Sony WH-XB900N Noise Cancelling Headphones 2020 Updated Review
Discover these wireless, noise-cancelling headphones with a host of smart functions like, intuitive touch controls, Quick Attention for easy conversation, and a long battery life, all in a smart design that’s made for all-day listening with deep, punchy sound. In this article, we have a detailed review of the new Sony WH-XB900N Noise Cancelling Headphones.
About Sony WH-XB900N Headphones
As part of the EXTRA BASS™ 1 range from Sony, the WH-XB900N noise cancelling headphones enhance all your low-end frequencies for exceptional bass.
A dedicated bass duct on the headphone housing and increased air-tightness between the driver units and eardrums help to create precise, punchy rhythms that lift every track. Yet the headphones also maintain vocal clarity for a wonderfully rich, well-rounded listening experience.
Shut out the world and enjoy your own party for one with digital noise cancelling plus EXTRA BASS sound quality.
Near Field Communication (NFC) and Bluetooth® wireless technology remove the need for wired connections and complex set-up sequences. Simply touch your NFC-enabled device to the headphones for a quick, seamless connection, then start streaming your music collection. No NFC? No problem. Connect via Bluetooth and you’re ready to go.
Who were the WH-XB900N made for? It’s actually tough to say. But they’ve got a wide variety of features that’s certain to be attractive to a general audience. That’s all without mentioning how these headphones were also clearly made with an extra deep bass signature.
For people who are looking for some headphones with particularly deep bass, Sony’s WH-XB900N Extra Bass Headphones are certainly going to stand out.
- Feel the power of EXTRA BASS
- Next-level digital noise cancelling technology
- Enjoy the convenience of hands-free calling thanks to the integrated microphone and Bluetooth connectivity
- Get up to 30 hours of battery life
- Touch Sensor controls to pause play skip tracks control volume activate your voice assistant and answer phone calls
- Quick Attention Mode for effortless conversations without taking your headphones off
- Activate Alexa, the Google Assistant, or your voice assistant with a simple touch
- Optimize your sound settings with the Sony-Headphones Connect app
- High quality wireless audio with Bluetooth and NFC plus LDAC
- In the Box Carrying Pouch Connection Cable Headphone cable (approx 1 2m stereo mini plug) USB Cable Card Operating Instructions Reference Guide
Like the WH-1000XM3, the WH-XB900N has touch controls on the right ear cups (they work well), including one-button access to Siri, Google Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa voice assistants. You set up your voice assistant of choice (you can only use one) using the Sony Headphones Connect app for iOS and Android.
The “custom” button on the left ear cup can be programmed to access your voice assistant of choice (otherwise you access your voice assistant with a tap-and-hold on the right ear cup). However, the button’s default setting out of the box allows you to toggle through the various sound modes, which include noise canceling on and off.
Change the track, turn the volume up or down and take or make calls by tapping or swiping the touch panel on your headphone housing. For the Quick Attention function, just touch the right housing and the music volume is instantly reduced, enabling you to hear ambient sounds – from someone asking you a question in a cafe to announcements at a train station.
This model also retains a crowd favorite extra feature: The ability to muffle your music and let the outside world in by simply holding your hand over the right ear cup.
(Sony calls it “Quick Attention” mode, otherwise known as “ambient mode” or “transparent mode.”) Once you finish listening to someone — say, a flight attendant — you remove your hand and the music resumes playing at its previous volume, and the noise cancellation kicks back in.
Sony touts the WH-XB900N as having 30 hours of battery life, and it offers USB-C charging. A 10-minute charge gives you an hour of playback time.
As you might expect, the WH-XB900N makes use of Bluetooth for their wireless connection. More specifically, they’re using Bluetooth 4.2. Even though it’s not the latest iteration of Bluetooth, it still provides everything that you want for a pair of over-ear headphones like these.
You’d really only want to think about looking for Bluetooth 5 if you were trying to use true wireless earbuds that needed to sync together, or using a TWS feature between a pair of Bluetooth stereos for the same purpose. Since that’s not necessary for a pair of over-ear headphones, this wireless connectivity is more than passable.
The built-in mic is a pretty standard electret Bluetooth mic. Though not unique, using it is very easy and straightforward. Just double tap on the right side of the housing to answer calls, and swipe your finger up or down to make volume changes to your call. The mic itself isn’t exactly going to blow your mind with its efficacy, but you will find plenty of strong calling support from these headphones.
Alexa support is built-in to the WH-XB900N, and there’s also native support for Google Assistant. Between them, you can start asking questions of your voice assistant almost with the same ease that you can ask your smartphone. Plus, with a little configuration, it’s easy to set timers or stream music through whatever assistant you’re using.
The WH-XB900N are made with an extra layer of bass. And so all low end frequencies are enhanced to get a little more bump. That’s the result of a dedicated bass duct, built-in to the housing of these headphones.
At the same time, greater air-tightness has been established between the drivers and your ears. The end goal seems to be a much deeper and punchier sound, and they’ve done a great job of achieving it.
The rest of the tonal range seems focused on clarity, which is probably a good thing. None of that is too surprising, though it’s a little surprising to come from relatively ordinary hardware like this. Including standard 40mm drivers, capable of a full 20 Hz–20,000 Hz frequency response with 44.1kHz sampling.
One more thing that bolsters audio quality is the Quick Attention mode, which will reduce music volume quickly, allowing you to hear ambient sounds around you.
That way, you’re ready to hear announcements or answer questions. It’s sort of like a mute button. There’s also an ambient sound mode that works essentially the same way, except instead of just dropping your volume very low, it tries to find a nice balance between ambient sounds and music.
Who Should Choose Sony WH-XB900N Headphones?
Among the many headphones Sony releases every year, the WH-XB900N hardly stand out. But they do have a couple of things that help distinguish them.
The wired/wireless operation is pretty slick. Usually, the wired version of hybrid headphones doesn’t end up sounding as good as the wireless version. But in this case, you’ll find the wired version can actually sound as good or better than when you’re going wireless.
These headphones also have a much greater battery capacity than most of their competitors. They’ve got at least 10-hours more than the average pair. And that’s while also putting out a little extra bass, giving these headphones a much deeper and punchier sound. Even though these headphones are cranking up the bass, your battery lifespan doesn’t really suffer for it.