New Sony XB22IP Earbuds with iControl (Updated with Full review)

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by MrXiro, Dec 3, 2011.

  1. MrXiro, Dec 3, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011

    MrXiro macrumors 68040

    MrXiro

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #1
    Just ordered these...

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005M7AVKA/ref=pe_175190_21431760_cs_sce_dp_1

    Hell of a lot cheaper than Monster's Beats by Dre and from my experience with the Sony XB line (MDR-XB500 & MDR-XB700) these could potentially sound great. I've been looking for a good sounding pair of ear buds that have a mic and iControl.

    Anyone ever try these? I couldn't find them at Best Buy or any other Brick and Mortar stores in my area.
     
  2. MrXiro, Dec 6, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011

    MrXiro thread starter macrumors 68040

    MrXiro

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #2
    Just got them in and here's my thoughts on these new earbuds:

    If you've read any of my reviews on Amazon you'll know I've owned many many pair of headphones in my life. None on the absurdly expensive range. The key for me is to get the best sound for the least amount of money. Amongst my collection are the Grado SR-80s, Sony MDR-XB700, XB500, Koss Portapros/Sportapros/KSC-55 (same driver on all of them), Sony EX38IP and a dozen pair I don't even remember the the model numbers for.

    I've tested out a few pair of Beats line "premium" cans and found them really not worth the price... and by "premium" I mean overrated and over priced. Don't get me wrong they sound great but for "about 80% off the retail price" great.

    I've never been able to test out the Beat Tours but I really like the styling of them and have been searching for a pair of earbuds with iDevice controls and a mic.
    These buds are very much like the Beats Tours and have a lot of thump to them... Since I don't own any of them I can't do a side by side comparison but I can tell you that the sound from these are very bass heavy with all the mids and highs being much cleaner than my MDR-EX38ip headphones also made by Sony (I bought them for the iControl and use them on and off). Those buds are very muddy at the mid-bass level and leaves a lot of my rock music sounding mushy. These XB22ip are very clean for music, as I listen to a copy of Queen's remastered Greatest Hits 1 everything is crisp and sounding wonderful with just a pinch more boom and bass than how I remember the songs on one of the first 10 CDs I had ever owned. The bass pronunciation is perfect for the music and can really kick more ass in the bass range as I listen to more modern pop tracks like Eminem, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. They certainly don't rock my head like my XB500/700s do though... but I don't think it's possible with a driver this small. The XB700s vibrate my ear a bit something an ear bud could never possibly do without blowing out your ear drum. Bass heads won't be disappointed by these little guys though. I'm very happy with the big sound out of these ear buds for music... watching movies on the other hand was less thrilling for me. Watching Captain America on my iPhone when there was no action all the actor's dialogue sounded as if it were being delivered through a tunnel. All the explosions and sound effects were nice wide and beautiful... it might be that these are canal phones that the dialogue seemed very pumped into the middle of my head when I prefer things mixed wider... Also what I was listening to was a 2.0 down mix from the original 5.1 track from my computer... so that could have something to do with it too.

    The first time I ever saw the flat cord design was in the great Denzel Washington movie "The Book of Eli" they were the Beat Tours and they were one of the coolest headphone designs I had ever seen. Since then flat cords have popped up everywhere... I don't even think the Tours were the first to have them just the first I ever noticed. These headphones have the tangle free flat cord design something I've been hoping Sony would work into their earbud designs (along with iControl or "ip" as the last 2 letters of the model number) since the first time I saw the XB500. The ear bud themselves have a different and a kind of steampunk industrial design to them. They look and feel very solid and well built. Even though they are plastic at first glance you might think they were brushed black aluminum because of the way they are cut. These are not "eye catching" headphones though, in fact they are very subtle as they sit in my ear all black and unassuming. Being a new owner of a white iPhone 4S I kind of wish they were white to go with my motif but, oh well, Sony didn't make them for this round on this model, though they should.

    I've never been a huge fan of the canal phones they make my ears itch... these are those new and popular half canal phones that sit just outside of your ear canal and directing the sound into your ear, Sony calls it "Direct Vibe Structure" they aren't as bad as my Shure E4C as far as making the insides of my ear itch or feel pressure though I do need to pull them out and rub my hear once in while but I don't feel like someone jammed a silicon plug in my ears with these which I like. The canal phone issues do occur at the gym though... as your cord bounces off of your chest or whatever you have your buds dangling from you hear the touching of the cords. I'm not saying you can't use them in the gym but if you're sensitive to vibrations of the cord these won't help you. While walking I didn't have an issue though so you can probably use them to lift weights and walk places but I don't recommend them for runners. I did give them a shot while on the elliptical at the gym and though it sounded fine I was having a hard time finding a comfort zone with them while on the machine. The best headphones to me are the ones you forget you're wearing... I never forgot I was wearing these, though I could have had the wrong sized tip in my ear. I switched mine to the second smallest pair when I think the second largest are more my size. They feel fine with the bigger tip now but I'm also not moving around like a hamster in a wheel, since it's winter and a bit dryer I'm not sweating buckets in the same sloppy mess as I typically am so I can't say how these are with sweat.

    The iControl is the nicest I've felt of ANY headphones I have used. They are sturdy and feel completely solid. I recall my Pro Beats felt plasticky and flimsy (one of the reasons they went back), the EX38ip I own feel sturdy but you can tell it's cheap plastic also they were absolute crap for actually talking to people. Nobody could ever hear me when used with my iPhone 4S. The XB22IP not only feel sturdy they are heavy to the touch partially due to how the cable is built. The buttons push down with a healthy tactile give and click to the touch so you can never mistake if you did or didn't hit the button. The mic is also crystal clear much like the one that came with the iPhone. Up until now I felt that the stock iPhone earbuds had the best controller I had used, which is sad since the earbuds themselves are the quality of 9.99 cheapos you find at Radio Shack. I'm glad I finally found a suitable replacement.

    The connector end is also very thick and sturdy with an reinforced and ridged bit by the plug that looks like it can hold up to some wear and tear, I've seen some pics of broken connects and don't know how people have done that, I've never destroyed the connector end before. The only thing that happened to some cheap China buds I had bought off ebay did was start peeling away from the "T" exposing the wire beneath where the cord splits into the two cords that go to your ears. I don't see that happening to these.

    For the price I'm paying ($41.79) they are well worth it and a must buy if you're looking for a pair BEAT TOURS competition for less than 1/4 the price!

    Why Sony doesn't push their XB line of headphones as their premiere consumer level headphones is beyond me.
     
  3. walie macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    #3
    just your typical sony fart cannons really

    shure, westone or etymotics for good sound.
     
  4. MrXiro, Dec 6, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011

    MrXiro thread starter macrumors 68040

    MrXiro

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #4
    A Lotus is also a better car than a Honda Civic. :rolleyes:
    I own a pair of Shure and I own Grados... thanks for not reading...
     
  5. thenerdal macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    #5
    Nice choice OP. Beats by Dre are overrated and overpriced. There are a lot of cheaper earphones/headphones that are better than Beats.
     
  6. MrXiro thread starter macrumors 68040

    MrXiro

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #6
    I forgot to mention that the mic is the perfect placement one these headphones. I can either wrap the cord behind my ear securely or wear then down the normal way with no hindrance of the buttons and mic. The 38ip would hit the back of my ear when I did the behind the ear method.
     
  7. Leonard1818 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    #7
    Ironically, when you put a Honda Civic engine in a Lotus, it becomes an even BETTER car... (read: K20)

    Sorry, couldn't resist... came across this thread while researching earbuds with inline mic to replace the apple ones.

    Like the OP (and MrXiro), I too would like something better, but not ridiculously expensive. Probably between $30 and $50... the search goes on.
     
  8. MrXiro thread starter macrumors 68040

    MrXiro

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #8
    I honestly would give these a shot... they're not "fart cannons" the bass is solid and crisp but still fuller than my Shure and Grados. It's a sound that I prefer.
     

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