MDR-XB500

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post separation

NO SMOOTHING is applied to the shown plots. Most measurement sites have some smoothing applied which ‘irons flat’ sharp peaks and ‘wiggles’. I do not use smoothing because some info about sound quality is lost when plots are smoothed.

ALL measurements are made with a good SEAL on a flatbed measurement rig.
The
shape of your head, bone structure, pad size, pad ‘softness,  (compliance), hair or no hair and or wearing glasses may (drastically) change the frequency response of some headphones, so… your personal experience may differ substantially from these plots.

post separation
Sony MDR-XB500

DSCN2457

A cheap headphone which is very comfortable on the head. This is the only positive asset I can attribute to it. The XB in XB-500 stands for eXtra Bass and indeed that’s the only thing you hear. The rest of the sound is muffled and doesn’t have any resolution or detail retrieval. It just sounds dull and boomy. Just what the doctor ordered for listening to crappy 128kb/s MP3’s. Fun for bass heads but not suited for serious listening at all, not even equalized. When equalized it isn’t fatiguing but still does sound ‘fat’ and ‘soft’.
The cable is quite microphonic and short so clearly intended for portable usage as also suggested by the impedance which is around 45 Ohm and a bit wobbly. Doesn’t sound very different from a high output resistance amplifier nor do the measurements differ.

sony xb500

Channel balance is actually quite good and it goes down deep (flat from 20Hz to 200Hz) a good 15dB below 200Hz we can find some evidence of mids and highs. Even with an EQ of -20dB for the lows the headphone still sounds boomy and without any detail although there is a certain extension of the highs. The sharp peaks and dips are most likely the cause of this .

xb500 waterfall r

The CSD above shows resonance at 1.5kHz and the sharp dip at 3.5kHz is also a resonance in disguise. Some ringing at 6kHz and 14kHz.

post separation

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