Last modified: December 8th, 2022 at 12:45 pm
The WH-XB910N Wireless Headphones are yet another entry into the (terribly named) Sony headphones lineup.
As the new entry into Sony’s Extra Bass headphones family and successor to the XB900N’s, the WH-XB910N’s are designed with one thing in mind. Bass. A lot of it. And in that regard they don’t disappoint.
Bass lovers will love these headphones. They produce punchy, powerful lower frequencies – ideal for genres like hip hop, EDM, dance and trap. Not so good for less bassy genres, though. As the lows can often be overpowering, and EQing in the Sony Connect app doesn’t always remedy the problem.
Asides from the bass, they possess all the features you’d expect in a premium set of headphones: great ANC, ambient mode, microphones for phone calls and responsive touch controls.
But as I’ve said, if you’re not addicted to bass you’d be better off buying the WH-1000XM4 headphones, as they produce more rounded sound.
- Incredible bass capabilities
- Effective ANC/Ambient modes
- Long-lasting battery
- Plain design
- Bass can sometimes be overpowering
- No IP resistance rating
The WH-XB910N headphones cost $450. This puts them right at the top of the price range in line with the Bose QuietComfort 45 headphones that cost $480 and the Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones that cost $400.
The design of the WH-XB910N headphones doesn’t stand out. I’ve said in previous Sony headphone reviews: why change a winning formula? However, these are the 4th pair of Sony headphones I’ve used (in the space of a year) that look identical to the ones that came before. It’s getting boring.
For our review we were given the black version. They look good, but lack subtler details that make them stand out, at least a little. The Sony WH-1000XM4s aren’t exactly eyecatchers, but at least they have copper accents to make them look different. Whether this is a good thing or not is totally subjective.
The XB910Ns only come in two colours: black and blue. Both are subtle and uninteresting to look at.
These headphones are comfortable,lightweight, and have barely any clamp-force – meaning they don’t crush your head.
This is due to the headphones being entirely made of plastic. Which makes them feel cheaper than other premium headphones. But they come with a sturdy travel case, and I prefer a lighter pair of headphones on my head as opposed to heavy aluminium ones.
The earcups are covered with faux leather. It’s soft and comfortable but history suggests this material can be prone to cracking and tearing if it gets wet.
These headphones don’t have an IP rating. This means they aren’t resistant to water, sweat or dust. This seems to be the industry standard for over-ear headphones though as neither the Bose QuietComfort 45’s, Apple AirPods Max or Sony’s own WH-1000XM4’s have a resistance rating.
The touch controls are on the earcups and I found them responsive and accurate. You can adjust volume, skip tracks, play/pause music and take a call. The power button and the ANC/Ambient mode button are physical buttons located on the left earcup.
You can also use voice prompts. I never had any issues with this, the earcups have 2 built-in microphones and they picked up my voice well.
If it’s bass you’re looking for, the WH-XB910N’s are brilliant. The bass capabilities of these headphones are some of the best I’ve heard in a pair of headphones. They firmly put bass at the forefront of the mix.
If you’re a drum & bass, hip hop, EDM or trap listener you’ll love them. Listening to Slam by Pendulum was a cacophony of pumping, powerful bass hits and sub notes, it’s great. But it’s not without its drawbacks.
Listening to genres where bass isn’t the main focus, the audio can occasionally be overpowered by the lower frequencies. I found this was most obvious when listening to rock or alternative rock. Listening to Pretty Green by White Denim the bass would sometimes overpower the vocals making it sound slightly underwater. This wasn’t always the case though. Overall the sound quality is impressive, they’re just on a whole other level when listening to a bass heavy track.
I was able to temper the overpowering bass by using the EQ found on the Sony Connect app. But I did find it hard to find a nice balance and found I was often changing the EQ based on what I was listening to at the time. Which quickly became tedious.
I also didn’t find these headphones were able to get very loud. More often than not I had the volume above 80% even in a quiet room.
The ANC is very good. Sitting outside in loud areas or going for a walk alongside a busy road I was unable to hear anything around me.
The XB910N’s have Ambient Sound mode that can be customised in the Sony Connect app. This works exactly as it should. The headphones have 2x forward facing and 2x rear facing mics to pick up sound and play it into the speakers. After turning Ambient Sound on I was able to hear everything around me, even quieter sounds like birds chirping.
The headphones support multipoint connections in which you can Bluetooth connect to two devices at the same time. This only works if you’re listening to music on one device and are connected to a secondary talking device, i.e. an MP3 player and a smartphone. This makes it a bit useless as everyone listens to music on their smartphones now. It also doesn’t support being able to seamlessly switch between two music playing devices (a smartphone and a smartwatch) like you can with the WH-1000M4s, which is disappointing.
The WH-XB910Ns boast a 30 hour battery life. This is plenty. Even with the headphones at high volumes they easily lasted me almost a full week without needing to charge them.
If you do get caught low on battery the headphones support fast charging and will provide an impressive 4.5 hours of battery after a 10-minute charge.
Charging is done through the USB-C port on the bottom of the left earcup.
The WH-XB910Ns are a premium pair of headphones designed with bass in mind.
They come with most of the features you’d expect for $450. The ANC is effective, ambient sound mode can pick up even the quietest sounds, the battery life is massive and they’re comfortable.
If you mainly listen to bass genres then you’re going to love these headphones. The bass capabilities here are some of the best I’ve heard.
If you aren’t a bass junkie, it’s hard to recommend them over Sony’s flagship over-ear headphones the WH-1000XM4’s which are cheaper, at $400, and have a more rounded sound for all genres.