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Sony MDR-XB600 - Sound Quality and Verdict

Andrew Williams

By Andrew Williams



Our Score:


Sony MDR-XB600 Accessories

There's no ceremony to the Sony MDR-XB600 headphones. You get a box, but that's about it. There's no included carry case, no adapters and no inbuilt hands-free kit or remote control. These are headphones, simple as that.

Sony MDR-XB600 Sound Quality

Belonging to a family of headphones called "Xtra Bass", it's hard to come to the Sony MDR-XB600 not knowing what to expect. These are bassy headphones, and as is often the case with such focus headphones as these, the bass can become destructive.

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For a headphone to pull off the big bass sound, it needs to have sufficient control and separation to avoid the low-end dominating the rest of the sound. There's a significant improvement in clarity over the last range of XB headphones we listened to, but there's still not enough control.

The bass booms out, muddling arrangements, unbalancing the sound and often spoiling the rhythm of beat-based music. Contrary to what some people think, a bassy headphone isn't always good for bassy music.

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The Sony MDR-XB600 are not a dead loss, though. While the low-end rules here, the treble is surprisingly sweet and smooth. There's too much boom to the sound here, but they're not muggy-sounding, veiled headphones.

Thanks to the bloated low-end, separation between instruments isn't hugely impressive, but the soundstage is relatively wide. Nevertheless, we still find that with music made using real instruments in particular - rather than electronic ones - there's a certain claustrophobic effect caused by the rumblesome bass that's holds the music back. And it can verge upon sounding distorted.

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Sony MDR-XB600 Verdict

The Sony MDR-XB600 represent a solid half-step forward for the Xtra Bass headphone series from Sony. Their looks are a little toned-down, comfort is good and sonic clarity seems to have been improved. However, the low-end lacks the control we like to hear in a bass-heavy headphone, resulting in to much bloating and boominess. You can get higher-quality sound at the price if you're after exciting bass.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Design & Features 7
  • Sound Quality 6
  • Value 6


January 4, 2013, 7:45 am

bad review


January 4, 2013, 7:48 am

bass is tight the complaints here are opposite of what i feel they should be, awful review, i give the headphones 7/10 or 10/10 if you can get them for 60 bucks like i did. Also I give this review 4/10


January 17, 2013, 1:33 am

this review sucks... i love these headphones because i have compared to dr.dre beats and i would prefer these... so bass is sick and headphones are extremely comfy they have like an inch of padding... with comfy and bass boosted headphones a am satisfied :)

Levi Mondal

April 14, 2013, 5:28 pm

My review of the product:

Comfortable usage for over 12 hours (trips, etc.)
Stylish looks
Smooth treble, clear mid, and stunning eye shaking bass, but still not overpowering


Too much plastic

Actually what I've noticed is that the earcups contain more foam, and leaves a smaller space for the sound to pass, which is good for the sound will directly enter the ear, compared to other on-ear headphones that scatter first then enter.

It's sound isolation is just awesome, and when you wear it, the pressure changes, which is actually bizarre, 'cause most headphones don't have this, and can only be found mostly on earphones.

It's folding design makes it really portable, it can lay flat anywhere, bend to fit in a pouch, can stand straight up with it's earcups, ANOS will be the only awkward thing when it's hanging flat on your neck.

Overall 6/10

Steve Fernández

May 13, 2013, 6:07 pm

They're meant for bass and they deliver but they dont do it perfectly is what hes trying to say. These are great for the price but there not the best out there. If you do want something better your gonna have to shell out a few more bucks. For their purpose and price I give them 8/10

Nicholas Dudzinski

June 3, 2013, 4:04 pm

failure at review who ever wrote this is impossible to impress i have these and for me they are the definition of epic screw this review i give the headphones 10/10 and the review 2/10000

Yoerie Wolvekamp

August 9, 2013, 5:56 pm

Rating inaccurate.
Hi - 7/10
Mids - 8/10
Bass - 7/10
Comfort - 9/10

Pro's : Fits everybody
Very comfortable for long sessions
Punchy bass, but mids and hi's still awesome and 100% hearable.
Like said, bass NEVER overpowers the mids and hi's
Stylish, genuine leather & obviously real gold plating (on the brown ones)

Cons: Bass too punchy sometimes, but not a big deal.
Hi's get too, well high, and some songs get very uncomfortable to listen to
Fingerprints everywhere! D:

Overall 8.7/10, very good headphones, and yes they're better than Beats Solo HDs, so if you're doubting, go get them RIGHT NOW *insert odd rage*.

Headphone expert

August 21, 2013, 10:57 am

Is it worth buying

Alfa Kapa

December 14, 2014, 8:54 am

I'm already planning to buy those headphones.
I'm a basshead and I tested them on my stupidly bassy tunes and all that time I had a huge smile on my face..
The reviewer must have a bad day when he writes this review!

Guys, don't get me wrong, the sound on all frequencies is phenomenal, the comfort is outstanding and the bass is dominant and outrageous/savage.
Whoever think the bass is bad/punchy/whatever must surely check he's ears!

Sony MDR-XB600 even more trusted review: 9/10

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