Sony WH-XB910N Headphone Evaluation: Cool Copycat


professionals

  • prime class consolation

  • strong noise cancellation

  • nice battery life

Sony’s bass-friendly noise cancellation sports activities flagship options at a mid-range worth.

These cozy cans sport strong noise canceling, bass-friendly sound, and Sony’s best-tooled Headphone Join app. To maintain prices down, Sony has decreased the variety of exterior ANC microphones from 5 to 2. The corporate has additionally produced a Beats-like sound profile that will not enchantment as a lot to audiophiles, however delivers the rumbling bass that many fashionable listeners love. Past that, you are still getting Sony’s glorious adjustable EQ and adaptive noise-canceling modes, similar to on the flagship XM4. It is a sturdy package deal for $250, all informed.

The XB910N, however, will be seen as a much less succesful model of the XM4, which retails at $348 however can frequently be discovered on-line for round $280—about $30 greater than the XB910N. Except you are actually strapped for money, the XM4s are higher at noise cancellation and extra balanced of their sound profile, making them price the additional $30. After all, we won’t predict the longer term, however it’s fairly doable that the XB910N will likely be obtainable at a cheaper price than the XM4. If yow will discover them across the holidays for about $200 (or much less), they’re properly price grabbing.

About Sony WH-XB910N

Listed below are the essential specs of the XB910N at a look:

  • price: $249.99
  • Fashion: on the ear
  • Ambient Sound Mode: Adaptive sound management (noise cancellation and ambient sound)
  • battery life: As much as 30 hours with ANC, as much as 50 hours with out
  • Fast Charging: 10 minutes of charging for 4.5 hours of playback
  • Idle Operation: Sure (3.5mm cable included)
  • Voice Assistant: Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant Suitable
  • weight: 252 grams
  • bluetooth model: bluetooth 5.2
  • color’s: black Blue

credit score: Reviewed / Lee Nekirk

Together with the headphones, you are getting a compact zip-up carrying case, a 3.5mm cable for passive listening, and a USB-C charging cable.

Within the field, you are getting headphones, an attractive and compact zip-up case, a USB-C charging cable, and a 3.5mm cable for passive listening. We obtained our Sony WH-XB910N overview pattern on mortgage from Sony.

what we like

Excessive-end match at a mid-level worth

We like quite a bit about Sony’s high-end headphones just like the XM4 and XM3, not the least of which is their consolation—and the WH-XB910N would not break from that custom, regardless of being notably low cost the place the MSRP With relation to .

The XB910N is a massively profitable copycat. My spouse and I had been sporting each the XM4 and XB910N alternately and will barely inform the distinction.

credit score: Reviewed / Lee Nekirk

The WH-XB910N (proper) is almost equivalent in weight and type issue to Sony’s top-tier WH-1000XM4 (left).

Objectively, the variations are additionally negligible. Each headphones weigh round 252 grams, and have the identical quantity of padding on their ear cups and bands. The XB910N is not as modern because the pricier XM4, which has considerably bulkier ear cups, which, regardless of roughly the identical weight, give them a extra clamp-on, close-in really feel. To cite my spouse, “There appears to be additional padding [compared to the XM4]however that does not make them any extra snug.” I utterly agree with that evaluation.

Regardless of that slight added density, although, the XB910N continues to be fairly snug, and Sony deserves kudos for offering the consolation and type issue of its flagship headphones in a product that retails for $100 much less.

they’re straightforward to make use of

Absolutely capacitive faucet and swipe contact controls had been considered one of our favourite options within the XM4 and XB910N observe suite. Adjusting quantity, leaping ahead or backward by playlists, taking part in/pausing music, or taking calls are all managed through contact controls on the fitting cup floor. After utilizing the XM4 extensively, I discovered it extraordinarily intuitive to manage, and was ready to make use of the XB910N correctly.

credit score: Reviewed / Lee Nekirk

Controlling the XB910N is dealt with totally by contact/swipe controls, along with the ability and ANC mode buttons on the again of the left ear cup.

Even when you have not used some of these contact controls earlier than, relaxation assured that they are straightforward sufficient to be taught when you’ve got an hour or so to make use of them. You will discover just a few issues to contemplate on the left cup as properly, together with the primary energy button, a fast toggle button for ANC/transparency mode, and inputs for each a USB-C charging cable and a 3.5mm cable for passive listening. ,

If you happen to’re a bodily button die-hard, I encourage you to attempt the contact controls on a few of Sony’s upper-end headphones. As soon as you’ve got bought gestures beneath your fingers, it is a refreshingly easy method to management issues.

nice battery life

One other sturdy go well with for the XB910N is their battery life. You will get about 30 hours of playback (with ANC) per cost, and virtually twice that with out ANC. It is basically the identical nice battery life you get from the flagship XM4, and higher than the just lately launched Bose QC45 for $100 much less.

fairly good noise cancellation

One of many main bodily variations between the XB910N and the flagship XM4 is the quantity of devoted microphone for ANC. The XM4 has 5 microphones, whereas the XB910N solely has two. It does make a distinction, however not a lot that the noise cancellation nonetheless is not an excellent addition to the entire package deal.

credit score: Reviewed / Lee Nekirk

Whereas the XB910N would not sport the identical stellar ANC because the pricier XM4, what you get is definitely ok for many use instances.

In a side-by-side comparability, I can nonetheless hear the occasional ambient noise at house or out and concerning the XB910N that the XM4 manages to dam. Issues just like the truck’s brakes and even my very own tapping on the keyboard break by the XB910N’s cancellation, whereas the XM4 does a greater job of persistently silencing these breakout, high-pitched sounds.

After all, many noise cancellation falls wanting the XM4, which had been our top-rated ANC headphones till just lately; (Bose’s QC45 take that respect now). That mentioned, for what you are paying, the XB910N’s noise cancellation—and its automated adaptive modes, that are mentioned within the subsequent part—is definitely ok for most individuals who do not thoughts the world round them. Hoping to settle down.

Stellar Options and Extras

As said earlier, the most effective issues concerning the XB910N is the majority of what you get with the flagship XM4.

This contains Sony’s full Adaptive Sound Management Suite, which is designed to adapt to your actions whereas optimizing noise cancellation for varied real-world conditions. For instance, once I write whereas sitting right here, it defaults to “staying” mode. However once I stand up to stroll, a chime will likely be heard once I finally shift to “strolling” mode. There are additionally “Operating” and “Commuting” modes and many others., every tuned to optimize the quantity of cancellation to be more likely to be encountered by the person throughout the exercise.

You possibly can view (and regulate) all of this virtually instantly within the Sony Headphones Join app, an important a part of getting essentially the most out of the XB910N. Not solely are you able to toggle noise cancellation, ambient sound, and even wind noise discount within the app, however that is additionally the place you will discover adjustable EQ and EQ presets.

credit score: sony

Sony’s Headphone Join app offers a powerful suite of how to optimize the XB910N’s sound and operation

These EQ presets are particularly helpful for decreasing the XB910N’s very bass-heavy sound. If you happen to do not just like the sound (which is sort of bass-heavy even on the bass-reducing presets), it is fairly straightforward to leap round till you discover one thing that fits you higher. Whereas I take pleasure in bass simply as a lot as the following individual, I am a fan of the extra balanced sound you will get from pricier over-ear cans, and I’ve discovered myself defaulting to the “Brighter” EQ preset, which amps up the bass a bit. Reduces whereas boosting the higher center and treble frequencies of a hair.

Whereas I would not name it a promoting level, the Sony XB910N deserves some reward for together with Sony’s proprietary 3D audio mode in 360 Actuality Audio. Like Apple’s Spatial Audio Mode, the 360 ​​RA is a dynamic/immersive encompass sound imitator designed to permit music and sounds to seem round you in a round soundstage. It is a actually enjoyable method to expertise music and a few actions, however the content material can be restricted and restricted in some providers like Tidal HD.

That is solely a part of what you are able to do within the app. The sheer quantity of flexibility and customization obtainable is a large win for the XB910N, and goes a great distance towards minimizing their singular flaw.

what we do not like

a little bit bass

The XB910N actually leans into their “Further Bass” designation, and if it weren’t for the sonic flexibility supplied by the app’s EQ presets and customized EQ mode, I would be a little bit hard-pressed to suggest these headphones.

Because it stands, most listeners will likely be high-quality with the XB910N’s sound by default, however when you’re searching for a flatter, extra balanced soundscape, you will should do some tinkering. Even on presets that declare to decrease the bass by seven or eight ranges, there’s nonetheless plenty of ramblin to cope with on the low finish.

To my ears, the additional punch can muffle issues a bit and it lacks a sure brightness—however the “shiny” EQ preset does sufficient to resolve it, making it a light criticism quite than a serious downside. She goes.

Must you purchase them?

Sure—However Wait Till the Worth Drops

Proper now, Sony’s greatest competitors for the XB910N comes from Sony. Except you are loopy for Sony’s “additional bass” sound, and extra energy for you, the value level is fairly shut between the promoting worth of the XB910N and the XM4. The net worth of the XM4 frequently drops to round $280 (or much less). For under $30 distinction, we’ll get the XM4 each time.

Nevertheless, comparisons apart, the XB910N continues to be a superb “actual” worth. For $250, they do a blazing job emulating one of the best elements of the XM4, which is just about saying one thing—contemplating these headphones record round $100 extra. They’ve additionally inherited one of the best software program features of Sony’s flagship headphones. If it weren’t for the XM4, we would be speaking about what an excellent worth the XB910N is.

What you can purchase all comes at a low price: If you happen to can snag the XM4s for $280 or much less, they’re not possible to cross up. If not, or if the XB910N drops a sale of its personal, they may very well be an effective way to get many of the loot within the cut price from Sony’s flagship pair.

meet the examiner

lee nekirk

lee nekirk

Editor, House Theater

@ koanshark

Lee has been the purpose of overview for many tv and residential theater merchandise since 2012. Lee obtained Stage II certification in TV calibration from the Imaging Science Basis in 2013. As editor of the house theater vertical, Lee oversees critiques of TVs, displays, and soundbars. and bluetooth speaker. He additionally critiques headphones, and has a background in musical efficiency.

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