Preferred headphones store
Reviewed on Jun 06, 2019 , Jake Thauvette, Marc Henney, Sam Vafaei, Yannick Khong

Sony WH-XB700 Wireless
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

Test Benches:

  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2017
  • 0.9: Winter 2016
6.4
Mixed Usage
What it is: This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
6.6
Critical Listening
What it is: The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
6.4
Commute/Travel
What it is: How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
6.8
Sports/Fitness
What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
6.5
Office
What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
5.5
TV
Score components:
5.2
Gaming
Score components:
Type : On-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Sony WH-XB700 Extra Bass Wireless are okay on-ear headphones. They have a very dark sound profile which will be better suited for bass-heavy music. They are decently comfortable for on-ear headphones, but their large cups almost feel like over-ears. They also feel slightly cheap due to the thin and lightweight plastic used for their build. On the upside, they have good battery life and also support NFC.

Test Results
Design 6.5
Sound 6.6
Isolation 5.4
Microphone 6.3
Active Features 6.6
Connectivity 5.9
Pros
  • Decently comfortable on-ear fit.
  • Good and easy to use controls.
  • Good battery life.
Cons
  • Dark sound profile.
  • Sub-par isolation performance.
  • Plasticky and fragile build quality.

Check Price

6.5

Design

Score components:
Sony WH-XB700 Wireless Design Picture

The Sony WH-XB700 are plasticky closed-back on-ear headphones. Their design feels a bit cheaply made and doesn’t seem very durable. They also don’t fold into a more compact format, which makes them harder to carry around. On the upside, they are fairly comfortable, but their cups are large for on-ears. This means people with smaller ears almost get an over-ear fit with these, which may feel cramped and uncomfortable after a while. The longer you wear these headphones, the less comfortable they become.

Style
Sony WH-XB700 Wireless Design Picture 2

The WH-XB700 are pretty bland-looking on-ear headphones. Their cups are fairly large for on-ears and they almost look like over-ears. Their overall build is made from cheap plastic and they look a bit fragile, especially once in your hands. On the upside, their headband is well-padded and the pleather coating looks nice on the ear cups. They also come in navy blue.

7.0 Comfort
What it is: Adjustability and degrees of freedom, pressure, stiffness and weight.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used for long durations.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Sony WH-XB700 Wireless Comfort Picture
Weight : 0.43 lbs
Clamping Force
What it is: The force that the headphones exert on your head, once you have them on. This is purely a measurement of the force applied, which does not take into account the earpad's surface area and the resulting pressure you will feel, on or around your ears.
When it matters: The tighter the headphones, the more force they put on your head. This can get uncomfortable or cause pain and soreness during long listening sessions.
:
0.7 lbs

The Sony WHXB700 are decently comfortable for on-ears, but they don’t fit as well as the Skullcandy Grind or the Bose SoundLink On-Ear. The padding on the headband and cups is comfortable, but the material used feels a bit cheap once on the skin. Their cups are fairly large for on-ear headphones, which may squeeze the top of your ears and cause discomfort after a while. On the upside, the headphones aren’t tight and feel lightweight.

7.5 Controls
What it is: The control scheme of the headphones, the number of functions provided, button layout and ergonomics as well as the quality of tactile feedback.
When it matters: If you want to control volume, pause your music or make phone calls without directly interacting with your audio device.
Sony WH-XB700 Wireless Controls Picture
Ease of use : Decent
Feedback : Great
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : No
Channel Mixing
What it is: Being able to mix audio channels directly on the headphones.
When it matters: This is most useful when using a separate chat software so that you can mix in-game audio and chat audio depending on your needs.
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through
What it is: A transparency feature that uses the mics of the headphones to let you hear what is doing on around you without removing them.
When it matters: If you want to be aware of what is going on around you without removing your headphones or while still listening to your audio. This is typically a feature for the noise canceling headphones and passively isolating in-ears that block a lot of noise.
Good value: Yes or adjustable.
:
N/A
Additional Buttons : Voice enabled controls

The Sony WH-XB700 have a fairly easy-to-use control scheme. On the right ear cup, you get volume controls and a multipurpose button. You can play/pause your music or manage calls, skip tracks forward or backward with multi-presses, and trigger your voice assistant by holding the button down. On the left ear cup, you have the power button, which you can press to hear battery life information, and a “custom” button. Unfortunately, this button only lets you trigger your device’s voice assistant, and the customization possibility is only related to which voice assistant you set in the app. On the upside, the buttons offer great tactile feedback; you also get very clear audio and voice prompts.

6.6 Breathability
What it is: How hot the headphones get when you wear them for an extended period of time.
When it matters: If you often have long listening sessions or use your headphones while doing physical activities like running or working out.
Score components:
Sony WH-XB700 Wireless Breathability After Picture
Avg.Temp.Difference : 5.2 C

The Sony WH-XB700 aren’t the most breathable on-ears due to their large cups that almost act as closed-back over-ears. They trap a bit of heat under the ear cups, and you should feel a noticeable difference in temperature when working out with these. On the upside, since they don’t completely seal off your ears, there’s a decent amount of airflow, but you still might sweat more than usual. This shouldn’t be a problem for casual listening sessions.

6.2 Portability
What it is: The volume of space occupied by the headphones when folded into their most compact format.
When it matters: If you're often on the move and need to carry your headphones in a bag, purse , or pocket.
Score components:
Sony WH-XB700 Wireless Portability Picture
L : 7.4 "
W : 6.2 "
H : 1.8 "
Volume : 83 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

These headphones are not very portable since you can’t fold them into a more compact format. On the upside, their cups swivel to lay flat, which makes it easier to carry them around your neck or slide in a bag. Unfortunately, they don’t come with a case to protect them when you’re on the go.

0 Case
What it is: The provided carrying options to protect your headphones when transporting them.
When it matters: To prevent damaging your headphones, if you often carry them in your bag or pocket.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Type : No case
L : N/A
W : N/A
H : N/A
Volume : N/A

These headphones don’t come with a case or a pouch.

6.5 Build Quality
What it is: Durability, material quality, cheap/expensive feel.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used by multiple users (classes/studios), by children, in tough conditions, on a daily basis, or for exercise.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Sony WH-XB700 Wireless Build Quality Picture

The WH-XB700 aren’t the most durable headphones. Their overall build is made from thin and cheap plastic that feels fragile. The pleather padding used also feels a bit cheap, especially on the cups. On the upside, their headband is pretty solid and reinforced with a metal sheet, while still being fairly flexible. They will probably survive a few accidental drops without too much damage, but their overall feel doesn’t feel very sturdy and looks to be subject to wear and tear.

7.0 Stability
What it is: How the headphones are designed to prevent them from slipping off your ears or falling off your head.
When it matters: If you plan on using the headphones while doing sports or other physical activities that requires a lot of movement.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Sony WH-XB700 Wireless Stability Picture

The Sony XB700 are not the most stable, as they don’t create a seal around your ear but simply sit on them. They could be used for a light run, but they aren’t the best option for more intense physical activity. On the upside, since they are wireless, you won’t have to worry about having a cable in your way or getting hooked on something, which would yank the headphones off your head.

Cable
Sony WH-XB700 Wireless Cable Picture
Detachable : Yes
Length : 4.0 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRS

The Sony WH-XB700 come with a 4ft 1/8” TRS audio cable to use them passively and also come with a short micro-USB to USB charging cable.

Top
Headshots 1
Headshots 2
6.6

Sound

What it is: How accurately the audio is reproduced. The tests are performed with the headphones' most commonly used features enabled (noise-cancelling, wireless, etc.)
Sony WH-XB700 Wireless Frequency Response

The Sony WH-XB700 are okay-sounding closed-back on-ears. They have a very overdone bass that is thumpy and boomy, and a good mid-range that is well-balanced but underemphasized. This will result in vocals and lead instruments to be thinned out and pushed to the back of the mix. Additionally, their treble is sub-par and lacks detail and brightness since it's rather veiled. Overall, these headphones are better suited for bass-heavy music and won’t be the best option for vocal-centric music.

7.1 Bass
What it is: Frequency Response from 20Hz-250Hz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on bass frequencies, such as those of kick drums and bass guitar.
Score components:
Sony WH-XB700 Wireless Bass
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in bass frequency response (20Hz-250Hz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) bass performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
4.25 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
What it is: The lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: Shows how extended the bass is.
Good value: <40Hz
Noticeable difference: 5Hz
:
10 Hz
Low-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 20Hz-60Hz.
When it matters: Kick drums and low frequency effects get their 'thump' from this range. Mostly felt than heard.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
6.82 dB
Mid-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 60Hz-120Hz.
When it matters: Melodic bass instruments have most of their fundamental frequencies in this range. This is where the 'body' and 'punch' of the bass sits.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
4.39 dB
High-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 120Hz-250Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments get their warmth and full-ness from this range. When over-emphasized, mixes tend to get muddy and boomy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.38 dB

The bass performance of the WH-XB700 is decent. Their LFE (low-frequency extension) is down to 10Hz, which is excellent. The whole response throughout the range is overemphasized, which makes the bass overly done. Low-bass is over our target curve by about 7dB, which will add a lot of thumpiness to their sound. Some fans of bass-heavy genres may like this. Mid-bass, responsible the body of bass guitars and the punch of kick drums, and high-bass, responsible for warmth, are over our target by 4db and 2dB respectively. This will make the bass boomy and muddy.

7.5 Mid
What it is: Frequency Response from 250Hz-2KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on mid-range frequencies. This is the case for the majority of audio content.
Score components:
Sony WH-XB700 Wireless Mid
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in mid frequency response (250Hz-2.5KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) mid performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
3.33 dB
Low-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 250Hz-500Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments have their fundamentals or low harmonics in this range. Over-emphasis in this range sounds muddy and cluttered. Under-emphasis, thins out the vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-2.51 dB
Mid-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 500Hz-1KHz.
When it matters: This range is occupied mostly by upper harmonics. Over-emphasis sounds forward and boxy. Under-emphasis pushes instruments to the back of the mix.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-3.97 dB
High-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 1KHz-2KHz.
When it matters: Most instruments, especially vocals, get their intensity and clarity from this range. Over-emphasis sounds honky and harsh, under-emphasis sounds weak and distant.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-2.66 dB

The mid-range is good. The response throughout the range is well-balanced and flat, but it is also noticeably mostly under our target curve by about 3dB. This will thin out vocals and lead instruments on top of pushing them to the back of the mix. The underemphasis in high-mid results will have a negative effect on their intensity and projection.

5.3 Treble
What it is: Frequency Response from 2KHz-20KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on high-range frequencies, such as voice, cymbals, and any other material where brightness, brilliance and airiness is desired.
Score components:
Sony WH-XB700 Wireless Treble
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in treble frequency response (2.5KHz-20KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) treble performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
5.63 dB
Low-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 2KHz-5KHz.
When it matters: Almost all instruments rely on this range for their presence, detail, and articulation. Over-emphasis can sound harsh and painful. Under-emphasis hurts the comprehensibility of vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-3.66 dB
Mid-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under emphasis in frequency response from 5KHz-10KHz.
When it matters: This is the sibilance range. Cymbals, vocals, and lead instruments rely on this range for brightness and presence. Over-emphasis sounds piercing and painful, under-emphasis sounds dull and lispy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-3.54 dB
High-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 10KHz-20KHz.
When it matters: This range gives brilliance and airiness to the sound. Over-emphasis sounds hissy, under-emphasis sounds closed-up and lifeless.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-0.23 dB

The Sony WH-XB700 have sub-par treble performance. There is a large and deep dip in the treble response, which greatly affects the detail and brightness of vocals, leads, and sibilants (S and T sounds) around those frequencies. However, not everyone hears the treble frequencies the same way and their delivery is quite inconsistent. The graph here shows the average response and your experience may vary.

Raw Frequency Response
What it is: The average uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. For in-ears and earbuds, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the dummy head (HMS). For over/on-ear headphones, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the HMS (Head Measurement System) for the mid and treble ranges, and 5 measurements/re-seats on 5 human subjects for the bass range.
When it matters: This is for those who want to see the raw and uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. Some of the more advanced users, are able to read and evaluate headphone frequency response in its raw form and without compensation. This will be especially useful to them if they have their own headphone compensation/target curve, which may differ from the compensation curve/target response used by RTINGS.com.
7.0 Frequency Response Consistency
What it is: The amount of deviation of each frequency response pass, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Score components:
Sony WH-XB700 Wireless Consistency L Sony WH-XB700 Wireless Consistency R
Avg. Std. Deviation
What it is: The average amount of deviation in frequency response of 5 re-seats, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.61 dB

The frequency response consistency of the WH-XB700 is decent. They are quite consistent when it comes to their bass delivery and we measured very minimal variation. However, their treble delivery is quite inconsistent, even under 10kHz. We measured almost 20dB of deviation around that region, which is very noticeable and indicates that these headphones' audio delivery is quite sensitive to the fit and positioning on the head.

8.6 Imaging
What it is: Imaging qualities are inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'reproduce' them rather than 'create' them. They determine how accurately the objects are positioned in the stereo image, and how transparent the imaging is.
When it matters: When accurate positioning of the objects in the stereo image, and clear and transparent imaging is desired.
Sony WH-XB700 Wireless Group Delay Sony WH-XB700 Wireless Phase Response
Weighted Group Delay
What it is: The average amount of group delay calculated based on a perceptual weighting filter. Group delay indicates how long it takes for each frequency to reach their maximum amplitude. This is a monaural quality and can be perceived even with one ear.
When it matters: Headphones with lower group delay have more transparent imaging and a tighter bass. Headphones with higher group delay in the bass range tend to have a wimpy and loose bass, and headphones with higher group delay in the treble range tend to have a less transparent imaging.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.22
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
What it is: The Left/Right balance of our test unit, that is, the amount of amplitude difference between the left and right drivers. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When a properly balanced stereo image and low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates a noticeable difference in level between the left and right drivers.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.56
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the frequency response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance, is desired. A poor score indicates there may be 'holes' in the stereo image at certain frequencies.
Good value: <2
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.22
Weighted Phase Mismatch
What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the phase response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates there may be inaccuracies in the stereo image reproduction at certain frequencies.
Good value: <16
Noticeable difference: 3
:
2.73

Their stereo imaging is great. Weighted group delay is at 0.22, which is very good. The GD graph also shows that their entire group delay response is within the audibility threshold. This ensures a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test unit were well-matched in amplitude and phase but had a small mismatch in frequency. This is important for the accurate placement and localization of objects (voices, instruments, video game effects) in the stereo field. However, these results are only valid for our unit and yours may perform differently.

5.5 Soundstage
What it is: Soundstage qualities are not inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'create' them rather than 'reproduce' them. They determine whether the sound is perceived to be coming from inside or in front of the head, how open and spacious the soundstage is, how much the headphones acoustically interact with the environment, and how strong the phantom center is.
When it matters: When an accurately produced, large and spacious soundstage, similar to that of a stereo loudspeaker setup is desired.
Sony WH-XB700 Wireless PRTF
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
What it is: The standard deviation of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: An accurate pinna activation is mainly responsible for how natural and speaker-like the soundstage is perceived to be. The less error in the shape of the PRTF, the more natrual and speaker-like the perception of the soundstage will be. High amounts of error may indicate a soundstage that is unnatural or odd.
Good value: <2.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
3.05 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
What it is: The average amplitude of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to that of a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is responsible for the perceived size of the soundstage. The higher the value, the larger the perceived size of the soundstage. However, values above the reference (5.0dB) could result in a soundstage that is perceived as unnatural or odd.
Good value: >3.7
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
1.71 dB
PRTF Distance
What it is: The depth of the "10KHz notch" of the headphone's PRTF, which is caused by phase cancellations at the concha. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is mainly responsible for the perceived distance and elevation of the soundstage. A small distance value may result in a soundstage that is perceived to be located inside the head. Larger values may help pull the soundstage out from inside of the head and bring it to the front.
Good value: >13
Noticeable difference: 1
:
11.84 dB
Openness
What it is: How open the headphones are, and how open and spacious they sound. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test differentiates between acoustically and electronically produced crosstalk and only takes the acoustically generated crosstalk into account. This value is the inverse of the Noise Isolation test score, and could be indirectly related the acoustic impedance of the headphones.
When it matters: When a headphone with a sense of an open, and spacious soundstage is desired. A value of 10 indicates a fully open headphone, and a value of 0 indicates a fully closed headphone.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
5.2
Acoustic Space Excitation
What it is: How loud the headphones are, and how much they excite their environment acoustically. If the headphones are loud and open enough, the sound leaking from the headphones will be affected by the environment (reflections/reverb) before reflecting back into the open headphones and to the listener's ears. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This value is the inverse of the Leakage test score.
When it matters: Headphones with higher excitation values, similar to openness, tend to have soundstages that are perceived as more open and spacious.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
3.7
Correlated Crosstalk
What it is: How strong and solid the phantom center is. This is mostly a stereo quality and its effects on mono content are minimal. This test is sensitive to the phase of the crosstalk and whether it is produced acoustically or electronically.
When it matters: When a true reproduction of the stereo image is desired. A value of 0 indicates no crosstalk, or that the existing crosstalk is not correlated enough to affect the phantom center. A negative score means the crosstalk is out of phase with the original signal, resulting in a slightly wider stereo image at the expense of creating a 'hole' at the center of the stereo field. A positive score means the crosstalk is in phase and positively affecting the phantom center.
Good value: >1dB
Noticeable difference: 0.3dB
:
0.0 dB

The WH-XB700 have poor soundstage. The PRTF graph shows a poor amount of pinna activation and it also isn’t accurate. Also, the notch near 10kHz isn’t deep enough to bring their soundstage out of the listener's head. This and their closed-back on-ear design suggest a soundstage that is relatively small, unnatural, and won’t be speaker-like.

6.4 Total Harmonic Distortion
What it is: The subtle, unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Score components:
Sony WH-XB700 Wireless Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 90dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at moderate listening levels.
Good value: <0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
7.047
Weighted THD @ 100
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 100dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at loud listening levels.
Good value: <0.300
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
14.991

The harmonic distortion of these headphones is okay. The THD in the bass range is within a good limit but becomes elevated in the treble range. There’s also a small jump in THD at higher volumes, which means they might have trouble creating a clear sound at very high volumes. The peaks in THD across the mid and treble ranges could result in these frequencies sounding a bit harsh and impure.

5.4

Isolation

Score components:

The isolation performance of the Sony WH-XB700 is sub-par. These on-ears aren’t noise cancelling and don’t isolate against low-end noises like the deep rumble of bus and plane engines. However, they do a decent job against work environment noises like ambient chatter and A/C noise. Additionally, they aren’t very leaky on-ear headphones, but if you were to blast your music at high volumes in a quiet environment, people surrounding you will be able to hear what you’re listening to.

4.7 Noise Isolation
What it is: How much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on.
When it matters: If the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
Score components:
Sony WH-XB700 Wireless Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
What it is: The simulated noise isolation of the headphones, demonstrating how much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on. This recording is created using an EQ and is not an actual recording. For headphones with ANC (active noise cancellation), the playback simulates the isolation with ANC enabled.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
:
Overall Attenuation
What it is: The overall amount of environmental noise reduction in dB.
When it matters: In loud envinronments like planes, trains, offices, etc.
Good value: <-20dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-12.2 dB
Bass
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the bass range (20Hz-250Hz).
When it matters: When the outside noise is bass-heavy, like in airplanes.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
0.59 dB
Mid
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the mid-range (250Hz-2.5KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is mid-heavy, like in an office.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-9.65 dB
Treble
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the treble range (2.5KHz-20KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is treble-heavy. Although uncommon, areas with sharp sounds fall under this category.
Good value: <-30dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-28.41 dB
Self-Noise
What it is: The amount of noise created by the active electronics of the headphones (if applicable), measured from 300Hz-20KHz. Applies mostly to wireless and noise-cancelling headphones.
When it matters: If too loud, it could become distracting when listening to quiet material like podcasts and audiobooks.
Good value: <16dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
21.56 dB

The noise isolation performance is poor. The Sony WH-XB700 don't have active noise cancelling and don’t isolate in the bass range, meaning they will let in the rumbles of airplanes and bus engines, which won’t be the best option for public transit. In the mid-range, important for blocking out speech, they isolate by about 10dB, which is okay. In the treble range, they reduce ambient noise by about 28dB, which is decent for blocking out sharp sounds such as S and Ts and A/C noise.

6.8 Leakage
What it is: The amount of sound bleeding out of the headphones.
When it matters: When the listener doesn't want people around them (in office, recording studio, etc.) to hear what is being listened to.
Score components:
Sony WH-XB700 Wireless Leakage
Leakage Audio
What it is: The simulated sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal. This recording is created using an EQ and is not an actual recording.
When it matters: When you don't want people to hear what you are listening to.
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
What it is: The amount of sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal.
When it matters: When you don't want people hear what you are listening to.
Good value: <35dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
41.08 dB

The leakage performance is okay. The significant portion of the leakage of these headphones is concentrated in the mid and treble ranges, which means their leakage will sound fuller than that of in-ears, but won’t be as audible as open-back headphones. However, the overall level of the leakage is rather quiet. With the music at 100dB SPL, the leakage at 1 foot away averages at 41dB SPL and peaks at 55dB SPL, which is just above the noise floor of an average office.

6.3

Microphone

What it is: The microphone section shows the quality of speech capture and transmission by the mic, as well as how well the microphone under test handles noisy environments.
When it matters: For your speech to be transmitted to and understood properly by the listener, the microphone needs to have a good recording quality. If the environment the microphone is being used in is noisy, a microphone with a good noise handling performance would be needed as well.
Score components:
Integrated
What it is: The microphone integrated in the ear cup or ear bud of a wireless headphone.
When it matters: For calls, gaming and voice over IP software or for any other use of the microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
In-line
What it is: The microphone inside the in-line remote of audio cables for wired and wireless headsets.
When it matters: In-line microphone are usually better than integrated mics. If you need better recording quality and noise handling for calls, gaming and voice over IP software then use the audio cable of your wired or wireless headphone if it has an inline microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Boom
What it is: A typically better microphone, that's also adjustable and extends so that the mic is closer to your mouth.
When it matters: Much better recording quality and noise handling than in-line or integrated mics. Primarily used for gaming and voice over IP software.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Detachable Boom
What it is: A boom mic that is detachable from the headset.
When it matters: If you want to use your headphone outdoors without the bulk and hassle of the Boom mic.
:
N/A

The integrated microphone of the Sony WH-XB700 is mediocre. In quiet environments, speech recorded or transmitted sounds relatively thin, noticeably muffled, and lacking in detail. However, it will struggle to fully separate speech from background noise in moderately loud environments like a busy street. Also, while they come with an audio cable, it doesn't have an in-line remote and microphone.

6.3 Recording Quality
What it is: Microphone recording quality shows how natural, neutral, extended and intelligible speech would be with the device under test, in a quiet environment.
When it matters: A microphone with a good recording quality ensures that the person listening to you would hear a full, clear, and easily understandable speech. Therefore, it is important whenever a good quality of speech transmission and intelligibility is needed.
Score components:
Sony WH-XB700 Wireless Microphone Frequency Response
Recorded Speech
What it is: Actual audio recording of the headphone's microphone, recorded while placed on the dummy head, with speech being played back through the dummy head's mouth simulator.
When it matters: When a clean, full, and intelligible speech transmission is required.
:
LFE
What it is: Low-frequency extension shows how deep the bass response of the microphone is, and therefore, how deep and full your voice would sound to the listener. It is the lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: LFE is not a big factor in speech intelligibility and even speech recorded with a mic that has an LFE of 500Hz could still be easily understood. Therefore, it is mostly important if you are concerned with how deep and full your voice would be heard.
Good value: <150Hz
Noticeable difference: 30Hz
:
190.27 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
What it is: Frequency Response Standard Deviation shows how accurately and balanced sound is captured by the microphone at each frequency. FR Std. Dev. is calculated between LFE and HFE, and the rest of the spectrum is ignored.
When it matters: A good frequency response is desired when a natural and neutral speech quality is desired. As opposed to HFE which is more a metric for speech intelligibility, frequency response could be considered as a metric for a natural and neutral sound.
Good value: >3.5dB
Noticeable difference: 0.5dB
:
3.7 dB
HFE
What it is: High-frequency extension is the highest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response. It shows how extended the treble response of the microphone is.
When it matters: HFE is one the most important factors in speech intelligibility. The higher the HFE, the brighter, more open, and more extended the speech quality will be which makes it a lot easier to understand by the listener.
Good value: >8KHz
Noticeable difference: 1KHz
:
2751.68 Hz
Weighted THD
What it is: The unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies, which cause deformation of an output signal compared to its input.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 1.0
:
3.187
Gain
What it is: Shows how much louder the microphone can go above our reference loudness level. The gain value is reported relative to our reference level, which is 94dB at a distance of 5cm from the mouth.
When it matters: A microphone with a high gain is important when the input signal (speech) is very quiet. For example when whispering, or talking on the phone in a library.
Good value: >18dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
41.66 dB

The recording quality of the integrated microphone is mediocre. LFE (low-frequency extension) of 190Hz suggests that speech recorded/transmitted with this mic will sound relatively thin. The HFE (high-frequency extension) is at 2.8kHz, resulting in speech lacking detail and sounding a bit muffled, which is expected from most Bluetooth headphones' microphones.

6.2 Noise Handling
What it is: How well the microphone is able to separate speech from background noise, so that the transmission would include more voice and less noise.
When it matters: When a clean and intelligible speech transmission is desired in a noisy situation like talking on the phone on a busy street or on the bus.
Score components:
Sony WH-XB700 Wireless SpNR
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
What it is: Speech to Noise Ratio is the difference in level between speech and background noise as heard by the listener
When it matters: If the microphone is going to be used in a noisy environment, it is important for it to be able to separate the speech from background noise, so the voice would be easily audible and understandable.
Good value: >24dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
14.53 dB

The noise handling of the integrated microphone is sub-par. This mic achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 15dB in our SpNR test, indicating it is best-suited for quiet environments and may struggle to fully separate speech from ambient noise in moderately loud situations.

6.6

Active Features

What it is: Headphones with active components that require a battery. This includes noise cancelling and wireless headphones that actively reduce noise or transmit audio via a wireless connection.
When it matters: How suitable the power and wireless specifications of an active headphone will be, depending on your listening habits. The range and/or discharge time of the active headphone you select will be important if you're often on the move or have long uninterrupted listening sessions.
Score components:

The Sony WH-XB700 have very good battery life. With about 25 hours of continuous playback, this should be more than enough to last you the whole day even with heavy use, but their battery performance could have been a bit better with a customizable auto-off timer. They are also compatible with the Sony | Headphones app, which offers some customization options, but lacks a full EQ that can customize frequencies other than just the bass.

6.5 Battery
What it is: The power source of your headphones. All headphones with active features have a battery that will deplete over time.
When it matters: To continue using the active features of your headphones. Some models lose features or switch off completely when the battery is drained, which limits what you can do with them until the next charge.
Battery Type
What it is: The type of battery that the headphones use. Usually AAA or embedded, Li-ion rechargeable batteries.
When it matters: When your headphones run out of power. Rechargeable batteries usually charge via the headphones Micro-USB port whereas AAA batteries have to be replaced or charged with an external device.
:
Rechargable
Battery Life
What it is: The amount of time it takes for a headphones' battery to be completely drained. Battery life will vary depending on the active features used and volume level.
When it matters: For active headphones that connect wirelessly, have noise cancellation or other audio-enhancing features, that cease to work once the battery is dead.
Good value: >10hrs
Noticeable difference: 0.5hrs
:
25.4 hrs
Charge Time
What it is: The amount of time your active headphones have to be connected to a power source to charge from 0 to a 100%. However, charging time will vary depending on your power source.
When it matters: To be able to use the active features of your headphones. Especially, wireless ones that completely switch off and need to be recharged when the battery is dead.
Good value: 2h or less
Noticeable difference: 0.25h
:
3.4 hrs
Power Saving Feature
What it is: A feature that turns off the headphones, after a set time, when they're not in use.
When it matters: To prolong battery life when the headphones are not being used, or if you forget to manually turn off your headphones.
:
No
Audio while charging
What it is: Some active headphones remain usable while charging. They continue to stream audio and do not disable other active features.
When it matters: This makes sure that your headphones's battery are not being drained when you're relatively close to a power source. However, this means wireless headphones will need a wired connection to the power source during the charging process.
:
No
Passive Playback
What it is: Active headphones that still work when all their active features are turned off or out of power.
When it matters: If you run out of power and do not have spare AA/AAA batteries or access to a power source to recharge your headphones.
:
Yes

The Sony WH-XB700 have a pretty good battery life with over 25 hours of continuous playback time. This will be more than enough for long trips or a workday, and they won’t need daily charging, which is great. However, they take a bit more than 3 hours to fully charge, which is a bit long. On the upside, if you completely drain their battery, you can still use them passively with a 1/8” audio cable, which comes in the box.

7.0 App Support
What it is: The additional app provided to enhance your listening experience. They typically deliver a set of practical features that give you more control over the sound, noise cancelling and effects that the headphones produce.
When it matters: An app with a lot of features allows you to customize your listening experience to suit your taste and preferences. For example, additions like an equalizer can give you more bass or treble and room effects can simulate a bigger Soundstage in closed back headphones.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Sony WH-XB700 Wireless App Picture
App Name : Sony| Headphones Connect
iOS : Yes
Android : Yes
Mac OS : No
Windows : No
Equalizer
What it is: Parametric, graphic or preset sound profiles that slightly alter the frequency response.
When it matters: If you want to tailor, your listening experience. Depending on what you're listening to you may want more or less bass for some tracks or more mid-range for vocals-heavy audio.
:
Presets
ANC control
What it is: Control over the Active noise canceling technology. This could be either a simple on/off button, and adjustable slider or even adaptive self-regulating noise cancellation.
When it matters: If you're in an environment where you need to monitor your surroundings or completely isolate yourself from ambient noise.
:
No
Mic Control : No
Room effects
What it is: Room effects that enhance the audio quality to make it more immersive.
When it matters: If you want to further tweak your listening experience. Adding room effects, can simulate a more spacious Soundstage or deliver a surround sound-like feel.
:
Yes
Playback control
What it is: An in-app player that gives you access to play/stop, track skipping or volume controls directly with the app.
When it matters: It's a shortcut that allows you to control your audio without leaving the application.
:
Yes
Button Mapping : Yes
Surround Sound : No

The Sony WH-XB700 are compatible with the Sony | Headphones Connect mobile app, which is available on iOS and Android. The app offers control over the intensity of the 'Bass Effect' feature as well as various room effects that let you cycle through presets like Arena, Club, etc. While this does give you some customization options, it feels slightly limiting, and a full equalizer would have been preferable. You also get an in-app player and you can choose which voice assistant you want to set to the ‘Custom’ button.

5.9

Connectivity

What it is: The inputs and outputs of wired and wireless headphones, as well as their latency performance and range.
When it matters: To know how compatible your Bluetooth device, console or PC will be with your wired or wireless headset.
Score components:
  • 10% Bluetooth
  • 33% Wired
  • 10% Base/Dock
  • 22% Wireless Range
  • 25% Latency

These Bluetooth wireless headphones can also be used with a 1/8” TRS audio cable, even if their battery is completely drained. While they can’t be connected to multiple devices, you can pair them easily and quickly thanks to their NFC support. When used wirelessly, they have excellent wireless range and have about average latency for Bluetooth headphones, which might not be ideal for watching video content and gaming. However, you can nullify the delay by using them wired.

8.0 Bluetooth
What it is: Bluetooth support for wireless headphones.
When it matters: To connect wirelessly to Bluetooth sources like your phone, tablet, console, PC and TV.
Score components:
  • 80% Multi-Device Pairing
  • 20% NFC
  • <1% PS4 Compatible
  • <1% Xbox One Compatible
Bluetooth Version
What it is: The version of Bluetooth that the headphones support.
When it matters: Newer versions of Bluetooth, when paired with devices that support the same version, may have improved latency and wireless range performance.
:
4.2
Multi-Device Pairing
What it is: A Bluetooth profile that allows some headphones to be simultaneously connected to multiple Bluetooth sources, and have full call and media support on both/all devices they are connected to.
When it matters: To quickly switch between your Bluetooth sources. For example, switching from your phone to your home or work PC and still have call and media support on both devices.
Good value: 2 devices.
:
No
NFC Pairing
What it is: Near Field Communication technology that allows you to quickly, pair your headphones with your Bluetooth and NFC-enabled device.
When it matters: This makes pairing with an NFC-enabled device a lot easier than the typical and often tedious hold-to-pair procedure that most wireless headphones have.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes

These Bluetooth-compatible headphones can’t be connected to multiple devices at the same time, but on the upside, they support NFC, which makes their pairing procedure quicker and easier if you have an NFC-capable source too.

7.2 Wired
What it is: The type and compatibility of audio cables for wired and wireless headphones.
When it matters: For all devices with a regular audio jack (line-out) and also compatibility of the in-line remote/boom microphone with consoles and Personal computers.
Score components:
  • 13% Analog
  • 9% USB
  • 26% PS4 Compatible
  • 26% Xbox One Compatible
  • 26% PC Compatible
OS Compatibility
What it is: Testing the headphones' cable to see which operating system it works with.
When it matters: Some wired headphones don't support all operating systems so this allows you to check if the headphones will work with your device.
:
Not OS specific
Analog Audio
What it is: When your headphones can play analog media using a standard 1/8" TRS audio jack. Includes using a 1/4" or 1/16" TRS with a 1/8" TRS adapter.
When it matters: For listening to music with devices that have a standard 1/8" TRS audio jack, like an MP3 player, tablet, smartphone or PC.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
USB Audio
What it is: When your headphones can play digital media using a standard USB connector.
When it matters: For listening to music on a PC. A digital USB adapter can offer some advantages over a regular audio jack, like a DAC or added software support.
Good value: Yes
:
No
PS4 Compatible
What it is: PS4 compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PS4 controller.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio Only
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Xbox One compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your Xbox One controller.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio Only
PC Compatible
What it is: PC compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PC.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio Only

The Sony WH-XB700 can be used passively with a 1/8” TRS audio cable and will support audio on any device that has the appropriate jack.

0 Base/Dock
What it is: The base station, dock or dongle transmitter of wireless headphones that receive data/audio via a proprietary frequency range.
When it matters: Knowing the inputs and outputs of the base/dock/dongle as well as its compatibility with consoles and Personal Computers. Also whether the base supports dock charging to easily recharge the headphones without any cables.
Score components:
  • 5% Optical Input
  • 22% Line In
  • 5% Line Out
  • 22% USB Input
  • 4% RCA Input
  • 9% PS4 Compatible
  • 9% Xbox One Compatible
  • 9% PC Compatible
  • 2% Power Supply
  • 13% Dock Charging
Wireless Type
What it is: The type of wireless connection used by the base station/dock to communicate with the headphones.
When it matters: For latency and range. For example Radio frequency has low latency but mediocre range when obstructed and proprietary docks have their own 2.x GHz or 5 GHz frequency which varies in performance.
:
N/A
Optical Input
What it is: Optical input for audio.
When it matters: Optical can carry a bit more data at faster speeds than typical wired connection which allows for more high quality, lossless audio.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
Line In
What it is: The regular wired input via a 1/8" TRS audio jack.
When it matters: For any device that has a line out for audio transmission.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
Line Out
What it is: A regular 1/8TRS audio jack output.
When it matters: If you need to share the audio source with other devices. A line out lets you connect other headphones or speakers to the dock/base station.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
USB Input
What it is: A digital USB input instead of a typical 1/8 TRS line-in.
When it matters: A USB connection can provide both an audio input and power to the Dock or Base station.
:
N/A
RCA Input
What it is: Audio input using via an RCA connectors.
When it matters: Provides better stereo audio to the dock/base that's then transmitted to the headphones.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the PlayStation 4.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the Xbox One.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
:
N/A
PC Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with your Personal Computer.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Power Supply
What it is: The connector type of the power source for the base/dock/transmitter.
When it matters: The accessibility of the power source. For example a power supply with USB/USB-C connects to multiple devices, PC , PS4, Xbox One or even with your regular phone charger whereas a A/C adapter is less common.
Good value: USB/USB-C
:
N/A
Dock Charging
What it is: Charging the headphones via the dock/base station instead of a charging cable.
When it matters: It makes charging your headphones easier and gives you a sport to store your headphones when they are not in use.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A

The Sony XB700 don’t have a dock.

9.6 Wireless Range
What it is: Headphones that offer a cable-free listening experience over a wireless network, typically via Bluetooth or radio frequency.
When it matters: If you don't want to be limited by the length of an audio cable. This means having the freedom to move around in your home or office with a much greater range than an audio cable could provide, especially, if the Bluetooth source is heavy or difficult to carry. Note that wireless range also depends on your Bluetooth sources' signal strength which may vary from device to device or depending on your phone model.
Score components:
Obstructed Range
What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when the Bluetooth source was placed in another room. We test our obstructed range with a Moto E4 Plus. Results may vary depending on your phone model or Bluetooth source.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in an indoor environment. Although, the obstructed wireless range will slightly depend on your home or office layout. Note that wireless range also depends on your Bluetooth sources' signal strength which may vary from device to device or depending on your phone model.
Good value: >35ft
Noticeable difference: 5ft
:
54 ft
Line of Sight Range
What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when in direct line of sight of the Bluetooth device.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in a large and open environment.
Good value: 170ft or more
Noticeable difference: 10ft
:
267 ft

The Sony WH-XB700 have excellent wireless range. They have a remarkable range when the source is in direct line of sight, and with over 50ft of range when the source is obstructed you should be able to move around a small apartment or office without too many audio cuts. You should be able to walk to the next room over. However, wireless range is dependent on many factors, including your device’s signal strength, so your results may vary.

2.6 Latency
What it is: How long it takes for audio to play through your headphones once the audio signal has been sent from a source.
When it matters: When gaming or watching movies. High latency means you will hear the audio much later than the images you see on screen.
Score components:
Default Latency
What it is: The Base RF latency or the default sub-band coding (SBC) of most Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos a high latency can cause sync issues between the images you see and the audio you hear.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
206 ms
aptX Latency
What it is: An audio coding algorithm (Codec) that improves bit rate efficiency. It reduces latency and improves sound quality over Bluetooth.
When it matters: For better sound quality if your often streaming music over Bluetooth. Also it slightly improves latency when watching videos with wireless headphones.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
172 ms
aptX(LL) Latency
What it is: Low latency variation of aptX that significantly reduces sync issues between video and sound when using Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos or gaming latency is a lot more noticeable than just listening to music.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 5ms
:
N/A

The Sony XB700 have normal latency for Bluetooth headphones. Some people may notice a delay when watching video content or when gaming. They also support the aptX codec, which lowers their latency a bit. You can also use them wired if you want to watch video content without any delay.

In the box

Sony WH-XB700 Wireless In the box Picture

  • Sony WH-XB700 headphones
  • 1/8” TRS audio cable
  • USB to micro-USB charging cable
  • Manuals

Compared to other Headphones

Sony WH-XB700 Wireless Compare Picture

The Sony WH-XB700 are okay-sounding on-ear headphones that set themselves apart by their very bass-heavy sound profile. However, they don’t feel like the most durable on-ears due to their very plasticky build. See our recommendations for the best on-ear headphonesthe best wireless on-ears, and the best budget Bluetooth headphones.

Beats Solo3 Wireless

The Beats Solo3 Wireless are better on-ear headphones than the Sony WH-XB700. They have a more neutral audio reproduction and they feel noticeably sturdier than the Sonys. They give an impressive 40 hours of continuous playback and don’t take much time to charge fully. Additionally, you can take advantage of the W1 chip if you have an iOS device. On the other hand, the Sony WH-XB700 are better suited for bass-heavy genres and they support the aptX codec and NFC. They are also quite cheaper so they could offer better value for most, especially if you’re a fan of bass.

Bose SoundLink On-Ear Wireless

The Bose SoundLink On-Ear Wireless are better headphones than the Sony WH-XB700. They are one of the most comfortable on-ear headphones we’ve tested so far and their sound quality is better than the Sonys unless you are looking for a bass-heavy sound profile. They feel noticeably more durable and their battery performance is better thanks to lower charging time and a useful auto-off timer. On the other hand, the WH-XB700 have a decent app and support NFC. They also have better wireless range and support the aptX codec, which the SoundLink don’t.

JBL T450BT Wireless

The JBL T450BT Wireless are better sounding headphones than the Sony WH-XB700 unless you’re looking for a thumpy, bass-heavy sound profile, in which case you should go with the Sonys. Both headphones are built quite similarly, but the WH-XB700 come with an audio cable for you to use the headphones passively, which you can’t do with the JBLs. You get a longer battery life with the Sonys, and their wireless range is noticeably better. They also have a companion app that allows a bit of customization and they support the aptX codec, but their latency is a bit higher than the T450BT’s.

AKG N60NC Wireless

The AKG N60NC Wireless are better on-ear headphones than the Sony WH-XB700. They are noise cancelling on-ears and they have a better audio reproduction than the Sony headphones as well. They also feel better built, can connect simultaneously to two devices, and their latency is noticeably lower. On the other hand, you get a better battery life with the WH-XB700, although they do take longer to charge. Also, they have a decent app, which the AKG are lacking.

Conclusion

6.4Mixed Usage
What it is: This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
Okay for mixed usage. The Sony WH-XB700 have a very bass-heavy and dark-sounding audio quality, which won’t be great for critical listeners unless you listen to bass-heavy music. Their on-ear fit doesn’t isolate much noise and won’t be the best option to use during your daily commute or at the office. They can be an option for sports if you don’t mind the bulkier design of on-ears. They’ll be more breathable than over-ear headphones and they are fairly stable for a light run. However, due to their Bluetooth latency, they’ll be sub-par to use for watching video content or for gaming.
6.6Critical Listening
What it is: The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
Okay for critical listening. Their sound profile is very dark with an overly done bass range, pushed back vocals and leads, and a treble range that's rather veiled and lacks detail and brightness. They’ll be more suitable for people who listen to a lot of bass-heavy music and won’t be the ideal choice for vocal-centric genres. Also, they aren’t the most comfortable headphones to wear for long listening sessions and you can’t really EQ them, other than to play with their bass level.
6.4Commute/Travel
What it is: How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
Passable for commuting. These on-ear headphones don’t block low-end ambient noise like the deep rumbles of a plane or bus engine. This means they won’t be ideal for your daily commute, especially that they can get a bit leaky at higher volumes. On the upside, if you don’t mind the fact that they lack ANC, they have a good battery life that will last you for the longest trips.
6.8Sports/Fitness
What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
Acceptable for sports. The Sony WHXB700 won’t be as bulky as some over-ear headphones, and since they don’t completely seal around your ears they’ll be a bit more breathable as well. However, they are still big headphones and you could sweat more than usual when wearing these. They are fairly stable and their wireless design gets rid of the cable that could get in your way. They’ll be fine for a light run or to use at the gym for most.
6.5Office
What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
Okay to use at the office. The Sony WH-XB700 have a very good battery life that will last you for a full work day without a problem, and it won’t need daily charging, which is great. They don’t have the best isolation performance, but they do a decent job against work environment noises like ambient chatter and air conditioning noise. They also have excellent wireless range, which gives you a bit of freedom to move around. This is nice, considering you can’t connect them to multiple sources simultaneously.
5.5TV
Score components:
Sub-par for watching TV. These Bluetooth headphones might have too high latency for watching video content without noticing sync issues between the audio and video. However, if you’re watching shows or movies on your phone, you can easily use them wired to get rid of the latency issues.
5.2Gaming
Score components:
Poor for gaming. Their latency is too high to use them for this use wirelessly. You can connect them with their audio cable to get rid of the delay, but they still won’t be ideal for this use. They aren’t the most comfortable and their sound quality is a bit dark. Also, their microphone won’t work when wired on consoles, and when used wirelessly, the recording quality is mediocre, which won’t be good for online multiplayer games.

LOG IN

JOIN RTINGS.com

Be part of the most informed community and take advantage of our advanced tools to find the best product for your needs.
Join our mailing list:

Create Discussion