There are some big names in the Headphone game, and some of them producing high quality bass focused headsets, but that doesn’t stop Sony from getting themselves right in the middle of them and asking who’s the boss! Say hello to the MDR-XB920, oh, and the “XB” stands for Extra Bass.
The Sony MDR-XB920 is one of Sony’s special headsets focused directly at the super bass fans out there. It comes in two colors, Silver (As reviewed) and Black. The device features a 50mm driver unit, noise isolating earpads, a flexible and foldable design with a low 3-28 Khz frequency response. It weighs 305 grams (without a cord).
The device comes with two tangle-free (code for flat) cords, one of which with a microhone, and of course are detachable.
Opening the box (always a pleasure) reveals the glorious metal and plastic bass-ready monster.
So what’s in the box? Well, the headphones themselves, folded to fit the box, and two packets. one being the standard 3.5mm cord, in red. The other being a cord to be used with iPods (and smartphones) which includes a control button and a microphone.
The only catch with this cord is the controller is actually just one button with a microphone. I would expect at least a volume control! To compensate, it still manages to be capable with multiple clicks and can be pre-set using an application called Sony Smart Key.
Design and Features
I’ll start by saying the built quality of the MDR-XB920 is very good, especially considering it is a very flexible pair of headphones. The earpads can be folded inwards between the headband for maximum portability, but the size is still apparent.
The earpads are extremely soft. They used some very soft materials along the headband as well. On the outer portion of the headphones, there is plenty of soft touch plastics and metal. The metals keep the device looking very stylish.
The headband is extendible while managing to be rather durable and robust, it will not be getting loose with use.
That is not going to happen with the Sony MDR-XB920! The cord that goes into the headphones is locked by turning them once inserted, this makes sure that it wont get unplugged when moving around or if tugged by accident.
These are very unique headphones and they are designed for a specific purpose, bass. They play music with low frequencies and are epic with pop and bass focused audio tracks. Audio is really clear, loud, and with testing I found that some devices cannot give the headphones the best audio volume and output, but with a music player or laptop, they give it all it ever needs for best performance.
It works really well with games and movies as well, but does lack a little with treble focused tracks and audio. You don’t judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, and for the purpose these headphones are built, they are perfect.
Noise isolation is very good too and ambient noise is nearly eliminated. Although the headphones sit on one’s ear, not covering the entire ear, it does a brilliant job at noise isolation. A common issue with having any kind of cord is getting them tangled up, so Sony first of all flattened them but also created serrations (essentially tiny lines) in order to reduce tangling. I used the device for about two weeks and I haven’t got them tangled even once whether in a backpack or in my pockets.
The only drawback I felt the headphones had in terms of design would be the leather earpads. Nothing is physically wrong with them, but being leather, after some time, especially if the temperature isn’t comfortably cold, it can get warm from one’s ears. If one happens to sweat, they will get slippery. Naturally, suede earpads soak in sweat but then again, I am not the type of person who likes that idea.
For bass focused music and general use, these headphones are brilliant. The amount of bass power they can output is unbelievable, and clarity is fantastic. It is a bit low on treble, but it was designed like that. The build, look and feel of the headphones is of a very high quality and they do feel really durable, and above all that, at 305 grams, they are rather light too. I would recommend anyone who look for bass focused headsets to try the MDR-XB920, it shall not disappoint!