It’s no secret that our and many others’ references in noise reduction headphones are Sony WH-1000XM3. With that in mind, one might suspect that the Sony WH-XB900N is a little brother. You get a bag for storage and not a case. The audio cable is the same, but you do not get an aircraft adapter. On the other hand, they have the same modern USB-C charging cable.
Construction and comfort
The XB900N not only resembles the 1000XM3, they could have been molded into the same shape. They are available in the same black color, but the alternative is blue instead of silver. The bells can be both folded flat and angled together. Thus, you can choose which joint they fit best in the luggage. The feeling of quality is excellent, and since Sony has borrowed the construction from the luxury model, we feel confident in the durability. The padding is also recognizable, even if the pads do not have the same memory foam. They are therefore comfortable even with prolonged listening.
Features and handling
The headphones are charged with the same USB-C cable as the mobile phone, and can be quickly charged for 10 minutes for one hour of listening. Sony is known for going all-in with features, and the XB900N is no exception. They are mainly controlled with touch controls, which for once work well. All features are controlled from the excellent app, such as automatic noise reduction level, surround sound, 360 sound, sound enhancements, programming of the buttons and an EQ setting.
Sound quality and noise reduction
The latter is the rescue as XB in the name stands for Xtra Bas, and it is no exaggeration. If you love pumping bass, it is an advantage, but for the rest of us you should turn it down. Then you get a completely excellent sound quality. Even the noise reduction is better than expected in the class. Of course, it does not reach the same levels as its big brother, but the XB900N has clearly borrowed technology and experience. The noise reduction also does not affect the sound quality to a greater extent.
While Sony’s luxury model is the king of noise reduction, the WH-XB900N is the rebellious prince. Thanks to the same shape, they sit comfortably even for longer periods of time, the battery life is excellent and the handling is surprisingly good despite touch controls. The app contains more features than you knew you needed, but above all you can adjust the bass. It is the only thing we have to notice when it comes to sound. Even the noise reduction is clearly better than average.