The Sony MDR-XB50AP are pitched as earbuds with extra bass and I can tell you right of the bat that they certainly live up to it but let us start from the beginning. Inside the box you are going to get 6 things:
1) The earbuds themself
2) A cloth carrying pouch
3) Cord Adjuster
4) Operating Instructions and
5)Warranty Card and
6) three extra pairs of tips of different sizes: S, M, L
Now when you take earbuds for the first time into your hands you will immediately notice that the build quality is simply way above average. The materials feel sturdy and the steel-like finish certainly adds to it. The attention to detail makes them simply look premium. Weighing at just 0.28 oz which is around8 grams makes them feel very light weighted.
Now let’s look at them starting from the bottom. The cord plugs into a device with a Gold-plated four-conductor L-type stereo mini-plug. The standard staff though the L shape is something you can appreciate. The cord is Y-type cable which measures 47inches which is roughly 1.2 m. Now there are nice models with flat, tangle-free cables and I am happy to say that this is the case on these as well. Actually when I think about it its the very same cable you can find o Sonys top of the line mind-blowing MDR-XB90EX and they call it Flat Litz cord. It features a very slick feel to it and grooves in its structure which makes it pretty much tangle-proof. A nice touch from Sony, and for someone who has dealt with tangled cords as I have, I was very happy to see this feature. It will make a difference for you whether you realize it or not. Moving up the cord you will find a RemoteControl Multi-function button and microphone in one small housing.
The button works together with SmartKey app on Android which allows you to take advantage of neat combinations like1 click to answer/end call 2 clicks fast forward3 clicks back hold for Siri or google now. The Microphone is an Electret Condenser/OmniDirectional type which is a standard in these types of earbuds and its worth mentioning that it is whiting a good distance from your mouth which makes it pick up your voice really nicely. People that I talked to though it expressed that they could hear me very clearly but they also pointed out there is a lot of background noise present so really not the ideal solution for noisy places. The housing itself is round so if you ever experienced square ones that caught up in buttons of your shirts you will appreciate that it won’t do that anymore. Now about the sound that you can expect from them. I am sure you won’t be surprised if I tell you that there is an extra punch to the base and it is actually quite amazing when you try them out for the first time especially if you are coming from some stock model that came with your smartphone.
You can relly appreciate what sony managed to incorporate into these little earphones. They are only 12 mm in diameter which is really average but they did a couple of things that will give you an amazing listening experience:
1) they used the most powerful type of units – the dome high energy neodymium drivers
2) they build them in such a wat that their impedance is only 16 Ohms at 1 kHz
3) they have 100mW power handling capacity
These three facts mean in a nutshell that whether you connect them to to your portable devices like iPods, Tablets, Smartphones or directly to your Mac, PC or any other type of device that does not have a dedicated amplifier will not have any trouble driving them to their whole potential which means that they will get loud. And by loud, I mean really loud without distortion the sounds. With all that emphasis on the low end, it is worth pointing out that the frequency response on these are 4-24,000Hz when most earbuds start from 20Hz and go up to around 20-22kHZ That means that you will hear things in your favorite tracks that you never heard before.
The vocals and instruments remain distinguishable and there is a good amount of separation. You can easily focus on drums, violins, and guitars if you chose to. At the very end of the earbuds is something that is strangely often overlooked – The tips. The tips that come with earbuds are a special hybrid design with these kinds of dots on them and although I never saw that kind of design before its seams to me that they are really effectively increasing their elasticity which allows them to kind of hug your ear canals better which is a plus when you try to achieve a good seal to get the most out of them. Thanks to these kinds of details they are also great at passive noise isolation which gives you the ability to focus cut off the environment and get in the zone if you chose to. I mean if you commute by public transport and to watch a movie or listen to an audiobook you will have no issue to just dive into your media and forget about surroundings.
Now about the things that I did not like so much: They are BIG. The actual inner earpiece in nice. However, the portion that is attached to them is huge. You could never relay wear them laying down they are just too big. Also, there’s a lack of volume control on the control unit, you have to adjust it through your device. The last thing is that the glossy surfaces are not actual metal but just a coated plastic which means they will wear off after some time. The bottom line is: if you want exceptional audio quality with added bass, great highs nice clear mids and punchy lows look no further and just get your self these.
1) Bass is exceptionally good. Trust me, I’m using the earphones with Poweramp player, it gives deep bass. You will love it if you are a mid-range bass lover.
2)Sound quality is very impressive, every single bit is heard.
3) The overall quality is top-notch. It’s Sony after all. So don’t even have the mildest doubt about it.
1) As many other users pointed out, since the earphones are bigger, you might not be comfortable using it lying down on sides.
2) Can’t be used inside the helmet, Or at least You’ll feel Uncomfortable.
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