Sony MDR-XB90EX In-Ear Extra Bass Review

Featured previously on our best bass earbuds list, the MDR-XB90EX is one of the strongest bass in the market right now, if you are looking for an upgrade for your current model and love bass, this model might be the right one for you. Let’s take a closer look.



Whenever there is “extra bass” in the name of an earbud I get worried, because I start to think that the bass will interfere with the mids and highs and make a real mess with some songs, However, this is not the case with the MDR-XB90EX.

Surprisingly the bass is strong where it needs to be and respects the boundaries of the mids and highs, the huge 16mm drivers have deep sub bass notes that really surprised me for the quality delivered.

This model is definitely for fans of heavy bass songs like rap, hip hop or simply for watching action movies on the phone, it would work amazing. You will also notice smooth mids and crisp highs, and as I said before, the bass won’t stand in the way. The Advanced Direct Vibe Structure make sure you get the best isolation, that is a very important thing to achieve a good bass.

Design and Durability

To provide a better bass, the design is somewhat different as well with a big fat belly as you can see in the picture. The back of the housing is made of aluminum but the rest of the housing is made of plastic, however, it doesn’t mean that it is not durable, there are a lot of plastic models super durable out there.

One thing to note is that the  MDR-XB90EX is a Japanese import product, and with all Japanese products, you can expect a good build quality here as well. Also, the cables are serrated and flat, making it entirely tangle free and increasing the durability.


Comfort and Fit

Despite the big size, the MDR-XB90EX is quite comfortable to use and sits very well inside your ear canal. Just make sure to use the right ear tip size for you (S,M,L included). Now, if you want the best bass experience you can get, I advise you to get some comply foam ear tips to use with them because the isolation will be superb and so will the bass.

Accessories and Extras

The MDR-XB90EX has no other color options, so you will have to settle for the silver/black. In the package, you will receive the standard at this price range that is: a few different sizes of ear tips, a carrying case, and that’s it. It would be great if a few comply foam ear tips were included, but that is not the case here.


Type – Dynamic
Driver Unit – 16mm (Dome Type)
Sensitivity – 106dB/mW
Power Handling Capacity – 200mW
Impedance – 16 ohm (1KHz)
Frequency Response – 4-27,000Hz
Diaphragm – PET
Magnet – Neodymium
Cord – Y type,flat cord
Cord Length – 1.2m
Plug – Gold-plated L-shaped Stereo Mini
Weight – (without Cord) Approx. 9g(without cord)
Supplied Accessories – Clip x1

Pros and Cons


  • Super Heavy Bass
  • Smooth mids
  • Crisp highs
  • Durable build
  • Serrated tangle-free cord


  • Not the best vocals



The MDR-XB90EX is a Model for a very specific consumer: the bass heads. Not that the other features are shadowed, but the bass here is the best feature by far. If you value vocals and soundstage you should be looking elsewhere,(there are great models reviewed here on IEH) however, if you are looking for bass or an earbud to watch movies, this is definitely one of the best out there.




Make sure to check out our guide on the best bass earbuds of 2017.


Stay Tuned!



Web developer, App developer, and Headphones enthusiast. In the pursuit of a perfect headphone and trying to develop the next "sound" app!

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