Top critical review
Great Sony Sound But At A Price
Reviewed in the United States on October 8, 2019
If you’re reading this review, what you really want to know is, “Should I buy these”? The answer is Sort of...? Maybe...? Possibly...? with some MAJOR caveats.
If you’re familiar with Sony headphones at all then you already know that the unboxing experience is underwhelming at best so I’ll just give you the 30sec run down. When you open the box, you get the headphones, a charging cable and the manual, that’s it. But like I said, unless you’re spending $200.-$350. You’re not going to get a case or even a bag for that matter. It’s just the Sony way. As for the build quality, well ummmmmm… Okay, there is a lot of plastic here and not quality plastic. Let’s just say it, these are 95% plastic. You know the plastic that feels like if you squeeze it just a little, something is going to snap? Yeah, they pretty much feel like that. And when I say they are 95% plastic, I mean, there’s not even any padding on the headband which makes them unbelievably uncomfortable especially if you’re bald like me. Even for short periods of time, these things just start to hurt the top of your head. Also, because of the cheapish plastic there is very little give (you definitely don't want to try to stretch them out unless you like snapping sounds). The only non plastic part on these is the ear pads (if you can call them that). Now I know these are “on-ear” headphones, but they are so small that they feel like they are on-ear for little kids, even my 8 year old, who uses a pair a wired Sony’s everyday for school, said they felt tight and small to him. I’m not sure what the material is that they used for the ear pads but someone really needs to make earmuffs out of this stuff. This things get hot FAST, even with a fan on, I could only wear them for very short periods of time. For something that gets so hot, they are also unbelievably thin. These is also no noise cancellation except for the passive noise canceling you get from having a vice on your head.
Now, I see that confused look on your face because you probably remember earlier when I said that you might want to buy these even with all of those issues, why would I say that right? Because, again, in the Sony way, these things sound fantastic. Even straight out of the box with zero burn in time, they sound GREAT. The mids and highs have great presence and there is a surprising amount of thump in the low end. You also get 35 hours of playback. NOTE: there is a bit of confusion because the spec sheet on the description page says that these do NOT have quick charging, but I can confirm from the box and from actual use that these DO indeed offer quick charging via USB-C (yes, no padding but USB-C, go figure). Additionally, they do have NFC and the mics aren’t that bad when making phone calls (but seriously, how many people make phone calls from their headphones anyway). They support voice assist blah… blah… blah… but none of that really matters because I honestly can’t see you wearing them that long.
Bottom line, this review came down to one thing for me. When I asked my kid who wants ANYTHING that’s new if he wanted these and he said “no thank you” and that pretty much told me everything I needed to know. But, I guess if you have a lot of hair for padding, don’t mind a vice on your head, are beyond careful (think Tiffany crystal in plastic form), and have to have a pair of brand name headphones then, yeah, these will work. HOWEVER, if it were my money (and for the same money or even less), there are significantly better offerings by Cowin, TaoTronics, Bluedio and others. Heck you can even find the Sony XB700’s for around the same price. But yeah, I still have to admit that these do sound great.
This is usually where I put my signature ratings, but this time instead of saying “do I recommend these” I’m going to put it another way.
Would I spend MY money on these? No
Emoji Rating: 😞
Thanks for taking the time to read this review, I really hope that it helped. Cheers!