Sony EXTRA BASS XB650BT for bass-addicted – hands-on review

By Daniel Chubb - Aug 30, 2016

For those that love bass, not just any headphones will do. These lovers of bass would want to hear something like a subwoofer when wearing headphones, and the Sony EXTRA BASS lineup would suit you just fine.

We’ve been hands-on with the Sony EXTRA BASS XB650BT over-ear headphones for about a week and below give our first hand experience. The Bluetooth Wireless was totally welcomed for freedom, but going wireless never compromised the quality of sound or depth of bass, in fact you will find yourself smiling when hearing the bass-heavy signature sound.


You won’t get just heavy bass either, both comfort and high frequency are present to deliver ideal listening for those hungry for bass without distortion.

While they come in a red or blue as well, the model we reviewed featured a black panel that looks like it’s finished in a brushed aluminium design.


Unboxing – In terms of packing, you don’t need to worry about your new Sony EXTRA BASS XB650BT headphones thanks to excellent packaging. They are held in with a perfectly designed inner box, also with cable ties to keep the cans in place through transport.


Underneath the headphones you will find both your instruction manual and USB charging cable, as seen within these unboxing photos. These also show how well Sony packaged the XB650BT headphones, but it’s a shame they didn’t include extra accessories like a protective carrying pouch.



The photos we’ve taken clearly show how comfortable the ear pads are, extremely cushioned for total comfort and also swivel design for easy packing. This also aids in blocking out most noise while listening to your music, in fact external sound is muffled when nothing is playing.


Sony designed the headband to be self-adjusting and the soft cushioned ear cups will cover all of your ear. This means comfort will be long lasting while listening to many albums in a row. Inside the swiveling circular, you’ll find 1.18-inch neodymium drivers that deliver the audio.


The controls for volume and power are found on the right earcup, as well as a rocker for playback, track navigation, and handling calls.


You’ll also find the pinhole microphone and micro USB port, which is for charging via the said USB cable.


There’s no wired listening on the Sony MDR-XB650BT headphones, which is a shame considering some other competitors do offer the ability to listen to audio via a cable to save on battery life. With that said, the MDR-XB650BT price is just low enough to not make this a deal breaker. You should get around 30 hours of battery life from these headphones, although this totally depends on your volume level.


In terms of performance – we enjoyed a few long sessions of listening, all without any Bluetooth cutouts, which we have experienced often with other options. So, the Bluetooth connection is solid and better than many more expensive wireless headphones.


The MDR-XB650BT really showcases its low frequency, but also matches the extra bass with higher frequency presence to stop sound becoming muddy. Bottom-line, if you are bass-addicted then these headphones were designed for you and even at high volume levels, the MDR-XB650BT didn’t distort like we’ve seen with such bass heavy design, instead these were clear with precise audio.


Using the built-in button and mic for taking calls directly from the headband was easy, especially with an iPhone. It’s a nice touch being able to take hands-free calls while listening to our music, also switching between calls and songs while leaving the headphones on.

It might be easy choosing if these headphones fit your audio needs, especially if you really need to combine bass with more balance. If you’re after good sound, a very comfy build, and booming bass, then the Sony MDR-XB650BT will deliver. Demanding tracks sound punchy thanks to the lightweight 30 mm neodymium dynamic driver units.


Main Sony EXTRA BASS XB650BT specs / features:

  • Wireless (Bluetooth) with deep bass sound
  • 30 hours battery life
  • Built-in mic
  • Extra Bass technology delivers deep, punchy bass
  • The ear cups swivel flat for easy packing
  • NFC One-touch for instant connectivity

PROS – We didn’t hear any distortion at high volume levels and found decent clarity, the bass response is impressive, and the headphones are very comfortable.

CONS – It was a disappointment not being able to listen via an audio cable as well, also a protective pouch would have been welcomed, and lastly some might find the bass too high and preferring a little more accuracy.

BOTTOM LINE – Taking into account the cons, we felt overall the Sony MDR-XB650BT exceeded our expectations with serious bass that’s intense. The comfort was amazing too, something you will really need for listening to many albums back-to-back.

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