The Sony MDR-XB700's come packaged in one of those cheap boxes that I absolutely hate. You know, the boxes that you are forced to throw away once you have opened them because they are pretty much incapable of holding the headphones after they have been opened up. I know it's just a box, but I find it annoying the the packaging isn't reusable. The XB-700's include a "pleather" (synthetic leather) drawstring carrying pouch and that's pretty much it in terms of accessories. The carrying pouch is absolutely massive, its obviously constructed in this manner in order to accommodate the sheer massiveness of the XB700's themselves. Even so, there is lots of empty space in the pouch even with the XB700's sitting snugly inside. There are no spare ear cushions, no 6.3mm adapters included with the XB700's. Inside the annoying disposable box rests the headphones themselves and the carrying pouch as well as a little instruction manual letting you know how to use a pair of headphones (pretty sad that we have to kill trees just to tell people how to put a pair of headphones on isn't it?)
If you are a spec head, the Sony MDR-XB700s technical specifications consist of the following: Very low 24Ohm impedance (easily powered by your portable device) a 3-28,000Hz frequency response (yes thats a three, as in 3Hz. Your dog cant even hear sound that that low) large 50mm dynamic driver, powerful neodymium magnets, 106dB/mW sensitivity (these can rattle your skull with ear destroying bass. Be careful that you don't lose your hearing prematurely with these on) and a commendable power handling capacity of 3,000mW.
The build quality of the XB700's can be best described as "adequate". It's not a poorly built headphone by any means, but it's also not the sturdiest built product nor is it constructed from the most durable materials. Its pretty much 90% plastic if I am honest (not that plastic is necessarily a bad material). The metal portion located where the headband connects to ear cup is actually an extremely thin layer of metal. Behind it is just more plastic. The silver ear cups themselves, are in fact, plastic. The headband is covered in a soft pleather like material that I like, but the headband itself in my opinion, could use a bit more padding. The padding is there, but its not enough to be adequate. The massive "king size" ear cushions are extremely comfortable, yes. However, if there is one downside to the ear cushions its that they do not let your ears breathe at all. The result is sweaty ears after only an hour of listening in most cases. One major annoyance about the XB700's is their incredible tendency for sound leakage. They do an okay job keeping outside sound from coming in, but sound leaks out of them like a sieve that gets everyone of the airplane/ bus/ train all hot and bothered because they can hear with almost amazing clarity the obnoxious, earth shattering, bass blasting dubstep that you are no doubt listening to with an "extra bass" headphone. It's almost incredible to me how much these cans leak. There is one upside to this however, your XB700's now do more than you expected: you can use them as a portable speaker system! I believe that this issue is a direct result of the king size ear cushions inability to keep sound in and I also noticed that the XB700's have three slits or a vent if you will on the ear cup hidden away behind the headband. Sony claims that the XB700s are closed back headphones, but sound does leak out from this vent. The flat cord could best be compared to linguini, its the same relative thickness and shape. I have a love/ hate relationship with the cord. I like the flat cord style to a certain degree, but the cable is extremely short and connects to both of the ear cups. Its essentially a Y-cable.
From an aesthetic point of view, the XB700s are absolutely ridiculous. They look like they designed by Darth Vader or something, with the massive black ear cushions and the black and grey color scheme. Expect to be looked at funny or pointed at if you wear these around in public, they are absolutely truly massive. Of course, if you don't mind people staring at what appears to be two monster truck tires with your head sandwiched in the middle, thats fine too. You can however still take comfort in the fact that you wont look as idiotic as your standard brainless teen touting their craptastic Beats by Dre headphones, but thats besides the point.
|Size comparison, the XB700's are left|
Note: The Sony MDR-XB700s have just recently (as of this writing) been discontinued by Sony. However, a few do remain in stores and they can also be found on Amazon.
CLICK HERE for Sony MDR-XB700 Amazon product page