The Sony WH-XB900N Wireless are fairly versatile headphones and are a more affordable alternative to the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless. While they feel more plasticky than the higher-end model and their ANC is just okay overall, they offer over 38 hours of continuous battery life, even though they take longer to recharge and have a comfortable fit. Although some users may find their bass-heavy sound profile a little overwhelming, it can be tweaked to your liking via the companion app's graphic EQ and presets.
The Sony WH-XB900N are adequate for mixed use. They're comfortable and have a bass-heavy sound profile that can easily be EQ’ed to your liking. However, while their ANC can reduce ambient office chatter, it struggles to cut down bus engine noise during your commute. They may not be ideal for intense physical activity either, as their over-ear design traps a lot of heat inside the cups, and they don't have a very stable fit. They also have high latency, which could affect your gameplay.
The Sony WH-XB900N are okay for neutral sound. These headphones have a bass-heavy sound profile, which is better-suited for genres like EDM, dubstep, and hip-hop than for more neutral audio reproduction. Luckily, you can tweak their sound to your liking via their graphic EQ and presets. Also, they're quite comfortable for long listening sessions.
The Sony WH-XB900N are satisfactory for commute and travel. These headphones have outstandingly long-lasting battery life and are comfortable enough for long listening sessions. While they aren’t the most portable option and lack come with a hard case, they're easy to use, and their ANC can help reduce some ambient noise around you. However, they don’t perform too well in the bass range, so you hear the rumble of bus and plane engines.
The Sony WH-XB900N are satisfactory for sports and fitness. They should be stable enough for a light jog but won’t be the best option for more intense physical exercise. They aren’t that stable and can move on your head. Their over-ear design also traps heat inside the ear cups, which can make you sweat more than usual. On the upside, their bass-heavy sound profile can be good for keeping you pumped up during your workouts.
The Sony WH-XB900N are alright for office use. They have over 38 hours of continuous playback time, they're comfortable enough for long hours at the office, and their ANC feature blocks a good amount of work environment noises like ambient chatter and A/C noise. However, they leak a bit of audio at high volumes.
The Sony WH-XB900N aren't compatible with Xbox or PS consoles. While you can use them with Bluetooth-enabled PCs, their latency is likely too high to be suitable for gaming.
The Sony WH-XB900N are decent for wired gaming. They can be connected to PC, PS4, and Xbox One consoles via their 1/8" TRS cable. However, you can only receive audio, and you won't be able to use the mic. That said, they have a comfortable fit and a customizable sound profile.
The Sony WH-XB900N aren't bad for phone calls. Their integrated microphone does an alright job of recording your voice, although it sounds thin, muffled, and lacking in detail. It struggles to separate your voice from ambient noise around you, so you may need to take calls in more quiet environments. These headphones also have an ANC feature, but it doesn't reduce a lot of bass-range noise like bus engines.
The Sony WH-XB900N look like a less premium version of the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless. They're made out of plastic, which doesn’t look as good as the material used for the XM3s. They also don’t have the same elegant vents with copper accents. Instead, under the hinges, you can see wide vents with glossy-finish plastic that looks cheaply made. They come in a sleek all-black design, a slightly flashier blue color, or in gray.
The Sony WH-XB900N are very comfortable headphones and feel quite like the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless. The cups are deep and the padding is thick and plushy, which make them comfortable to wear for a while without feeling too much fatigue. The headband is also well-designed and distributes the weight of the headphones well. While they feel slightly heavier than the Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018, the difference is fairly minimal.
The Sony WH-XB900N have good controls. Just like the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless, they have a touch-sensitive control scheme on the right earcup. You can swipe up and down to control volume, swipe left or right to skip tracks, and double-tap the surface to play/pause your music as well as manage calls. There's also a 'CUSTOM' button that lets you cycle between ANC on, ambient mode, or a mode where both features are disabled. You can map that button to directly trigger your voice assistant or turn this feature on by tapping and holding the touch-sensitive surface. Additionally, putting your palm on the right ear cup activates the talk-through mode, which lowers your music and enhances ambient noise.
The touch surface is easy to use. However, there are reports online that the XM3’s touch-sensitive surface can’t work properly in colder climates. We will monitor online reviews until we can test this ourselves to confirm if this issue also happens with these headphones. We will adjust the review if needed.
The Sony WH-XB900N aren't very breathable headphones. It shouldn’t be an issue for casual use, but these headphones won’t be suited for more intense physical activity as they can trap in heat, causing you to sweat more than usual.
Like most over-ear headphones, the Sony WH-XB900N are quite bulky and aren't easy to carry around. However, they can fold in a more compact form, and their cups swivel to lay flat, which makes it easier to carry them around your neck or to slide in a bag. They also come with a small pouch, which doesn’t add too much bulk to their design but doesn’t protect the headphones when you’re on-the-go either.
The Sony WH-XB900N come with a soft pouch. It can protect the headphones against light scratches but isn't ideal for protection against water exposure or physical damage from falls. On the upside, it doesn’t take much extra space like a case would and is easy to store in a bag.
The Sony WH-XB900N are well-built headphones but don’t feel as premium as the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless. Instead, their build material feels more similar to that of the Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018. They still seem durable, but since they're made of plastic, some users may find them to feel a bit cheap. The padding is comfortable and plushy and the cups are dense, which shouldn’t break with normal usage. The headband is reinforced by a thin metal sheet as well. The yokes are very similar to other models like the XM3, which are also prone to cracking like the original Sony MDR-1000X Wireless.
The Sony WH-XB900N are decently stable. Their wireless design and slightly better fit make them feel a bit more stable than the Sony WH-1000XM2 Wireless. However, since the ear cups are moderately heavy and stick out a bit, they can sway a lot depending on the intensity of your workout routine. On the upside, since they're wireless, you don't have to worry about the cable getting caught on something and snagging the headphones off your head.
The Sony HW-XB900N have a bass-heavy sound profile. They pack a lot of thump, punch, and kick, which fans of EDM and hip-hop should enjoy. However, some users may find this sound profile a bit overwhelming and intense. Luckily, the companion app offers a graphic EQ and presets to help tweak their sound to your liking.
The Sony XB900N's frequency response consistency is sub-par. These headphones are prone to inconsistent bass and treble delivery. Users who have thick hair or wear glasses may especially notice a drop in bass. Treble delivery is also dependant on the headphones' fit and positioning on your head.
The Sony WH-XB900N's bass accuracy is poor. It's overemphasized across the range, resulting in intense thump, punch, and boom. However, some users may find this sound overwhelming. That said, bass delivery can vary depending on fit, seal, and positioning. This response represents the average, and your experience may vary.
The Sony WH-XB900N have excellent mid accuracy. The range is mostly flat and neutral, resulting in present vocals and lead instruments. The small bump in the high-mid adds a bit of intensity to vocals and lead instruments.
The Sony WH-XB900N's treble accuracy is decent. The low-treble is fairly neutral so the upper harmonics of vocals and lead instruments sound detailed and articulated. However, the mid-treble is overemphasized, which makes sibilants like S and T sounds piercing. Note that treble delivery varies across users, and your experience may vary. If you want headphones that follow our target curve more accurately, especially in the treble range, check out the JBL TUNE 750BTNC Wireless.
The Sony WH-XB900N's peaks and dips performance is satisfactory. There's a dip on the low-mids, which thins out vocals and lead instruments. A peak in between the high-mid and low-treble makes the upper harmonics of these instruments harsh while the following dip in the low-treble veils their detail. Another peak in the mid-treble makes sibilants like cymbals piercing.
The Sony WH-XB900N have excellent imaging. Their weighted group delay falls entirely beneath the audibility threshold, resulting in tight bass and transparent treble reproduction. The L/R drivers are also well-matched in regards to phase, frequency, and amplitude response, meaning that objects like voices and footsteps are accurately placed within the stereo image. That said, these results are only valid for our test unit, and your own experience may vary.
The Sony WH-XB900N have a sub-par passive soundstage. The soundstage is perceived as large, but it feels a bit unnatural and as if coming from inside your head rather than if coming from speakers all around you. Their closed-back design also makes their soundstage seem less spacious than open-back headphones.
These headphones are compatible with Virtualphones Technology (VPT). This feature can be controlled in the app and allows you to adjust the sound position and use speaker modeling. They're also compatible with 360 Reality Audio, which is advertised to give you better audio quality. However, this feature only works with compatible subscription services and files. We also don't currently test the performance of these features.
The Sony WH-XB900N's weighted harmonic distortion performance is decent. There are a couple of peaks at a normal listening volume in the treble range, but this can be hard to hear with real-life content. All the ranges otherwise fall under good limits at high listening volumes, ensuring clean and pure audio reproduction.
These are the settings used to test these headphones and our results are only valid when used in this configuration.
The Sony XB900N's noise isolation performance is just okay. They have an ANC feature, but unlike the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless, it struggles to cut down bass-range noise like bus and plane rumbles. It does better with mid-range sounds like ambient chatter, and it can cut down a large amount of high-pitched noise like the hum of an AC unit.
The Sony WH-XB900N have a passable leakage performance. A significant portion of their leakage is spread over the mid and treble ranges, resulting in a leakage that's fuller-sounding compared to that of in-ears and earbuds. The overall level of the leakage is relatively low, and you shouldn't disturb people around you if you're listening to your audio at a high volume. That said, if you want headphones that leak less noise, consider the Sony WH-CH710N Wireless.
The Sony WH-XB900N's integrated microphone has an okay recording quality. Your voice sounds a little thin, noticeably muffled, and lacking in detail. This is a limitation of the Bluetooth protocol, and a performance like this is expected on Bluetooth microphones.
The microphone is mediocre at noise handling. It struggles to fully separate speech from ambient noise in moderately loud places, like a busy street.
The Sony WH-XB900N have decent battery performance. Although they're advertised to last 30 hours with their ANC on, we measured over 38 hours, which is outstanding. However, they take quite a long time to charge up again, and you can't use them while charging. Battery life also varies according to use, so your real-life experience may differ. On the upside, you can still use them passively if you run out of battery. They also have an auto-off timer, but this feature is only trigged when they're disconnected from their audio source. We don't consider this to be a feature that prolongs battery life, as you could still be connected to your PC or phone without audio playing, and this could still drain the battery.
These headphones have great app support. They're compatible with the Sony|Headphones Connect app and have most of the same features as the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless. There's a great graphic EQ with presets and an in-app media player, as well as room effects and sound position options. They also provide a customizable auto-off timer for when the headphones are disconnected from a Bluetooth source. The main difference is when it comes to ANC control, as you won't be able to adjust the level of noise cancelling. You can still control the amount of ambient noise being fed in.
The Sony WH-XB900N have decent Bluetooth connectivity. They support NFC pairing, so it's very easy to link them to NFC-compatible devices. Unfortunately, unlike the Sennheiser HD 450BT Wireless, they can’t be paired with multiple devices simultaneously. They also have high latency on PC and iOS, which isn't ideal for streaming video. Their latency on Android is much lower, and they also support aptX codec, which helps reduce their latency. That said, some devices and apps compensate for latency differently, so your experience may vary.
The Sony WH-XB900N can be used passively with an audio cable, which is included in the box. This 1/8” TRS cable doesn’t have an in-line microphone and only allows you to receive audio. On the upside, you can use them passively even if their battery is dead. These headphones also come with a USB-C to USB-A cable for charging the headphones.
These headphones can only receive audio when used on PCs and PS4s using their 1/8" TRS cable. You can also wirelessly connect to Bluetooth-enabled PCs with full audio and mic compatibility.
The Sony WH-XB900N are only compatible with the Xbox One when using their analog cable. You can only receive audio with this connection, and you won't be able to use their mic.
The Sony WH-XB900N come in three color variants: 'Black', 'Blue', and 'Gray'. We tested the Black variant, but expect all color variants to perform similarly to our unit.
If you come across another variant, please let us know in the discussions and we'll update our review.
The Sony WH-XB900N are decent headphones that are fairly versatile. However, their ANC performance is quite disappointing and their overall value might not be worth it, which still make the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless the better option. See our recommendations for the best headphones, the best noise cancelling headphones, and the best over-ear headphones.
The Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless are better over-ear headphones than the Sony WH-XB900N Wireless. Although both headphones are comfortable and can be customized using the Sony | Headphones Connect app, the WH-1000XM4 feel better-built and come with a hard case to help protect the headphones when you're on-the-go. They have a slightly more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box, have more consistent bass and treble delivery, and their ANC is able to reduce more ambient noise around you. Their continuous battery life is longer-lasting too. However, the WH-XB900N have access to virtual soundstage features, and their integrated mic offers a better recording quality performance.
The Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are better headphones than the Sony WH-XB900N Wireless. The WH-1000XM3 feel like more premium headphones and most importantly, their ANC feature is way better, which makes them more versatile and a better option for commuting. Their sound profile is also less bass-heavy, but you can EQ both headphones in their app to make them sound more like you prefer. On the other hand, the XB900N have a longer-lasting battery life. They are overall very similar headphones, but the XM3 offer better value.
The Sony WH-XB900N Wireless are better headphones for most uses than the Sony WH-CH710N Wireless. The WH-XB900N are better-built, more comfortable, have a longer continuous battery life, and block out more background noise. However, as part of Sony's Extra Bass series, they have a much more bass-heavy sound profile than the WH-CH710N. You can customize their sound using the graphic EQ and presets in the companion app, which the WH-CH710N lacks. That said, the WH-CH710N leaks less noise.
The Sony WH-H910N/h.ear on 3 Wireless are better for mixed usage than the Sony WH-XB900N Wireless. The H910N deliver a more consistent, better-balanced default sound profile, last much longer off of a single charge, and leak less audio. That said, the XB900N are more comfortable, block out marginally more ambient noise, and have a few more features in the Sony| Headphones Connect app, including surround sound support and room effects. The XB900N also have a unique advantage in the form of aptX compatibility.
The Sony WH-CH700N Wireless is a better option for people who want a neutral sound, while the Sony WH-XB900N is a better choice for people who prefer bass-heavy music. The XB900N has a better noise isolation performance thanks to their ANC feature. They're also more comfortable and slightly better-built.
The Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018 are better headphones than the Sony WH-XB900N Wireless. The Bose are one of the most comfortable headphones we’ve reviewed so far, thanks to their padding and very lightweight build. Their sound profile is better-balanced, and their ANC is much better than the Sony. On the other hand, the Sony offers a higher continuous battery life and their app offers an EQ, which Bose is lacking. The Sony also support the aptX codec, which the Bose don’t.
The Sennheiser HD 450BT Wireless and the Sony WH-XB900N Wireless are similarly performing headphones, but the Sennheiser have a slight edge. The Sennheiser have a more neutral sound profile, their ANC feature can isolate more bass noise, and their leakage performance is better. They also charge in less time, even if their battery life doesn't last as long as the Sony, and they can be paired with up to two devices at a time. The Sony, on the other hand, feel better built, their controls are easier-to-use, and their companion app is better. They also have a better performing integrated microphone, and some users may prefer their bass-heavy sound.
The Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless are better headphones than the Sony WH-XB900N Wireless. The Sennheiser have a more neutral sound profile that some users may prefer. While they don’t offer as much battery life as the WH-XB900N, they take noticeably less time to charge, which might be worth it for some. The Sennheiser Smart Control app also offers a full parametric EQ, and the PXC 550 can be connected to two devices simultaneously. On the other hand, the Sony WH-XB900N have better wireless range and are more comfortable than the PXC 550. They’ll also be better-suited for bass-heavy genres than the PXC 550.
The Sony WH-H900N/h.ear on 2 Wireless are slightly better headphones than the Sony WH-XB900N Wireless.The WH-H900N/h.ear have a better-balanced sound profile that some users may prefer over the bass-heavy XB900N. While they don’t have as long of a battery life as the XB900N, they have a power-saving mode, so they might be a better option for those who forget to turn their headset off when taking it off. The XB900N is also a better choice if you listen to a lot of bass-heavy music genres. They also have noticeably better wireless range.
The Sony WH-XB900N Wireless are more versatile wireless headphones than the Sony WH-XB700 Wireless. The WH-XB900N have an over-ear ear design which is much more comfortable, and they're easy-to-use as well as better-built. They also have an active noise cancelling feature that helps them isolate more noise than the WH-XB700. Their battery life is better, but they also take a lot longer to charge.
The Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC are marginally better than the Sony WH-XB900N. They have a more neutral sound profile, but the XB900N are more comfortable and have a better control scheme. The Sennheisers can be connected to two devices simultaneously and have a better ANC feature as well. On the other hand, the Sonys feel slightly better made and have a dedicated companion app with access to a graphic EQ.
The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 Wireless 2016 are better headphones than the Sony WH-XB900N. They both have a bump in low-bass, which is great for bass-heavy genres, but the rest of the Plantronics’ response is more neutral, which some users may prefer. The Plantronic's noise isolation performance is also slightly better, including in the bass range, making them a better option for commuting than the WH-XB900N. Both offer about over 30 hours of battery life, but the BackBeat Pro 2 take way less time to charge. They also support the aptX-LL codec for minimal delay. On the other hand, the Sony are more comfortable, and their app offers better customization options.