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Sony MDR-XB550AP Review - Style and BASS

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One of Sony's latest and most affordable headphones from the Extra Bass family is the MDR-XB550AP, a stylish can w/ powerful and meaty bass under PHP 3K!
Sony MDR-XB550AP Review - Style and BASS
Meet Sony MDR-XB550AP

Sony MDR-XB550AP Specs

Drivers: 30 mm Dynamic
Impedance: 24 Ohms
Sensitivity: 106 dB
Frequency response: 5Hz - 22,000Hz
Rated Power: 10 mW
Connector: 3.5 mm L-shaped
Others: In-line mic w/ single button, Sony Smart Key App Compatible, Colors: red, green, blue, white, black
Cable: 1.2m
Weight: 300 g
Price: PHP 2,999

Disclaimer: This is a borrowed unit from Sony Philippines for our honest take.

Unboxing / Accessories

Neat premium box
Neat premium box

The box is simple and contained most of the basic info you need to know about the headphones. Inside, you'll only find the headphones itself and some paper documentations.

We wished Sony would have included a free carrying case (pouch) though.

Build / Design

Nice build, sleek design
Nice build, sleek design

Build is plastic. But, the plastic Sony used is a grade higher than most of the competition. For example, it feels better than both SoundMAGIC P11s and the ageing ATH-SJ55. It feels durable and tough enough.

One of the most hip looking cans on a budget!

Headband is expandable. There's a metal sandwiched in between as a support to make it more durable. Swivels feels good too. Pads are made out of faux leather, but the good type of faux leather.
Expandable headband
Expandable headband
Thick yet flexible cables

Thick yet flexible cables
Right marking
Right marking
Mic w/ single answer button
Mic w/ single answer button
L-shaped gold plated jack

The flat cables are thick yet flexible. It has also proper strain reliefs on the Y-Splitter and earcups connectors.


Design is modern, hip, and sleek looking. We also like its textured finish. The paint job is great as well.

Comfort / Isolation

Comfort is okay in air-conditioned and cool and dry places. But, the pads could get hot on humid conditions. Strength of clamp is average. It isn't that fatiguing to wear in general. It is lightweight too.

Isolation is surprisingly nice and better than expected. It can properly block the voices near you. Isolation is also not too much to make the headphones dangerous to wear outdoors.

Microphonics is decent as well. Cable noise is minimal. The cable used by Sony here is pretty high in quality.

Sound Quality

Overall sound signature is warm and bassy! It has a big bodied bass response that can go quite deep! However, it isn't that fast and tight. It is just fine. Sub-bass is also there (at least it is there), but don't expect it to be that prominent and have that crawling effect that can give you chills. 


Quality is alright for the price!
Mids are clear enough! It is surprisingly detailed and well layered and separated from the instruments too. But, that nice mids is only applicable on acoustic, classical, and tracks w/ less bass. Why? On bassy tracks, bass is overpowering and can muddy and make the mids or vocals recessed in sound.

Highs are alright. There's nothing too special about it. The sparkle is absent most of the time. But, at least it doesn't have annoying peaks and hiss. And remember, this is just a sub PHP 3K can.

Soundstage is far from large. It isn't surround. It is just alright again.

Microphone is quite bad though. It is often muddy in quality.

Pros - Best design for the price, tangle free thick and flexible cables, L-shaped gold plated jack, decent sound quality (on not bassy tracks)
Cons - Overpowering bass, mic is muddy

Verdict

Easily, this is the most stylish headphones for the price! Build is above average as well! Overall sound quality is decent as well especially if you love big overpowering bass. But, it isn't simply design for aspiring audiophiles. Sound signature would be too bassy and muddy for that market.

This item is also available at Lazada Philippines.

Build / Design - 4.25
Comfort / Isolation - 3.5
Sound - 3.75
Average - 4.83 / 5
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