Sony claims 30 hours of continuous music playback. After ten hours of use, it was reading 60% charge – Pass.

Google Assistant and hands-free

It works well as Google Assistant and hands-free phone, but you get no voice foldback into the headphones. It worked well inside (quiet surrounds) but was variable when out walking and any wind was noticeable to callers.

Sound

The Sony WH-XB700 uses a 30mm, full-range, 37-ohm, Neodymium dome speaker with a claimed 20Hz-20kHz range and 103dB sound pressure level.

Maximum volume as tested was 78dB and pleasant listening was at around 30% volume.

The speaker’s natural sound signature (using the 3.5mm audio cable) has little high bass, is relatively flat to 2kHz before peaking at 6kHz and falling off a cliff at 10kHz. This is a mid-sound signature with clear voice as a priority. I do not like this sound signature for my favourite Jazz and Blues as it lacks bass and makes treble harsh.

3.5mm sound

I mentioned earlier that you need its companion app to get the most out of it. After connection to the app, all that can change.

You can adjust Bass by +/- 10dB as well as a heap of other settings like pre-sets for concert hall, arena, club, outdoor stage. I prefer club )Jazz) but Arena gives the best spatial separation.

You can also adjust the sound stage from ‘inside your head’ to various positions around your head.

It has DSEE (Digital Sound Enhancement Engine) developed by Sony, to enhance the sound quality of compressed audio files by restoring high-range sound removed by the compression process. It works a treat on older MP3s that I ripped from CD and Vinyl before I knew what I was doing.

And it natively supports SBC and aptX codes so on my test Galaxy Note9 (aptX/HD) they were superb. Surprisingly they do not support Sony’s LDAC as the excellent over-the-ear, ANC WH-1000XM3 does.

Now we have voluminous bass, great mids and clear upper-mids and treble.

I can’t believe the difference. From bland to popping with strong, clear bass and mids. OK, Sony your marketing hype lives up to the claim.

Sony WH-XB700 BT sound
Sound frequency 3.5mm App via aptX
Deep Bass: 20-40Hz Nil Nil
Middle Bass: 40-100Hz Creeping in at 80Hz Building to strong at 70Hz
High Bass: 100-200Hz flat flat
Low-mids: 200-400Hz flat flat
Mids: 400-1000Hz flat flat
High-mids: 1-2kHz flat building
Low-treble: 2-4kHz building building
Treble:4-6kHz Peaking Peaking
High Treble: 6-1kHz Flat to decline flat
Dog whistle: 10-20 Falls off a cliff at 10kHz Flat to 16kHz then gradual fall


GadgetGuy’s take – Sony WH-XB700 on-ear headphones are good all-rounder’s

If you use them as 3.5mm corded, you won’t be happy. If you use them as Bluetooth and take a little time to set up the app as you like it, then they are great.

As over-the-ear are more prone to falling off, I cannot recommend them for sport or running.

I see a great use for walkers that need some ambient sound (and coolness), TV watchers (light and cool) and office users (ditto) as long as you use BT.

Sony WH-XB700 over-the-ear Extra Bass headphones
Name: Sony WH-XB700 on-the-ear headphones Price (RRP): $249.95 Manufacturer: Sony
Perfect with BT aptX and the appThe app offers tonnes of customisationGood price for a SonyComfortable and cool30 hours battery life and USB-C charge
3.5 cable connection results in a bland mid-signatureNo case or sleeveMic suffers when outdoors or in high noise areasNo IP rating
Features
Value for money
Performance
Ease of Use
Design
4.0Overall Score
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