Budget

Sony MDR-XB50AP Extra Bass Review – Simple Budget Earbuds with Lots of Oomph

Last updated: 2 weeks ago, Sep. 6. 2018
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    Discover comfy, durable, and bass-heavy in-ear headphones that are a real steal, but with one problem.

    Sony MDR-XB50AP are one of the most popular basshead earbuds—for a reason. You get well-built, reliable, and good-sounding earbuds for less money than the competing alternatives.

    These in-ear headphones offer extra bass at a low price. If you’re looking for bass-heavy earbuds under $30, check these out.

     

    PROS

    • Superb bass—perfect for bassheads
    • Tangle-free cord
    • Quality build that lasts
    • Big but comfortable
    • Loud—even with your smartphone
    • Cheap (under $30)

    CONS

    • Heavily bass oriented sound, not for purists
    • The earbuds sticking out of the ears

    Sony MDR-XB50AP Extra Bass earbuds made it into:

    The guide on the best budget earbuds
    The best bass in-ear headphones
    The top Sony headphones you should get


    Specifications

    Type: In-ear headphones
    Connection: 3.5 mm (L plug)
    Design: Closed-back

    Headphones

    Driver size: 12mm
    Frequency response: 4Hz – 24,000 Hz
    Impedance: 40 ohm
    Weight: 0.7oz (19.8 g)
    Cable length: 3.94ft (1.2 m)
    Microphone & Controls: Yes
    Water-protection: No

    Wireless

    Bluetooth: /
    Battery life: /
    Noise-cancelling: No
    Charging port: /
    aptX: /

    What’s in the box?

    Sony MDR-XB50AP Extra Bass unboxed

    Sony MDR-XB50AP Extra Bass unboxed. source: Rtings

    • Sony MDR-XB50AP in-ear headphones
    • 4 silicone earbuds (XS, S, M, L)
    • Carrying bag
    • User manual

    Comfort & Fit

    The Sony MDR-XB50AP may seem heavy because of the size—they are quite big—but that’s not the case. On the contrary, they are lightweight. Once you put them in, you can move around with no problems.

    The only time size could be a problem is when the buds sticking out would be uncomfortable. For example, sleeping on the side is painful and uncomfortable.

    The reason for the bigger casing is the drivers, 0, 47 inches (12 mm) big. They’re bigger than with most in-ear headphones.

    Sony MDR-XB50AP Extra Bass driver

    The 12mm drivers are bigger than with most in-ear headphones.

    Also, in the package, you get four different sizes of silicone ear tips. You can choose extra small, small, medium and large.

    When in the ears they feel soft and don’t move when you wiggle your head. The low weight of the headphones helps them stay firmly in the ear. As a result, you can use them for sports but keep in mind they aren’t sweatproof.

    Distinguishing between the left and right earpiece is simple thanks to the design. There is only one way they fit. Nonetheless, on the housing, you can find the markings to make sure you are right.

    Overall, the bass earbuds are surprisingly comfortable and have a stable fit for everyday and active use.

    Sony MDR-XB50AP Extra Bass box

    Noise Isolation

    When it comes to blocking ambient noise, the Sony MDR-XB50AP offer above average passive noise isolation. Keep in mind, the tighter the fit, the better the blocking.

    Silicone earbuds are more than good enough to make an air-tight fit though you have to find the right size for your ears. If you use smaller tips, the earbuds will leak more noise, inside and out. Additionally, with the lousy fit, you lose the before mentioned bass, as it escapes from the ear.

    Note: The XB50AP are not active noise cancelling.

    Since we’re talking about noise, cable noise isn’t a huge issue. You might hear some of it during extreme movement but generally isn’t bothersome. The flat cable protects against it quite well.

    Durability

    The build quality of Sony MDR-XB50AP is apparent immediately after opening the box. They feel solid featuring an ergonomic design and made of quality plastics and metal. This is a quality product full stop that will last you a long time.

    Sony MDR-XB50AP Extra Bass earbud

    The casing is made of plastics and metal.

    The housing is made of black rubber and metal casing. While many earbuds made from the same materials are sweatproof, these are not.

    We think metal casing is a nice touch for cheap earbuds and helps them look like a quality product.

    The headphones use gold plated 3.5mm “L” plug to connect with your device. It’s also well protected against straining.

    The cord is flat and Y-type so it can withstand a lot of curling and other abuse. Additionally, the wire is tangle-free, so it’s harder to entangle, and WHEN it does, it’s easier to clean up.

    To summarize, the Sony MDR-XB50AP headphones are well built and will serve you a long time.

    Features

    They come in three colors red, blue and black, with silicone ear tips always grey.

    Also, on the cord, you get a microphone and multipurpose remote control. It serves as play/pause button for music and answer/decline for incoming calls. Unfortunately, there’s no volume and song control. For that, you need to use an Android smartphone and an app.

    Since they cost little, this isn’t a big disappointment.

    Furthermore, there is also a slider for adjusting the length of side cables. Controlling it comes in handy when you’re active and need a better fit.

    Accessories

    They come in a simple paper box. Inside you will not find lots of accessories, but you do get a soft carrying bag—together with the headphones and ear tips. It’s a nice touch for a budget product but nothing special.

    Don’t let this turn you off, because you get more value in comfort and audio quality.

    Sound

    The Sony MDR-XB50AP Extra Bass, like their full name states, have lots of additional lows.

    When you first hear them, you will know they mean business. Low sounds are deep, punchy and excessively “boomy.” The low sounds come from 12mm dynamic driver mentioned earlier. Now you know why they’re so big.

    Sony MDR-XB50AP Extra Bass earbuds

    Sizable earbuds with ample bass.

    Bass is something these headphones don’t lack. It’s dominant, deep, and overpowering other ranges, which means excellent for bass lovers. On the other hand, the bass-heavy soundstage isn’t suitable for anyone who prefers more balance. These are strictly for bassheads and bass enthusiasts.

    If you prefer a balanced sound and dislike overpowering bass you should avoid these.

    The middle range is notably recessed in low and mid-mids, though high-mids are richer.  Like with the middle range, treble is present but not an element of sonic fidelity. Highs are about average. It translates into somewhat muffled vocals. Still, this is a minor thing, and you need sharp ears to hear it.

    Moreover, the soundstage is about average; the overpowering lows are really in the center of it, so it’s harder to separate the positional accuracy.

    Nevertheless, the sound experience of Sony MDR-XB50AP will convince any bass lover. They are one of the most popular bass in-ear headphones at the moment.

    In the end, when you look a the whole picture, you are getting a durable, comfortable, and cheap earbuds with an excessive bass sound that won’t leave you cold.

     

    Related:

    Terrific bass-heavy headphones guide
    Want wireless earbuds instead of wired, here are the best ones
    Wondering what earbuds are made to last, see here

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