The Sony MDR-ZX550BN are sub-par Bluetooth headphones. They are stylish, stable and provide great control over your audio. Unfortunately, they have a weak, lackluster bass reproduction and poorly isolate listeners. They should not be your first choice to block the ambient noise of international traveling.
The Sony MDR-ZX550BN are mediocre everyday headphones. They don't feel very durable and have a subpar sound quality. They also struggle with isolation.
Below-average for critical listening. They have a skewed and poorly balanced sound quality. Soundstage is also limited due to their closed back on-ear design.See our Critical Listening recommendations
Subpar for home theater use. They have a bit too much latency for watching videos and movies. They're not the most comfortable to wear for long periods of time.
The Sony MDR-ZX550BN have a straightforward and stylish design. The blue colored, circular ear cups add flare to the matte, all-black color scheme. The design of the headband and hinge also contributes to the minimalist appeal.
The Sony MDR-ZX550BN have a typical fit for an on-ear design. The circular ear cups rest on the ear and provide moderate comfort thanks to the swivel mechanism. However, they apply a slight pressure on the head, which can get uncomfortable after long listening sessions. The minimalist design also provides no padding on the headband.
Button layout and design are above average. Functionality wise the Sony ZX550BN provide volume, call/music and skip controls as well as the power and noise cancelling enabling buttons. Unfortunately, the greater amount of control is offset by poor tactile feedback on some of the very flat buttons, which are a slight letdown.
The Sony MDR-ZX550BN are quite stable on the head. They are hard to dislodge and have no cables that can get tangled up or hooked on to anything. They are easily able to stay on the head during casual listening sessions and even while running. However, they are not designed for sports and may move around during very high-intensity activities.
The Sony MDR-ZX550BN are above-average portable headphones. They will easily fit in a backpack or handbag, and the ear cups lay flat to take up less space. Unfortunately, they don't fold up into a more compact format don't come with a carrying case or pouch, which is a little disappointing.
The build quality of these headphones is below average. The all-plastic build does not seem durable. The headband being relatively thin and entirely made out of plastic could break of deform under moderate stress. The swivel mechanism is also a little flimsy and feels susceptible to breaking.
Poor isolation. The active noise cancellation fails to provide more than -6dB of reduction and is barely noticeable. The passive isolation provided by the ear cups is below average, but still mildly effective in blocking treble sounds.
Very good leakage results. Listening to these headphones at loud volumes shouldn't be an issue in most situations, which is expected with a closed on-ear design.
These headphones have a mediocre wireless range. They're not ideal for large offices or big homes with a lot of walls. This shouldn't be much of an inconvenience if you often carry your Bluetooth source on you, like your phone. But if the Bluetooth source is difficult to move around then the below 30 ft wireless range these headphones provide may not be enough. On the upside, they offer NFC and are simple to pair with most devices.
The Sony MDR-ZX550BN have a decent battery performance. They deliver up to 24 hrs of continuous playtime, which means you won't have to recharge them throughout the day. Unfortunately, they take quite a bit of time to charge can't stream audio while charging.