• Comfortable form factor
• Robust bass
• Easy to use connectivity
• Equaliser app works great
• Optional wired playback
• Amazing battery life
• NFC one-touch pairing
• High fidelity microphone
• Customary looks
• Made for bass lovers only
• Audio output varies in wired and wireless connection
Last month Sony announced an entire lineup of headphones and Bluetooth speakers at a launch event in New Delhi. Out of the total 7 products, one was Sony XB950 B1, a pair of premium over the ear headphones which is the latest upgrade to Sony’s XB950BT headphone and offers electronic bass boost with comfy cushion construction and a couple of other newly added features.
Earlier the company showcased its products at the CES 2017 event with three other headphones. The biggest highlight of the XB950 B1 is its NFC connectivity, bass boost and the smartphone application for equaliser controls. And this time the headphones looks like specifically constructed for smartphone users with the type of packaging and built-in features that it packs. Although, the headphones looks like a perfect companion for your smartphone, these are premium earpieces are difficult to carry around while commuting. And because the ear cups are circular shaped, the idea of carrying them around the neck may not be as easy as it might sound, most of the time either you’ll have to put them on your ears, otherwise keep them inside the bag.
While the idea of mobility seems tricky, the overall design is still one of the most impressive characteristics of the headphones. The comfy earcups, (that sometimes get sweaty) are very soft and are appropriately padded with a soft quality material. Rubbery finish over the earcups is one of the best we’ve come across so far and will not disappoint you in marathon music sessions.
“Sony has provided all the major controls on the headphone itself just like its earlier version”
After using the headphones for nearly 10 days, we realized that the weight of Sony XB950 B1 hardly troubled our head while using. The design is intelligently engineered and the controls are very sturdy, however there’s nothing too creative about the form factor and they also look like any other XB series headphones.
As soon as we unboxed the headset and played a couple of bass intensive songs, the first impression was very clear. Undoubtedly, the headphones have a very robust bass, and they do vibrate at deep bass levels for escalating the overall music experience. I love Electronic dance music, and for me the first encounter with the headphones was superb. However, the bass levels are overpowering and that affects the vocals of some other music genre.
Controls on the Sony XB950 B1 are placed like most of the other XB family members. On the right earcup, there’s a volume control and music playback button. While on the other side, it features a power and bass effect button, microphone, USB 2.0 charging port and a 3.5mm input jack. Further, the headphones weigh 281g and are not the lightest pair of headset that you may find; however as we stated before, the comfort levels are still unmatchable.
“Made for bass lovers… only”
Before we talk about the performance of the Sony XB950 B1, we would like to begin with what the headphones actually are, and who they are made for.
Well, the whole XB series dedicatedly focuses on “Extra bass” lovers. Which also means that expecting impeccable performance in some other genre of music might leave you disappointed. For dance music lovers and all those who love extra bass in every type of music they listen, this is a complete package. And the XB950 B1 lead the legacy of xtra bass ahead of any other XB headphone so far. There’s too much of bass packed inside them. It’s overpowering, and even if the bass effect is turned off, the headphones still deliver enough thump to transfer your brain into dance atmosphere.
However, expecting something other than bass from the XB950 B1 may leave you disappointed, cause this beast is solely made for EDM lovers and that’s where it excels. But, there’s a catch, you can use the companion app to get most of the equaliser settings adjusted based on your preference.
Well, the XB950 B1 are impressive in regular use, and also the headphones are equally powerful in delivering a surround sound experience. For testing this we played some Dolby audio surround sound tests and they impressed us the same. Isolation is also decent and didn’t disappoint us in our testing period.
Now if we talk about the calling quality of the Sony XB950 B1, the calling was better than what we expected. Sound levels were correct and audio was also good. Sometimes it did pick some ambient noise, but that only happened when there’s some loud noise around you.
We used the Sony XB950 B1 in an enclosed space, and in such space connectivity was really good. Even after crossing 13-feet of distance, calling and music didn’t get affected at all. Apart from that, one thing that was peculiar in the XB950 B1 was that the microphone was only active in wireless mode, for calling in wired connectivity, you’ll need to use the microphone available on your smartphone.
Lastly, the audio does gets affected when used in wired mode. Wireless connection works great in all the smartphones, however the wired connectivity depends on the audio jack of smartphone which does vary the audio most of the times.
The Sony XB950 B1 is specifically made for bass lovers. If you’re a bass lover and want to enjoy the overpowered bass music wirelessly via your smartphone, this is something you should buy. Bass is deep and may surprise you every time you listen music on it. Companion application on smartphone works great. Calling is very decent and hardly gets affected sometimes. However, you will have to pay the price of a smartphone for buying the XB950 B1.