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by Haripriya Thakar March 27, 2017

Priced almost identically at just under Rs. 3000, the RHA S500 U and SONY MDR-XB75AP directly compete against each other to vie for your attention. Each has its own set of trump cards to play the game.

The offerings come from names which have earned a legendary reputation in the recent past. The first one is the S500 U from the Scottish Headphone Manufacturer RHA, known worldwide as the ' Aston Martin of Headphones', for their tremendous attention to detail and use of premium materials. The other one being, MDR-XB75AP from Sony which has stayed with us for so long with their audio and other equipment that it is easy to trust them easily.


CUTTING THE LONG STORY SHORT

"The RHA S500 U makes for the high-quality headphones that can be used every day. A great budget offering from the well renowned Scottish brand.

But, If you want a pair of earphones that have tremendous bass response at this price-point then Sony MDR-XB75AP should be your pick."

-Raghav Somani

RHA S500 U


Headphone-Zone-RHA-S500 U
RHA sound signature with ample of accessories
SONY MDR-XB75AP

Headphone-Zone-Sony-mdr-xb75AP

Extra bass Earphones from SONY

 


DESIGN: RHA S500 U vs SONY MDR-XB75AP

Headphone-Zone-RHA-S500 U-Product
Headphone-Zone-Sony-MDR-XB75AP-Product

Hands down, the RHA S500 U are the most elegant, classy and sophisticated looking pair of earphones in this price bracket. The design is not a classic RHA aerophonic one, but still has a clean and neat presentation which looks just as good. It's elegantly styled with a brushed aluminium finish. This all-metal construction feels really sturdy, even more so than any other earphone at this price.

The cable is a quality one with part of it in clothed fabric and the remaining in high-quality TPE polymer. This also aids in keeping cable noise down while having a long lasting unit at the same time. In all honesty, this is the finest cable in this price segment.
COMPLETELY ALUMINIUM BUILD VS SEMI-ALUMINUM AND PLASTIC BUILD?

In the case of accessories, RHA has always managed to take our swing vote. It comes with 6 pairs of dual density eartips, 1 pair of double flange eartips, eartip holder, shirt clip and a carry pouch.


Build wise, the MDR-XB75AP seems pretty strong and sturdyHalf of the earphone is made of aluminium and the rest is plastic. Sony claims to have an aluminium housing but experts question that as the two most vital components (bass duct and driver) are actually housed in plastic. Unlike its predecessor, the MDR-XB70AP, the MDR-XB75AP has a universal in-line mic and remote for more convenience.

The earphones also come along with 4 sets of eartips, but none of them are dual flange or dual density as in case of RHA S500 U and therefore, you may want to consider buying it with Comply to achieve a much secure fit. There is also a pouch which is made palpable with the help of a neat mechanism. However, the pouch is a bit small for fitting the MDR-XB75AP in.


USABILITY: RHA S500 U vs SONY MDR-XB75AP

Headphone-Zone-RHA-S500 U-Product
Headphone-Zone-Sony-MDR-XB75AP

RHA which comes in an aluminium body has an ultra-lightweight structure. The fit is excellent too and feels like RHA scanned your ear canals to design earphones that just slide in. The inclusion of various pairs of ear tips further helps you to achieve the perfect fit and good noise isolation.

ULTRA-LIGHTWEIGHT STRUCTURE VS COMFORT FOR LONG?

The MDR-XB75AP do not have an as good fit as the RHA S500 U but you can easily achieve this if you use the right pair of Comply Eartips with it. The comfort, on the other hand, is quite good and does not lead to fatigue.

There is a fair game between the MDR-XB75AP and the RHA S500 U as both have a universal mic and remote. Android and iOS users can now easily use the one-button remote to take/end calls, play/pause tracks and access your digital assistant seamlessly. 

When talked about warranty, the RHA S500 U comes with a whopping 3 years warranty whereas the MDR-XB75AP comes with a 1-year warranty.


SOUND: RHA S500 U vs SONY MDR-XB75AP

Headphone-Zone-RHA-S500 U-Product
Headphone-Zone-sony-xb-75ap

Unlike the Sony MDR-XB75AP, the S500 U's sound signature can be described as very fun and bright soundingThere is very less bass and more emphasis on the treble, even at very high volumes. The S500 U sculpts the higher frequencies quite a bit, so there's a decent sense of balance between the lows and highs.

However, the mids aren't as refined and detailed but are much better than the MDR-XB75AP. Overall, it is more accurate and precise in sound than the latter. The sound signature is slightly tilted towards pop but is well suited to rock and melodic tracks nonetheless.

To sum things up, these are probably the best in their class for casual listeners and music enthusiasts.
A BALANCE BETWEEN THE LOWS HIGHS OR OVERWHELMING BASS HEAVY SOUND?

What can you tell about the sound quality of an earphone whose packaging itself says EXTRA BASS? Sony is determined to do just that. The bass quantity is pretty good for a pair of earbuds. In fact, there's simply a lot of it. The MDR-XB75AP demonstrates its impressive ability to produce sub-bass. The long decay times can actually be felt, and the effect is quite enveloping.

Moving into mids and upper bass, the MDR-XB75AP demonstrates its lack of punch. It doesn't quite move fast enough to ensure that good clarity is kept throughout the general bass line. The weakness is especially evident when various types of bass come together.

Trebles are okay. They offer a bit of sparkle, but this observation is biased in the sense that almost anything will sparkle in the light of the MDR-XB75AP's bass. The clarity at the higher-end is good and really helps to open up the otherwise narrow soundstage. However, the headphone's weakness comes to light with the mids.


Summary


RHA S500 U

  • Best in Class All-Metal Built
  • 3 Years Warranty
  • Universal Mic & Remote
  • 6 Pairs of Eartips
  • Sculpted & Bright Highs
SONY MDR-XB75AP

  • Sturdy Aluminium and Plastic Build
  • 1 Year Warranty
  • Universal Remote & Mic
  • 4 Pairs of Eartips
  • Heavy Bass


Conclusion


We are inclined towards S500 U in this comparison due to its variety of accessories and lively sound signature. But, if you are someone who loves bass and are ready choose it over anything else, then you may go with the MDR-XB75AP.


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What is going to be your pick? Let us know in the comments section below.

 

Done with your research?

Haripriya Thakar
Haripriya Thakar


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