Sony MDR-XB500 Headband Headphones - Silver/Black

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If You Enjoy Deep Bass Tones These Are The Headphone For You

Apr 27, 2012
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Light weight; great aural frequency response; quality sound reproduction.

Cons:Not enough mid-range for my tastes.

The Bottom Line: I am pleased with my new Sony MDR-XB500 Stereo Headphones.


I am and Information Technology Engineer and as such spend a lot of time in front of a computer at work.  I typically get into the office before anyone else and I like to listen to music, or NPR, or Rachael Maddow as I start my day. 

Two hours in however, when the rest of the crew shows up, so does the cacophony of noise and mindless chatter that make it hard to listen to my music and to work quite honestly.  For the last three years I have had a cheap, but trust pair of headphones that did an admirable job of reproducing music, but a lousy job at canceling out background noise.  They never fit as well as they should have; they had a nasty habit of slipping off my head.  And the headphones plastic surrounds were starting to peel; time for a replacement.
    
So I started looking around for a new set of “real” headphones, ones that fit over the ears, sound great, are light enough to wear with my glasses, and canceled out the annoying noise around me.  I was willing to pay up to $50.00 for a pair which pretty much ruled out BOSE, which would have been my first choice, but hey, I have a self-imposed budget to adhere to. 

Eventually my search led me (again) to Sony, specifically the Sony MDR-500 Extra Bass Stereo Headphones. I have owned Sony headphones in the past, and I liked their build quality, price-point, and faithful sound reproduction.  
 
The Product
  
From the Manufacturer: Exclusively engineered by Sony, the extra-large 40mm Extra Bass diaphragm driver units accurately reproduce ultra-low frequency sounds and deliver dynamic, deep base reproduction. Additionally, the MDR-XB500 headphones have an exceptionally wide frequency response from 4-24,000 Hz.
 
Built with a direct vibe structure to ensure high audio fidelity, the Extra Bass headphones feature a tightly sealed acoustic design that allows for a high level of sound isolation which reproduces powerful and extended bass sound.
 
Fist Impressions

I am very pleased with Sony MDR-500 Extra Bass Stereo Headphones.  They have met all of my criteria nicely; they cost under $50.00 ($49.95 at Amazon.com); they are light weight, and; they reproduce sound across the entire musical range (10Hz – 20,000Hz), though the mid-range could be more robust.  An added bonus: they ship with a nice felt draw-string carrying case. 

The Sony MDR-XB500 Extra Bass Headphones come with a 3.9 foot long flat Y-cable that has a gold platted L-shaped mini-stereo (3mm) plug, which of course can be adapted to a standard quarter inch stereo plug (adapter not included.  I quickly found out that the cord is not long enough and I needed to order an extension cord for it, so be forewarned.   

As far as sound reproduction is concerned, the Sony MDR-500 Extra Bass Stereo Headphones certainly follow in the Sony tradition of providing quality unit with faith sound reproduction.  If you are willing to pay, quality can still be had!  The lower (bass) frequencies are rich and sufficiently rumbling, however as I alluded to above, the mid-frequencies are not as robust as I would like, however; the highs are modulated just right. 

The handsomely designed, 1.0 pound Sony MDR-500 Extra Bass Stereo Headphones fit easily over my ear and effectively block out outside noise.  And the headphones are comfortable; I have worn them upwards to two hours without the accompanying pain from my eye glasses.  They are light despite the king-sized foam cushions that cover over earpieces flexible enough to bend around my glasses without pressing them painfully into my temples even after prolonged usage.  This is significant, trust me, as anyone who wears glasses will certainly attest.

Conclusion

I am happy with my choice of the Sony MDR-500 Extra Bass Stereo Headphones.  Except for the mid-range “thing” I can’t think of one negative thing to say about the headphones, they are just that good.  I suppose I could grouse about the price, but as I stated at the outset quality cost and I am so over cheaply made goods no matter their country of origin.  The Sony MDR-500 Extra Bass Stereo Headphones are clear winners.     


Recommend this product? Yes

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