Since my childhood when I used to play with equaliser on my aunt’s Technics hi-fi music system, I have preferred to keep the bass low and push the treble up as much as possible. But I am in a minority, especially in India. Here we love our music in our cars, in our homes and even on our phones. A lot of our music also lends itself to be the lower frequencies, especially the numbers youth today love to play all the time. This is where Sony wants to cash in with the MDR-XB650BT, a headphone that is more than partial to bass.
The Sony MDR-XB650BT is loud, and I have not even started talking about the audio quality. The review unit we got was a metallic blue that will more than make your music preferences obvious. It looks like a lot of the other new Sony headphones with large cups that cover your ears. All the controls are around the right earcup. There is NFC too, offering one-tap play on the left ear cup.
What is good?
Given my preference I was a bit apprehensive about trying something that sells itself as an extra bass headphone. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how good the overall experience is. Sony wants to sell this to lovers of techno and Indian pop, who will appreciate the extra bass. But I think this will impress even those who like to listen to softer, vocal-oriented numbers like me.
I tried the headset with a large variety of genres, and have no reason to complain. In fact, I loved how it rendered Western Classical, which I turn to quite often to relax after a long day at work.
This is also a good option for those who are consuming video content from Netflix, and other sources. It offers the full bouquet of frequencies to give you a theatre experience, even on a smaller screen.
The earcups are very comfortable, and tight enough to keep out most external noises.
Being a headset, this come with a mic and the ability to take calls from the smartphone it is linked to. It is easy to execute this bit and the controls also let you manage the music player remotely.
What is not that good?
I was not all that impressed by the call quality of the headset. I guess we should look at this feature only as an add-on, and not something you will use for long calls.
I wear specs, and since the ear cups are pressing against your lobes to keep external sound out, it hurts just a bit where the legs go behind your ear.
Since we are all juggling with multiple devices, the Bluetooth could have been intelligent enough to recognise an old source so that your don’t have pair again.
- Sony's 2017 audio range review: SRS-XB Bluetooth Docks, MDR-XB510AS headphones and more
- Sony MDR-XB950B1 review: Good music, bass extra
- Sony launches MDR-XB50BS and XB80BS wireless extra bass in-ear headphones
- Sony MDR 1000X review: Superb audio despite the noise cancellation
- Sony MDR-1000X headphones launched in India at Rs 30,990
- Sony MDR-100ABN review: Bose has competition in noise cancelling
Should you buy?
This is one of the best headphones in the market at the moment, if you don’t want to spend on a high-end unit that might cost your monthly wages. The extra bass is great, but not overpowering for those who don’t really need all that boom in their ears. The MDR-XB650BT is highly recommended as one of the best headphones in India at the moment. A true all rounder.