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Extra Bass Bluetooth Headphones

by Sony

Compatibility Rating

Supported Interfaces:

NFC
Class 2
aptX HD
aptX Low Latency
aptX
Bluetooth v3.0

Feature Review

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Does it Matter the Sony MDR-XB950BT Wireless Extra Bass Headphones Only Support Bluetooth 3.0 And Class 2 Power?

With phones more and more phones like the Apple iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, Le Max 2, Le 2 Pro and Le 2 getting rid of the 3.5mm audio connector, wireless headphones lke the Sony MDR-XB950BT Extra Bass Bluetooth Headphones are growing in popularity.

Sony has a rich history and audio brand recognition and stands to benefit from this adoption trend towards wireless headphones.

The Sony MDR-XB950BT Extra Bass Bluetooth Headphones uses a CSR (now part of Qualcomm) wireless chipset that supports Bluetooth 3.0 and Bluetooth Class 2 Power (10 meters range).  By comparison, Apple's new headphones (Beats Solo3 WirelessApple AirPodsBeatsX Earphones, and Powerbeats3 Wireless) uses Apple's own W1 chip, which probably supports at least Bluetooth 4.1 and Class 1 Power (100 meters range).

Still, the Sony MDR-XB950BT Extra Bass Bluetooth Headphones is a lot more affordable and better for those that want a large ear pad cushions that fits over the ear.  By comparison, the Solo3 Wireless fits tighter on top of the ear itself and can be uncomfortable for people with glasses wearing it for long periods of time.  

It's interesting that Sony decided to stay with a CSR chipset with the Sony MDR-XB950BT Extra Bass Bluetooth Headphones that supports Bluetooth 3.0 which is less energy efficient compared to the latest Bluetooth 4.1/4.2 versions.  The W1 is probably also much more energy efficient that the CSR chipset resulting in the Beats Solo3 Wireless supporting 40 hours of playback, while the Sony MDR-XB950BT Extra Bass Bluetooth Headphones can only last up to 20 hours of playback after a full charge despite the having a lot less range.

The CSR Bluetooth headset also supports aptX audio compression over Bluetooth which claims higher audio quality when used with Android phones that supports aptX like the Sony Xperia Z3+,  Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, and LG G5.

Unlike many other headphone brands, the Sony MDR-XB950BT Extra Bass Bluetooth Headphones supports NFC.  Sony is one of the few major brands that aggressively promotes NFC to make it easier to pair its phones with wireless speakers and headphones over Bluetooth by just touching the phones to the audio output device.

We purchased the Sony MDR-XB950BT Extra Bass Bluetooth Headphones online at Best Buy with same day store pickup to avoid the lines.  The Sony MDR-XB950BT Extra Bass Bluetooth Headphones came in attractive packaging which was easy to open.

The Sony MDR-XB950BT Extra Bass Bluetooth Headphones comes with a 3.5 mm audio cable, USB micro-B cable for charging, and some documentation.  You can use the 3.5 mm audio cable to connect to your audio player if you don't want to use Bluetooth.

The Sony MDR-XB950BT Extra Bass Bluetooth Headphones comes with a lot more control buttons than the Beats Solo3 Wireless such as pause/play/answer, forward/reverse, volume up/down, power, and bass boost.  There is also a microphone input for use when making phone calls.

The Sony MDR-XB950BT Extra Bass Bluetooth Headphones is attractively designed and looks good at any angle.

The Sony MDR-XB950BT Extra Bass Bluetooth Headphones can't fold up into a compact portable case like the Beats Solo3 Wireless but the ear pad cushions can fold 90 degrees.

Unfortunately, the Sony MDR-XB950BT Extra Bass Bluetooth Headphones that we bought at Best Buy had something loose in the left ear pad.  Anytime we walked around with the headphones resulted in a rattle right in the ear, which was not the best out of the box experience for a headphone.  After exchanging the headphones for a new one at Best Buy, the replacement one didn't have this problem anymore.

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