Recently, we reviewed Sony’s latest TWS earbuds, and here we are, with the latest of their over-the-ear headphones. If the WF-1000XM4 features a balanced sound profile, the WH-XB910N is specially made for bass lovers as Sony brands the XB series as Extra Bass.
The headphones are available in black and blue colours, and we received the blue version. The device has a nice matte finish on the exterior with a rougher pattern on the headband. The top of the band has a faux leather wrapping on the exterior along with a soft cushioning pad at the inner surface. The earpieces rotate about 120 degrees, flex about 30 degrees to adjust to the contours of your head and can be folded inward for storage. The headphones come in a sleek oval-shaped hard fabric case, which also includes a USB-C to USB-A cable and an aux cable. The overall finish feels premium, and the top of the pivot area has a glossy finish that enhances this feel. The Sony branding on both ends of the headband completes the styling. The left earpiece houses the physical controls and ports, which include the power button, noise cancellation/ambience button, 3.5mm aux jack and USB-C charging port. The right earpiece looks plain, but the broad flat surface hides a touch panel that can be used to pause or play music, control volume and switch the tracks. You can also make use of the Quick Attention mode by placing your hand over the right earcup, which pauses noise cancelling mode momentarily, allowing you to listen to ambient sound. At 252 g, the headphones are quite light. The soft earpads are comfortable and do not cause any discomfort or pain even with extended use.
The WH-X910N uses a 40 mm driver unit and features dual noise-cancelling with feedforward and feedback mics on each side. The noise cancellation is effective but not quite the best we have experienced in premium headphones. The device supports 360 Reality Audio for an immersive experience with a suitable audio input. The headphones offer 48 ohms impedance in wired connection with the unit turned on, and 16 ohms while it is turned off. This makes it compatible with most smartphones and other low-power devices, irrespective of the type of connection. The headphones are compatible with LDAC codec for high-res audio playback in Bluetooth mode. As mentioned earlier, this device is made for thumping bass, and it remains true to this assigned role. In fact, the device is a bass lover’s haven, bringing out those fine reverberations in percussion. The Headphones companion app offers adaptive sound control, switching the sound profile according to your location and status. It offers a number of equaliser presets such as Bright, Excited, Mellow, Relaxed, Vocal, Treble Boost, Bass Boost, and Speech, along with Manual and two Custom modes so that the sound is always within your control when you are on a call or listening to music. Though you can tweak the sound via custom modes to bring up the mids and highs for some balance, it still remains faithful to bass. If you are using an iPhone, you can tweak the sound even better from the EQ mode.
The XB910N can be paired with two devices over Bluetooth, and the headphone intelligently switches between the two inputs. However, when paired to a laptop and a smartphone, the 910N would pause music played on the laptop when there is an audio notification on the phone and would not resume playback automatically. The headphones are stated to provide up to 30 hours of battery life, and we found this to be quite close. Of course, this depends on the volume of playback and ANC. You can top up the battery quickly for 10 minutes for up to 4.5 hours of extra playback with an optional AC adapter.
The device offers voice control with Google Assistant and Alexa.
WE’RE IMPRESSED Multi-device connection, high-res audio support, comfortable fit, good battery life, companion app
WE’D IMPROVE Some sound leakage observed, playback doesn’t restart after phone notification
THE LAST WORD These headphones offer good comfort and convenience. True bass enthusiasts will appreciate its sound profile.