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Sony MDR-XB500 review

These Sony closed back headphones are nowhere near good enough for the money – you can buy far better Tested at £60.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Nowhere near good enough, even for £60


  • +

    Good looking


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    Everything bar looks

We're always suspicious of anything that advertises ‘extra deep bass', and in the case of Sony's MDR-XB500 over-ear headphones, this proves to be well-founded.

These cans boast comfortable vinyl earpieces and build quality seems good.

But plug them in and it all changes. Any kind of subtlety in the music vanishes under the thick morass of sound.

The tonal balance is swamped by a fat bass, while a strident treble and rough midrange lurks in the background. Buy some iGrados instead and save £20 in the process.

See all our headphone reviews

What Hi-Fi?
What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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