Gadget review: 12 hours with the Sony MDR-XB950B1 Extra Bass Headphones

Gadget review: 12 hours with the Sony MDR-XB950B1 Extra Bass Headphones

All about that bass

Text: Jason Song

Co-founder of ACRE, Jason Song, makes the Sony MDR-XB950B1 his trusty companion for the day

These days, music lovers aren't just looking for a headphone that does one job well — play music. Gadgets are now gauged by how frictionless they integrate to the rigours of our busy schedules. In essence, it's also about how it feels on your ears, how it fits into your workout, or helps you unwind at the end of the day. That said, I decided to take the Sony MDR-XB950B1 on the road for a day for a very unusual review.


The battery life test on the spiffy Sony MDR-XB950B1 starts now. And I think it'll fare a lot better than my regressed fitness levels and unworked muscles in this ungodly hour. As advertised and realised, the 18 hours you'll get on a full charge makes starting your routine early that much more enjoyable with your trusty companion.


Firm but soft (like the yolks of my soft-boiled eggs), the ear cup sides and the top cushion make the Sony MDR-XB950B1 incredibly comfortable to wear. I found it quite a nifty fashion accessory as well, with a sleek premium metal headband that feels sturdy yet surprisingly light. Perfect if you're wearing it over long periods; or in my case, over an hour.


If you're the type of person that requires absolute silence when writing or crafting emails, you'll probably want to get this. Especially so if you're in an open-plan co-working space. The noise cancelling function of the ear phones adapts to your environment and eliminates ambient sounds, allowing you to focus on your music, workout or in my case, work.


Thanks to the integrated microphone and Bluetooth connectivity, I was able to easily take a work call simply by pressing the phone button on the earpiece to accept incoming calls. It was very seamless, fuss-free and most importantly, hands-free. The hour-long call was a lot more comfortable and clear, despite the weird sounds of 'Gobbledigook' by Sigur Ros wafting in the background. I'd previously have to run over to a quieter location of the office to take calls.

Music playback will automatically resume once the call is completed.

"And I must be honest, it's a pretty little product that circles around your schedule with a deft touch and a whole lot of good vibes."


I decided to play around with the Sony Headphones Connect smartphone application during my solo lunch (bring out the violin). While the headset dully delivered a powerful, deep, and punchy enhanced bass response — perfect for EDM fans — you can also control the sound levels to emulate different listening experiences, such as in an arena, a club, or a concert hall. I went with concert hall to the tunes of 'O' by Coldplay and I must say the clear base feature hit the spot — well, definitely more than my bowl of pho. Experimentation does bring different results. And I must be honest, it's a pretty little product that circles around your schedule with a deft touch and a whole lot of good vibes.


Time flew by as I completed the bulk of my work. Not to mention a snooze somewhere in between on my very comfortable work chair. There's very little the headphones won't do to be honest — it's featherlight on my ears, boasts a long battery life and is noise cancelling (did I mention this already?). The only thing it can't really save you from is falling asleep on your desk in front of all your colleagues in the office.

sony headphones


I still had two bars left of battery, which is more than I needed to get from the elevator to my car. This strangely reminded me of an era when our mobile phones lasted much longer than they do now. Providing a soundtrack for your entire day, Sony's latest babies might just do the trick.

About Jason Song

A brand consultant who runs his own design house, ACRE, Jason's latest passion project sees him working with NGOs to design better products. When he's not busy making things happen, Jason is also an avid consumer — of food, products, (mis)adventures, and experiences. You can follow him on ACRE's Instagram page or discover what caused his latest food coma on his personal page.