• Frequency response: 5Hz – 22,000Hz
  • Impedance: 24ohms
  • Driver size: 30mm
  • Connectivity: 3.5mm plug
  • Weight: 180g
  • Pros:
  • Sound quality
  • Portability
  • Value
  • Cons:
  • Feels a bit flimsy

On Your Head And Go

The world around us is a pretty noisy place – the sounds of cars horning, engines revving, or people shouting. To drown out the droning sounds of the world, we use music, and we need a good pair of headphones to do that. While not everyone can afford expensive headphones that people would rave about all the time, who’s to say that there aren’t good choices on a budget?

The Sony MDR-XB550AP is a headphone meant for that and you can tell at first glance that it was made for portability. These headphones only comes with the unit itself with no additional carrying case, but that’s alright at this price point. Even without a carry case the headphones fits snugly in your backpack when the cups are swivelled flat. The stylish MDR-XB550AP has a comfortable headband and clamps just right, while the cups have a nice and soft foam that gave us hours of comfort before it started to feel uncomfortable.

The main focus of the MDR-XB550AP is its ability to be a budget headphone yet providing you with great sounds. When it comes to its sound quality the mids came out great, vocals and guitars sound excellent, but highs are where they didn’t do so well. With the Sony’s EXTRA BASS, the lows and bass are more defined and deep, imparting a warm sound to the listeners. If you are looking for a headphone meant for critical and detailed listening, this isn’t something you’d look for and not at this price point.

The body is made from mostly plastic and although we can see that it’s very well put together, when it’s in your hands it feels a bit flimsy. As for its cable, they are flat cables that don’t get tangled easily and are also quite soft and supple. The cable is of decent length, but the y-splitter can’t be adjusted and there’s more cable leeway between the splitter and the headphones than we would like. There’s also an in-line mic, which you can use with your smartphone to answer calls or adjusting volume.

CHIP CONCLUDE: For its price, the Sony MDR-XB550AP delivers great sound and portability.

(previously published in issue July 2017)

Sony MDR-XB550AP