The Sony MDR-ZX550BN are sub-par Bluetooth headphones. They are stylish, stable and provide great control over your audio. Unfortunately, they have a weak, lackluster bass reproduction and poorly isolate listeners. They should not be your first choice to block the ambient noise of international traveling.
- Lightweight, stable and wireless design.
- Stable fit.
- Good, ergonomic audio controls.
- Poor isolation.
- Weak bass and sharp treble.
- Plasticky build quality.
The Sony MDR-ZX550BN are lightweight headphones that deliver good button layout and functionality. They are stylish looking and moderately comfortable, but unfortunately, have a weak build quality. Also, the on-ear design may not be comfortable for everyone, especially after long listening sessions.
The Sony MDR-ZX550BN have a typical fit for an on-ear design. The circular ear cups rest on the ear and provide moderate comfort thanks to the swivel mechanism. However, they apply a slight pressure on the head, which can get uncomfortable after long listening sessions. The minimalist design also provides no padding on the headband.
Button layout and design are above average. Functionality wise the Sony ZX550BN provide volume, call/music and skip controls as well as the power and noise cancelling enabling buttons. Unfortunately, the greater amount of control is offset by poor tactile feedback on some of the very flat buttons, which are a slight letdown.
The Sony MDR-ZX550BN are quite stable on the head. They are hard to dislodge and have no cables that can get tangled up or hooked on to anything. They are easily able to stay on the head during casual listening sessions and even while running. However, they are not designed for sports and may move around during very high-intensity activities.
The Sony MDR-ZX550BN are above-average portable headphones. They will easily fit in a backpack or handbag, and the ear cups lay flat to take up less space. Unfortunately, they don't fold up into a more compact format don't come with a carrying case or pouch, which is a little disappointing.
The Sony MDR-ZX550BN do not have good bass. They reproduce instruments well but lack clarity, causing lead instruments, like guitars, to sound muffled. They also put a lot of emphasis on the high tones, which may sound too sharp for some. On the upside, they do not have too much harmonic distortion.
Poor performance. These headphones noticeably lack low-bass and bass. This means the kick drums and bass won't have the expected thump and punch. High-bass, however, is produced accurately.
Average performance. The general over-emphasis of the mid range and the weak bass of these headphones results in a forward-sounding, mid-range heavy sound.
Poor treble. The response is quite inconsistent. The dip in low-treble negatively affects the clarity and comprehensibility of vocals/leads. At the same time, the bump surrounding 8KHz could make these headphones too sharp and sibilant.
Good overall distortion results. The amount of harmonic distortion in low-bass is rather high, but for the rest of the spectrum remains within good limits even at higher SPLs.
These headphones do not isolate well. Their active noise cancelling, barely reduces the noise that seeps into the ear cups. Making the Sony MDR-ZX550BN unideal for use in loud environments, especially in environments with low-frequency noise like on a plane or a train. Fortunately, they do not leak too much, even at higher volumes.
Poor isolation. The active noise cancellation fails to provide more than -6dB of reduction and is barely noticeable. The passive isolation provided by the ear cups is below average, but still mildly effective in blocking treble sounds.
Very good leakage results. Listening to these headphones at loud volumes shouldn't be an issue in most situations, which is expected with a closed on-ear design.
The MDR-ZX550BN have an above average battery life of 24.4 hours and a decent set of wireless features. They support aptX and also have NFC which makes them relatively easy to pair with mobile devices. Unfortunately, they do not have the best wireless range and take quite a bit of time to charge.
These headphones have a mediocre wireless range. They're not ideal for large offices or big homes with a lot of walls. This shouldn't be much of an inconvenience if you often carry your Bluetooth source on you, like your phone. But if the Bluetooth source is difficult to move around then the below 30 ft wireless range these headphones provide may not be enough. On the upside, they offer NFC and are simple to pair with most devices.
The Sony MDR-ZX550BN have a decent battery performance. They deliver up to 24 hrs of continuous playtime, which means you won't have to recharge them throughout the day. Unfortunately, they take quite a bit of time to charge can't stream audio while charging.
No compatible app.
In the box
- Sony MDR-ZX550BN Headphones
- USB cable