There is truth in its manik

April 3, 2022 0 Comments

The Sony Extra Bass (XB) lineup has always been a popular one in India with listeners who prefer base-heavy headsets. We’ve reviewed a number of XB headphones over the years, and with the promise of extra buses, they’re usually true to their moniker. The Sony WH-XB910N is a new entrant to the company’s XB lineup equipped with noise canceling capabilities. Priced at Rs 14,990, the WH-XB910N is cheaper than the company’s most premium noise-canceling headset – the acclaimed WH-1000XM4 – and comes with similar features. So, users who don’t want to spend more than 20K for a noise-canceling pair can find the Sony WH-XB910N more attractive in terms of price. Additionally, those who prefer more bass-powered sound signatures may be attracted to these headphones. However, how do these headphones perform and are they worth their price tag? Let’s find out this and much more in this review.

Sony WH-XB910N: Build and Comfort

Sony WH-XB910N Review

The design of the Sony WH-XB910N is reminiscent of the more expensive WH-1000XM4. The shape and styling are very similar but these headphones lack copper accents which gives the Mark 4s their aesthetic appeal. The WH-XB910N is simple and straightforward to look at, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. The headphones are also very light, weighing only 252g The weight is also distributed evenly and you will not feel any pressure at any one time while wearing the can.

Sony WH-XB910N Review: Construction and Design

The headphones have an over-ear design with a thick, plush foam ear cup. The bottom of the headband is also padded with foam, which makes these headphones extremely comfortable to wear. Urethane memory foam ear cups are slightly warmer after prolonged use. However, the headset is extremely comfortable to use in most situations, including walking, jogging or just sitting.

Sony WH-XB910N Review: Construction and Design

Headphones are very flexible so they should also fit large sized heads. Headband extenders also allow for adjustable flexibility, allowing heads of small or large sizes to wear headphones comfortably. The earpacks also rotate so that they sit flat on your chest when not in use. Headphones can also be folded, so they are easy to carry. Sony has provided a sturdy portable case with a fabric texture, which makes it convenient to carry headphones around.

Sony WH-XB910N Review: Construction and Design

The power and ANC buttons are located next to the left earcup. They are easy to press and have a very good touch response Below, you have a 3.5mm audio jack for idle listening to music using the given 3.5mm cable. There is also a USB Type-C port for charging. On the right, above the earcup is your touch-sensitive panel. You can use the touch panel to pause / play music, skip tracks, control volume levels, and activate voice assistant. The controls are simple, intuitive and work flawlessly during our testing

Sony WH-XB910N Review: Case

Inside the box, you’ll find your own headphones, a sturdy fabric-textured case, a 3.5mm audio cable, a USB Type-C charging cable, and some documentation.

Sony WH-XB910N: Features

The Sony WH-XB910N offers an array of features in the Sony WH-1000XM4 at a more affordable price for users. First, the cans are equipped with Active Noise Cancellation and Ambient Sound. The headphones are equipped with two feedforward and feedback microphones that capture ambient sound and either subdue it with ANC or amplify it through ambient sound mode.

Another great feature of these headphones is the Sony Headphones Connect app support. The app allows lots of features and customization access, including Sony’s AI-based adaptive sound control, 5-band customizable EQ, 360 reality audio setup, Sony’s DSEE upscaling technology, and voice assistant functions. The adaptive sound control function uses AI Smart to detect situations or actions around you and apply a noise-cancel mode accordingly. So, when you are walking, it turns on the ambient sound so that you can hear your surroundings and when you are sitting it turns on the ANC mode. You can change which activity in the app applies the word-cancel mode to your liking.

Sony WH-XB910N Review: Features

360 Reality Audio is available but there are not many apps in India that support this feature. In the case of DSEE, it improves and enhances digital files to bring them as close to the original recording quality as possible, according to Sony. You can toggle multipoint connectivity within the app that lets you connect two devices to headphones at the same time. Additionally, you can choose between Device Voice Assistant or Handsfree Voice Assistant (Google Assistant or Alexa) in the app. We’ve selected Google Assistant and used handsfree commands to get people to call, Assistant to read our notifications, and more. Overall, the app is very feature-rich and lets users have more granular control over the headphones.

As for the other features, the headphones come with a quick focus mode which is probably one of our favorite features to use in ANC headphones. Placing the palm of your hand over the right earcup activates the ambient sound and lowers the media volume, allowing you to have quick conversations or pay attention to announcements at the train station or airport. This is a nice feature that we really enjoy using and miss the other company’s headsets.

Headphones also support Google’s Fast Pair, which lets you connect headphones to your Android device in a matter of moments, and you can even ring to find them in the wrong place. The headphones also support the Swift pair, allowing them to easily connect to a Windows 10 PC via a pop-up pairing window.

Sony WH-XB910N: Performance

The Sony WH-XB910N headphones have 40mm dynamic driver and support SBC, AAC and LDAC audio codecs. LDAC is a high-quality codec that delivers 96kHz sampling at speeds of up to 990kbps, allowing for more detailed sonic presentation. The headphones are part of Sony’s XB (Extra Bus) lineup and they are true to that moniker. Although not as ridiculously downward as their predecessors – the Sony WH-XB900N – they are still in favor of the lower end of the frequency spectrum.

The can has a warm, V-shaped sonic signature with boosted bass and treble notes. The shaft is punchy and dynamic when the mids are recessed. This sonic signature lends itself to genres like Pop, Rap, EDM and Bollywood and will delight base lovers. However, audiophile and purists should turn their backs on this because the swollen alloy can clearly sound muddy at times and interfere with the clarity of the already-isolated midsoles.

Sony WH-XB910N Review: Sound Quality

In such tracks Another is biting the dust By The queen, The base notes boom and Mercury’s voice covers the details quite a bit. The word you get is quite one-dimensional and it doesn’t work with genres like classical and blues. The heights can also be a bit sharp and the drop off is not as precise as we would expect. Although the soundstage is wide and it feels like it extends beyond the boundaries of your head. Headphones also suffer from sound leakage, we have recorded sound leakage of more than 70dB, which is not ideal, especially when listening to music around other people.

Overall, the sound signature of these headphones is best suited for those who prefer base-biased headphones and not for those looking for a more natural and balanced sound. However, you can use customizable EQ in the app to create the word to your liking. We found that reducing the alloy and triple it a bit could really make a huge difference.

For ANC performance, it is not as effective as Mark 4s. Low, constant sounds are dealt with quite decently but more irregular, high-frequency sounds are suppressed altogether. Thus, sounds like the high-speed fan, the clicking of a mechanical keyboard, the sound of a train track, or talking to people, travel almost unhindered despite the ANC running. Cans are more efficient at dealing with sounds like AC hum, PC whirl, etc. Going into ambient sound mode, the given effect allows users to be aware of their surroundings, but the sound is a bit unnatural. The same is true of the Sony WH-1000XM4’s ambient sound mode, so Sony needs to do something about it.

Sony WH-XB910N Review: Microphone Performance

Wireless connectivity is exceptionally stable in these headphones. You get Bluetooth v5.2 which is a huge improvement over its predecessor v4.2. There was no lag or stutter in the connection and the delay is rarely noticeable unless you really look for it. If you are really perfect in this regard, you can use 3.5mm cable to listen passively without any delay.

Finally, when it comes to microphone performance, the Sony WH-XB910N does quite well in this regard. The headphones pick up the speaker’s voice and relay clearly with minimal distortion. The speaker’s voice may be a little loud at times, but the overall experience is a delight. The headphone microphone is best used in an indoor setting for meetings and calls. Outside, microphones pick up a lot of ambient noise which can make the calling experience worse.

Sony WH-XB910N: Battery life

Sony WH-XB910N Review: Battery Life

The battery life of the Sony WH-XB910N is nothing short of exemplary. You get 30 hours of wireless playback when the ANC is on, and more than 50 hours when the ANC is off. In our experiment, the headphones handle a playback time of 31 hours with the ANC turned on and set the battery level to 60 percent. Not only that, the headphones support fast charging. So, just plugging the headphones into a charger for 10 minutes gives you 4.5 hours of wireless playback time! This is extremely convenient and we did not have to charge the device through the week-long test steps. Although the headphones take about 3.5 hours to fully charge, which is a little more than desirable.

Sony WH-XB910N: Judgment

An affordable alternative to the Sony WH-1000XM4 and the dream of a bus lover, there is much more to the Sony WH-XB910N. Not only do you get ANC, app support and multipoint connection support, you also get a solid, robust build and excellent battery life. However, the ANC performance is not close to Sony’s flagship headset, so keep in mind. Although the sound signature is quite base-forward and can only satisfy hardcore bass lovers, purists and audiophiles should be viewed differently. There are options on the market in the same price range with more balanced sound signatures from Sennheiser and Jabra, but if booming base is your style, there’s no reason to look the other way.

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