Price (RRP): $249.95
I always shudder when I read marketing hype like ‘overwhelmingly deep bass and clear vocal’, but that is what the Sony WH-XB700 can deliver.
To be more precise, it can deliver it via the Sony Headphones Connect app. The app is a necessary and close companion to any Sony headphone, including the Sony WH-XB700. It enables custom sound as you like it.
What is a Sony WH-XB700 Extra Bass headphone?
It is a no-frills, on-ear, Bluetooth 4.2/NFC/aptX headphone with long 30-hours music time and supports Google Assistant and Alexa.
RRP is $249.95, and as these are new to the market, there is no street price yet.
The prime criteria of any headphone review are how it sounds and how long the battery life is.
But we need to position them so as not to expect more than we get. For us, a headphone review is first to ascertain what it is and is not.
For example, on-ear means they are not noise cancelling (ANC) so that criteria is not part of the review. But the sound isolation is pretty good. You will hear a bit of muted noise around you, and it is not very ‘noise’ leaky so you can wear them at the office. Judging by the over/on-ear ratio on my train ride it is about 60/40 that want ANC, and you pay extra for that.
Second the price. At $249.95 (cheap for anything Sony) you will not get luxury leather pads, folding, motion sensors etc. No, you get PLeather (vinyl) pads and polycarbonate cups, and I am perfectly fine with that. Nor will you get a hard or soft carry case – just a very short 20cm USB-A to USB-C and a 1.2m 3.5mm (both ends) audio cable.
Is it a Sony? Apart from a subtly embossed Sony on the headband, the all-black (you can get a light navy as well) cans are innocuous. They are all plastic and time will tell if it and the PLeather last the distance. The headband is well padded, and it is a no-nonsense setup with buttons (not touch) for up/down volume, forward/next track, power and to summon your assistant.
I am not a fan of on-ear – I prefer over-the-ear and ANC. But I was impressed at how cool they were for extended use. After an hour, my Kestrel Drop temperature and humidity sensor showed about 5° over my ambient temp. That is good. In comparison over the ear can end up twice as hot.
Its is all polycarbonate. There are metal extender straps (over polycarbonate), and it looks like you can access Philips head screws to tension them as well.
It takes four hours to charge via USB-C 5V/1A – you cannot use the phones while charging. I have not tried 5V/3A or USB-PD chargers yet, but I suspect it will only marginally shorten the charge time.
It has fast charge – 10-minutes for 90-minutes use.