Review: Sony WH-XB900N

Good noise-cancelling has become cheap

Sony's budget model Sony WH-XB900N borrows from the luxury model and thus becomes impossible to beat.

Sony WH-XB900N
Sony WH-XB900N

Our verdict

Good build quality and convenience. Easy handling. Feature-rich app. Excellent sound and noise reduction.
Well dominant bass if you do not adjust down EQ.
  • Type: over-ear, closed, wireless, active noise reduction
  • Connection: 3.5 mm, BT 4.2, AAC, aptX HD, LDAC
  • Microphone: yes
  • Element: 40 mm
  • Frequency range: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Battery life: up to 32 hours
  • Weight: 254 grams
  • Web: sony.com
Show more
Show less

Price: £ 150

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.

XB900 is a pure copy of the luxury model 1000XM3, and is also a leader in its price range. (Photo: Sony)

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.

Despite the fact that they can be folded so well together, the joints are powerful and the headphones feel robust. (Photo: Sony)

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.

For once, a touch control that works properly. (Photo: Sony)

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.

The app is packed with all the features imaginable. (Photo: Sony)

Conclusion

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.

 

Thanks for reading Tech Reviews.

Create your free account or to continue reading.

Lost your password? Please enter your email address. You will receive mail with link to set new password.

.

Alternatives to Sony WH-XB900N

Philips Fidelio X3

Philips is back

For the price of a pair of noise-canceling headphones, the Philips Fidelio X3 delivers infinitely better sound.

Beoplay H95 spread

B&Os' best headphones

We have been wondering when the high-end class would get their first noise-canceling headphones. It is of course Bang & Olufsen who is first, and Beoplay H95 gives more taste!

Shure Aonic 50 lifestyle

Silencers with proper sound

Shure Aonic 50 has perhaps the best sound we have heard from noise-canceling headphones.

Takstar HF 580

Chinese luxury on a budget

Planar headphones are usually very expensive. But Takstar HF 580 manages to bring high-end technology into something everyone can afford.

Affordable Noise-Canceling Headphones

Peace and quiet at the home office

Affordable noise-canceling headphones filter out unwanted interference and allow you to enjoy the silence.

Ikko OH10 Obsidian

Chinese precision tools at a low price

The special edition of ikko's earplugs Ikko OH10 Obsidian gives you monitor sound directly in the ear canal - without emptying your wallet.

Marshall Monitor II ANC

Marshall's travel headphones

Marshall's best wireless headphones Marshall Monitor II ANC have been equipped for long-haul flights.