SONY MDR-XB650BT

Design & Construction

The Sony MDR-XB650BT is Sony's answer to a totally wireless world we are progressing towards. The left earcup does not have any controls or ports but it bears the Sony logo and NFC. Under the right earcup, we have the (From Front-Back): LED Light, Power Button, Mic, Micro-USB port, Vol- & Vol+ buttons and the rocker which allows: seek backward/forward, pause/play and picking up/ending calls.  A red LED will light up when it is left to charge. It takes about 4 hours to charge from a dead battery. Pairing via both NFC and bluetooth is simple and quick. A Blue LED light up once in 3 seconds during wireless usage. The power button will allow you to check for battery status by tapping once. The headphones has rather thick cushions which is meant for providing a bassier experience. The headband is very light and will not cause discomfort to those who wear spectacles since it is a supra-aural (On-Ear) headphone, the discomfort will be experienced on the ears itself. On the headband, there is also cushioned headrest which provides a good amount of comfort.

 

Sound Quality

The headphone drivers are extremely bassy; expect an equivalent of a subwoofer blasting bass right in your ears. It supports AptX codec for clear audio transmission over Bluetooth. Based on user experience, the noise isolation is not very effective as small amounts of ambient noise are hearable if the volume is too low. Headphone drivers of 30mm are not able to provide an immersive experience. Highs and mids are balanced even though it is a pair of bass-focused headphones. Bass lovers are recommended to get one for daily commutes.

Connectivity & Portability

The headphone operates totally wirelessly, hence users can forget about using this with your non-Bluetooth listening device. The battery life peaks at a high of 30 hours and the headphone has Bluetooth Ver 4.0 built in. The headphones stow flat and comes a micro USB cable for charging. A carry bag would be nice to include but sadly, Sony didn't.

UPDATE: (Aug 2017)

The Sony MDR-XB650BT failed after 9 months of ownership. The headphones were used about twice per week prior from purchase till the product failed. The one side of the headphone did not output any audio even if the product is reset or fully charged. The issue repeats itself after one week of ownership after a new MDR-XB65BT is replaced. This issue did not occurred on the MDR-XB950B1 or the MDR-XB950N1.

PROS

  • Durable Construction

  • Strong Bass

  • Comfortable

  • Long Battery Life

  • NFC Enabled

  • Easy Controls for music play & calls

  • A Range of Colours

CONS

  • Listening Fatigue

  • Lack of Passive/Wired Operation option

  • No Carry Bag

The Bottom Line

The Sony MDR-XB650BT is a compact headphone housing thick ear cushions, 30mm bass-focused drivers, extremely long battery life and easy to use controls. Noise isolation is not very effective but it does not affect the audio experience at all. Wearing it for a long time causes some listening fatigue. It is highly recommended for daily commutes. A range of colours also fits users of different gender.

WE RATE IT!

8/10

Other Notable Competitors

BEATS SOLO 3 WIRELESS
SKULLCANDY CRUSHER WIRELESS
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