CONCLUSION: This should be a part of a standard-issue uniform found on your resident bass lover.
The Sony MDRXB650BT Bluetooth headphone’s heavy-duty look juxtaposes against its comfort and lightweight build. Given that the headphones use an on-ear cup design however, the constant pressure on your ears is not as comfortable as an over-ear design. The build quality deserves praise – the band itself is made from machined aluminum, which reaches into the plastic housing on the sides. The leatherette cups can get warm despite how comfortable it feels at first, though the same material used along the band makes for great cushioning around the top of the head. While the MDRXB650BT is not foldable, there’s room for some control given its swiveling hinge and tilting cup design.
Sony placed all the controls along the sides of the right ear cup. There’s a power button with an indicator towards the front, followed by a microphone hole, volume rocker, and a toggle at the back for skipping songs, taking calls or pausing tracks when pressed. To start Bluetooth pairing, simply hold the Power button for seven seconds until the indicator rapidly alternates between red and blue lights. Call and microphone quality is serviceable, which is a nice plus, but surprisingly, songs do not seem to resume after being interrupted. The lack of a 3.5mm audio jack is disturbing, which means to optional analog connections, but we’re sated by its excellent wireless streaming quality.
The MDR-XB650BT produces sound that matches its price tag. That means trebles are sufficiently bright and clear for an urban bass-oriented headphone, and the midrange frequencies are wellbodied. Bass was natural yet impactful, but it is subtly bloated on challenging big beat tracks by The Prodigy. It still did swimmingly in our typical audio tests, across tracks like Adele’s Melt My Heart To Stone and The Eagle’s Hotel’s California. That said, the headphones bring out rock songs better than EDM and pop, despite its sound signature. If you’re neutral towards soul-pounding drops, the heavy bass may come across as overboard, but it won’t disappoint either. Of course, the Sony MDR-XB650BT will suit the average bass-head. It’s easy to pick up and get into, and relatively inexpensive while being designed for everyday use.
AT A GLANCE
DRIVER SIZE: 30mm
CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth 4.0 NFC Mirco-USB (charging input)
BATTERY: 30 hours
The thicker padded cushioning on the top band isn’t just for a comfort fit, but supposed to help reduce vibrations due to the extra bass thumping nature of the headphones.