Looking for a wireless alternative to your current earphone for your new iPhone 7, consider the Sony Extra Bass XB70BT. Armed with a flexible neckband and a powerful bass, these bluetooth earphones seek to impress. At a price point of SGD$149, they aren’t exactly budget, but they aren’t overpriced at the same time.
The XB70BT takes a refreshing twist to neckband-style headphones. Instead of heaving a plastic solid band like the LG Tones, the XB70BT holds a flexible rubber band. This flexible band makes these earphones much more portable than their solid counterparts. Throwing em in your backpack or duffel bag is rather stress-free since you don’t have to worry about the band breaking apart in case you fling your bag around. The rubber material of the neckband is also comfortable on the skin and dries easily after a sweat-drenching workout. You will also find a remote control on the neckband, which holds the power button, volume controls and playback controls for you to move between tracks without touching your smartphone.
The band however is still slightly heavy and this keeps it steady on your neck during your day-to-day activities. When you use them in the gym, things can get messy. If you use them for explosive crossfit workouts or during movements like the bench press that involve you lying down, you will find the band just flopping off onto the ground, which pulls the earbuds out of your ears when you sit back upright. Hence, using them as a pair of gym earphones might be less than ideal.
However, the earbuds fit nicely in your ear and noise isolation is superb. These angled tips are definitely comfortable, much like the AF56’s. Listening on these guys for 2-3 hours definitely didn’t cause any discomfort or aches.
It’s a pity they weren’t very well-designed for the gym, because the heavy resonating bass would bring out the “umph” in your workout playlists. If you tried playing Closer by The Chainsmokers or any EDM tracks from Hardwell’s United We Are, you would quite literally want to raise your hands as if you were physically in Zouk. That’s how deep and rich the bass is.
Although it does well across all frequencies, there is a sense of lacklustre when you choose to play vocals-dominant tracks or acoustic music in general. Audio quality is clear, but not really crisp. The toned down mids and highs may not give you the chilling hair-standing effects from vocal tracks like Ruth B’s Lost Boy or even classics like Frank Sinatra’s Fly Me to the Moon.
For In-Ear earphones, the XB70BT does well when it comes to battery life. With 9 hours of battery life, it almost doubles the industry average of 4-5 hours. Even earphones in the $200 range like the Jabra Sport Coach only packs on 5 hours of battery. However, given the weight of these earphones, it’s only expected for them to pack on slightly more juice than their peers.
I liked these XB70BT earphones by Sony. For S$149, I definitely think that they are a great buy. However, I wouldn’t be using these guys as a set of workout earphones, but probably more for day-to-day commutes on noisy MRT trains. If you are a sucker for EDM music, or anything bass-centric, do consider these guys. Acoustic music lovers though, might want to hold off on them.
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