Sony has been aggressive in the audio segment. Back in October 2016, the company added two new products under their wireless earphones category. Dubbed the Sony MDR-XB50BS and MDR-XB80BS, these pairs of earphones are exclusively designed for the sports enthusiasts.
The major highlight of these earphones is their pricing. Yes, for the first time, we feel Sony has hit the right product pricing. The Sony MDR-XB50BS is priced at Rs. 5,490 (available for around Rs. 4,500) and the MDR-XB80BS is priced at Rs. 10,990. As the name itself suggests, they are designed to please bass lovers.
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Sony quickly sent us a review unit of the smaller variant - the Sony MDR-XB50BS to our GIZBOT labs. We have used the product for more than a week and here's what we think of it.
Design: They doesn't look great
First things first, the Sony MDR-XB50BS doesn't look great. They are heavy, and the rectangular capsule design doesn't inspire confidence. Having said that, we even faced certain issues while wearing them.
Sony is touting the earphones as sports earphones, but these pairs of earphones don't justify that as they always popped out from my ears. But, it all depends on your ear size.
They didn't fit my ears, but maybe they can fit into your ears comfortably. Another thing worth noticing is that the ear tip comes with a fin, which will provide some rigidness to fit the earphones onto your ears properly, but they didn't help me as well.
Speaking about the button placement in the earphones, the right capsule has the power button, volume rockers, and the left capsule is left empty.
Other features include the splash resistant and IPX4 certification, which further saves them from sweat and water. Having said that, we wore the headphones under torrential, rains and they are working just fine.
You don't have to worry about wearing them under dark rainy conditions as well. Overall, the design of the headphones doesn't look great, but they can get the job done only if you have perfect sized ears.
Performance: They Sound Insanely Good
The Sony MDR-XB50BS doesn't look great, but sound excellent. Yes, Sony brands them as bass heavy in-ear headphones, and they completely justify it. Mids are reasonably flat, highs will exceed to maximum levels in heavy bass tracks, and the lows are good as well.
We tested the headphones with bass intensive songs such as 'THAZMYSHYT' by Virtuoso The God and the Sony MDR-XB50BS handled it with real low frequencies. However, we noticed some distortion in the sound at maximum volume level, but it didn't happen with all the tracks.
Regarding connectivity, the Sony MDR-XB50BS can be connected with either Bluetooth or NFC. Pairing to these headphones requires just a simple tap and hold on the power button for more than three seconds. The pairing with NFC works fine as well.
Battery life is the segment in which these headphones excel. The Sony MDR-XB50BS delivers up to 8 hours of battery life with a single charge, which is a great thing to see. There are several other in-ear high-end wireless headphones available in the market that failed to deliver a solid battery life.
Verdict: Priced Well
The Sony MDR-XB50BS hits the bullseye with its performance and stupendous battery life but fails to provide the same regarding its design. The design is good though not exceptional. It can get the job done, but can quickly pop out from your ears while running.
For the asking price, one can't expect much as there are other high-end options such as Jaybird X3, which fails to deliver the promised battery life. The Sony MDR-XB50BS should be your choice if you're looking for decent pair of wireless headphones on a tight budget.