Impressive for a $200 wired headphone, yet this headphone is also a Bluetooth headphone that absolutely is the undisputed best BT headphone I’ve ever experienced. Not to knock Koss’s recent BT headphone, as it was decent, but this Sony has really raised the bar to a level I didn’t expect to hear in a BT headphone for some time. Scratch that, never expected BT to sound this good. There simply are no solid, weighted and thick sounding Bluetooth headphones that I am aware of, all of them sound thin and lifeless, usually bright and grainy as well. This Sony XB950BT is nothing like these sets and makes the recent Koss BT headphone I’ve just reviewed sound like tissue paper emitting some shoulder shrug worthy sound…yet both cost the same $199 or so.


Bass on this headphone is extreme, this is in fact one of the most bass heavy headphones I’ve come across in a while…and I love it. Via BT enabled, the Bass Booster button on the left ear cup becomes available. Starting off with a very potent bass to begin with, the Booster function ups it to silly levels…too much actually…but damned if it isn’t extremely fun. I had no idea Bass like this was even possible in a Bluetooth headphone, compare and contrast for yourselves if you get the chance. Holy smokes that is some serious bass. Although the quantity is high, punchy and extremely yummy, the overall clarity is just okay with the Booster active. The Bluetooth experience is not as good as the wired connection though, which seems more noticeably clear when paired with the likes of my FiiO X1 and SR71B via Line Out. Frequency Response changes drastically when running off BT alone, reaching only 20-20,000hz, where as the wired connection dips down to a gut wrenching and inhumane 3-28,000hz.

Quality is the downfall of this headphones low end, but still far from ugly or muddy. I am very impressed with the control factor: not my Urbanite, Fidelio L1 nor my Momentum can retain control like this on seriously bassy tracks…especially not with an EQ boosting their low end. This Sony XB950BT plows right through the most intense and sick bass tracks I could muster up without a hiccup. It isn’t until I really get nuts and start pushing it to +8gb on the low end via Foobar2000, or when I use the BT mode with the Bass Booster button enabled that the headphone goes whacky. Yet, through that sudden loss of control, the actual responsiveness and deepness factor change is audible. This is crazy…the low end of this headphone could be the most responsive to bass that I’ve yet heard in the $200 tier.



Midrange is annoyingly recessed, but not in a significant way, made up for by the treble also playing ball side by side. ( IE: The treble feels like it is coming from the same place as the midrange ) Via a wired connection, this headphones midrange is very good, colored and shockingly solid. I am having trouble believing this headphone costs what it does for this type of sound signature, as I don’t really own any other sub $199 headphones that have an extremely satisfying and weighted vocal experience as good as this. Trying to explain this is similar to comparing the Sennheiser HD800 to the Stax 007, where the HD800 sounds thin and lifeless by comparison to the Stax, so too do most sub $199 headphone sound thin compared to the Sony XB950BT. Something about that electrostatic lushness in tone and texture of the entire presentation. Here on the Sony XB950BT, the comparisons are similar to every other portable I own here with the AKG K267 as the exception, which sounds similar, yet is much more expensive. What is blowing my mind here is that this headphone doesn’t lose much via a Bluetooth connection, that fantastically thick sound signature that more expensive headphones offer is still there.

There is no doubt that this headphone is going to be my primary portable headphone, as I’ve never come across any other work horse in the sub $200 that can even remotely compete with how useful this little thing is. From classical to jazz standards, the vocal and midrange experience is accentuated by the headphones beautiful black background, one that doesn’t offer even a hint of grain to it. The midrange and treble pops, which is pretty insane when you consider the fact that the headphone also offers intense bass as well. On wired connection on flat EQ, the bass is still powerful and satisfying but I found it incredible that the mids and treble were not lost behind the potent low end. The quantity of midrange and treble is excellent and works very well so long as the EQ is disabled or flattened. Via the BT connection with the Bass Boost function enabled, things take a nose dive in clarity across the board. The Bass Booster ruined everything and I think it is for extreme bass sicko’s like myself and nobody else. If you want a BT headphone with nutty bass quantity and good bass quality…there is nothing else out there that will make you happy except this that I am aware of.

While on the subject of genres and how well rounded this headphone is, I’ve noticed my playlists were changing inside my portable setups. Where prior my playlists were divided by genre type due to the fact that it wasn’t likely whatever portable headphone I was using at the time could handle mixed bag of tunes, they’ve become much intermingled with genre types that swap in an instant from Rap to Classical, Jazz to Soundscape. This headphone is one of the best and most well rounded headphones in this price tier, period.



The treble is a bit lacking but very clear for $200 in a wired headphone, yet once again I keep forgetting this is a Bluetooth headphone. That general consensus of terribly awful upper ends in BT sets is washed away as Sony sets the bar higher than anyone else has thus far. I have a new Sennheiser Urbanite on ear here that is roughly the same price, it doesn’t compare on the top end to the Sony’s clarity, nor does it compare to how well the top end is portrayed in a physical sense. The weightiness of the treble is stellar for the price, firm and solid, yet not at all sibilant or harsh. There is a bit of brightness to it and I do find it lacking quantity, but if it had more quantity than what it comes stock with the entire presentation of the headphone would churn itself into a classic U-shape…which is a type of sound that I hate quite a bit.

Thankfully, the XB950BT’s treble and midrange are fairly linear; it is only the bass that is significantly more powerful, more forward and lively. I am not sure I can consider the midrange and treble truly recessed, due solely to the fact that the bass is just so vividly upfront and omnipresent. When I drop the Bass EQ down and listen to a smoother track, the midrange and treble appear to lay in a very nice and relaxed area in the sonic void. There are sets out there that are much more recessed in the midrange, ones that offer that damned U-shape sound signature that is god awful, so it feels weird to me to hear the XB950BT’s mids and treble walk hand in hand behind the powerful bass.


Staging properties are good, but not great. Very nice separation qualities and an above average width, height and depth. That good treble really helps makes the stage feel airier than most closed $200 headphones I’ve owned, it has impressed be a great deal with tracks like Hands Up ( Yellow Claw Remix by the Dirtcaps. This track in particular starts off with a large vocal experience that is followed by ridiculously deep bass. The first time I heard this headphone, I’d booted this song up, jaw dropped, eyes widened…this is a small closed headphone with a great sense of air between instruments, yet also retained excellent solidity as mentioned before. Staging is impressive overall when you add up the point values for each subcategory of sound staging. I recommend you try this track out in .Flac if you are able to, you will be impressed. Play tricks on your friends if you have one, don’t tell them it is a Bluetooth headphone and see what they say about it. Not one of my audio buddies believed me when we did blind testing and I didn’t tell them what headphone they were listening to, nor that they were using the BT function and I had purposely not connected the wire into the socket. Staging properties in general are not lost between wired and Bluetooth enabled listening, however the treble seems more solid and clean via the wired connection with a good source quality.

Some Matching Experience

Via my $99 FiiO X1, the experience is lively and immensely fun, but the party started when I connected the X1 to my SR71B portable amp from Ray Samuels. Now that is a hell of a pairing. Not that the X1 isn’t great with the XB950BT as well, because it is. But, synergy is a bit higher with the SR71B in the mix and the bass certainly cleaned up along with the treble. The headphone doesn’t need an amp and the likes of the Sansa players as well as the FiiO X1 are more than powerful enough to cause hearing damage. None of these cheaper players have trouble driving this headphone, the XB950BT sounds nicely driven and no thicker or thinner than using my RWAK120 and the SR71B, or perhaps the X1 and the SR71B. No amp needed, grab yourself a decent portable music player and enjoy. If your player had Bluetooth, that’s just a bonus for you if you don’t like wired connections.


Call Quality and Microphone

Receiving calls was pretty astonishing, I’ve never heard a phone call conversation this clear before and it actually made me feel uncomfortable while listening to others speak to me. I am so used to that metallic compressed sound phones generally have, so to year a lush and thick, higher quality voice on the other end really shook me up a bit. I did experience the typical cut out now and then which occurred every few minutes, just as I did with the recent Koss BT headphone that I’d reviewed. However, it isn’t at all a problem. The audio mutes for an instant and is only just noticeable, no calls dropped out of the 15 or so that I’ve taken with the Sony XB950BT, but that very brief muting that is common in Bluetooth headsets during phone calls reared its ugly head throughout. Don’t let that bother you, it doesn’t affect the call itself at all. The Microphone as I am told sounded like it was my house phone to the rest of my family, which isn’t really great, but not nearly as bad as my the iPhone 5s for example that I’ve used to compare with. Not as good as my Samsung S3, but certainly better than Apples cell phones in outgoing audio quality. This means that the sound quality of my voice as appearing to others is only a bit better than average cell phone audio quality.

Bonus: The XB950BT is one of the best Gaming headphones I’ve ever used. While not amazing with pinpoint accuracy that is best suited for FPS gaming, the overall experience is so vivid and fun that I have discontinued usage of all other headphones for gaming needs in most cases. When I play single player games, perhaps something like Borderlands, Alan Wake or similar I am running on BT alone and the experience is amazing. It feels great to be able to pause the game and go to the bathroom, not having to worry about wires or something getting in my way. Pinpointing sounds is good, but not great and I consider it more than acceptable for FPS Gaming like Call of Duty or Battlefield binges. The bass is so delicious in gaming soundscape that I am not interested in using anything else, as it is a “Thing” in my gaming that I’ve neglected for years. Opting for audiophile grade sound is a good thing if you don’t care for explosions or anything hefty on the low end, the XB950BT portrays bass so nicely, so addictive. This is a great gaming headphone, get yourself a cheap BT dongle and a desktop microphone and call it a day, never buy a gaming headphone again because none of the Tritton, Razer or Turtle Beach headphones are even half as good as the Sony XB950BT.

What I Don’t Like

Hard to judge a sub $199 headphone for not having real leather pads, but the thought looms in the back of my mind at all times. Not much venting in the design allows for the heat to build up, the thickness of the pads aren’t helping that issue out either. Despite being very comfortable, my ears do sweat a bit after about an hour of usage. I am also not fond of the included cable, it is very cheap but I am very thankful it isn’t a proprietary cable that nothing else can be used to replace it. I’d have preferred a better cable than this and will probably try to upgrade soon. I’ve found the included cable to be too thin, also too prone to cold weather. Had some 32F nights here in Cleveland recently and the stock cable becomes immensely stiff quickly. Seems as though the casing is incredibly prone to cold weather. I wish the headphone were able to imply that Bass Booster via the wired connection, sad that it is only available for Bluetooth enabled listening. I want a revision of this headphone that doesn’t have Bluetooth, instead taking the saved costs and investing them into audio quality improvement on the bass and treble. The midrange is perfectly fine, the treble needs to be boosted just a bit to make me happy and the bass quality could use a little cleaning up. Sony RnD, please with a cherry on top find a way to make any future Bluetooth headphones pair with Wasapi and 24bit output via Foobar2000. We need a BT dongle that handles this, as well as a headphone capable of actually doing it justice.

Click on next page for final thoughts…

1 2 3

About The Author

Senior Reviewer

Self Proclaimed Musicality Guru, Photographer, Audiophile and part time Ninja. I started my audio journey back in 96' and haven't looked back. My ultimate goal in this life is to experience as many Hifi rigs as possible...because I am an audio addict.

Related Posts

  • this headphone really got my attention o,o

    • 24bit

      Yep, beast of a $159 headphone. Shoots way above its price point.

  • 20hz

    Hey, thx for the review!

    These are some very tempting headphones, especially after reading this statement: “Sony remembered that music is supposed to be fun, that you don’t have to be critical all the time and that epic bass can still be amazing”. I could not agree more!

    Hesitating between the Sony and the Pro700 MK2, which are also praised a lot in the reviews. I have no experience with Audio Technicas, or any DJ-style pro headphones in general, so don’t know whether those are ‘fun’ in a way like the Sony, or more like a fun, bassy but still monitoring-type headphones.

    In case you heard Pro700 MK2 as well:

    1. How would you describe the XB950’s (sub)bass and the sound signature, compared to the Pro700 MK2? Do these two headphones have the same kind of wow-factor (for non-analytic listeners), or completely different beasts with different type of sound / target audience?

    2. In particular, is any the the two headphone potentionally more prone to piercing/harshness/metallic shrill/edgyness (e.g. with badly mixed songs)? I prefer smooth/warm/non-fatiguing sound, even if it results in some detail loss. Juicy, lush music where the listener is just immersed 🙂

    • 24bit

      I am a former long time DJ, I know the Pro MK2 very well and have used many headphones similar to it in my time. While I don’t own them anymore and would have to work off memory, my first gut instinct was to smile and say to myself that would be an unfair comparison. The new Sony 950bt is cleaner, more focused all around, smaller and more comfortable with a wider genre selection.

      1.) I do not think they have the same type of tone on the low end. The new 950BT is quite colored and I recall the Pro MK2 to push out wonky bass and hardly anything else. Actually, there was a time when I was between using the M50 and the Pro Mk2, ended up choosing the M50 because it had a better sound signature with a more clean approach to the mid and treble response. The ATH Pro700 MK2 has hard hitting bass, the Sony 950 BT has extremely weighted bass with out harsh impact. This is a heavy, deep reaching bass minus the SLAM that is found in a lot of seriously bassy headphones. This is why I was shocked by what Sony did, it is so rare to find a seriously bassy headphone without it feeling like someone punching you in the head. It is extremely enjoyable for me and I never wince, squint my eyes or blink when there is too much bass happening. Via the BT enabled Bass Booster, the slam effect increases quite a bit but its still not overly slamming.

      2.) Funny you would say that, because I wanted a mix of that sound signature with something similar to how Sony sums up their bass on the 950Bt. I was looking to repurchase the ATH ESW9, or perhaps shell out a lot for the ESW11LTD. Then, I’d just heard that the new ESW9ltd is on the way later this month. Truly, the only really lush midrange I can even recall in a portable headphone that didn’t suck everywhere else was the ESW9. By rights, the ESW11LTD is much more clean and a bit larger sounding. Some guy on head fi said in a thread recently that the new ESW9LTD is even more spacious than the ESW11ltd. If not the ESW series, then it would certainly be the AKG K267. But, that is a beautiful sounding headphone by comparison to the ESW series more darkened tone.

      My recommendation would be to wait until more information is released on the new esw9ltd to see if it really did retain the great musicality, but now with some good improvements. Id have recommended the ESW9 prior to a few days ago, but as just one guy who seems to have ties to ATH has said on Head Fi and the forums at Vzone, the new version is better. Best to wait a bit and see.

  • undeadwolfy

    Awesome review. Thank you for this. It’s the only concise and full review I’ve found for these headphones anywhere.

    I currently own the Sony XB500’s. I don’t have a massive repertoire with headphones like yourself but I know that the Sony XB500’s for me have been stellar. For 2+ years now, I’ve yet to try any headphone in its price range (and even some above like Beats) which are as satisfying to listen to and wear.

    I love the deep bass the XB500’s give out but it’s starting to wear out through normal usage and I’ve been looking at this XB950BT or the XB950AP model as a successor.

    I’ve had the opportunity to try out the XB950AP (wired, slightly cheaper) in a local store here in the UK and it’s really good. Better than my XB500’s but not by much but at the price it’s at (£85), only £35 more than I paid for my XB500’s with some significant improvements, it looks really nice. Almost as light but just as comfortable if not more.

    I haven’t had the ability to try out the XB950BT’s however, probably because of the fact it’s wireless and a security issue at stores but I just had some further questions about it.

    My XB500’s have solid bass and impressive highs but lack pretty woefully in the mids. I personally love my DnB, dubstep and occasionally some house music, and there are frequencies just a bit higher than the rumbling basses which are almost non-existent until they come back in again as we reach the higher frequencies. I’ve read what you’ve written but can you expand a little more on the mids of these headphones? From what you’ve written already they seem like they’d be instantly better than my XB500’s and for what it’s worth, the XB950AP’s seemed better there too.

    Secondly, it’s been a few weeks since you published this review and I was just wondering if anything has changed your opinion or you’ve learned something new which you like or do not like about the headphones since your time with them? I’ve read that the wire that comes with the headphones is 3.5mm standard but it requires an extra bit just before the metal contact starts to fully fit inside the headphone which can be tricky to find from a third party manufacturer which may cause issues if they needed to be replaced. Is that something to be concerned about? Has the battery life degraded at all or is it still a solid performer in that regards? Also, do the headphones work without a charge while wired to a device or do they still require a charge regardless? I can’t find an answer on this from anybody yet.

    If you’ve had the chance to try out the XB950AP (the wired, cheaper pair), would you consider buying that instead of the XB950BT? It doesn’t feature the bass boost feature and obviously one of the pros is not needing to charge the headphones. I don’t mind the wires personally as they are flat like my XB500’s which have never gotten tangled through my time with them. However they do become worn out over time and it’s not easy to replace when they do. As well as the general convenience of wireless BT headphones, I don’t get the luxury of connecting the XB950AP’s to my PS4/PS3 via Bluetooth which I never thought of doing until you mentioned the BT’s as being amazing gaming headphones. As a big gamer this is a brilliant thought to entertain and something I could find myself doing. Especially since they include a build-in mic.

    I really want the higher frequencies to deliver and I use a custom audio driver on my Xperia Z2 (Viper4Android) which allows some very complex and advanced tweaking to get that perfect audio setting tailored for me. I would imagine that messing with a capable equaliser on my device of choice should be able to squeeze out a few more drops in all the frequencies? It’s worked for my XB500’s so I would think it would work for this.

    Also, while I’m here, is ‘burning in’ headphones worth the effort/time? I’ve read that it’s recommended for all headphones to kind of ‘unlock’ the full potential of them. I’ve never really done it but audiophiles swear by it.

    Thanks again for the review! Hope to read a reply from you very soon!

  • Geoff Hollefreund

    Thanks for this review – answered all of my questions and more. These are currently on sale for Black Friday at $99. I’d write more but I’m hurrying to my car.

    • 24bit

      Saw that deal after it was over, wasn’t aware of it. Blew my mind…$99 for this headphone is nuts. *head explodes*

  • Bassnclarity

    I never post on these sites. But for this amazing review and these amazing bass-head cans, here I am. These headphones are insane.

    For this price point and for this type of soothing bass rumble, with decent clarity I am shocked that these – don’t come with a travel case. Sony, are you listening?

    One thing I noticed when I first used these while plugged in was that the middle range was slightly softer than my preference. Oddly, I love this mid-range when on my iPhone 5 ear buds (!). However, I unplugged (shocking I know) and in BT mode the buttons started working so I toyed with the volume buttons. And coupled with my iPhone volume control, I was able to achieve a that middle range clarity I wanted! Brilliant! (I know).

    The frustrating thing is I can’t (yet?) reproduce this while plugged in because the BT buttons deactivate in plugged-in mode. Anyway, I don’t know if it was a freak of nature on my headset but it works. Seems like I have to hit the BT volume button up again each song change (there’s a beep – then I adjust the iPhone volume), and voila.

    If you’re still reading this I might as well also tell you I love these cans without the bass boost. The boost isn’t bad, it just creates an earthquake. Drowns higher ranges too. However, with the above mentioned tweak, I actually found it better. Still an earthquake, but I may use the boost sometimes now.

    Anyway, thought I’d share. And someone let me know if you find the equivalent tweak for plugged-in mode. Cheers!

    • 24bit

      Bluetooth is finicky like that, but it is nice to know its not the headphone that is the problem, its the source most of the time. People are talking about dynamatting this headphone and ending up with more clarity post mod, i might try it.

  • GaminGladiator

    I got a brand new pair of these for $59.99 on Black Friday at Nebraska Furniture Mart.

    Prior to trying on these headphones, I was considering the Sennheiser Momentum, JBL Synchros S700, Audio Technica ATH-M50x,V-MODA Crossfade LP2, Sennheiser HD 598, Monster Inspiration Noise Cancelling, Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro, etc., all of which retailed for $150-$200 after reading and watching many product reviews.

    I am by no means an audiophile; I was just on the lookout for fun-sounding and versatile headphones. I just wanted the best bang for the buck and I read a lot of reviews that suggested that the M50x was one the best budget headphones out there for under $200. So I was slightly leaning towards them. I had also tried the M50 on and was quite pleased.

    However, all of that changed when I tried these on. At first, I was skeptical of the build quality, comfort, versatility, and overall sound quality for the price these were being sold at. To say the least, I was blown away. They exceeded my expectations in every single department.

    • 24bit

      *high five*

  • PS4gamer

    So you used that headset on your ps4? How because it had no compatible profile. Please share.

    • 24bit

      Never mentioned PS4. Only PC. I addressed this in a comment below, I don’t have consoles to test with.

  • Andreas

    Thank you for the best headset-review I have experienced! Beautiful and it made me happy, I meen it.

  • Andreas

    I mean it, I mean. That was what I’d write.

  • whiteshadow1976

    Great review. I have these headphones for 3 weeks now. The sound is awesome but I seem to be having an issue with it. Does anyone hear extra sounds when using it in bluetooth? There is like a Harley Davidson motorcyle sound in the background besides the music. The extra sound is not that loud but I could hear it especially in between tracks or when there is no bass lines in the music. Very annoying especially when nobody is reporting about it as an issue in all the reviews about these headphones online. I am now planning to return it because of this issue because I may have a defective one.

    • 24bit

      Any chance you have a lot of Wifi or other people using BT near by? Strong signal noise can disrupt the weaker BT signal on headphones like this. If not, I think your set is a bit defective. Best advice I can offer is to toss the cliche diagnosis at you, which I am sure you’ve tried already. If you havent, maybe try to check the BT source and make sure this sound doesn’t happen with other BT headphones if you have access to someone elses BT headphone or headset. Sorry you are going through that.

      • whiteshadow1976

        Hey. Thanks for the reply and the great advice. I do have other BT headphones, the Beats Wireless and the Motorola S9 and I don’t have this issue with either BT audio source or wireless interference with the devices around. ( These Sony BT headphones are far superior than the other two by the way in terms of sound quality and comfort ) Did you take a closer listen again on these Sony Headphones if you can hear the idling motorcycle sound? I sure can hear it right now. Sorry if I am asking too much. Thanks again.

        • 24bit

          Relatively silent on mine.

          • whiteshadow1976

            I envy your headphone. It is too bad that mine is defective. It is not even available at Best Buy stores near my place now and I can’t even have it replaced.

          • whiteshadow1976

            Finally, I was able to make an exchange at a Best Buy store and it is so far GOOD without the buzzing. Enjoying the headphones a lot!

  • Tom

    @24bit:disqus Where would one find an extra cable. I heard sony recesses the jack a little more so you might need a special one. Any input on what to search to get extras ? @24bit

    • 24bit

      I haven’t gotten a chance to look for a new cable yet, you may be right about the recessed adapter housing. When I look into it, I’ll respond here with details.

    • I simply cut the plastic around any spare cable’s head and it fits…

  • Tom


  • I lost mine a week or so ago and it has been difficult looking for a replacement. Did that cable fit, or are you still searching?

    • whiteshadow1976

      The cable I ordered has not arrived yet. It’s from China so it may take up to 22 days to get it. Will update this thread when it arrives. I know it is hard to find one and frankly it is not nice at all about what Sony did sneaking that special cable under our noses and not providing us an option for getting a replacement cable from them. That cable does not even have control talk or music controls. So, besides hardwiring the audio, it is next to useless.

    • whiteshadow1976

      Hi Huzzy,
      I did get the cable today and good news, IT DOES FIT. Just follow the link I posted above on where to get it from eBay.

  • Sir Joe

    “there is nothing else out there that will make you happy except this that I am aware of”
    To understand your review better, can you tell which other BT Headphones did you test?

  • whiteshadow1976

    After further testing, the second pair I got has that BUZZING sound too. Two of these headphones having this issue is NOT a coincidence. It is silent when there is no bluetooth signal coming from a source but when you start playing music or watch videos, the buzzing sound comes in. Two of them with the identical amount of buzzing. I can’t believe that I somehow have gotten TWO DEFECTIVE ones. This is very disappointing. Anybody out there having this issue?

    • Junaid Chaudhry

      yeh having the same issue… not sure what to do!

  • Matt Bacon

    does anyone else have rattling in the left earcup?

    • Afterbrnr

      No rattling here…

    • MusicIsLife

      @Matt Bacon I actually have rattling in the left ear cup too, can’t seem to figure out what it is, and if it has an effect on the quality. I can’t tell if the bass is a tiny bit less on it or not…think it’s just me overthinking it, but literally just looked up if anyone else had the same problem. I don’t understand what it could be…might contact Best Buy about it.

  • Afterbrnr

    Can anyone recommend a good carrying case for this headphone?

  • Victoria

    Hello! I don’t know anything about headphones but my boyfriend really likes this pair and I want to get them for his birthday. He wants to use them when he plays video games on our Xbox. I read in this review something about a bluetooth dongle. Do I need something like that as well for use with the xbox?? Any information or links to what I would need to complete these headphones for xbox gaming use would be great! Thank you in advance!

    • 24bit

      Right now, Bluetooth audio and consoles like the Xbox do not work well together. You may be able to get only the game sound and others speaking to you to be heard through the headphones, but you will not be able to talk to others with it. The only way to get Bluetooth sound with the Xbox ( or any other console ) is to buy some type of Bluetooth audio transmitter. There may be some home theater Receivers that do this, I know there is something from a Company called Saturn that has a device that broadcasts Bluetooth audio, however I’ve not used it.

      The Xbox would connect to this device with wires, probably Optical cable or RCA cables, then that device will broadcast the game audio in Bluetooth format. You would then be able to sync most Bluetooth headphones to that device. If you could find a device that does this that is reliable, you still cannot speak to others with voice chat. You will need to purchase a separate microphone for the Xbox as well.

      The dongle mentioned in this review was purchased from a company called Azio, which is only for use with computers. You cannot use that on consoles like the Xbox or Playstation.

      • Sir Joe

        Is there a reason why you deleted my comment?

        • headfonics


          Everytime you submit a comment with a link the system holds it up for approval, upon which I decide whether to approve it or not. Since I am not 24BIT and have a tendency to sleep at night it is only now being approved.


          • Sir Joe

            I appear to have a 24bit tendency of procrastinating sleep as much as I am allowed to.

            Thanks for the approval.

  • 24bit

    Ya, I didn’t delete your comment. Just takes a bit to be approved. 🙂 You’d think BT receivers would be common these days, or some type of BT transmitter that is actually good. A single 3.5mm, RCA or Optical Input, with BT output would be really nice. That way, anyone can use most anything with audio and be able to listen to it via BT headphones or speakers.

    Even in the console doesn’t have any direct audio outputs, these days its handled by HDMI. Solution would be the TV’s Optical Output to this BT transmitters input. Then, the BT transmitter would sync to the headphone or speaker. I eagerly await a really great device that does this with a strong connection and that sounds good.

  • I have a question. I bought this headphones just a few days ago and haven’t figured out one thing yet.
    Is it possible to use A2DP Bluetooth profile with mic enabled? Because when I want to use built in microphone Headphones will automatically switch back to HSP Profile which will occur in terrible sound quality.

    I am talking a lot on TS3 so it would be nice to be able to listen quietly to music, talking with my friends while I need to go to check something in the kitchen or something. Or even using Headphones with a TS3 application on smartphone.

    I hope it is possible because I bought this Headphones with this in mind.
    Looking forward for your answer and thanks for the review Michael.

    • 24bit

      I’m investigating the same thing, I’d like to be able to do both as well and havent found a way to get it to work.

      • So far I haven’t found any solution to this, maybe your research was more successful?
        In next few days probably I will try to contact to Sony support and ask them if it’s possible to use mic with A2DP profile or not.

  • Jason

    Hi, just bought this and I’ve got 2 questions.

    1. Does the sound meant to sound bad and only coming thru from 1 ear cup when listening using an audio cable? or is my unit defective? (tried 3 different cables, same result).
    2. Can this bluetooth connect to iPad Mini? (iPad mini 2 specifically)

    Thanks a bunch!

    • 24bit

      No, its not normal. If it does not work normally on a different cable, something is wrong with your 950BT. I think you have a defect, but if possible please try to connect the 950BT to something with Bluetooth. See if both sides work when you are using Bluetooth and no cables.

      The iPad Mini 2 has Bluetooth, so you will be able to connect a working 950BT to it.

      • Jason

        Ok, thanks a bunch for your help!

    • Byron DeMent

      I had that issue as well at first, but realized you have to use the cable that comes with them in the proper orientation. The input port on the headphones is deeper than is standard and requires the proper plug.

  • Greg

    Hi, i’m trying to use these headphones on my PC to listen and talk (with mumble and TS) but when I put the mic ON it results in a terrible sound I hear except if i’m really close to the bluetooth receiver included in my motherboard (P8P67 pro from Asus). Is it possible to use these headphones to hear and speak on a PC ? Thanks for your help.

    • 24bit

      Right now, no. You cannot use the mic on the headphone to transmit audio through a computer.

  • Resso DeMonk

    I hate to say this but it does not work with the PS4 and I don’t know why!! I only knew after buying it and the salesman told me it works and when I came the next day he denied saying it works with the PS4!! and they don’t have return agreement -__-

    I hope PS4 get some update so it works with it </3

    • 24bit

      Aw man, what a douche that salesman was. Sorry dude!

  • Victoria

    Thank you so much for all of this information! I neglected to bookmark this site and couldn’t find it before I purchased the headphones. So, I did get them for him and he is very happy with them. However, I must have misunderstood him at some point because he isn’t that interested in using them with the Xbox. He uses them on his work commute and at work. I will save this webpage so that I can reference it if I need to. Again, thank you everyone for taking the time to reply!

    • 24bit

      You are very welcome.

  • Hitesh

    is it available in china or hong kong???

    • 24bit

      I don’t see why not? The Sony stores should most likely carry them.

  • jamesollie

    picked these up for $99….loving it

  • tywerx

    My desktop Mac recognizes these just fine but I can’t get my Macbook Pro to recognize them or my iphone. I’ve checked settings, i’ve googled the hell out of this. Nothing. Anyone have a clue?

    I love this headphone even though it’s distance is ridiculously small. It cuts out anytime i’m 10′ from the computer. It also doesn’t hold a 20 hour charge and it doesn’t warn you it’s low, it just beeps and cuts out reverting to the computer speaker which isn’t the best when silence is required.

    • 24bit

      Gosh, that sounds like you are also having an issue with yours. I can get a bit more than 10ft away from the source before it cuts out. My monitor is about 9 or 10 feet from my desk and I can walk back further before I get a small cut out. Do you have a lot of other Bluetooth or wireless signals running through that area? What kind of computer and BT source do you have, meaning is it a dongle or internal BT from the computer itself?

      Hmm. Not sure about the Apple recognition. Honestly, I hear about Bluetooth issues with Apple devices all the time, so that doesn’t surprise me at all. Not sure there is anything you can do if it does connect to other devices but not to the Apple one. Sounds like a problem with the Apple device.

      As for playback time, as mentioned Sony claims 20 hours or something, but I got 12-14 depending on if I would use the Bass Booster. So, I think that is normal and it is also normal for it to cut out after a beep. I do wish it had a warning, that would be nice.

      • Thanks for the reply.
        I only have a blue tooth keyboard on my desktop. I dont have any blue tooth devices on my laptop. My BT is internal on both. It only connects to my Mac Desktop. I don’t have any non-apple devices.

        I’ve never used the bass booster. Forgot it even had it.


        • 24bit

          It is very possible the range on your device is very short. You might want to check into a USB Mac Bluetooth dongle of some type with sufficient range.

    • DLAROC

      The range is short! I just bought these headphones and noticed when my cell phone is in my pocket, the signal is poor. If I cover my pocket with my hand, the signal cuts out completely. I thought it was my Galaxy S6 at first so I tried it with my iPhone 6 and it does the same thing. The BT in this headset is not as strong as it’s made out to be.

    • Byron DeMent

      Sorry for the bump but I just bought these and am not having that issue with my Macbook Air. Do you still have these and are you still having the issue with the MBP? I’m curious which MBP you have that they aren’t working with. For me, the initial pairing process is always weird and takes a few tries. But they are successfully paired with my iPhone6+, 2011 iMac and 2014 Air.

      Also I must be lucky because the range for me is outstanding. I leave my computer with them on to go into the kitchen for a few minutes at a time without any cut outs whatsoever, which surprised me but works consistently. Certainly no issues with connection to the iPhone in my pocket either. Since I just bought these yesterday, I’m curious if Sony has quietly upgraded the BT component in this model…

      • 24bit

        That’s great you have excellent range. Not sure about any improved BT in the newer batches of this headphone. Sony has cut contact and no longer responds to me, which really baffles me since sales of the headphone pretty much skyrocketed after my review went live. Sony’s old marketing team at the time of this review was the best, kept me updated on all products and we chatted weekly on audio stuff, that entire team knew me by name. Three new teams have taken over and they are really bad at their jobs. (IE if the Sony team at the time of this review was Team A, team B took over, then C, then D).

        The quality of support and friendliness was fantastic to start, then team B came and were terrible. Then C took over for them and they were horrid, then D took over and they are so bad that I fear speaking further about them. Summed up, I have no way of contacting Sony about anything. Their PR reps and Audio marketing team is cut communications with most audio reviewers and websites in general, as I was told a few months ago.

    • 24bit

      I apologize, Ty. I did not see your comment until Byron bumped my message inbox here. Can’t help any Apple users I’m afraid, I don’t own any Apple computers and no longer have any apple products of any type.

  • adam

    are these headphones compatible with playstation4?

    • 24bit

      Hi adam! Sadly no, right now the Bluetooth and the Microphone functions are not compatible with anything but Bluetooth enabled portable devices.

      However, the 950BT will pair with any device that is Bluetooth enabled if you just want to use it as normal headphones without the microphone. I hear rumors of some people making some type of mod that enables the microphone and the audio through the headphones to work at the same time, but that will be for PC usage only. You would think Sony would make sure the SONY Playstations or devices made by Sony would work with the 950BT’s mic, but they dont. Lol.

      • Ali

        grab this dongle, this will make it work with the ps4. I have one and it
        works great. Also, One thing to keep in mind is that once you pair it with like your iphone
        (or whatever else you have) and you want to pair it with something else
        like your ps4, you have to hold down the power button for 10-15
        seconds, it will flash red and blue fast which will mean that you are in
        pairing mode. Hope this helps, here is the link for the ps4 dongle

        • M.

          Does your sound maintain a consistent connection once paired? Using the same dongle you provided a link for, the audio comes in and out for me. I am very close to the PS4 when I play.

  • Roman Atellus Calidus

    So, I’ve been reading a lot of these reviews lately praising the new Sony line of BT headphones. I was wondering if you’ve stacked these up against the MDR-1RBT and if so, do you think it would be worth shelling out the extra cash, provided I was looking for the best BT headphones in the mid-end tier?

    • 24bit

      I’ve not much experience with the BT version of the 1R, so I don’t feel okay recommending. But, the 1R and the 950BT sound nothing alike. The 1R series is thinner, more spacious, lean on the bass. The 950BT is more solid and firm, less spacious but very serious on the low end. I don’t think the 1R would be as well rounded nor as fun as the 950BT, but that is on paper and not based on my experience with the 1R. I wouldn’t shell out the extra cash for the 1R, no. Considering the fun factor the 950BT has, that would seal the deal for me. I didn’t find the normal 1R to be fun, so I would expect the 1RBT to also not be fun.

      Totally depends on your preferences.

  • Angelii Fuentes

    This shit doesn’t work with t he ps4 MacBook or iPad mini2

    • 24bit

      It should absolutely pair with the them for audio, but you won’t be able to use the microphone with the apple products and any gaming consoles. The only way currently to get the mic and the audio to work together is to use a cell phone.

      • Angelii Fuentes

        Sorry for cursing. Anyways I went to buy this in best buy around $200++ with insurance.

        I needed to use something for the ps4 and it would be nice if I can use it for my iphone and laptop too.

        So to my dismay it didn’t work on the Playstation 4 because it didn’t turn up on the bluetooth devices. It worked good with my iphone but couldn’t be discovered by MacBook Pro or iPad mini.

        I had to return it because my focus is on getting a wireless headset for the ps4.

        The guy in best buy told me the ps4 only used certain blietooth devices not all.

        I ordered a $87 gold wireless headset from amazon. It works fine. It isn’t exactly a bluetooth, it had a USB stick size receiver. It can’t function without the receiver, wireless wise. It can be used for the laptop but you need to plug the USB receiver on the laptop. The only way you can use it with the iphone and ipad is if you plug the aux cable (it comes with an aux cable) on your tablet and phone.

        The range is pretty bad you need to be in the same room or else it disappears.

        • 24bit

          *hifi hugs*

        • TheInternetNomad

          were you able to get the mic to work while using it wired to the dualshock 4?

          • 24bit

            Nope, I don’t think anyone will be supporting this type of connection any time soon…which saddens me greatly.

          • TheInternetNomad

            crap, I just ordered them a few days ago.. maybe i can cancel.. they seemed great, but i mostly wanted it for ps4 gaming.

          • 24bit

            Yea, funny how Sony doesn’t support Sony products. Haha. You can output audio from the PS4 to the Headphone, but you can’t transmit your voice through the headphones mic to the PS4. I really hope they get on this soon, lots of people want it.

          • Angelii Fuentes

            i bought the ps4 gold headset it was a lot cheaper. nothing else works with ps4 but the gold headset.

    • De waanzinnige prullenbak

      i have seen it having trouble on amazon reviews with apple products too and you need a dongle to make it work with ps4

  • Tom Jain King

    All of the comments are around 6 months old. Their judgement of the headphones as the ‘best bluetooth pair’ is rather questionable considering the new ones that are out. I was hoping that you could guide me to a pair that has a mic that I can use with my macbook for around the 150-200$ price range. Wireless bluetooth headphones are coming up in the world but most of the ones I’ve looked at don’t allow this functionality.

    • 24bit

      My recommended pairing remains the same now as it was when I wrote this review: Sony 950BT + your choice of a usb microphone for your computer. The Philips M2BT is just about the only other BT headphone I’ve heard this year that sounded great, but I only demoed it briefly and based on comfort needs I would still opt for the 950BT from Sony.

  • Tom Jain King

    I’m stuck between these and the Sony MDR-ZX770BN. They seem to have better noise cancellation which is rather important for me. Any insight ?

    • 24bit

      I’ve not heard that 770BN but if it indeed has superior NC, then that is what you should get if that is what you truly need. I think it is safe to say it wont sound as nice in clarity compared to the 950BT though.

    • Tim Hall

      NC is overrated. The Sony’s have incredible isolation. I have beats and Harman Kardon’s with Noise Control and don’t notice much difference.

  • I’m stuck between these and the skullcandy crusher

    • 24bit

      Easiest recommendation ever 🙂 950BT

  • James Mark Renton

    Can i use it on xbox360 ans ps3?i just need to the audio,will it pair and work?

    • 24bit

      Yes, it will pair with anything that transmits Bluetooth audio.

      • James Mark Renton

        Thanks 24bit for the reply.that’s it. I will definitely buy this as an all around headset.hopefully it works well with my game consoles

        • 24bit

          No problem. I can’t see why it wouldn’t work with anything that transmits Bluetooth audio. Of course, you won’t get the microphone to work, but the audio should work normally coming from the game/console to the headphone.

          • AndyCr15

            How should I pair these with a Bluetooth transmitter? Simply put them both in pairing mode and hope they connect?

          • 24bit

            Yep. It is a good idea to make sure the 950BT is at least somewhat close to the BT source transmitter while pairing.

      • Ilia Angulo

        Liar, just does not work on Sony consoles, nor PS3/3 nor Vita :(. Bad for Sony.

        • 24bit

          There are about multiple other users who asked for details on this that I’ve responded to already in this comment section. I’ve already explained it a few times. This very comment string mentioned a BT transmitter used in an external fashion that makes it possible.

  • Tim Hall

    Just bought these (already have Beats Studio Wireless – needed a pair for my apartment). I like these better. Could not be happier. Outstanding comfort, great booming bass (that is controllable with a switch) and incredible batter life. On top of that, they look cool. Get these, you’ll love them. Try them at BestBuy (which is how I chose them).

  • Davis Carver

    is the touch bluetooth system compatible with android devices

    • De waanzinnige prullenbak

      the nfc? depends on the device

  • these or beats studio wireless 2.0

    • 24bit


      • De waanzinnige prullenbak

        that wasnt a hard decision was it? xD

  • Fredd17

    I am debating between these and the Samsung Level Over does anyone have a recommendation?

  • sunny

    hi.. i just luv hip hop music !! can i buy it

    • 24bit

      Absolutely. I think it would be very fun to use for you if that is your primary genre for listening.

      • suuny

        !! Thank you for your suggestion !!

    • headfonics

      Congrats Manjeet you found us from FB 🙂

  • Youyou Bassily

    This or the Jaybird x2?

  • Agha Aun Ali

    what will i get with these??? will i get a bluetooth transmitter as it is shown in the above pic.

    • 24bit

      Nothing but the headphone, usb cable for charging and a normal 3.5mm detachable cable come with it headphone. If you want to pair the headphone with a computer, your computer either needs to have a bluetooth transmitter inside of it when you buy it, or you will have to purchase a bluetooth usb transmitter. I use an Azio BT transmitter, it is around $10us.

      Be careful when you buy one if you end up with it, make sure it works with your operating system. Some BT transmitters don’t work well or at all with windows 10. The USB Bluetooth transmitter (dongle) will likely come with an installation cd. You install that on your computer and then you can set your audio output to use the bluetooth dongle. Once it lets you know its enabled, you can sync the headphone to it and enjoy wireless bluetooth audio.

      Most cell phones and even HDTV’s now have bluetooth already installed, so you can pair the headphone directly to them without anything else needed.

  • Agha Aun Ali

    can i connect it with my sony dvd player DAV DZ350 as my dvd player got bluetooth?
    i also have beats solo 2 wireless(with bluetooth) but its not connecting with my dvd player

  • Yen Luu

    Where can I buy the replacement ear pads in case they wear off? Search the whole Internet but no luck. And how does this stand against something like V-Moda M100 or ATH WS 99? Thanks!

    • 24bit

      Sony doesn’t offer any replacement pads for this model. You’d have to get creative and hope to find something else from another model that fits it. Also, I think it was better than the WS99 in every way, but is more comparable to the M100 in some ways. I think midrange clarity is pretty similar, but the treble and bass quality are superior on the sony.

      • Yen Luu

        I actually found one of Sony’s authorized part dealers provide them. But the price is >60$/pair… Measuring the dimension, I think some of Beats ear pads might fit.
        Thanks for the comparison, I too like the bass of this headphone very much. However, coming from Grado and Beyerdynamic, the midrange and treble on this is totally dull.

  • Julien

    Hi, how do the 950BT compare to the Bose SoundTrue?

  • THIS! Except I need the cable for Android/XBOX. Can anyone confirm that this cable works with any Samsung Galaxy phones (4 or newer)

  • Alex Benedict

    Hopefully not too late:
    these or Audio Technica ath-m50x?

    • 24bit

      Tough call there, Alex. Depends on what you are looking for. If you want something wireless and very bassy, something portable and small, then the Sony is the way to go. If you want something larger and a bit less bass heavy, the M50x is probably the better option. I can consider both well within the realm of similar quality.

      • Alex Benedict

        Did you notice a significant change in audio quality with the sony’s when using BT vs. using an aux cable?
        Thanks for the reply btw!

        • 24bit

          Only if you press the Bass Boost button when you are using BT, that makes the headphone sound worlds different than with a cable > source. Direct cable connection disables the Bass Boost button, so you can only use it while BT is active. Can’t really detect a difference in treble, mids or staging between BT and wired connection, which impressed me a ton when I wrote the review and still does.

  • Blazik Brown

    How do you use your XB950BTs to play games? I can’t even hear the sound on my ps3 only the mic works

    • Jade

      Same issue here, finds the device connects and NOTHING

      • 24bit

        You cannot connect BT headphones directly to the PS4. It won’t allow it. The only way you can do this is to purchase an optical converter box.

        PS4 > Optical Box > RCA males to female 3.5mm > Headphones


        PS4 > Optical Box > RCA males to female 3.5mm > Bluetooth 3.5mm adapter dongle. From there, you can connect any BT audio headphone to that dongle.

        • Mohamad Atie

          And will this allow the mic to work as well?

  • Vishal

    Hey there, I was planning on buying either the Sony MDR-XB950’s, or the Audio Technica ATH M50x, or the Marshall Major II, or Sennheiser Momentum. Which would you recommend for listening to different genres and not only bass heavy genres like EDM, Dubstep, Club, etc.
    Sound Quality and Price are the important factors to me.

  • Michael Davis

    Hey I am hoping the author or somebody who has used the headphones for gaming reads this. I bought a bluetooth dongle because I couldn’t get these to connect with my built in bluetooth, which I think was a driver problem but whatever. The bluetooth sound is great for music and even video. But when playing games, there is a small delay between what is happening in the game and what I hear. For example, in Metro Last Light, when I shoot I see the flash from the gun maybe a half second before hearing the bullet. At first I wasn’t sure what was off until I switched back to my wired headset and realized the lag. I can’t figure out how to stop it. I put the headphones in priority on sound quality mode so it would use apt-x but there was no improvement. Tested this out on my Note 3 and played Modern Combat 4 and noticed the same lag so I don’t think it’s the pc or the dongle. Anybody else experienced this and if so, was it resolved? I would hate to have to use these with the wire because then I might as well go back to my Turtle Beaches.

    • 24bit

      That sounds like a game issue and not the headphone or dongle. If music and YouTube videos sound and look in sync, but the game doesn’t, then the game has audio output lag and there isn’t anything you can do to stop that but attempt a reinstall.
      Is there any way to another other BT source? Maybe a friend or family members phone or computer? If you are hearing lag in multiple devices, then the headphone is at fault. But, you should absolutely try to verify that before moving forward with a replacement or another model entirely. Check with another PC or something else BT enabled, pair the headphone with it and see if that lag is still there, don’t use the dongle. Just connect the BT headphone to the device. If the headphone still presents lag, its the headphones fault. Do the same test with another device with the dongle as well.

      If the headphone sounds fine direct connected to a BT source, then of course your dongle isn’t working (rofl). But, please for the love of all things Holy and sacred do not downgrade to a Turtle Beach.

      Azio is now obsolete, buy one of these instead for the PC: Avantree DG40S
      The Azio doesn’t support windows 10, but the Avantree does.

      • Michael Davis

        Ok awesome! I am just glad to hear it is not to be expected because these headphones are great. I will try connecting to a friend’s pc and phone to see if I get the same problem. Worst case I can RMA these and get another pair. I really don’t wanna go back to Turtle Beach.

        • 24bit

          There is absolutely something funky happening if you have a delay like that. I game nightly with my set through a PC Bluetooth dongle and I experience no lag at all. Best to check with YouTube first at the moment and see if that delay is still happening. If not, then its the game or game settings somehow. Check a wired connection again with the game ect ect. Worse case, the headphone’s BT is faulty. Best case scenario is your dongle is faulty and can be easily replaced.

  • Ady Miles

    Thanks for this extensive and thorough review!

    • 24bit

      Very welcome.

  • Olav

    Hi i am an extreme bass lover and got the xb950’s but i dont think IT is “insane”Even not in bass boosted mode . can IT be something Wrong with mine?

    • Ady Miles

      DFX Audio Enhancer should fix that. I had a similar problem with some lower range Sony’s

  • Kent Bazard

    Thank you for the review. I’m loving these headphones as well. I’m trying to connect to my Xbox one console which says only CTIA standard is allowed. Any thought on how to get this to work with my console?

    • 24bit

      There were rumors 2 years ago that this would be made easier for both sony and microsoft’s xbox…but neither delivered on it. You’ll need a receiver with HDMI capabilities and bluetooth output. Or, you can buy an spdif converter box with 3.5mm. Then, you’ll need to buy a bluetooth adapter dongle to plug into that converter.

      Xbox One > HDMI > Receiver > Bluetooth (if the Receiver has BT output)
      Xbox One > HDMI > Receiver with 3.5mm output > Bluetooth Dongle
      Xbox One > SPDIF > Converter Box > Bluetooth dongle

      Sadly, these are the only way to get it to work and its still hit and miss with lots of products that have these functions just not jiving with it and causing hiss and static.

      • Kent Bazard

        thanks for the reply!
        that would work for the general audio correct? but what about in game chat?

        • 24bit

          No way to get the microphone to work with gaming consoles, likely won’t ever be fixed or implemented.

  • Damen Adams

    I cannot seem to find an answer for this question anywhere on the internet. Everyone is trying to use the BT function with these to connect to the PS4, which I understand requires the converter and dongle, but is there a way to simply purchase a 3.5 chord with a 3 ring end and plug directly into the controller to utilize both the sound and mic?

    • 24bit

      Detailed: I gave up after months of trying to figure out how to do it. Went as far as calling Sony and seeking someone who actually knows what they are doing in product sales. The dude said it can’t be done because of the type of Bluetooth Sony designed into the headphone. The 950BT cannot output to anything but Cellular phones and tablets apparently and the codec of the PS4 is not compatible with the 950BT output for the microphone. They said shortly after this review went up that they would seek to fix this, but they never made good on any promises for it.

      PS4’s recent updates blocked 3rd party communication devices from pairing with it or being connected via hardline (wired) through the controller. Prior to 3.50, it was just a hardware issue and the pole configuration of a mic jack would probably work with specific setups (which I don’t know how to do, but apparently there are people online who knew how). The PS4 firmware history said it locked it in certain ways, but it seems to be available able. This actually happened recently back in April of 2016 (just a month or so ago).

      Upon more investigation, all of this unsupported microphone issues were due to digital inline mic setups and how they cause feedback issues through in game chat. So, Sony gave everyone the finger who complained and said now nobody can do it. So they locked it depending on what configurations you have in your mic setup. This is all for external mics though.

      The 950BT will never function with the PS4 for both audio output from the game, as well as the BT microphone. Sony explicitly told me that would never be a thing, despite them saying 2 years ago it would soon be supported. They’ve abandoned that completely some time ago. The reason is that the 950BT is not a gaming headset, it is to Sony just a headphone with a bonus BT functionality that is specifically coded to work with portable devices that accept it’s type of codecs. The PS4 has a totally different codec that will never support it. Sony wants you to buy a Sony gaming headset for it to work without issue.

      • Michel Lam

        How was that an answer to Damen Adams’ post… ? He was asking about using a triple-channel 3.5 mm chords, thereby not going the Bluetooth route.

        • 24bit

          His exact question was: “but is there a way to simply purchase a 3.5 chord with a 3 ring end and plug directly into the controller to utilize both the sound and mic?”

          My Answer was no, it cannot. A Sony technician said it cannot.

  • Joshua Goh

    Is the volume of these headphones loud enough?

    • 24bit

      Hi Josh! This headphone is pretty efficient, meaning it doesn’t need much driving power from the music player. So yep, it will get pretty loud if you want it to. It can get too loud even though my Sansa Clip.

      • Joshua Goh

        Thanks! I’m not sure whether to get these or the Audio Technica ATH-M50x’s. The M50X’s seem to look better and have more clarity with decent bass, and I’m just afraid the xb950s will not be so good with other genres of music which do not focus on bass. The M50x’s seem to be more highly rated, and is currently rated by websites like CNET to be one of the best headphones in the market. So, it seems like I should get the M50x’s… I’m afraid the Sony xb950bt’s cannot give the clarity and quality of the ATH-M50x’s as they are more for bass, and I think I’m a more ‘all-rounded’ listener, as I listen to House (progressive/electro), jazz, pop, rock, hip hop, country, r&b, metal, etc.

        • 24bit

          Don’t expect the M50 to be great with quality though, I’ve always thought it felt and sounded like Mud. I also thought that the 950 had more purity, better density and superior sense of depth than the M50. I’ve not heard the newer X, but I doubt it improved the driver enough to score as high as the 950 does. The only real quality I could see superior on the M50 is sound stage, it probably has better depth of field and spacious qualities. I highly doubt it has any single quality (bass, mids, treble) that are actually superior in clarity over the 950. But then again, I’m talking memory recall which is something I hate doing and try to avoid. But, I’ve had the M50 long enough in the past to burn it’s sound into my brain and to never forget what it really sounds like. I no longer have it, but truthfully I don’t think the raw quality was that much inferior to the 950. I’d not go for either if you are spending $150ish on a headphone for “hifi” needs. If that is the case, drop $125-160 on a used Audio Technica ESW9, or hunt for a used ES10 instead. Both of them are still audibly superior and cleaner than the M50 and the 950.

          But, the 950 is wireless, has a ton of bass and is a bundle of fun for gaming, more comfortable.

          • Joshua Goh

            I see! Thanks a lot, now I think the xb950bt’s are the right ones for me. The m50s are probably more for audiophiles and reproducing accurate sound, but I see the xb950bt’s are more fun to listen to. I’m not looking for every detail of the music and I like bass so I think I’ll be getting the xb950’s! Thanks a lot, now I see the bass just makes the music more fun to listen to and doesn’t overpower the rest of the music. Thanks!! 😀

          • 24bit

            The M50’s were among the least accurate headphones I could recall in that price tier. Heh. They are overblown on the low end and have poor responsiveness, they lose control on the bass easily and the midrange was overly recessed. With the Sony, you can EQ the low end if you find it too much in quantity, it is much better in responding to raising or lowering Bass-EQ. It is a “fun” headphone, subjectively I’ve never found the M50 to be fun. It was flat sounding, muted up top and just not something I ever really talk about. It is one of the few popular models that I really disliked. Have you considered iems? Might want to save up around $200 and shoot for a used Flare Audio R2A instead, will obliterate both the 950 and the M50x.

          • Joshua Goh

            You mean the in-ears? (Flare Audio R2A)

          • 24bit


          • Joshua Goh

            Wow. So for those, the bass is good too with clarity of the mids and highs? Read your review, sounds really cool! Amazing how those can perform better than on ear headphones! Are there any other similar options for those iem’s?

          • 24bit

            In that price tier I have not heard another iem as good. They make my 950 sound like a megaphone, warped and like something is wrong. Nothing is wrong of course, the R2A is just a lot better. They don’t have the bass quantity of the 950Bt of course, but they’ve plenty.

          • Joshua Goh

            Thanks! This is really an eye opener for me. I’ll be more than willing to get a pair for 220 euros, and I saw one selling for 143 US dollars, but it did not ship to germany, so that is a shame.

          • 24bit

            If they are used, opt to also buy Comply TX200 tips. They usually come with the iem, but if they are used they may not.

          • Joshua Goh

            Thanks for the tip! Probably getting these soon. Thanks for your advice, really helped me!

          • Joshua Goh

            I have ordered these on amazon! I ordered the R2A-ORG (orange color) at 143 USD, using “comGateway” to ship these to a US warehouse then to me in Germany, since these did not directly ship to Germany. Really excited to hear them! Will update you once I get them. 😀

          • Joshua Goh

            Got these today!! Really satisfied with purchase. Sound is really natural, and clear. Doesnt sound mechanical at all. Thanks for your help! 😀 Only con is the clip to indicate the left and right cable, which adds a bit of weight to it. But overall, I’m really happy with the flare audio r2a’s!

          • 24bit

            Everyone hates that Y junction piece. But, it is something I can ignore due to the excellent sound quality.

          • Joshua Goh

            Yep, today I did a critical listening session and noticed immediately that the R2A’s immediately were much clearer making my old earphones sound muffled. The souls quality is amazing.

          • Joshua Goh

            Are these supposed to have cables which are worn out at the point in which it enters the housing for the drivers? Because when I got them brand new, they were worn out at the entering point, and I’m thinking of replacing them as the wires could get broken in future since they are exposed from the cable wear. I’ll prefer replacing them to buying the replacement driver and cable set as I don’t wan’t to spend an extra 50 euros on them unnecessarily. Or should I refund them and get something like the sennheiser hd598’s or hd 25s? Those seem to be pretty good too.

          • Joshua Goh

            Probably going to refund these, comparing them to headphones like the sennheiser urbanite xl and momentum 2.0 and the bose soundtrue, those sound much clearer than the Flare audio R2As. Going to get Sennheiser HD 598s or urbanite XLs as a replacement for these.

          • 24bit

            I am legitimately shocked by what you’ve just said about those other headphones sounding better… Sorry you didn’t like them. :[

          • Joshua Goh

            I’m sorry but these sounded to me to be more like my $10 Panasonic hje 120s than those headphones, which actually sounded much clearer to me.

          • Joshua Goh

            Hi there, I realized that these (R2As) were actually better than those other headphones after I spent more time using them. In the end I still stuck to the Flare audio R2As and I am using them currently. Made a couple of songs on FL studio with them. They’re really great. Really sorry for what I said earlier about the R2a’s being worse than the sennheiser headphones. Really learnt a lot from the last time I was here.

          • 24bit

            No need to apologize, mate! 😉 Just glad you are enjoying your setup now.

  • Ling Vu

    Hi, have you checked out the AKG Y50BT which has been very well criticised recently? If yes, how good are those compare to these XB950BT? I am considering those for my travel and outings. Thanks.

    • 24bit

      I’d not heard of this model until you mentioned it. I’ll toss AKG a message and see if I can get a loaner for review. Checked out a few user reviews elsewhere, seems to be mostly positive, seems interesting.

      • Ling Vu

        Yes, although I normally do not believe such reviews on whathifi or cnet but this seems very popular. Hope you can take a look soon.

  • Nicolae Odagiu

    very fragile plastic on joints. need serious repair after 4 months of usage

    • 24bit

      Sorry to hear that. I’ve abused mine horrendously ever since this review. Tossed into bags without a case, lobbed through airports, tossed on couches and beds and such. Mine are still in good shape. :[

  • jahan leo

    Hi there, i have been doing a research since last 3 days, im tired and confused. Michael plz help me here. Everyone is saying that Sony XB950 is not for purists. Well i am both a purist and a bass lover. Please recommend a Bluetooth head phone for me. Shud i go for Sony MDR XB950 or Plantronics BackBeat PRO or Sony MDR-10RBT. Please advise. Thanks.

    • 24bit

      Oh boy, that is a really tough recommendation. You can always EQ the Sony 950BT down on the bass if your source has EQ functionality. I don’t recommend either those other two. Are you okay with iems? If so, I would much rather you buy the TFZ S5 generation 1 for roughly $75 new. That iem is a game changer. I suggest you start there if you are cool with iems.

      They are right though, the Sony isn’t for purists. It has an overabundance of bass and is severely elevated and boosted. It doesn’t have a pure bass and finding a pure and clean bass that also has a lot of quantity is neigh impossible.

      • jahan leo

        Hey thanks for the reply. Never liked iems, hurt my ears. Wud have loved something from Bose, but they lack the kind of bass i want. How abt Sennheiser Momentum On Ear Wireless, Sennheiser Urbanite XL Wireless, Sennheiser Momentum Wireless, Sony H.ear On Wireless NC, Beats Studio Wireless Headphones.

        • 24bit

          I felt the same about iems, so I paid an absurd amount of cash for customs just to get a proper fit. The S5 has no fit issues with me, it is very comfortable. The earguides really help with that, the iem isn’t heavy and it isn’t oddly shaped, it fits my ear very well and I cannot recommend it enough. I don’t recommend any of those other models you mentioned. I’ve not used the XL wireless, but I strongly disliked all of Sennheisers newest stuff. I’d still recommend the 950Bt with a dialed down Bass eq on your source if your budget is $150 or lower.

          The momentum wireless is almost $400. At that point, buy an Audeze Sine instead, which is a superior headphone in every area but sound stage size.

          • jahan leo

            But Audeze Sine is not a bluetooth headphone.

          • 24bit

            I am struggling with this recommendation, I just don’t believe in good BT experiences in headphones for the most part. This gets harder as a recommendation if you want pure bass and good quantity in a BT headphone. I don’t know of anything that does this well. For wired headphones, that’s easy, there are a ton of picks out there that sound a lot nicer than these BT headphones.

  • aussie43

    Hi there, Michael (24bit)
    I have the XB950BT and I am happy with them. Except perhaps the headband is too tight.
    This is my first BT headphone, currently used with Huawei P9. I am also considering buying a good aptX enabled dongle – if there is such a thing – for my PC, to free myself of the cable.
    I have a question: The specs say –
    “Audio Format(s) Supported : SBC, AAC, and aptX® codec support”
    Great – except that the guys who own aptX do not list this particular headphone on their website as aptX enabled product. (they list a couple of other Sony models).
    Could you please help to clarify this for me? Perhaps you have a friendly contact at Sony.

    • 24bit

      I’ll try to contact them about this for you, give me some time to investigate that in more detail for ya.

      • aussie43

        Thanks for your response – I must admit I did not expect it. So I also contacted the people at about this, and they admitted that their list of enabled devices was out of date, and that the Sony XB950BTs are indeed enabled for aptX. So that’s good news.

  • Hadi Kurniawan

    Hi Michael, does the microphone only work with the bluetooth? can i use the microphone using 3.5mm cable?

    • 24bit

      Hi! The mic does not work with Bluetooth unless its through a cellular phone. Sadly, Sony never made good on their promise to include BT mic support on consoles for gaming and other devices.

      The 950BT doesn’t work with standard 3 pole cables as is usual with mic enabled headphones. It has a normal cable and standard 2 pole input and its stock cable doesn’t have a mic. If you need to use the mic, its through BT and the mic is built into the earcup.

    • Dani Barca Casafont

      24bit is not quite right. The mic can work with any bluetooth device, but not with the cable (as he has already said). The black fact is that enabling the mic will lower the audio quality **a lot**. This is due to some limitations with the bluetooth: sending data is cool, receiving data is cool, doing both at the same time, that’s a problem. So bluetooth solves this by lowering the amount of data to send and receive with lossy audio compression. More than enough for a call but can be annoying for things like gaming while talking. Mobile phones will change the state of “audio mode vs mic mode” automagically, on a windows 10 computer you will find like there’s 2 headsets detected and you’ll have to change them manually through the volume bar depending on what you’re doing. Oh, also this happens with any headphones right now, so it’s not really a problem with this headphones in particular, but with every bt headphones.

  • Ghøstly Gr¡ns

    Hey, I really enjoyed your article. I have been researching these headphones and in the reviews (product page review like amazon) people have complained about them being fragile. They claim the hinges are really fragile and break easily. They make it seem like they break on their own and personally I believe it comes from misuse. How is your pair holding up? I’m only concerned in the durability.

    • 24bit

      Appreciated, thanks for the nice words. Mind are fine and showcase no broken hinges even after 2 years of usage. I abuse mine, toss them around on my couch when I get home, or into a bag and such often.

  • ssuga

    Which brands and or headphone series would you recommend for purists and critical listeners? I think it’s time I try something else for a change, something with less bass.

    • 24bit

      Sub $200 for portables, I’d be opting for a used Beyerdynamic DT1350 if you want something clinical. Normally, Critital/Purist and portable or budget oriented are terms that don’t go together haha. I can’t think of any good clinical portables off the top of my head outside of that 1350, but that is an on ear.

      • ssuga

        Thanks for responding so quickly 😁

  • Mrdk

    I need a suggestion.. Plese help.. Its been weeks iam in this confu. .
    I wanto deside with a headphone for movies and music.
    V moda crossfade lp2
    Beyerdynamic custom one pro plus
    Please help among these to select.. Suggest any other if you know? I need some bass. But want clear audio also

  • Mrdk

    Please review audiotechnica ath ws770is

  • Guys help me I hear some crackling sounds from the left ear of my xb950s. I hope its a partical or something, is there any chance its broken because lots of bass? Cause I use heavy equalizer settings.

    • 24bit

      It is possible something physical rattled loose. It is fairly easy to remove the pads and unscrew the driver plat to see if anything is loose in there.

  • Martin

    Sony released an updated version of these headphones, the mdr-xb950b1. Will you review them?

    • 24bit

      Not likely, mate. :[

  • Carmen Jude Aquila

    Okay, so I guess I got the one bum pair of these cans that Sony produced. Just opened the box today, and unfortunately the sound is absolutely horrific. It is so bass-heavy and muddy, even with “Extra Bass” turned off. The mids and highs are practically non-existent. The overall sound is just horribly muddy.

    I REALLY wanted to love these. Unless someone can offer a miracle solution, they’ll be packed up and returned within 24 hours.

    Honestly, my $30 Apple EarPods sound better, which is pathetic if you think about it.

    • 24bit

      I thought about it. It is definitely pathetic and a mystery if that is the case. I suggest you skip this and buy an RBH HP-2 Beryllium if you don’t need Bluetooth. If you want the best bass on the market and one of the three best mid tier closed backs available now, the HP-2 is all we have for that niche and my god, it is glorious. It is my very next review coming up. Box your Sony and return it asap, drop the extra cash on the HP-2, you won’t be let down in the slightest by its sound.