Rock music without bass is like sitting on a chair with 3 legs. If heavy metal and hard rock is your thing Sony has the right cans for you – the Extra Bass headphone series comprising of the new Sony MDR-XB920 and MDR-XB610. These headphones are huge. If you want deep bass you can’t you can’t escape from the physics of sound.
The Sony MDR-XB920 is an update of last year’s XB900. They look more stylish and come with a strong dash of colors – silver with black or silver with red for the XB920, while the XB-610 comes in silver with white and silver with orange. The ear pads are made of urethane foam that is quite comfortable and helps to reduce the ambient noise, but because it is such a tight fit, the rubbery material will cause heat to build up and your ears will sweat after about 30 minutes. So these are not for long term listening, especially when you are listening to heavy metal at elevated volumes. The headphones can be conveniently folded and packed away in your bag. Be aware that these will take up quite a bit of space.
Soundwise the differences between these and last year’s models are subtle. The bass is deep and strong but not overly boomy. Sony has struck a nice balance between slam and musicality, offering detailed resolutions to both mid and highs. The overall sound signature is tilted towards the 80Hz bass region giving you a strong kick when you are listening to tracks with lots of mid to low bass content.
The option of detachable, tangle resistant cables in the new models is a nice feature. You can choose between using a cable with or without an in-line remote, and Android users can use the Sony Smart Key App to program the function of the button on the remote.