Updated 3 Aug 2017

Sony

MDR-XB950B1

Snapshot: The Sony MDR-XB950B1 over ear headphones don't have player controls, works with virtual assistants (such as Siri) and can be used wirelessly. But how do they sound?

MDR-XB950B1
Consumer score
SCORE
Avg price

$350

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Test results

Overall score
44
Sound
?/10
Comfort
?/10
Durability
?/10
Classical
?/10

Good points

  • Very good durability.
  • Excellent wireless connectivity.

But

  • Poor sound.
  • Just OK comfort.
  • No player controls.
  • Needs battery power for some functions.

How we test

Noise-cancelling models

Overall score includes:

Sound (50%)
Comfort (30%)
Noise-cancelling (10%)
Durability (10%)

Other scores don’t count towards the overall score.

Non-noise-cancelling models

Overall score includes:
Sound (60%)
Comfort (30%)
Durability (10%)

Other scores don’t count towards the overall score.

For our test, we get 5 expert testers to wear each pair of headphones for an extended period while listening to a range of content from various audio sources. Each set’s sound quality was also tested using a reference ear, a device with an acoustic input impedance resembling that of an average human ear. This was also done for noise-cancelling if applicable. The scores from the testers and reference ear are then averaged into the final sound quality score.

The same 5 testers allocate the comfort score. Finding the headphone type that’s most comfortable for you can take time, because everyone’s ears are different. Earbuds often come with different-sized rubber nibs to help fit into your ear. Over-ear headphones tend to be bigger and heavier, so you may need to adjust the headband to get the fit right.

Key data

Model

Avg price
$350
Earcup type
Over-ear

More test results (/10)

Jazz
3.5
Rock/Pop
3.3
Voice
3.5
Sound leaking
4.6

Specifications

Weight (g)
273
Cable length (cm)
120
Wired
Wireless
Yes
Battery
Functions when battery runs out

Features

Noise cancelling
No
Supports mobile assistant (Siri, Google, etc.)
Controls on cable
×
Controls on earpiece
×
Foldable earphone
Remote for Apple
×
Remote for Android
×
Travel case
×
USB charging cable
Extra earbuds
×