Sony WH-XB700 Wireless HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
6.4
Mixed Usage
6.6
Critical Listening
6.4
Commute/Travel
6.8
Sports/Fitness
6.5
Office
5.5
TV
5.2
Gaming
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.

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6.5

Design

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, but it may feel cramped and uncomfortable after a while. In this case, if you do prefer an over-ear fit then consider the WH-XB900N instead.

Style

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
Weight : 0.43 lbs
Clamping Force
:
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
Ease of use : Decent
Feedback : Great
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : No
Channel Mixing
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through
:
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
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
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
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

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

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
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.

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Headshots 1
Headshots 2
6.6

Sound

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
Std. Err.
:
4.25 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
:
10 Hz
Low-Bass
:
6.82 dB
Mid-Bass
:
4.39 dB
High-Bass
:
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
Std. Err.
:
3.33 dB
Low-Mid
:
-2.51 dB
Mid-Mid
:
-3.97 dB
High-Mid
:
-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
Std. Err.
:
5.63 dB
Low-Treble
:
-3.66 dB
Mid-Treble
:
-3.54 dB
High-Treble
:
-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.

7.0 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
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
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.22
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
0.56
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
2.22
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
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
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
3.05 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
1.71 dB
PRTF Distance
:
11.84 dB
Openness
:
5.2
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
3.7
Correlated Crosstalk
:
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
Weighted THD @ 90
:
7.047
Weighted THD @ 100
:
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

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
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-12.2 dB
Bass
:
0.59 dB
Mid
:
-9.65 dB
Treble
:
-28.41 dB
Self-Noise
:
21.56 dB

The noise isolation performance is poor. The Sony WH-XB700 are active noise canceling, like the WH-XB900N, 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
Leakage Audio
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
:
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

Integrated
:
Yes
In-line
:
No
Boom
:
No
Detachable Boom
:
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
Recorded Speech
:
LFE
:
190.27 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
:
3.7 dB
HFE
:
2751.68 Hz
Weighted THD
:
3.187
Gain
:
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
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
:
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

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
Battery Type
:
Rechargable
Battery Life
:
25.4 hrs
Charge Time
:
3.4 hrs
Power Saving Feature
:
No
Audio while charging
:
No
Passive Playback
:
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
App Name : Sony| Headphones Connect
iOS : Yes
Android : Yes
Mac OS : No
Windows : No
Equalizer
:
Presets
ANC control
:
No
Mic Control : No
Room effects
:
Yes
Playback control
:
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

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
Bluetooth Version
:
4.2
Multi-Device Pairing
:
No
NFC Pairing
:
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
OS Compatibility
:
Not OS specific
Analog Audio
:
Yes
USB Audio
:
No
PS4 Compatible
:
Audio Only
Xbox One Compatible
:
Audio Only
PC Compatible
:
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
Type
:
N/A
Optical Input
:
N/A
Line In
:
N/A
Line Out
:
N/A
USB Input
:
N/A
RCA Input
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
:
N/A
PC Compatible
:
N/A
Power Supply
:
N/A
Dock Charging
:
N/A

The Sony XB700 don’t have a dock.

9.6 Wireless Range
Obstructed Range
:
54 ft
Line of Sight Range
:
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
Default Latency
:
206 ms
aptX Latency
:
172 ms
aptX(LL) Latency
:
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 headphones
  • 1/8” TRS audio cable
  • USB to micro-USB charging cable
  • Manuals

Compared to other Headphones

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
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

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.

JBL T450BT Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

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.

Bose SoundLink On-Ear Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

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.

AKG N60NC Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

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

6.4 Mixed Usage

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.

6.6 Critical Listening

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.

6.4 Commute/Travel

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.

6.8 Sports/Fitness

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.

6.5 Office

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.

5.5 TV

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.

5.2 Gaming

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.

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