Sony is continuing its onslaught on the wireless audio segment, offering products catering to different purchasing powers and listening tastes. It’s latest, WH-XB700 Bluetooth wireless headphones, bring the price down a bit more and still packs in a bunch of features Rs 8,990.
Sony WH-XB700 Bluetooth Wireless Headphones review
I am not a big fan of bulky headphones as they don’t sit properly on my tiny head. That was not a problem with these Sony headphones. They have a nice matte finish, and a stylish look. The headphones felt lightweight at 195 grams, which is very crucial when one considers their audio products.
I appreciated that Sony has given enough cushion on the band and around the headphones themselves to make these comfortable while using. I could use these for long periods, for instance during a four-hour train journey without getting irritated.
Sony has given users the option of using a 3.5-mm headphone jack as well with the headphones which is really useful. I could not get these to pair with a new MacBook Air via Bluetooth and found the headphone jack option convenient. The headphones can be charged via the Type-C USB cable provided in the box.
While the right earcup has the volume controls, the left one has the power button, the 3.5-mm port, charging port and a custom button to call Siri or Google Assistant depending on your device.
I particularly enjoyed using these headphones to consume video content on Netflix. The audio quality definitely packs a punch when you are watching television shows, and these being bass heavy actually helps. I also enjoyed these when listening to podcasts given the audio had a lot more depth than what I’m used to with my AirPods.
Yes, these are bass heavy and it will boil down to personal preference for many especially when it comes to the music. For my regular playlists, which had a lot of pop music with Taylor Swift dominating during the testing period, I found audio quality was peppy and quite enjoyable, though if you tinker around with the Sony Headphones Connect app settings, the bass can be overpowering.
Music did not appear distorted, unless I manually tweaked settings for ‘Clear Bass’ in the Sony’s app. The Headphones Connect app lets you choose from a range of spatial settings, though I would not recommend relying too much on these because it can get out of hand, overpowering the vocals, which is what I want in sharp focus when I’m listening to my pop music. Still I would not qualify the audio as jarring in anyway, even when I went with the highest level for Clear Bass in the app.
I preferred not tinkering around with the spatial settings and even kept the Surround option off, because it can give an odd feeling when you suddenly switch to say amphitheatre mode, while sitting and listening to music in your room. It does create the effect of the surrounding, but that does not seem very natural, almost forced.
What impressed me the most with these headphones is the battery life. I never got around to charging them beyond 50 per cent and even with 20 per cent battery these will last for a good four hours or more, which is impressive. Sony is claiming a battery life of 30 hours, and I would that this is a claim which is easily fulfilled.
My main issue with the headphones was that the Bluetooth connectivity can be patchy. It did not connect with my MacBook Air, no matter what I tried. Even with my iPhone, it took two, three attempts to get these to sync with the device. Also the Headphones Connect app would keep reconnecting with the headphones everytime I opened it, even though the headphones were already connected to the phone and music was playing.
Another issue I faced was while talking calls if the headphones were connected to the device. The iPhone showed that the call was on the headphones, but I could not hear the sound, and would have to eventually switch to iPhone mode to take the call. The Sony headphones also work fine with assistants like Siri and one can just press on the custom button to activate these.
Sony’s WH-XB700 are a more mid-range option from the company for those looking for bass-heavy headphones. In my experience, they made for a great accessory while watching content, listening to podcasts, and the 3.5mm headphone jack is an added advantage. The headphones also come with impressive battery life for Bluetooth, which should be sufficient for most users.