Researching your next headphone purchase is always an experience. With most technology, the benefits are easily quantifiable. Something can be faster, smaller, or more powerful, và there is rarely any debate on this point. It is, or it isn’t. The numbers can’t lie.

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When it comes lớn audio equipment, the lines are blurred. Whether something sounds “good” or “bad” is a matter of personal preference. Audiophiles might not be attracted to lớn Sony’s Extra Bass line of headphones. But they have a definite following. Just as some Canadians enjoy their fries with an extra side of gravy, many music fans enjoy an extra helping of bass.

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Very few companies deliver this as well as Sony has. From their đứng đầu tier portable headphones khổng lồ their affordable earbuds, consumers are rarely disappointed. The MDR-XB550AP is one of the more affordable models in the latest generation of XB series headphones. Can they live up lớn the standard? We decided to find out for ourselves.


First Look

Sony’s been in the headphones market for years, producing several pairs of headphones with this exact same form factor. These on-ear headphones are compact and lightweight, but still large enough to lớn house the powerful drivers needed to deliver some low-level kick. While the shape remains the same, Sony relies on bright color to give these headphones an edgy look. As wired headphones, there is no concern about audio compression or battery life. These headphones seem lượt thích quite a bargain, but the ultimate thử nghiệm will be their sound quality.



The XB500AP headphones are available in three different colors. Both blue và red have a metallic sheen to them, making the colors seem almost electric. They’ve got a very loud look lớn them, but are toned down just enough to remain sleek. For those who prefer it, the matte black option is much more reserved in appearance.

We couldn’t help but appreciate some of the finer details on these headphones. The earcups are slightly marbled, with a textured finish khổng lồ them. This catches the light in a unique way, lượt thích adding a cảm ứng of grain to lớn your Instagram posts.

The perfectly circular earcups are offset with several straight lines. The cables are perfectly flat, with a very modern square design. In line with this cable is a built-in single-button control, which can be programmed to your liking.



These headphones are designed lớn be used on-the-go. For this reason, it’s important that they are durable enough lớn withstand the challenges of day lớn day life. All moving parts have a very solid, yet smooth feel to them. The earcups are hinged along the top, & on either side. This gives them a lot of movement, allowing you lớn flatten them when you shove them into a bag.

Speaking of flat, the cable used on these headphones is extremely durable. It tends to hold its shape quite well, so it won’t get all tangled up in your bag lượt thích round cables would.

Generally, the biggest point of concern is the plastic headband. It’s difficult to make a headband flexible, while remaining durable. Fortunately, Sony has a full-size aluminum band mounted inside. This prevents the plastic from over stretching, helping them to last a very long time. This isn’t the first time Sony has used this style of headband, và it’s been shown time & time again khổng lồ last quite a while. So we don’t have any concerns about the durability.



Both the inside of the headband & the earcups are lined with an incredibly soft cushion. The earcups in particular are very soft and plush, và can be worn for a very long time without any discomfort. The headband is a little thinner, but it does a great job of evenly dispersing the pressure across your head. Coupled with the lightweight nature of these headphones, there are no points of pressure that stand out.

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Another thing we noticed was the pleather earpads manage to remain quite cool. Even if you’re wearing them in the summer, you’re not going to lớn feel like you’ve slapped no a pair of earmuffs.

Because the earcups are on a swiveling bracket, they’re able to lớn easily adapt to lớn any head size or shape. This keeps them flat against your ears, so the pressure is evenly distributed across them.


Sound Quality

When Sony said these headphones had extra bass, they weren’t lying. Every beat from the kick drum sounds lượt thích an explosion in your ear. Music felt very forceful and engaging, helping your music khổng lồ gain a lot of presence. What impressed us was the unique of the bass. It’s not just a boomy, undefined sound like you’d get with a cheap subwoofer. It sounds very tight, controlled, & precise. You can actually make out the notes of the bass, & it works in conjunction with all of the other sounds. It’s not just an enhancement, but rather a better presentation of something that serves a purpose.


What separates these headphones from other bassy models, lượt thích Beats, is the frequency response. The human ear can generally hear down to about 25 hz. But sound isn’t just what you hear, it’s what you feel. Take Dubstep, for example. This musical genre is known for its bass. Once of its defining qualities is what you’d call ‘sub-bass.’ These are bass frequencies that you can’t technically hear, but can still be detected by your ear. Sub bass is what creates those wobbles you can feel in your chest when you walk into a club. Sub-bass is generally produced in the frequency range of 10 to 20 hz. The XBR-550s respond to sound all the way to lớn 5hz, so you’re not losing any of your music.

Despite the branding, Sony focused on more than just bass with these headphones. The midrange & high frequencies are still very well presented and clear. We didn’t feel like we were losing any of our music when listening to lớn them. From the smooth texture of vocals to lớn the crisp hit of a snare drum, none of the music elements were filtered out or neglected.

In reality, these headphones feel as if they are placing an enhancing filter over our music. It felt warmer, & had a little more pep lớn it. If you’re listening khổng lồ any bass-heavy music, these are definitely the headphones you’ll want.



For the most part, these headphones are simple. You plug them in, throw on a tune, & enjoy. But their functionality is expanded through the inline control. This has a microphone built right in. If you have a gọi coming in, just hit the button và speak as you normally would. The microphone is very sensitive, và our callers had no problem hearing us even when it was dangling down by our side.

The button isn’t just for answering or hanging up calls. You can also use it as a play / pause button to lớn control the music. If you download Sony’s không tính phí SmartKey app from the Google Play or app stores, you can change how this button works. Hold it down khổng lồ increase the volume? Double press khổng lồ skip lớn the next song? There are virtually endless possibilities, và you can choose exactly how you want it lớn work.



One of the features we liked with Sony’s wireless headphones was the ability lớn change the sound signature. You could tweak the bass, treble, or midrange frequencies lớn get something unique. There were also several automated settings for different styles of music. Unfortunately, this just isn’t possible with wired headphones. On the flip side, wired công nghệ allows them to lớn produce sub-bass, so it will be a worthy trade-off for some people.

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for an extra helping of bass, nothing delivers this more easily than Sony’s XB series headphones. The 550s offer incredibly good value, producing very clear & detailed sound. Although they’re geared more towards certain music styles than others, it’s unlikely that you’ll find sound chất lượng anywhere near as impressive from neutrally designed headphones.


If you’re looking for eye-catching design, high levels of durability, and a built-in microphone, the Sony MDR-XB550AP EXTRA BASS Headphones are a great choice. But if you’re looking for something a little more impressive, you might want khổng lồ consider the XB950N1 headphones. This is Sony’s đứng đầu of the line entrant in the XB series headphones, offering wireless connectivity & improved sound quality. They don’t come cheap, but demonstrate what Sony is capable of.

Want wireless, but don’t want to lớn spend a lot of money on it? Consider adding on the Jack by Podo Labs. This compact little transmitter converts your wired headphones lớn wireless, so you can have the best of both worlds.