The WH-XB700 are the latest addition to Sony’s wireless headphones family. For audiophiles, the Sony WH-XB700 provide a good set of features at a competitive price. One of the highlighting features of these headphones is Extra Bass, and that is an aspect most “regular” headphone users are willing to bet their money on. Let’s deduce where the Sony WH-XB700 delivers and where it could’ve done better.
Inside The Box
- Sony WH-XB700 Headphones
- Instruction Manual and Warranty/Safety Guide
- 3.5mm AUX cable
- USB Type-C cable
Build Quality And Design
The Sony WH-XB700 are fabricated from high grade plastic with a smooth matte finish. The framework of the headphones is made of metal though. More metal would have been appreciated in the build of the WH-XB700. The ear cups have a swivel design, implying that the Earcups can rotate around the pivot. This will make it convenient for users to slip these headphones inside their backpacks . Weighing at just around 195 grams, these may be one of the lightest headphones in this segment
The Sony Logo is neatly embossed above both the earcups. The headphones look good enough to make a style statement. The headphones have an on-the-ear, or supra-aural design, implying that they rest on the ears rather over them.
The earcup’s pads, as well as the headband’s cushioning, are made out of memory foam. This material feels very premium and comfortable even when used for longer periods of time. The extending strips along with the framework are designed out of metal, which allows for considerable freedom of movement. Even upon stretching the ear cups apart, they seemed to retain their original shape upon restoring. Noteworthy, owing to the light weight of the Sony WH-XB700, they tend to sway “dangerously” when you move around while wearing these, so you might want to be careful when you take them out for a run.
The left earcup houses the power button (which also doubles up as the pairing button). In addition, it accommodates the 3.5mm audio jack, USB Type-C port, the notification LED and a “Custom” button, which will be discussed in detail later. On the other hand, the right earcup houses the volume rockers and the play/pause/answer calls button.
The primary defining feature of any headphones is its audio quality. The Sony WH-XB700 operate within a frequency range of 20-20,000 Hz with 44.1 kHz Sampling and have an impedance of 37 ? (ohms). The headphones are quite loud, clocking in at a loudness level of 103 decibels. The 30mm Neodymium driver churns out evenly distributed frequencies, but it’s really the lows where the headphones excel. At higher volumes, negligible distortion in the sound is present. Even though Sony has laid emphasis on the lower frequencies here, there is a profound focus on the highs as well, which make them a pleasure to listen to.
The headphones are advertised with “Extra-Bass”, and they live up to their name. The ample amount of bass goes easy on the ears, delivering a rich experience. Plus, the headphones sport the “Vocal Clarity” feature, which enhances the experience if you are listening to a podcast or watching a lecture. Noise isolation is not that great, but that is expected considering the supra-aural design of the headphones.
Audio is captured via the microphone present on the right earcup, and in the course of usage, the microphone quality is mediocre when it comes to answering calls indoors. Furthermore, the audio doesn’t bleed a lot when you have the headphones on. Advanced tweaking of the sound quality and bass levels can be done via the Smart Headphone Connect app, which is available for both Android and iOS devices. Firmware updates are also pushed to the WH-XB700 via the same app.
In terms of connectivity, the Sony WH-XB700 features Bluetooth v4.2, NFC (Near Field Communication), a USB Type-C port and a 3.5mm headphone jack for those times where you run out of battery. To pair the headphones with your smartphone via Bluetooth, the user needs to simply hold down the power button and the headphones will pop-up on your smartphone’s Bluetooth devices list. Like other headphones in this range, the Sony WH-XB700 cannot be connected to multiple devices simultaneously. They have to be disconnected from one device in order to connect to another one.
The WH-XB700 also supports one-touch NFC pairing, where users can just stream music to their headphones by touching their NFC-enabled devices with the headphones. One thing to note is that there is a significant loss in audio quality when the headphones are connected via the 3.5mm AUX cable. Similarly, all the buttons present on the headphones stop functioning when the headphones are connected passively.
Battery Life And Additional Features
The Sony WH-XB700 features a Li-ion battery, which promises a battery life of 30 hours, and we tested that out. Interestingly, on the maximum value and bass levels, the headphones were able to churn out the aforementioned time with ease. The headphones can be charged via the USB-Type C port which is mounted on the left earcup. They also provide a 90-minute playback time after a 10-minute charge time, which can be helpful for users who are on-the-go. Overall, the headphones take a bit more than 4 hours to attain maximum charging capacity. And if you do manage to run out of battery, you always have the option to use them with the 3.5mm AUX cable.
As previously mentioned, the Sony WH-XB700 headphones have a “Custom” button on the left earcup which can be mapped to either Alexa or Google Assistant dependent on user preferences. We noticed that the button was very responsive, as it immediately launched Google Assistant on our device in all instances. However, as mentioned previously, the Custom button only works in wireless mode. Nonetheless, we found the custom Assistant button very convenient and is welcoming addition.
In a nutshell, the Sony WH-XB700 is a pretty good deal considering it checks most of the boxes in the list. Rich and punchy bass, low distortion levels, rich highs and lows, and that’s just the audio quality. The headphones have a good battery life, support a host of connectivity options and look good on the ears.
The only drawbacks that are worth mentioning are some aspects of the build quality, such as the lack of any metal accents. The fact that the headphones tend not to be very stable while wearing them might be a bit pesky for those who like to listen to music while running. Noteworthy, the Sony WH-XB700 don’t ship with a carrying pouch or hard case in-the-box. Although not a deal breaker it is worth taking into consideration.
Another worthy option in the same segment is the JBL Tune 600, which provides passive noise cancellation and deep, punchy bass. For almost INR 1,500 less, you can also try out the Sennheiser HD 4.40 Bluetooth headphones, which are a good buy considering its price. The Sony WH-XB700 is a pair of good sounding headphones, and audiophiles who want a set of portable cans should definitely go for them.
Rich, Punchy Bass
Low Distortion Levels
Modern and Elegant Design
Long Battery Life
No in-box Carrying Case/Pouch
Absence Of Bluetooth v5.0
Loss of Audio Quality over 3.5mm AUX cable