Design & Construction

The Sony MDR-XB550AP is created with one category of users in mind, Bass Lovers constanstly on-the-go. It focuses on style and bass-boosted audio allowing users to enjoy the best of both worlds. The MDR-XB550AP has a white metal headband holding the headphone together with a thin cushion under the headband to ensure that it stays comfortable. The headphone as a whole, is coated with a matte surface and feel to it, helping it stay free from fingerprints. Sony is also trying their hand at targeting young consumers of the today's fashionable world with the wide range of colours. The earcups pivot left and right and does not cause any wearing fatigue on the crown of the head. There is unfortunately wearing fatigue felt on the ears after an hour due to it supra-aural (On-Ear) style. The top of the earcups has holes to maximise airflow of the drivers as they push out bass, it was a concern though as this may damage the internal components should anything small or even water droplets may fall in unknowingly. However, the headphone itself and the non-detachable wire feels durable enough to handle everyday life.

Sound Quality

The 3omm headphone drivers produce a slightly bass-boosted sound signature. The mids are balanced and the highs are not too sharp or unbearable to listen to. However, the sound signature lacks an open soundstage. This will occur when the bass bleeds into the other frequencies. I also notice the headphones suffer from low volume when connected to phones with weaker amplifers. When tested with Sony Xperia smartphones, the volume cannot meet the standards of average users. Unless you are going to use it with other phone brands, Sony Walkman Music Players or PCs, the headphone will suffer from the same issue. The noise isolation is also very weak as I can hear my surrounding ambient noise clearly even when I maxed out the volume level. On the bright side, call quality was fantastic as the caller on the other end didn't notice a difference in call quality and didn't know I was using the inline mic to communicate.

Connectivity & Portability

The MDR-XB550AP connects via a 3.5mm audio jack and is supposed to be used with Android phones for full functionality of the inline remote. Apple users can rest assure as the the mic and multi-function button will still function but volume adjustment will not be possible. The headphones fold flat for easy stowing but does not come with a carrying pouch to protect it from unwanted scratches.


  • Durable Construction

  • Bass-Boosted Headphone Drivers

  • Light-weight & Comfortable

  • Controls For Music Playback & Calls

  • A Range of Colours

  • Good Call Quality


  • No Carry Bag

  • Low Volume

  • Weak Noise Isolation

  • Non-Detachable Wires

The Bottom Line

The Sony MDR-XB550AP is a portable in-ear headphone that is created for bass lovers. The sound experience will satisfy those looking for a simple grab-and-go headphone. It has a range of colours that will allow you to express yourself.



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