Review: Sony XB950AP/H Premium Xtra Bass Overhead Headphones

TL;DR – These bass-monsters won’t win awards for detail or accuracy, but they remain fun for those who seek strong bass and are comfortable, well-built and look the part.

Introduction

Sony’s MDR XB950AP/H belongs to the Extra Bass line of cans, ostensibly as part of a strategy to grab the Beats generation as they mature and look for headphones that appear more sophisticated. Having not owned a bass-heavy set since my JVC HAFX1X died several years ago when the Sonys popped up in a flash deal on Amazon I decided to give them a go and see what they had to offer.

Comfort

For testing purposes I used these over several hours attached to laptop/iPad, watching TV shows and playing a mixture of games. They got mildly warm, but not uncomfortably so, and all along they felt comfortable. These are around-ear headphones (see here for headphone/earphone differences), and with very little clamping force you can quite easily wear them for long periods without discomfort. 8/10


Sound

These beasts are all about that bass, so don’t expect open-backed levels of clarity or detail. What you get here is fun, booming mid-bass but enough low-bass to be satisfying without too much roll-off. Don’t come to these cans looking for neutral sound or the analytical nature of a studio monitor – these are consumer-class headphones designed to meet a need. I use these to listen to movies on my laptop, or play Fallout 4 – and for those purposes they sound great, fulfilling my needs. 7/10

Build

Build quality is very sturdy, it’s one of the best things about the set. I can hang them where I like, wear them outside, drape them off the side of my monitor and feel safe knowing they can take some abuse. 8.5/10


Conclusion

If you’re looking for an inexpensive, well-built, bassy set of headphones you can use and abuse, then you should consider these Sony XB950AP/H’s. 7.5/10

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