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Review: Sony XB950B1 wireless headphones

LiveMint logoLiveMint 13-06-2017 Vishal Mathur

The Sony XB950B1 headphones immediately grab your attention. They are available in black, red and blue. The one dressed in black has a matte finish, with a light-grey insert on the headband, and the red ring on the earcups adds an aggressive streak to a modern and aesthetically pleasing design. The thick padding on the ears is welcome—this is thicker than what you get with most headphones.

The Sony Headphones Connect app (free for Android and iOS) lets you tweak the virtual surround sound characteristics (or turn them off completely) and increase the bass level. The ideal setting will depend on the music you are listening to.

The deep and powerful bass stands out immediately. Sony has correctly labelled these headphones “Extra Bass” (that is what XB in the product name indicates). These headphones are happiest with music genres such as trance, and nothing from Bose, V-Moda and Bang & Olufsen will come close for bass addicts. It is creditable that we could push the bass all the way up to maximum, yet there was no distortion, and the mid-range frequencies were not overwhelmed. It is easy to turn down the bass when the music demands a neutral sound.

This sort of flexibility is missing in most headphones. We also liked the fact that the vocals remained steadfast, and the higher frequencies didn’t get muffled.

There is no noise-cancelling feature in the XB950B1, yet the snug fit ensures that most of the ambient noise is blocked.

The XB950B1 has a robust battery for the Bluetooth mode, and it lasted us close to 21 hours, at just less than 50% volume, with the bass modes switched on. When the battery does run out, you can simply plug in the cable and carry on, till you are able to charge again.

If you listen to uptempo music genres and like the bass thump, the Sony XB950B1 has no match, at least not yet. For this price, it offers fantastic sound, powerful bass and paramount comfort.

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