By April 13, 2009

Sony XB40EX headphones review

In-ear style headphones are now pretty commonplace but the downside of these is that they have to be small enough to fit in your ear canal which often means that the speaker driver is also small and small drivers lead to a puny sounding bass. However, that’s where the Sony XB40EX headphones are different as they are specifically designed to offer a better bass performance.

XB40_02 lr

What’s in the box?

  • The Sony XB40EX headphones
  • Three different size ear plugs
  • Clip to hold the cable in place
  • Headphone Case


Sony XB40EX headphones specification:

  • Ear bud design
    Directs sound into the ear and reduces ineffective sound passages. Included small, medium and large ear cushions offer a custom fit.
  • 13.5mm driver
  • Sealed acoustic designReduces sound leakage and delivers deep bass.
  • Hybrid silicone ear buds
  • Flat cord
  • 4Hz – 24kHz frequency response
  • 105dB/mW sensitivity
  • 16 ohms impedance
  • Carrying case
  • Weight: Aprox 9g

XB40_03 lr


It’s always a little tricky to review products like headphones – is there much that you can say about them?!

The Sony XB40EX headphones do live up to their claims as the bass sound is truly amazing, it’s the kind of sound that you would typically expect to get from a much larger set of cans. Thanks to their excellent low end response the middle and top end sounds so much clearer and tighter.

The package also includes three different sizes of ear plugs which means you can pick the ones that are right for you. When you have a good fit this helps to isolate outside noise and stops your music leaking out and annoying fellow bus travellers!

The other decent thing about the Sony XB40EX headphones is that the cable is flat rather than round. This may not seem like a big deal but in practice this seems to help prevent the cables from becoming tangled when kept in a pocket or bag.

There are a few things I didn’t like about these headphones though. Firstly the size is a bit off putting. I’m not talking about the size of the speaker driver, which needs to be large but the silver part that the driver is attached to. I don’t see why that really needs to be there. This leads me to the second thing I dislike about them – they are uncomfortable! I can wear the Sony XB40EX headphones for a while but after about 30 minutes they begin to make my ears ache. This is partly because of the shape of the outside which digs in to my ear.



The sound performance of the Sony XB40EX headphones is truly amazing and they do have to be heard to be believed. You don’t have to be a bass head to appreciate them.

The biggest let down for me is that they are just too uncomfortable to use for long. I’m sure this wont be a problem for everyone but you have to try them yourself to find out which isn’t always possible.


Review by: Matt

Posted in: Reviews

About the Author:

More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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