Understanding bass is not simple. It may be overwhelming, strong, weak, punchy or whatever. But if you have known the Sony MDR XB90EX earphones, it can be much easier to depict those terms. Especially, they are equipped with 16mm dynamic drivers. The number would indicate all about that bass, which is excellent bass depth and great bass impact. This is one of the best bass earbuds you could buy right now. They’re also very comfortable in spite of their large size.
Perhaps Sony is the most experienced audio maker in the world. I never fail to find the a pair of earphones that meet my expectations from Sony, whether they are in ear, over ear, on ear or around the neck. I can pick a set based on the sound I want to slectively hear from my favorite tracks. Beats has introduced to the audio world strong bass sound signature, but some of their headphones are just loaded with a plenty of bass, nothing else. Sony did a different approach with MDR XB series, which offer a huge bass for fans of Hip-hop, dance music.
The MDR XB90EX is the pair I’ve tried out, I have it for almost two years and sill like its bass. It is one of in-ear extra bass sets, a well-known series, including XB30EX, XB60EX, and XB90EX. The bass increases in quality and impact for models in order of 30, 60 and 90.
Details: Bass – orientede version of MDR XB90EX
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Specs: Driver: Dynamic, Neodymium Magnet | Imp: 16Ω | Sensitivity: 106dB/mW | Freq: 4-27k Hz | Cable: 4.3’ Gold-plated L-shaped Stereo Mini
Wear Style: Straight down
Package & Accessories: a shirt clip, nice carrying case, a wide array of eartips (large, medium and small) to ensure you get a secure, snug fit.
Comfort: The MDR XB90EX fits quite comfortably in my ears, I chose the medium size of eartips.
Build quality: well-built, nice, sleek, polished housings. Total weight approximately 9 g each
Fit (Noise Isolation): The Hybrid eartips provide good noise blocking capacity. That’s said you only get the maximum bass performance from the earbuds if you wear exact eartips that fit right to your ear. In order to extract the most out the earbuds — well fit–great bass. With assist fitting as a part of housings they provide additional arm to keep earbuds stick and stay well balanced in the ear. But since the housings of XB90EX are rather large. That is really large if you have small ears. In addtion to the size its weights may cause discomfort if you wear them in extended period of time. The flat cable does the job for preventing microphonic noises – annoying sound when the cable rub your cloths or anything. But the cable looks quite sturdy and heavy in some cases.
As advertised with “Extra Bass” label, the Sony XB90EX is equipped with a large size of dynamic driver, 16mm, on each earpiece. The unconventional size of drivers for earphones lead to the large housing of this set. So don’t blame on their size, blame on the sound if it is not symmetrical with its size.
The Sony XB90EX did a great job for kicking a huge a mount of bass as well as bass depth another measurement of bass. And for under $100 I would say this pair is the best bass earbuds in ear headphones you could find on the market, conscious bassheads on the budget know it and I know it. Rocking the bass impact is difficult, but keeing the sub-bass of XB90EX refined and well-extended is even more difficult and Sony can handle it.
White the bass of XB90EX is well controlled, powerful, crisp, and very plump, the mid is slightly recessed. But it keeps the tone neutral and detailed. Treble is pleasant, without pushing much strength and energy, but you’ll feel this range spacious. For clarity, I would say, this pair didn’t impress me as much as HiFiMan RE-400 or FiiO EX100, or other earbuds with BA drivers.
This basshead set is not well balanced, you can find a lot of pairs with the same price range having much more balanced sound like Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear M2 IEi (smaller in size and lighter). Check out my post about earbuds under 100 for more
- Exellent bass depth
- Very good impact
- Comfortable to wear
- Not for small ears
- Not quite comfortable due to big housings
- Sturdy yet reinforced cable
- No mic or controls