A Review Of Sony MDR-XB90EX In-Ear Bass Headphones

close-up photo of a Sony MDR-XB90EX

Sony is renowned to produce some of the best models of headphones and earbuds. The company offers a wide range of products in this regard – from noise-isolation and extra-bass earbuds to workout and sports earbuds. From their good reputation and history, Sony is earning the much-needed approval of several music enthusiasts because of their innovative features and sound quality.

If you are yet to experience their exquisite sound quality, here is a review of the one of their most talked about in-ear headphones – the Sony MDR-XB90EX. For quite some time now, this particular model has been assuring consumers value for their money.

A Review of the Sony MDR-XB90EX In-Ear Headphones

What is in the Box?

When you buy this product, expect:

  • Sony MDR-XB90EX in-ear headphones
  • 1 Clip
  • Zippered carrying case
  • User manual

Sound Performance

The sound from the Sony MDR-XB90EX ear-piece is very solid, crisp, and detailed. Just like in many Sony products, the sound signature of these earphones feels tight and warm, leaning more towards bass than treble.

Unlike other earphones that mix low and midrange frequencies to bloat up the sound, the massive amount of bass pumped out of these earbuds are courtesy of its powerful acoustic drivers.  

The highs and trebles are natural, crisp, and clear and don’t feel harsh or recessed at all – there’s actually no sibilance when playing bass-heavy music. For instance, when you play rock and electronic house genre, you find that the sound feels clear, spacious, and well-defined with a relatively high treble response.

You also have the option of adjusting the EQ settings on your device (smartphone, laptop, tablet and more) to get more bass. However, make sure you do not exceed the distortion limit. Even with the powerful bass, the earbuds do not feel overwhelming – they are easy on the ears.

Bottom line, if you enjoy heavy bass with distinct clarity in your music, you will love the Sony MDR-XB90EX.

Design and Build Quality

close-up photo of a Sony MDR-XB90EX being held in hand

The Sony MDR-XB90EX is somewhat different from your normal earbud. It has a big belly to provide better bass. Even though most of the housing is made from thick plastic, the back is reinforced with aluminum for the ultimate durability. Also, the cables are flat and serrated, meaning that they can’t break easily.

These earphones have only two color options silver and black – you’ll have to settle for these two.

Some of the technical specifications include:

  • Type: Dynamic
  • Weight: Approximately 0.3 ounces
  • Plug: L-shaped stereo mini
  • Cord Y-type flat cord
  • Magnet: Neodymium
  • Diaphragm: PET
  • Frequency response: 4Hz-27,000Hz
  • Impedance: 16 Ohm
  • Power handling capacity: 200mW
  • Sensitivity: 106dB/mW
  • Driver unit: Dome-shaped (0.63”)

Comfort and Fit

four product photos of Sony MDR-XB90EX

Despite their bigger-than-average size, these Sony earphones are very comfortable to use and sit well in the ear canal. The earbuds come in small, medium, and large sizes. So make sure you select the correct ear tip size.

If you want to have the ultimate bass experience, it is advisable to get yourself some comply foam ear tips for better sound isolation, hence, superb bass. Unfortunately, the comply foam ear tips do not come with the earphones. You’ll have to get them separately.

Tangle-Free Cords

Sony MDR-XB90EX inside an earphone pouch

One of the most annoying problems with earbuds is tangled cords. It’s a very common nuisance that many earphone lovers have to deal with just because of poor design. Most times, you will end up with a broken earpiece because of regular tangling.

Fortunately, with the Sony MDR-XB90EX, you don’t have to worry about this tangling nuisance. The model is created with a tangle-free, serrated cord. The main idea here is to keep your earphones’ cable from easily tangling when you throw it into your pocket or bag, thus giving it longer durability.

Sony made the cord flat with tiny grooves on the surface for this particular purpose. So when you buy this product, you can be guaranteed mess-free operations.

Pros and Cons


  • It has excellent bass.
  • Generally, it has high-quality sound – clear and well-defined treble and vocals.
  • It has a very good impact.
  • It’s very comfortable to wear and fits perfectly.
  • It comes with a tangle-free cord.


  • It is rather pricey.
  • The big housing might not be comfortable for some users.
  • It does not have any mics or controls.
  • It may feel a little bulky for some users.

Final Verdict 

Sony MDR-XB90EX in-Ear Extra Bass Headphones (Japanese Import)
  • The Advanced Direct Vibe Structure forms an acoustically-tight seal around your ears, maximizing sound isolation to...
  • With the angled-duct, you can hear clear high-range sound that complements your extra bass.
  • Enjoy maximum comfort while also keeping the ear buds from falling out.

While they are quite pricey, the Sony MDR-XB90EX is still an undisputed champion of bass in-ear headphones on the market. The phenomenal bass combined with natural, smooth, and well-detailed highs and mids, make it one of the best investments you’ll ever make.

The only downside is that they may feel a little bulky and heavy when worn in the ears, but this shouldn’t be a barrier between you and quality sound, should it?

If you don’t mind these little shortcomings, the Sony MDR-XB90EX will be one of the best and most durable in-ear headphones you’ll ever own.