- Table of Contents
- Active Features
In the box
Sony WH-H900N / h.ear on 2
The Sony WH-H900N (h.ear on 2) are above-average wireless noise-canceling headphones for most use cases. They have the same design and look as the original Sony MDR-100AAP (h.ear on), but they're sturdier and more comfortable. They have a well-balanced sound that delivers in the bass range and still sounds detailed with instruments and vocals. Unfortunately, their noise isolation is a little weak which won't be ideal for noisier environments and they take quite a bit of time for a full charge, which is a bit disappointing.
- Great audio reproduction.
- Comfortable and well-built design.
- Mediocre-at-best noise canceling.
- Very long charge time.
The Sony WHH900N (h.ear on 2) are an updated design of the original MDR-100AAP. They have a sturdier build quality that feels more durable, thanks to the denser and wider headband. They also have thicker pads on the ear cups which makes them more comfortable than the originals despite being slightly heavier. They have the same touch-sensitive control scheme as the Sony WH-1000XM2, which is above-average but lacks good auditory feedback. Unfortunately, although they fold into a more compact format they will still be a bit too cumbersome to comfortably carry around on your person. They also come with a soft pouch that feels a little cheap for their price range, especially when compared to the hard cases of the other Sony models.
The Sony H900N are an updated wireless, noise-canceling version of the MDR-100AAP. They have the same overall design, but they look and feel a bit more premium, thanks to the thicker and sturdier build quality. They have the same oval ear cups, and the headband is also pretty much identical except both are slightly denser and feel more durable. They also come in a variety of color schemes to match your style or outfit, but the flashier colors may not be for everyone. The matte Black/Gray finish looks decently high-end but the headphones do not feel quite as premium as the WH-100XM2 or some of the other wireless over-ears like the Beoplay H9.
The Sony h.ear on 2 are a bit more comfortable than the original Sony h.ear on (MDR-100AAP). They have thicker pads and decently sized cups that are not too tight on the head. They're also decently lightweight although much heavier than the MDR-100AAP since they are wireless and noise canceling, which requires a bit more electronics and a battery. Unfortunately, the ear cups are a slightly smaller than average when compared to some other over-ear headphones, which might not be ideal for all listeners. Also, the ear cup pads have a rather hard frame underneath that shouldn't bother most listeners, but may become an issue for some, during longer listening sessions (once the pads are a bit more compressed from being on your head).
These headphones have a decent touch sensitive control scheme similar to the WH-1000XM2. You control the volume level by swiping up and down. Skipping tracks is done by swiping left or right. For playing and pausing tracks, you tap once and to take and end calls you tap twice on the touch-sensitive surface. They also have a dedicated noise canceling button that cycles through the noise canceling/ambient mode. Also, similar to the higher end WH-1000XM2, you can quickly enable an aware feature by covering the right ear cup, which may come in handy in some situations (like being at the airport or on a bus, and momentarily needing to pay attention to announcements, without removing your headset). Feedback is decent, but since it's a touch-sensitive surface, you have to rely on the audio cues, which is not always ideal.
- 100% Avg.Temp.Difference
Like most closed back over-ear headphones, the Sony WH-H900N will make your ears fairly warm during long listening sessions. They won't be the ideal choice for sports or intense workouts but they're relatively average for most headphones with a similar design. They should be okay for most casual listening activities.
The Sony WH-H900 are average over-ears with a collapsible design that makes them somewhat decently portable. They will fit into smaller bags once folded, but unfortunately, like most over-ears, they're a little cumbersome to carry around on your person. They also come with a mediocre pouch that isn't ideal for carrying them around in your backpack.
The build quality of the Sony WH-H900 feels much sturdier than the original h.ear on. The frame design is similar but thicker and wider which be able to handle stress a little better. The ear cups are also denser, and the hinges are not as loose and click into place once unfolded, which feels much more durable. Unfortunately, the design is mostly plastic, and although the headband is reinforced with a metal frame, the plastic outer cover could crack relatively easily when stretching them out somewhat similar to the Beats Solo3's headband. Overall, they are average for most wireless over-ears but won't be as solid or as premium as the Beo Play H9 or the Sony WH-1000XM2.
These headphones are moderately stable. They're a bit better than the MDR-100AAP since they're wireless and no cable will get tangled in your clothes or yank the headphones off your head when running. However, since they're also heavier, they tend to move around a bit more when you tilt your head. They are not sports headphones and they will slip off your ears if used while doing high-intensity exercises at the gym.
The Sony WH-H900N is a great sounding pair of closed-back over-ears. They have an excellent, deep, and consistent bass, a great, clear, and even mid-range, and a very good and well-balanced treble. This makes them a very versatile pair of headphones suitable for a wide variety of genres from bass-heavy EDM and Hip-hop, to vocal-centric rock, folk, and jazz. They also have great imaging. However, their treble response is a bit uneven and high in harmonic distortion, and like most other headphones, they don't have a speaker-like soundstage.
The Sony H900N have an excellent bass. LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 10Hz, which is great. Low-bass, responsible for the thump and rumble common to bass-heavy music, mid-bass responsible for punch, and high-bass responsible for warmth are all within 1.5dB of our neutral target. Overall, the bass of the Sony is deep, well-balanced, and punchy, without sounding boomy or muddy.
The mid-range performance of the WH-H900N is excellent. The response throughout the range is even, flat, and within 1.5dB of our neutral target. This results in a well-balanced mid-range, and a clear reproduction of vocals and lead instruments.
The treble range performance of the Sony WHH900N is great. The response is rather uneven, but well-balanced throughout the range. Low-treble and mid-treble are within 1.5dB of our neutral target. This suggests a well-balanced reproduction of vocals, lead instruments, and cymbals.
The Sony WH-H900N have a good frequency response consistency. In the bass range, the delivery is exceptionally consistent across our five humans subjects. This is most likely due to the active noise canceling system of the H900N and resembles the bass consistency of the QuietComfort 35 II and the WH-1000XM2. In the treble range, the maximum deviation below 10KHz is 7dB indicating that their treble delivery is sensitive to positioning.
The imaging performance is great. Weighted group delay is at 0.16, which is very good. The GD graph also shows that the group delay response is almost entirely below the audibility threshold. This ensures a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test unit were very well-matched in amplitude, frequency, and phase response. This is important for the accurate placement and localization of objects (voices, instruments, video game effects) in the stereo field.
The soundstage performance is sub-par. The PRTF graph shows a good amount of ear activation and interaction, but it's not very accurate and there's not a good 10KHz notch present either. This and the closed-back design of these headphones results in a soundstage that is perceived to be located inside the listener's head.
The harmonic distortion performance of the WH-H900N is below-average. The overall amount of THD produced in the bass and mid ranges is within decent limits. However, the treble range shows elevated amounts of THD, which could make the sound of those frequencies a bit harsh and brittle.
The Sony WH-H900N (h.ear on 2) have mediocre noise canceling. They create a fairly decent seal around your ears that blocks higher frequencies, however, their noise cancellation is not strong enough for the rumbling sounds of an engine or the ambient chatter of a noisy bus ride. On the upside, since they do have a fairly good seal they do not leak as much as some of the other over-ears we've tested, so you can turn up the volume of your audio to mask some of the ambient noise in louder environments.
The active noise canceling performance of the Sony WH-H900N is below-average. In the bass range, where the rumble of airplane and bus engines sits, they achieved about 9dB of isolation, which is about average. In the mid-range, important for blocking out speech, they achieved 11dB of isolation, which is decent. In the treble range, occupied by sharp sounds like S and Ts, they isolate by more than 30dB, which is good.
The leakage performance of the Sony H900N is decent. The significant portion of their leakage is between 1KHz and 3KHz, which is a narrow range. The overall level of the leakage is not very loud either. With the music at 100dB SPL, the leakage at 1 foot away averages at 39dB SPL and peaks at 57dB SPL, which is slightly above the noise floor of most offices.
The integrated microphone of the Sony WH-H900N is below-average. In quiet environments, speech recorded or transmitted with this mic will sound relatively thin and noticeably muffled and lacking in detail. In noisy situations, it will struggle to fully separate speech from background noise, even in moderately loud environments, like a busy street.
The recording quality of the integrated microphone is below-average. The LFE (low-frequency extension) of 243Hz means that speech recorded/transmitted with this mic will sound relatively thin. The HFE (high-frequency extension) of 2.9KHz results in a speech that is noticeably muffled and lacking in detail. However, speech will still be decently understandable, since speech intelligibility is most dependent on the 500Hz-4KHz range.
- 100% SpNR
The integrated microphone of the WH-H900N is mediocre at noise handling. It achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 15dB in our SpNR test. This indicates that it is best suited for use in quiet environments, since it will struggle to fully separate speech from ambient noise, in loud and even moderately loud conditions.
The Sony WHH900N have decent active features. The battery life is good, but they are very slow to charge, one of the worst we have tested. There is a quick charge feature, so if you just need them to get you through the commute a 10-minute charge should deliver about an hours worth of playback. They can be used passively with the provided audio cable, but Bluetooth will not work while charging. The available Sony companion app is easy-to-use with average features. You can adjust the EQ to your personal preference as well as adjust the soundstage by adding room effects.
The Sony H900N have good battery life, easily lasting a day, but they are very long to charge, taking almost 6 hours for a full charge. On the upside, there is a quick charge feature that will give about an hour of playback time on a ten-minute charge.
When in Standby, the battery will stay charged for a maximum of about 200 hours with noise canceling disabled and about 48 hours with noise canceling on.
They support passive playback, so they can be used when the battery is dead or while charging, but only wired.
The Sony WH-H900N works with the Sony | Headphones Connect app, available for iOS and Android. The app is well designed and intuitive and offers a good selection of features. From the app you can control the equalizer through built-in presets or by individual parameters. Room effects can also be added or adjusted to change the soundstage to your personal preference. The noise canceling feature can also be controlled, but there is no button mapping feature or auto-off timer/standby time settings.
- 10% Bluetooth
- 32% Wired
- 10% Base/Dock
- 22% Wireless Range
- 25% Latency
The Sony WH-H900N headphones have poor connectivity. Pairing is easy with NFC, but they cannot be paired to multiple devices simultaneously and you have to repair them each time you want to switch, for example between your phone and PC. They can be used wired for when the battery is dead with their provided 1/8'TRS audio cable, but there is no inline microphone to use with your consoles. Wireless range is good, and they perform well indoors with lots of obstacles, but unfortunately, like most wireless Bluetooth headphones, the audio latency is too high for watching videos or gaming.
- 79% Multi-Device Pairing
- 20% NFC
- 0% PS4 Compatible
- 0% Xbox One Compatible
The Sony H900N is easy to pair thanks to NFC compatibility. Unfortunately, they cannot switch between multiple devices and have to be repaired each time. Pairing with non-NFC devices like a PC is done by pressing and holding the power switch.
They are not directly compatible with PS4 or Xbox One via Bluetooth.
- 13% Analog
- 9% USB
- 26% PS4 Compatible
- 26% Xbox One Compatible
- 26% PC Compatible
The Sony WH-H900N come with a 1/8" TRS cable that gives them a secondary connection option instead of Bluetooth. There is no inline remote and audio cannot be transferred through the USB charging cable. When wired they can be connected to game consoles through the controller connection.
- 4% Optical Input
- 22% Line In
- 4% Line Out
- 22% USB Input
- 4% RCA Input
- 9% PS4 Compatible
- 9% Xbox One Compatible
- 9% PC Compatible
- 2% Power Supply
- 13% Dock Charging
These headphones do not have a base or docking station. If you are looking for a versatile headset that can also be used wired with a base, check out the SteelSeries Arctis 7.
The Sony WH-H900N have a good wireless range indoors and a decent outdoor range. Indoors the range is sufficient for most apartments, you can walk around with the headphones without losing the connection.
The Sony WH-H900N have high latency, too high for watching movies or tv shows. They also support aptX HD for higher quality wireless playback, but the latency is higher than with standard Bluetooth playback.
In the box
- Sony WH-H900 (h.ear on 2) headphones
- Audio cable
- Carrying pouch
- USB charging cable
Compared to other Headphones
The Sony h.ear on 2 are great-sounding wireless over-ears with a mediocre-at-best noise-canceling performance. They have a decently sturdy build quality and although they're a little heavier than the original h.ear.on, they are still fairly lightweight. They have a surprisingly well-balanced sound that you can also customize via the Headphones Connect App, and a decently long battery life. Unfortunately, their noise canceling is a little weak, especially when compared to some of the more travel-friendly headphones below. They also take very long for a full charge, which is a little disappointing.
The Bose QuietComfort 35 II are a minor update to the Bose QuietComfort 35 with a better control scheme. You now have a bit more control over the noise cancellation even without the app. They're still one of the best noise-canceling headphones with a more comfortable design than the Sonys, and they're also easier to use. Unfortunately, their sound quality cannot be customized like the WHH900, and they also tend to leak a bit more at higher volumes. If you want the more comfortable headset and noise canceling is a high priority for your busy commutes, then get the QC35 series 2. However, if you mostly care about sound quality and do not want to spend as much on your headset, then the Sony H900N are a good alternative.
The Sony WH-1000XM2 have better noise cancellation and a more premium design compared to the WH-H900n. They have a good sound and a decent amount of customization options. However, they do not sound as balanced as the h.ear.on 2 out-of-the-box. On the upside, they're one of the best noise canceling headphones we've measured, which makes them the better choice for commuters and travelers. So if you need the most isolating pair of headphones for a noisy flight or a busy commute, then get the WH-1000XM2. However, the WH-H900N are a great sound ding and cheaper alternative that is above average for most use cases.
The Beats Studio3 Wireless have a slick-looking design that's versatile enough for most use cases. They have an excellent wireless range and a good battery life that charges much faster than the Sony WH-H900N. They're also a bit easier to use than the Sonys but have no customization options and slightly inconsistent sound and isolation performance. The h.ear.on.2 have more features and options than the Studio 3 wireless and the sound better balanced, however, both perform similarly well for most use cases so your choice will depend more on your preference. Unfortunately, the Studio 3 have no passive playback so if you're often on the road with no opportunities to charge, get the Sonys instead.
The Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless are a more versatile headset than the Sony WHH900N. They have a bit more customization options with their app and sleeker design that also stable enough for sports. They're also comfortable and isolate better than the Sonys, but they do not sound as balanced out-of-the-box. On the upside, they have a better battery performance that doesn't take as long to charge, and they have a lot of power saving features which means they will rarely run out of power. They come with a versatile audio cable that's compatible with consoles, they also provide audio via their micro USB connection and they have a good enough wireless range for most use cases. The Sennheisers are a slightly better choice with more customization options than the Sonys, but the WH-H900 are a bit cheaper and sound better out of the box which makes them a good alternative for some.
Questions & Answers
If you wear glasses, try the headphones without glasses to see if the better seal improves the bass. However, our tests show that when noise cancelling is on, the Sony can detect a poor seal and compensate their bass response accordingly. So that probably isn't the issue.
Before asking a question, make sure you use the search function of our website. The majority of the answers are already here.