Sony WH XB900N Review: Exceptional Assistant-Enabled ANC Audio Sony
With Google Assistant Integration, no less.
Noise-cancelling headphones are the latest trend. The Sony WH-XB900N headphones could possibly be one of the best ones out there, especially considering its price. If you are on the lookout for headphones that not only offers excellent audio but also gives you noise cancelling feature, this is the one for you. Wireless headphones and earbuds are fast becoming the major smartphone accessories. If you have done your research properly, you might have noticed that the place for the best over-ear headphones with active noise cancellation or ANC feature till now was held by Sony WH-1000XM3.
However, the Sony WH-XB900N launched recently at a lower price and with some better features, making it a better bargain. Inspired by WH-1000XM3s, the headphones have a similar build but tons of different features. It has managed to improve the drawbacks of the older model while retaining its best quality. While most of its alternatives don’t feature virtual assistant support, this model comes with Google Assistant integration. If you use an Android smartphone, you can be sure that this one is just perfect for you.
Over-ear headphones usually look pretty much the same at first glance. It is when you look closely you differentiate the many particular features, indicating each brand’s design involvement. If you want to compare the latest headphones by Sony with its older model, you might be hard-pressed to find noticeable differences. Since they are both designed and manufactured by Sony, they do look quite similar.
A flexible plastic is the main material used here, but it features a textured matte finish, giving it a more sophisticated look. Where the XM3 model worked with just plastic, Sony has decided to give this one a better finish. Besides looking nicer, it makes sure dirt and grease are not as noticeable as before. This also makes it less prone to scratching. One of the first things you will notice here is the lack of many buttons. The buttons that are here are strategically placed. On the left earcup, there are two buttons – one for Custom use and the other a power button. The former can be set up to activate Google Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa on your Android phone. Under the earcup on the left, there is a USB-C charge port and a 3.5mm input port.
The right earcup has a touchpad for device control. Here, you can make use of swipes and taps to manage calls and audio. The company includes a 3.5mm audio cable along with a USB-C charge cable in the box. One thing missing here is a hard carry case. It has been replaced by a canvas pouch that unfortunately looks and feels cheap. The XB900N has been efficiently designed to fold up perfectly, making it very frustrating that a proper case has not been provided. However, you can always purchase one separately to keep your headphones safe.
Comfort and Fit
The over-ear design of the XB900N is a very nice touch here. It fits great as well. The pads are comfortable and the cans are extremely lightweight. You will find a piece of spongey cushion on the underside of the headband. This is such a simple feature, yet not many headphones feature it. This cushion ensures the headphone sits exactly where you want it. If you wear it for long periods, you can be sure that it takes off much of the pressure. You can also make use of the extendable arms should you wish to. Many users have mentioned that Sony WH-XB900N is one of the most comfortable headphones they have ever owned. There is literally no earcup pressure, regardless of how long you wear it for.
Just as the name suggests, Sony WH-XB900N, the headphones are designed to deliver extra bass. The XB in the name refers to this core component. At standard EQ settings, you will find that the low-end is emphasized. The highs are crisp and clear while the mids are more balanced. The microphone within the model works excellently by capturing ambient sound to improve the noise cancellation. In addition to this, it can also listen to voice commands, regardless of how noisy your surroundings are.
There are plenty of very good noise cancellation headphones out there. However, the price point is equally high. However, Sony has risen to the challenge. The WH-XB900N not only offers better ANC than its competitors, but it is also priced very reasonably. At this price, the ability to adjust and control the level of background noise is something one can witness very rarely. You can always adjust the settings so that the ANC allows more ambient sound.
Among the top headphone apps, Sony takes the lead. It is one of the best companion apps if you want to tinker around with the settings and more advanced features. The headphones feature an Adaptive Sound Control toggle that aims to understand what you are doing as you don on the headphones. This could be sitting, walking, and so on. Once it detects the activity, it will try to adjust the ANC depending on the activity. If you want, you can adjust it manually as well. It also has a 360 sound feature where it will ask you for a picture of your ears. The app will then make related audio adjustments based upon these images. However, users have mentioned that there is no noticeable difference here.
With excellent audio, stylish aesthetics, and a functional app, the Sony WH-XB900N is truly a great purchase. With regards to the battery, the company claims that the headphones can last you for about 30 hours on one charge. However, practically speaking, it can easily give you 40+ hours. Exceptional comfort and user-friendly controls all play a role in making this headphone one of the best in the market right now. The only drawback we see here is the lack of a proper carry case. However, you can always get one separately.