, but they start to sound more musical after being burned in. By the way, these must be burn for about 200hrs, the sound improves in this area the most.
They have these oversized cushions that make love to your ears, but they do get hot, nothing to worry about though. My only gripe is that the head padding isn't as generous as I'd like it to be, and because of the substantial weight, they may get long in the tooth after a few hours. The inside of the cushion will fit ALL ears, unless you are a hagrid sized guy, you should be fine.
I wouldn't trade them for anything, they are perfect for me. In the end, it all depends on what you are looking for. But if you ever want the blistering experience of ultra textured deep bass, without mid bass humps and acceptable highs, give them a try, they are worth the hassle.
So yeah I've used these headphones for about 5 years now and I have permanent tinnitus. I would recommend getting them if you can control the urge to blast them for hours on end. They are the most comfortable over the ear headphones you will experience.
Pros - Massive bass that will give you an awesome ear massage! *Physical Eargasm*
Cons - Lacks in general sound performance, recessed treble & fatigue.
Well... the reason you've been stumbled across these badboys is probably because you are a basshead, and these do delivery, they really do. Now, I wont go over the spectrum since these aren´t a pair of audiophile headphones and they were never meant to be. These cans job is to go down and dirty and deliver massive bass. It does not matter how much EQ bass you throw at these naughty cans, they´ll just keep pumping until you get a headache! They do delivery a pretty punchy bass going flat but the general sound quality isn't that great. The most noticeable is the recessed treble which strangely hurts my ears abit. I might just be sensitive, but that could be something you should keep in mind. But I still feel that the bass has enough grip to separate itself from the mids.
The build quality is really great and the earpads, oh my god, the earpads, I've actually fallen to sleep wearing these things, that should say alot! It takes use of my favourite type of cable, Its one those flat tangle-free cables or whatever you like to call em. The cable is on the short side.
Easy to drive but they could generally get a boost in performance with a good amp. But I feel like these were designed for portable use due to the short cable, but it still doesn't really make sense since they are pretty huge and not really something you would wear in public. :/
Package comes with a very nice carrying bag and a 6.3mm adapter.
Conclusion: Now, these are discontinued, so if you find these around and you are a basshead, grab them! As I've said, these do a great job at what its suppose to do, genres like electronic and dubstep works very good with these cans, but you should also keep in mind that genres like classical music will sound absolutely dreadful.
Pros - Solid build, nice cable design, looks/feels more expensive than it is.
Cons - Poor on genres that are not Bass heavy. Gets very warm (sweaty). Not closed, moderate noise leakage.
I also own the Grado SR60i ($90), and Sennheiser HD 25-1 II ($200). I will make some comparisons to these also. I realize many people consider sound quality to be the most important thing about a headphone, but I will take a more balanced look at how practical these are to use on a daily basis.
Design/Comfort From the moment you take them out of the box, they feel and look more expensive than they are. People are always surprised to hear the price. The stainless steel accents and leather handmade ear pads add to the luxurious feel/look. They are solid, and built to last. The cable is not replaceable, but is very sleek. The flat design makes it easy to manage. The connector is compact, and should not get in the way of protective cases on portable devices. At only 24Ohm impedance you will have no issues running these off portable devices, no amp required. The headband (also leather wrapped) grasps on with a moderate force, balanced out by the plush memory like foam ear pads. I feel no discomfort from the pads or band on my head, even for longer sessions. However, after about 1-2hrs, I find they do get warm, even sweaty if you don’t take them off. This is especially bad if you walk or do any physical activity with them on. As for style, people tend to call me Princess Leia when I wear them in public. If you have a particularly large head, these will make it look exponentially larger. I have an average size head, but this, the sweating issue, and the sheer size (can’t fold them), prevents me from taking these when going out in public. I tend to reach for my HD 25-1 for superior isolation, portability, and style when going out. I also never have issues with sweat on my HD 25-1 (with velour pads), even during light physical activity. As others have noted, these are not completely closed, meaning there will be some moderate noise leakage at high volume. This only becomes an issue in extremely quiet environments. Even then, it only becomes an issue if you crank volume beyond what I consider safe for longer periods of time. I do not recommend these to someone who listens at very high volumes, in public areas. Sound These definitely live up to the name Xtreme Bass. Bass extension is substantial, especially in the very low range. It picks up things in the lower register that my SR60i and even HD 25-1 miss completely on certain songs. The sound stage is actually above average for a closed headphone, sounds wider than HD 25-1, but slightly less separation on more complex compositions. The SR60i, being an open headphone, obviously offers superior sound stage and separation in comparison, this becomes especially apparent on rock, classical genres. The highs on these are a little bit over emphasized for me, and can get irritable at higher volumes. This is especially noticeable in genres like rock or classical. The mid’s are probably the weakest area for this headphone, simply because the bass and highs are more emphasized. I find the bass a little tighter, faster, and punchier, on my HD 25-1. But the XB700 has a ridiculously low response, in the very low range that some songs resonate in; you get that satisfying rumble that stays tight. In low ranges like this, the HD 25-1 simply cannot compete, it misses this completely. So there is a bit of a trade off there. Keep in mind the HD 25-1 is over double the price also. Overall, when it comes to sound, I would say the HD 25-1 is superior as an all-rounder. But for those who primarily listen to bass heavy tunes, or just want something that excels in that genre for a good price, XB700 is for you. Verdict Overall, for the price point, this is a good headphone for those bass lovers among us. It is well built, and will last many years, a great value at this price. But I could not recommend this as a portable every day commuter, due to the sheer size, slightly lacking isolation, and style (be prepared to be name called). And if you plan to wear them for long periods, be aware that these can get really warm. If you like to listen at above average volumes in public places, you may want to get an actual closed headphone. If you enjoy a lot of variety in your music, or you like Rock, Classical, Pop, you can get a more balanced headphone in this price range, like the Shure SRH440. In my experience, if I am at home, I usually grab my Grado SR60i’s, they are more comfortable for long periods, and sound better for a wider variety of music. I only dig out my XB700’s if I feel like putting on a bass head session for a while. If I am on the go, I will grab my HD 25-1, due to their superior portability, isolation, and styling. For my taste and lifestyle, the XB700 are just not as practical as the other two. But when I do get in that Bass head mood, the XB700 never disappoints.
Pros - Fairly easy to drive, inexpensive, comfortable, ability to cross genre
Cons - no detachable cord, not portable, heat
The Sony MDR-XB700 is a great can, for what it does. It focuses a lot on deep bass. And for an xtra bass headphone its fantastic. I feel it has the ability to cross genre decently. Perhaps not finding a forte outside of rap, dubstep, and electronica but being useful outside of them none the less. They are only 24 ohms of impedance, so they are fairly easy to drive though an amp is recommended. Everything else can be found in the video, enjoy!
Pros - Powerful Sub-Bass, warm Mid Bass, clearly defined and serprate sound layers, easy to drive
Cons - lack "punch" in mids, trebele lacks good timbre
They come in a nice big box, it's clear plastic so nothing to fancy.
Includes a nifty "dust proof" bag, not sure how "dust proof" it is but it's nice to have, also has a flat cord, no extra pads. The bag has room enough for the Cans, a few sources, some cables and a small portable amp.
Yes they have giant detachable pillows attached to the side of them, so they are very comfortable. They are great insulators! In the winter your ears are nice and warm! In the summer the side of your head is dripping with sweat.
Cheap plastic and pleather is the name of the game, nothing to fancy. They are cased in plastic and screwed onto the head band. The adjustment device allows you to slide them up and down on a sort of guided track. It's compoased of a sturdy thing metal piece attached to the headband, and a thick black plastic strip attached to the metal strip. The Drivers and pads are mounted onto this black piece of plastic.
I toss them into the bag they came with and tote them around, so they are durable enough to be portable. Still as always be careful.
A portable Amp is recommended [I use Fiio E6], it helps very much. In addition a simple mod allows for increased Sub Bass as well as a little more clarity and timbre in the highs. In addition the quality of music your listen to will be more noticable after the modification.
Great for D'n'b nice sub bass and good seperation of sound layers, suffiecent sound stage as well. You can cleary differention between snares, drums, horns, drums ect... Vocals are pleasent, but lack timbre and richness. Also at higher vloumes treble can be a little sharp. The Sony XB700 does best in this genre.
Highs are again, nice, clear seperation of instruments and layers. Although, the lack of mids is most painful in this Genre. Cellos and Double Bass as well as some Bass Guitar riffs are very much lacking, there is not much crispnesses in mid bass, and very little punch.
Nu Jazz how ever does not suffer as heavily from the lack of Mids, bass is smooth and warm, a little bloated sometimes depending on how you've got it EQ'd or amp'd. Non the less very enjoyable.
Again, sound stage is sufficent and lack of mids is noticable and missed. Low end bass guitar riffs are nice enough, higher mid bass as well as "Pop's and slaps" lack brightness and punch.
Older dubstep such as Skream, Benga, Rusko Bar 9 ect... sounds very nice un-modded, bass is full and warm. As far as dirty'r DubStep unmodded it's enough to give you the gitters but not enough to get your exicited... now after the simple mod... there's a clear improvement! [In fact I'm listening to The Others Gravity... b4 the mod I was unimpressed... afterward... the hair on the back of my neck stands up every time it drops ]
Great pair of cans! Inexpensive and very pleasing. I happen to enjoy them, plus as has been mentioned by many others. The sheer size of them grabs attention and let's people know... your serious about music. The soundstage is pleasent when your listening to most Electronic music forms, and they are sufficent for everything elese. And of course... the Sub Bass is massive enough to make your hair stand up and your skin crawl a little ;3.
Great that Head-fi has a template for me to follow. Let's start off with value. I am about 95% sure there is no better value under 100 bucks. Many people cannot justify spending over 100 bucks, so this is probably the headphone to get.
Audio Quality. 4/5 - why? Because the mids are recessed. Vocals are a little tame - but this is not a problem with hip hop or pop music, its a problem with rock and alternative because the vocals are quieter on those genres. This headphone is ideal for hip hop, pop, and bass-heavy genres. But there is room for improvement in the sound quality, including clarity, and sound stage. But like I said before, there's nothing else at 80 bucks that can really compare.
Design. The design is probably one of the best you'll ever find at any price range. It looks sexy, and it's durable. Headphones that cost twice to three times as much do not look as good as this headphone. I see no reason why this headphone should not get a perfect score on design. Maybe, I wish it had detachable cords, or a longer cord, or folded up, but it's fine the way it is.
And its extremely comfortable. But, like EVERY circumaurual headphone, extended listening can make your ears hot. So if you have a condition where you will die if your ears overheat, you might want earbuds. I have yet to try a headphone more comfortable than this, but until then, this will receive a perfect score.
Pros - Big headphones + small weight, Excellent bass response, Amp lover, One of the best choices in it's price range.
Cons - Packaging is ugly, No hard case (includes a soft pouch), Doesn't include a 1/8" to 1/4" stereo adapter neither an extension cable.
I bought this headphones to be used at my home desktop setup, and to replace my Bose OE. I researched a lot on these forums and these were one of the best recommendations for the kind of music style I like and the price range.
Comfort. These are surprisingly light-weighted given that they are really big-sized. The pillows are extremely comfortable and they won't pressure your head at all (at least in my case). They do tend to heat up your ears due to it's closed around-ear design but if you wear them on an area with a decent temperature, the heat is minimal. I use them in my AC cooled room at around 70~75 degrees Fahrenheit and after 2 hours, my ear didn't sweat at all.
Audio Quality. Compared to what the Bose OE can do, these beat every single test I made. Everywhere I plugged these babies, they outperform the $179.99 Bose OE by thousand of miles apart. Bass is strong and undistorted. Mids and highs are pretty good (for it's price range) and a LOT better and clearer than the Bose OE. Plug these into the PA2V2 and connect the amp to an iDevice using an LOD cable, and you can truly make these headphones shine even more. These LOVE to be amplified to a levels that my ears cannot withstand and still I haven't heard a single distortion coming from over-amplification on these.
Value. For $129.99, these are one of the best choices in this price range. They sound A LOT better than the Bose OE (which retails for $179.99). Haven't compared to other headphones similarly priced since the local availability of other headphones is very limited here in Puerto Rico. If you're looking for some dubstep/electro/bass-loving headphones to be used at home, these are one of the best. The only thing I didn't like was the plastic packaging Sony used to sell these and the included soft pouch. I bet that a better packaging and a hard case would have increased the retail price for these... so this isn't actually a deal-breaker. They sound good, they work awesome. That's what matters to me.
Design. While these headphones are kind of marketed to be portable, I wouldn't use it outdoors. These headphones makes you look retarded with them on. I haven't tested walking with these on but, I wouldn't recommend it. These are not for showing off but purely for enjoying music, at home.
Overall. The price is awesome for what these can do. Hooking these to an amplifier really makes a difference. Light-weighted allows for hours long usage without getting tired. By specs, these headphones can withstand high power outputs up to 3,000 mW.
Pros - Bass Quality, Overall Sound Quality, Comfort, Flat Cables, and Cheap Price Tag for a High-end Audio Category Headset.
Cons - Sound Leakage, Size.
Comfort These are the plushest headphones I have ever owned till now and I can say they are really comfortable, one of the most comfortable in the headphone industry till date. It does get a little warm after a while, just a little; this warmth is actually rather common in all circum-aural headphones. The weight of these headphones will be difficult to be noticed the moment one puts it on, the ear pads will “sink in” onto your head and provide a nice secure hold. The ear pads and headband pads are made from synthetic leather (which is more durable as compared to that of genuine leather) Portability This is a real downside, it’s huge, bringing it out may be a little problematic, they don’t fold, they don’t bend inwards, all you could do is to adjust the headband shorter for easier storage. They have something really interesting, flat cables, they’re really great, untangling cables becomes a thing of the past, even if you were to tie any knots, they would be easily untied. The standard round cables, which after prolonged storage of turning and twisting these cables, lose their straight form and tend to curl, these flat chords however, will not curl. The set-up time is greatly reduced. Performance Sound Quality- The first thing one will look in a good pair of headset will be the bass response, The bass response of these headsets are really good, it can display very low notes with ease and with no sign of any bass distortion. Low, deep, clear, powerful bass is realised, however not tight, but satisfying for casual listeners . The midrange is well produced with acceptable clarity. The trebles are not ignored in these “extra bass” headphones, in fact, the trebles are crisp, one would not expect unless burned ,the trebles produced are not “piercing” or hurtful to the ears , however may be distorted in some songs which has the splash or crash cymbals being hit repetitively . These pairs of cans are rather enjoyable to hear as they are warm and relaxed and not audiophilic which have accurate tight bass. Not very coherent to be frank , these Headphones can produce the sounds of the instruments , but its not very clear and sometimes small details are inaudible. Emotions of the music are well presented with power and impact .very Lush which produces a rich, warm, ambiance to the sound. . Isolation- These headphones are not supposed to have good noise isolation. And it did not. Design Other than the mentioned, ear pad, flat cables and headband pad. The brushed aluminium for the extended part of the headband makes the headset looks and feels rigid, it’s the design that makes the XB700 differ from its counterpart, the XB500 (which used plastic), it is a negative point for the XB700 as most of its weight actually comes not from the cans, but the aluminium headband itself. They have got a plastic headband, which allows it to be flexible (somewhat typical in headphones). A plastic housing, which is painted with a coat of metallic silver paint. An “L-shaped” 3.5mm audio-jack, which reduces stress on the cables and connectors. Overall These Pair of Massive Sponge Cans Displayed Good Audio Performance and Have a Price Tag that’s worth the buy! Sony comes with a fixed 1 year warranty. Comfort and durability have also made this more worth the buck!
Pros - fun sound signature, great clear unbloated bass slam, solid form factor
Cons - not a good for all genres can, doesn't fold for storage, seems big as a mobile headphone
OK I just bought myself a pair of MDR XB 700's 3 days ago to see for myself what all the fuss was about.
Overall so far I'm pleased with my purchase. Although I find these cans generally speaking a fail with metal/rock/grunge they completely own when they're used on the electronica/rap genres. These cans have some very nice deep bass slam and I found the bass to be generally well controlled and acceptably defined for my tastes. The highs have passable detail without being shrill and the mids are generally also good. I'm surprised how good the bass slam on this thing is. You get some very nice low frequency slam without it being bloated, muddy, and most importantly the bass doesn't bleed and overpower the mids and highs. The form factor is generally nice and I was glad to find out that a nice leather poach for storage is included when you buy the headset. Although these cans are mostly plastic they don't feel flimsy in my hands and feel like they will last a long time with proper care. The fit is excellent and the clamping force for my head is just right. There may be better headphones out there that can do the bass head thing better but considering most of the competition is pricier the XB 700's are a steal for the kind of sound signature your getting. These cans sound signature may not be prim proper snooty audiophile grade sound but they are a incredibly fun sound signature to groove to and play around with different electronica songs with.
For those who already have the XB 700 get the album Tweekend by The Crystal Method. This album sounds so freaking neat on these headphones. I couldn't help but smile while I listened to it on these cans for the first time.
I wish Sony had included an alternate product package with this model. I would gladly have thrown an extra 10 or 20 bucks down if I could get a decent protective box for this headset instead of the standard issue leather pouch. These cans also lack a 1/4 inch plug so if you want to hook up (depending on your gear) you'll need to have your own 1/4 inch jack on hand. Although these cans are being marketed as mobile headphones they are far from ideal as on the go cans.They're rather big and don't fold up so you'll need room in your bag for them and because they only come with a soft poach you'll have to be careful of hard knocks etc if you don't want to ruin them. These are not a good choice if you're seeking an all purpose do it all set of cans. If you like your industrial/metal/rock/grunge overly bass heavy then OK whatever floats your boat but for most people these headphones won't work for certain genres. Put simply these can's aren't a headbanging headphone they're cans meant for the bass head not the rocker. They're also not audiophile headphones so if you want to dissect music get a pair of mid/higher end AKG's, Sennheisers or Grado's. As said above in the Positives section if you just want a fun sound signature to groove to then these are the cans for you.
The LoL section:
When I first bought these cans I couldn't wait to get home and listen so I ripped open the packaging and plugged them into my iPod and wore them while doing my errands for the evening. In a span of two hours I had 1 guy say "nice headphones, must be nice to have headphones that double as pillows" and 2 friends who I ran across commented "hey princess Leia when did you get a sex change and become a man". Be prepared for a little light ribbing when wearing these in public especially if you have friends who are Star Wars geeks.