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Sony - XB950N1 Extra Bass Wireless Noise Cancelling Over-the-Ear Headphones - Titanium-Angle_Standard

Customer rating

Rating 4.6 out of 5 stars with 2445 reviews

94%
would recommend to a friend

Expert rating

Rating 3.3 out of 5 stars with 3 reviews

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  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Shhhhhh to the Outsiders. In with the MUSIC!

    Posted
    MarkusKong
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    Front of Box - Sony Wireless Noise Canceling Stereo Headset - MDR-XB950N1 - Extra Bass - Noise Canceling - Hands-free calling with HD Voice - Voice Assistant Function - Music Playback Time: Max. 22 Hours - Circum-Aural Earpad - Made for iPod iPhone Left Side of Box - Made for iOS Products (As of January 2017) - USB Charging Only Right Side of Box - Nothing pretty much* Back of Box - Wireless Headphone with Electro Bass Booster function - The built-in amplifier enhances low-frequency sound using Digital Signal Processing to give an impressive groove to the music - The Sony Headphones Connect app allows you to control the Virtualphones Technology (VPT) - Digital Noise Canceling function with AI (Artificial Intelligence) noise canceling. Gives you a quiet listening environment, even in a noisy space. AI noise canceling chooses the optimal noise canceling mode from three presets based on intelligent analysis of ambient noise - Swivel Folding design makes travel easy - SBC/AAC/Qualcomm aptX compatible - Micro-USB Cable (approx. 50 cm (19 ¾ in)) - Headphone Cable (approx. 1.2 m (47 ¼ in)) - Carrying Pouch - [Communication System] Bluetooth Specification version 4.1 [Output] Bluetooth Specification Power Class 2 [Maximum communication range] Line of sight approx. 10 m (30ft)*3 [Compatible Bluetooth Profiles] A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP [Supported Codec] SBC, AAC, Qualcomm aptX audio [Power Source] DC 3.65 V: Built-in lithium-ion rechargeable battery [Usage Hours] Music playback time: Max 22 hours, Communication time: Max 18 hours [Charging Time] Approx. 7 hours [Mass] Approx. 290 g (10.23oz) [Included Items] Wireless noise cancelling stereo headset, Micro-USB Cable, Carrying pouch, Headphone cable Bottom of Box - The noise canceling function is effective in low frequency ranges such as airplanes, trains, or offices (near air-conditioning, etc.) and is not as effective for higher frequencies, such as human voices - *1 The phone on the other end requires support “HD Voice” function - *2 Sony Headphones Connect app requires download for iPhone from the App Store or for Android from Google Play. Subject to app terms and conditions - *3 The actual range will vary depending on factors such as obstacles between devices, magnetic fields around a microwave oven, static electricity, reception sensitivity, antenna’s performance, operating system, software application, etc What’s Included in the Box? - Wireless Noise Cancelling Stereo Headset (MDR-XB950N1) - Micro-USB Cable - Carrying Pouch - Headphone Cable - Quick Start Guide - Reference Guide - Warranty Information Initial Impression - Outer box looks pretty standard (for you box lovers out there like me); thumbs down - Inner “housing” of the headphones has a very nice interesting material. It feels great when you touch it and it gives the product a “quality” aspect. I LIKE THAT! - Headphones have a nice weight to them. They feel sturdy and the material on the headband feels nice. I didn’t like the feel or quality of the plastic connecting to the ear pieces though. Maybe perhaps if it was the same material as the headband all the way around? Nonetheless, it does feel sturdy though; just wished it wasn’t such light plastic. Ear cushions feel really nice. They’re soft and have “memory foam” like material on the inside. Buttons on the ear pieces are distinguishable and easy to use. - Pouch is a very nice material, feels very soft and non “scratchy” for your headset. Unfortunately, mine had a hole in it… So be on the lookout when you get yours. If you don’t care so much about the pouch then I guess it doesn’t matter but if you’re someone like me, I’d care! - Some info from Sony: Sony states: Noise cancelling – Industry leading digital noise cancelling cuts out ambient noise and adapts to your environment so you can hear more of the detail in every track. Now it’s just you and the music. Premium Wireless – Easy to carry, move with and use without obstruction. Bluetooth and NFC wireless connectivity with compatible device. Up to 22 hours of battery life with continuous, wireless music playback. Sound Quality – It wouldn’t be a Sony headphone if it didn’t include premium sound quality. Large, 40 mm driver units deliver broad, dynamic and balanced sound with 20-20,000 Hz frequency response when streaming wirelessly and 3-28,000Hz with the supplied audio cable. Sony Headphone Connect APP – The Sony Headphone Connect App acts as a companion to your headphones. The application allows you to check the battery level, turn noise cancelling on or off, customize the level of bass from -10 to +10m and also provides preset EQ’s such as club, music hall, arena, or outdoors to give you control over how your headphone sound. Setup/Testing/Conclusion - Alright ladies and gentlemen, this is what you've been waiting for. So here are my thoughts. Setup was EXTREMELY PAINLESS!!! I did the setup first on my iPhone and it connected perfectly fine. No issues at all. I downloaded the app and the app basically did everything its supposed to do. I was even able to test out the functionality of the app like Surround (VPT) *this is the different EQs you can change it to like arena, club, etc*, extra BASS, and toggling on and off the noise cancellation feature. Everything worked as expected and was honestly kind of fun to be able to customize the way I listen to music. Next setup I did was on an Android phone and it was just as easy! I used the NFC (near field communication) to connect the headset and it worked flawlessly. So if you know how Google Wallet or Apple Pay works, you'll be right at home. You have the same functionality as the iOS app. OH! You also get to check battery life on the app which is neat. So the testing, well lets just say that the sound quality on these are AMAZING! I love them. If you're looking for clear audio, awesome bass, and nice all around music to your ears; I'd definitely give these a try. The only issue* I had with these is that they feel kinda "big". Also, maybe because my ears are huge; they got quite uncomfortable after long periods of listening. I also wear glasses so maybe that's a contribution? I had a couple co workers with different size ears to try them out and they said the exact same thing. So maybe its just us folks in California? I had my spouse try them out and she enjoyed them. The only issue* she had was that she can hear a weird VERY LOW static in the sound. I personally did not experience this nor did my co workers. So maybe my spouse is "hearing things" if you know what I mean. But if you also hear it... Then maybe my co workers and I are the crazy ones. The active noise canceling works great! I texted them in an office environment and at a home environment. So if you're listening to music you can basically expect not to hear anyone around you. If music is not playing or is not as loud, you can faintly hear some other individual(s) around you. But to be honest, I enjoy the noise canceling feature; its quite neat! I love the bass. Sony advertised BASS and I can tell you, there is BASS. I didn't even turn it up max in the app, just at +5 out of +10. My music wasn't even at max. Just for giggles I did +10 for base and max on music and WOW! You can feel the power, lets just say that. If the battery does in fact last 22 hours, that's pretty wonderful. Lets be real, you're gonna end up charging them mid-next day anyways when you're not using them. Since you also get a headphone cable, you can always plug it into a device when you don't necessarily need it to be wireless. In conclusion and all in all, I really enjoyed this headset. If you're on the search for a new headset with folding capabilities, relatively comfortable cushions, and REALLY fantastic sound; give these a try. Sony has always made great quality products and this headset is no exception. Good job SONY! If you're wondering why I knocked off a star, for me personally (my opinion); its because they were not 100% comfortable for me. But again, that could be because I have big ears and wear glasses.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Good with minor flaws

    Posted
    BADog
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    Disclaimer: I used my new wireless BT headphones with a Samsung Galaxy S7 smartphone with adjustable graphic equalizer controls on the phone itself. PROS -- Extremely comfortable to wear. The soft ear cups don't press against the actual ear. -- VERY easy pairing with NFC out of the box. It paired instantly. I hit play, and the music started playing. -- The Sony headphones app was VERY cool. I could instantly 1. Set the level of "bass effect" with a slider bar. This level is remembered after the "bass effect" is turned off then on again. 2. Turn on/off noise cancelling 3. change the surround sound setting (Off, arena, concert hall, club, outdoor stage. 4. Shows battery level and model number. No other settings are available at this time though I'm hopeful the app will update over time to make it a little more compact. -- The BASS. Yes, once the bass booster is turned on, you REALLY can feel hour head pound if you have that setting all the way up. I have the bass set around 70% and it sounds great at that level for me. However the amount of bass can be adjusted by the app so you don't go from no bass to too much bass. That is a GREAT feature to be able to control the bass level. -- If your battery somehow dies, you can use the supplied 3.5mm male/male cord to plug into a device and still listen to your music. However, once you PLUG in, you lose ALL functionality of the headphones and app control. The headphones controls do not work and they literally act like a set of wired headphones with any changes being made to the audio program/device you use to listen to. CONS -- A little on the heavy (weight) side. If you bend over forwards or lean your head backwards, the part on top of your head is heavy enough that it will rotate due to gravity and try to fall off your head. -- The complete spectrum of sound was not as complete as I would have hoped - mostly the highs. -- When changes are made (bass effect on/off, NC on/off, there is a voice (coming out of the headphone earpieces) that says what is happening while the song is still playing in the background, but muted while the voice speaks. So you resume your music about 3-5 seconds later. I find that a little annoying when I want to INSTANTLY listen to the differences of sound when I turn on/off a feature, especially the noise cancellation. OTHER NOTES: 1. BT (bluetooth) vs Wired option - the BT does sound better IMO. If your battery dies or you just want to save your battery for later when you need wireless, you can hook up the provided cord and listen - but the quality is definitely better when using BT. 2. Whenever the "Bass Effect" button is pressed, perhaps Sony can offer up a FW update (is that possible for this product?) to be able to turn off the voice saying that it's being turned on or off. I literally HATE this feature is not optional. I don't need the voice telling me - I should be able to tell on my own since the feature should be doing what it's supposed to (either the bass is more or less - duh... or the NC (noise cancellation) is working or not). 3. Note in my picture close-up how the inside of the cup is laid out. The front part of the headphone is angled so that the sound actually is facing at an angle better to enter your ear. They do not interfere with the comfort of my ear and this puts the sound in your ear at a better angle. 4. A nice headphones pouch is provided and it has an additional area inside where you can put your 2 extra cables (audio cable & USB charging cable). Nice touch, however a hard or semi-hard case would be preferable to protect against damage if packed in a bag or suitcase. They cost $250 and should be protected by more than a soft pouch IMO. 5. When BT is active, keep in mind that when connected to a device, you have 2 volumes that you can control... it's best to turn up your "device" volume to 85-100% then adjust the volume of the headphones accordingly. When turning the volume of the headphones up/down, it does NOT control the device volume. It controls the volume of itself. 6. This may be a device feature for the Samsung Galaxy S7, but in order to use the mute/track-forward/backward buttons on the headphones, the app you are using has to be OPEN, not just running in the background. If you have Winamp, Pandora, or other audio program running, but you have another app showing on the screen or just your home page up, you won't be able to control those functions of the music. You can however operate the volume regardless of the app showing on the smartphone. If the app is active and screen is merely OFF, all functionality still works. 7. Regarding the weight again, if you lie down on a pillow, they stay put, but if you get up off that pillow, they may fall off unless you have a big melon. :) These things are definitely mean to be worn in the UPRIGHT position only. 8. Price point is about right when you add up the pros vs cons. Pros outweigh the cons IMO. I have not tested out the complete battery life because I can't keep them going for over 10 hours... however, with that amount of listening on a single charge, this is a very worthwhile purchase. 9. I listened to the same song on a pair of Sony MDR XB920 wired headphones that my son uses, and his pair do sound BETTER than these. There is a bit more clarity in the voice and high frequencies (drums/hi-hat cymbals). Note that the Sony app is meant to be used with their newest headphones I believe. I'm not sure how the app works with the regular BT version of these headphones, but these Noise Cancelling BT versions had NO problem connecting to my phone at all. All connections were automatic after pairing up initially with NFC.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Probably the BEST Stereo Bluetooth Headset

    Posted
    Panther68
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    Pre-review thought: To be completely honest, I don’t have high hopes for Sony’s just-released MDR-XB950N1 headphones. I have several corded headphones, & two stereo Bluetooth headsets. My current “go to” for music-listening is a v-moda Crossfade M-100 with an Onkyo DAC-HA200 external DAC/Amp. The Sony headphones can’t compare/compete…right? Read the ENTIRE review, and we shall see. For the review, I focused on the Sony headphones, making minor comparisons to the v-moda M-100. I am not an “audiophile”, & I don’t have a “trained ear”…but, as a musician, I can discern audio quality differences. UNBOXING, AND INITIAL IMPRESSIONS: The outer box is on-par with others, although a better job than Sony’s usual packaging. The inner box is your basic black cardboard box, except that the lid’s inside is nicely-lined with a soft, black, flannel-like material. The plastic “cradle” that the headphones are in is thicker (more sturdy) than usual, & the top has a flat black leather-like texture, giving the internal packaging somewhat of a “premium feel”. Included with the usual ‘papers’ are a USB/microUSB cable for charging (and possible firmware upgrades…more on this later), a double-ended 3.5mm cord, and a carrying pouch. NOTE: 3.5mm-to-1/4” adapter is NOT included. SETUP: There are two ways to connect the headphones: wireless (standard Bluetooth, or NFC), & wired (for greater frequency range). If your device has NFC, you pair by tapping the headphone’s left cup to the device’s NFC contact point. COMFORT & EASE OF OPERATION: Controls are well placed, simplifying operation: power, BassBoost, & Noise Cancelation buttons, plus USB & 3.5mm ports, are on the left side; the volume, play/pause, next/fast-forward, & back/rewind controls on the right. Earpads are a soft memory foam, covered in a soft vinyl-like material (great for comfortable extended listening). The headband is solid, being made of metal & hard plastic, with plush padding along the top. The cups rotate 90 degrees to the rear, and fold inward, compact enough to store almost anywhere. SOUND QUALITY: First, I tested noise-cancelation capabilities…and where better than inside a car, with the car stereo blasting music different than what’s playing through the headphones (not a “sound booth”, but works equally well). When I listen to the radio, the volume is typically at 5 (usual 3-5 range, rarely exceeding 7), so ‘5’ was my start-point. NOTE: the MDR-XB950N1’s volume is lower when BassBoost is ‘on’. With headphones at a typical listening volume, & car stereo on, I first tested with BassBoost turned on, playing several different songs. The car stereo reached 22-24 before I could hear it. Turning BassBoost off (same songs), the volume reached 33-34 before I noticed. In both tests, the car stereo’s music was barely a whisper above the headphone’s, thus no interfere. Car volume had to be 5-7 higher before I truly noticed, & the car stereo music began to clash. Conclusion: MDR-XB950N1 Noise Cancelation works extremely well. For corded music tests & comparison, I used Sony’s own cord with the MDR-XB950N1 (so as to not “alter” its original sound), as opposed to using the v-moda’s higher-quality cord. With CDs first, I listened to Sheila E’s “Butterfly”, Casting Crown’s “Voice of Truth”, and Earth Wind & Fire’s “Got To Get You Into My Life”. On “Butterfly”, the sound quality was slightly flat, timbales sounded slightly muffled, & cymbals were discernable, but lacked their usual crispness. For all songs, vocals were fairly accurately, but slightly muffled, percussion was somewhat flat, & guitars sounded soft. So far, things weren’t looking good for the MDR-XB950N1. For the remaining tests, I switched to MP3s, playing Tim Capello’s “I Still Believe” (‘The Lost Boys’ soundtrack), Duran Duran’s “A View To A Kill”, Kitaro’s “The Light of the Spirit”, Matthew West’s “Forgivness”, & Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On”, with tests in this order: corded into phone, corded via DAC, then wireless. The corded into phone results were similar to the CD results, except more accurate & closer to the sound of the v-moda headphones…but still far from perfect. The corded via DAC were much better. To be honest, the results are hard for me to believe…the difference between headphones was barely noticeable. Holding one cup from each to my ears at the same time, I thought I was listening to a single headset. Last up was Bluetooth (M-100s still wired)…and this is where the Sony MDR-XB950N1 shined. I might go so far as to say they outperformed my M-100s. The sound was crisp, clean, & clear. I actually had to turn the volume DOWN on my GS7 Edge, so as to not blast my ears. SONY “HEADPHONES CONNECT” APP: In short, the app is not a good thing…it’s somewhat of a bad thing: ‘Surround (VPT)’ effects are all but useless. There’s little difference between them. A couple of them stood out…barely…but never enough to make a real difference. I recommend keeping this setting “Off”. At the same time, I still recommend installing the app, as it has other useful features, most importantly the remaining battery time. THE GOOD: When used for what these are designed for…mobile devices playing compressed-format music (MP3, AAC, FLAC, etc), they’re outstanding, producing clean, bright (but not overly/unrealistically), accurate, crisp sound. THE BAD: The included 3.5mm cord isn’t very good. If using a cord, replace the included cord with one of higher quality. The Headphones Connect app’s ‘Surround (VPT)’ settings produce no discernable difference, & lowers the volume. THE UGLY: Do NOT use these for listening to CDs, as they ruin the audio quality. CLOSING THOUGHTS: These are not headphones to use when listening to CDs. Overall sound is good, but no better than $25-50 over/on-the-headphones (you’d be better off with $50 in-ear headphones). If your intent is listening to music on mobile devices, that’s what these are for…and they’re great at it. For corded listening, the included cord is ‘good’, but replacing it with a high-quality cord will produce better sound. For listening via Bluetooth, this is where these are the best. Sony did an incredible job designing these, outperforming almost all other Bluetooth headphones I’ve listened to. Having viewed Sony’s webpage for the MDR-XB950N1 headphones, there’s the possibility that the firmware installed can be updated. Sony hasn’t posted anything on the product page…yet…as these were just released. However, that being said, if you go to Sony’s product page, and scroll down to the ‘Support’ section, you will find a tab labeled “Drivers & Software”. I am not claiming to know there will be firmware updates, nor am I stating that there won’t be…all I’m saying is, considering they’ve added that tab to the product’s support section, there’s a high possibility/probability that firmware updated could be forthcoming. If you’re in the market for stereo Bluetooth headphones, you will be hard-pressed to find anything better…at this price-point, or any other. The Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones are equally good, but you’ll pay $100 more. The Beats Solo3 cost $30 less, but they don’t sound as good, plus you lose Noise Cancelation. The Beats Studio Wireless has Noise Cancelation, and costs $20 less, but, again, they don’t sound as good. If you truly want the best, you can get the Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H8, or Senheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless, but they’ll each cost you $500+. Finally, you could get Sony’s MDR-1000X which will sound slightly better, and includes Noise Cancelation…but you’ll pay $150 more for them. FINAL VERDICT: For corded listening w/ DAC, the v-moda M-100s will remain my “go to”. For corded listening w/o DAC, the MDR-XB950N1s can almost rival the M-100s. If you only want to listen to music on-the-go via Bluetooth, GET THESE HEADPHONES…it’s that simple. These are now my “go to” for Bluetooth listening. At the beginning of my review, I asked a question about the ability of the MDR-XB950N1s being able to compete/compare against the M-100s. I’m here to say that my internal assumption…although I never stated it…was wrong. I had assumed that the M-100 would outperform the MDR-XB950N1. The truth is, they are just as good…and, in some ways, better. The M-100 headphones are corded-only, whereas the MDR-XB950N1 headphones are Bluetooth, plus they work when corded. Added to that is Active Noise Cancelation, which the M-100s don’t have. If you want the BEST sounding Bluetooth headphones, with Active Noise Cancelation, for the lowest price, there’s only one choice: Sony’s MDR-XB950N1 headphones. Disclaimer: This product was provided free, or at reduced cost, for the purpose of reviewing the product. Nevertheless, the above review, be it positive, negative, or anywhere in-between, is a 100% honest review, and the price paid played absolutely no part in my review.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

    Good Sound / Poor Construction

    Posted
    mrugglesaz
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    My wife bought these as a gift for me last June from Best Buy. I use these every day at work and carry them back and forth using a hard clamshell case that I bought only days after my wife gave them to me. I treat these phones with care and respect since they were a gift from my wife and, at $125.00, they represent a significant price upgrade from the $50.00 Skullcandy Hesh 2 phones I lost. I take care of my things and expect them to last. The sound on these is pretty good and the features are nice. I enjoy the noise cancelling feature and the extra base feature works fine. One thing that does annoy is an occasional, repeated drop of the sound signal, which can only be described as a “hiccup” during song playback. There are supposed to be different playing modes that you can enter by turning the phones on while holding a combination of buttons that’s supposed to suppress this problem. These different playing modes have never worked for me. Furthermore, this is a problem that I have never experienced using any Skullcandy phones at half the price of these. Now on to the real reason for this review. As I said before, I transport these phones in a hard case and treat them very gently. Last week I rotated the left cup and held it to my ear to listen to something without putting them completely on. The cups on these phones rotate so that they can lay flat for easier packing and also for “DJ” style listening. A little while later when I went to put them on, I noticed one of the arms that held the left ear cup was broken. So the weight of the phones being held sideways to listen to only one cup must have broken the arm. To say that I was disappointed is a vast understatement. However, the disappointment was only beginning. I went home and located the receipt. These phones are only eight months old and there’s a one-year warranty. Cool. I still had the box with the original paperwork (that’s how new they are) so I broke it out and called Sony Customer Support and told them my story expecting them to replace these defective phones. Less than ten minutes into the call the guy on the other end says, “Let me check our database.” [Keyboard typing sounds…] “No, I don’t see any reports of this type of problem with this model so this would fall under physical damage, which is not covered under the warranty. You can try calling an authorized repair shop to see if they can be fixed.” What?! Frustrated, I took the number and called the repair center, which is located in New York. They said they could be fixed. It would be $18.00 to ship them, $75.00/hour for labor, plus parts. So $93.00 before parts to fix some phones that my wife originally paid $125.00 for? “No thanks,” I told the lady, “I’ll try to glue them back together myself or get a different pair.” I guarantee if it comes to the latter option, it won’t be another pair of Sony phones. By the way, after looking on the Sony website, I see that there are several reports of the exact same problem that I had. I don’t know what database the Sony Customer Rep was searching, but obviously, it wasn’t their own website. Avoid this model unless you want the same hassle. Seriously. You’ve been warned.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Solid bass and noise cancellation

    Posted
    Jack
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    I got this headphone a couple of days ago. I'm not a pro or audiophile, but I love listening to music and own quite a number of cans of different types and form-factors. I was really interested in the two highlighted features of these headphones: bass effect and noise cancellation (NC). I have an NC headphone from Panasonic which does rather meager job at that. The NC feature of the Sony XB950N1 is quite good: more than I expected. I've been using it at my office (where there's always a low drone from the AC). I feel quite isolated from everything - the first couple of times it felt quite unnatural, but now I'm getting used to it. Regarding the extra bass feature: I'm not a so called "bass head". My playlist is mostly dominated by rock, metal, classical, new age. At first I was really confused what the "Bass Effect" button on the left ear-cup did: I did not find any significant change. However, I installed the companion app in my Android phone and increased the "Electro Bass Boost" effect a bit (I found +4 did the trick for me). That increased the bass effect to a more enjoyable level for me - anymore than that and the low end gets overtly dominating. I'm always hesitant on commenting on the sound quality of headphone