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Sony WH-XB910N Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Reviewed Nov 25, 2021 at 11:01 am
Sony WH-XB910N Wireless Picture
5.0
Neutral Sound
7.4
Commute/Travel
7.1
Sports/Fitness
7.2
Office
5.3
Wireless Gaming
6.9
Wired Gaming
6.8
Phone Calls
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Yes
Noise Cancelling Yes
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Sony WH-XB910N Wireless are the next generation of the Sony WH-XB900N Wireless. Like their name suggests, they have an extremely bass-heavy sound profile that delivers significant thump, punch, and boom to your mixes. However, some users may find their sound overly muddy while vocals and lead instruments are harsh. Luckily, their companion app offers a graphic EQ and presets to help you adjust their sound to your liking. They also have an active noise cancelling (ANC) system that does a better job than their predecessor. It can block out a good amount of ambient noise around you.

Our Verdict

5.0 Neutral Sound

The Sony WH-XB910N are disappointing for neutral sound. Out of the box, they have an extremely bass-heavy sound profile that adds intense rumble, body, and boom to mixes. However, this can result in a muddy sound. Vocals and lead instruments are also harsh and cluttered. On the upside, you can customize their sound to your liking using their companion app's graphic EQ and presets.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ and presets available.
Cons
  • Poor passive soundstage.
7.4 Commute/Travel

The Sony WH-XB910N are decent for commute and travel. They have a very comfortable and well-built design, and even though they're somewhat bulky, they come with a hard case to help protect them when you're on the go. However, their ANC just offers a satisfactory noise isolation performance when it comes to blocking out the low rumbles of bus and plane engines.

Pros
  • Very comfortable and well-built.
  • Good noise isolation performance.
  • Over 39 hours of continuous playback time.
Cons
  • Poor passive soundstage.
  • Prone to inconsistencies in bass and treble delivery.
7.1 Sports/Fitness

The Sony WH-XB910N are decent for sports and fitness, but they're not designed for this purpose. While they have a very comfortable and well-built fit, they're bulky and not very portable. They can also fall off your head with intense head movements and lack an IP rating for water resistance.

Pros
  • Very comfortable and well-built.
Cons
  • Can fall off your head with more intense head movements.
7.2 Office

The Sony WH-XB910N are decent for office use. They're very comfortable, well-built, and their over 39 hours of continuous playback time should last through long days at the office without needing a recharge. They also have an ANC system that can block out ambient chatter around you, and you can pair them with your PC and smartphone at the same time.

Pros
  • Very comfortable and well-built.
  • Good noise isolation performance.
  • Over 39 hours of continuous playback time.
Cons
  • Poor passive soundstage.
  • Prone to inconsistencies in bass and treble delivery.
5.3 Wireless Gaming

The Sony WH-XB910N are compatible with Bluetooth-enabled PCs. However, their latency is likely too high to be suitable for gaming.

6.9 Wired Gaming

The Sony WH-XB910N are fair for wired gaming. They come with a 1/8" TRS cable so you can connect them to consoles with an AUX port. However, you can only receive audio and can't use their mic. That said, they have an overly boomy sound profile. While this sound can help emphasize sound effects, it can also muddy dialogue and instruments.

Pros
  • Very comfortable and well-built.
  • Graphic EQ and presets available.
Cons
  • No mic support via 1/8" TRS.
  • Poor passive soundstage.
  • Prone to inconsistencies in bass and treble delivery.
6.8 Phone Calls

The Sony WH-XB910N are okay for phone calls. They have an integrated mic that does a fair job of recording your voice so that you sound clear. However, the mic also struggles to separate your voice from moderate ambient noise around you, so if you're taking a call from a busy street, your voice may be drowned out. On the upside, the headphones have an ANC system to help block out some ambient noise around you.

Pros
  • Good noise isolation performance.
Cons
  • Mic struggles to separate your voice from moderate ambient noise.
  • Prone to inconsistencies in bass and treble delivery.
  • 5.0 Neutral Sound
  • 7.4 Commute/Travel
  • 7.1 Sports/Fitness
  • 7.2 Office
  • 5.3 Wireless Gaming
  • 6.9 Wired Gaming
  • 6.8 Phone Calls
  1. Updated Nov 25, 2021: Review published.
  2. Updated Nov 22, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The Sony WH-XB910N have a very similar look to the Sony WH-XB900N. They have a fairly minimalist design, but they look a bit cheaper and more plasticky than the Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless. They come in two color variants: 'Black' and 'Blue'.

8.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.55 lbs
Clamping Force
0.9 lbs

The Sony WH-XB910N have a very comfortable fit. They feel lightweight and don't clamp too tightly on your head. The ear cups have a good range of motion to accommodate larger heads. Their padding on the ear cups and headband also feels fairly nice on the skin. However, if you have glasses, it may be harder to get a more comfortable fit.

7.7
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Good
Feedback Good
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control On/Off
Talk-Through
On/Off
Additional Controls Voice Assistant

The Sony WH-XB910N have good controls. They have a mix of physical and touch-sensitive controls, which are easy to use. The physical buttons on the left ear cup are clicky, while the touch-sensitive surface on the right ear cup is responsive. There are voice prompts for switching between 'Ambient' mode and ANC, as well as beeps when registering touch commands and using the buttons. The headphones will also tell you which device you're connected to. Unfortunately, the location of the power button makes it easy to accidentally touch it when you're putting on or taking off the headphones.

On the left ear cup:

  • Power button:
    • Single press: Tells you the battery percentage.
    • Press and hold for two seconds: Turns the headphones on and off. Also enters Bluetooth pairing mode when turned on.
  • ANC/Ambient button: Cycles between ANC on and 'Ambient' mode, which allows you to better hear your surroundings without turning off your audio.

On the right ear cup:

  • Swipe up: Raises the volume.
  • Swipe down: Lowers the volume.
  • Swipe forward: Skips to the next track.
  • Swipe backward: Skips to the previous track.
  • Double-tap: Plays and pauses audio. Also answers and declines calls.
  • Place hand on right ear cup: Enters 'Ambient' mode.

6.0
Design
Portability
L 7.3" (18.6 cm)
W 6.8" (17.2 cm)
H 2.2" (5.6 cm)
Volume 109.20 inยณ (1,789.40 cmยณ)
Transmitter Required No

The Sony WH-XB910N have mediocre portability, which is to be expected for over-ear headphones. They're bulky, although their cups can swivel to lay flat and can fold to save some space. That said, they also come with a carrying case to help store them in your bag when you're on the go.

8.0
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 8.4" (21.4 cm)
W 7.2" (18.2 cm)
H 2.3" (5.8 cm)
Volume 137.77 inยณ (2,257.70 cmยณ)

The Sony WH-XB910N come with a great case. It's mostly made of cloth material, which feels sturdy. The zipper fully closes, which helps secure the headphones from the elements.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The Sony WH-XB910N's build quality is good. They're mostly made of solid plastic with faux leather padding. Their hinges are also different from the Sony WH-XB900N Wireless. However, their plasticky design looks and feels a bit cheap. The yokes also feel a bit weak and could be prone to damage over time.

7.0
Design
Stability

The Sony WH-XB910N have a decently stable fit. They're not designed for sports use and can fall off your head with more intense head movements. However, they shouldn't move around if you're listening to audio at your desk.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Sony WH-XB910N headphones
  • USB-C to USB-A charging cable
  • 1/8" TRS audio cable
  • Carrying case
  • Manuals

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
6.11 dB
Treble Amount
-1.29 dB

The Sony WH-XB910N have an extremely bass-heavy sound profile. They deliver intense thump, rumble, and boom to mixes. At the same time, vocals and lead instruments are very harsh, while sibilants like cymbals are piercing. However, this sound may be very overwhelming for most users. If you wear glasses or have thick hair, you may also lose a lot of bass as these features can break the ear cup's seal on your head. With low-bass audio, we could feel this frequency rumble our glasses, and it felt like the drivers were touching our ears. On the upside, their app offers a graphic EQ and presets to help you customize their sound to your tastes.

7.0
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.61 dB

The Sony WH-XB910N have satisfactory frequency response consistency. They're prone to inconsistencies in bass and treble delivery. If you have thick hair or glasses, you may especially notice a drop in bass. Their treble delivery is also somewhat sensitive to the headphones' fit and positioning on your head.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
1.9
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
11.51 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10.75 Hz
Low-Bass
13.7 dB
Mid-Bass
13.88 dB
High-Bass
10.22 dB

The Sony WH-XB910N have bad bass accuracy. It's very overemphasized across the range, resulting in intense thump, rumble, and boom. Some users may find this sounds very overwhelming.

Note: Their bass delivery can vary depending on fit, seal, and positioning. This response represents the average, and your experience may vary.

6.1
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
5.2 dB
Low-Mid
2.92 dB
Mid-Mid
0.67 dB
High-Mid
7.97 dB

These headphones have mediocre mid accuracy. There's overemphasis coming from the bass into the low-mids, which can make vocals and lead instruments muddy and cluttered. While the mid-mid is fairly flat, the high-mid is very overemphasized, so the upper harmonics of vocals and lead instruments are overly honky and harsh.

6.4
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
5.22 dB
Mid-Treble
6.07 dB
Low-Treble
-0.34 dB
High-Treble
-0.15 dB

The Sony WH-XB910N's treble accuracy is passable. Our unit's left and right drivers are slightly mismatched in the low-treble range. However, overall, the response in this range is still a bit underemphasized, which slightly dulls vocals and lead instruments. The mid-treble is very overemphasized, and sibilants like cymbals are very harsh.

Note: Treble delivery can vary depending on fit and positioning. This response represents the average, and your experience may vary.

5.6
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
2.86 dB
Dips
2.87 dB

The Sony WH-XB910N's peaks and dips performance is sub-par. A large peak across the bass range adds extra thump, rumble, and boom to mixes, while a deep dip between the low to mid-mid thins out vocals and lead instruments while pushing them to the back of your mix. Another peak in the high-mid makes vocals and lead instruments very harsh, while a dip in the low-treble hurts their comprehensibility. A steep peak in the mid-treble makes sibilants like S and T sounds piercing.

8.1
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.33
Weighted Phase Mismatch
9.33
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.91
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.91

The Sony WH0XB910N Wireless' imaging performance is great. There's a bump in the group delay's bass range, which indicates a slightly loose bass. However, the treble range falls under the audibility threshold, ensuring transparent treble reproduction. The L/R drivers are also well-matched in amplitude and frequency response, ensuring a stable stereo image. Although the phase response also falls within good limits, there are a couple of peaks in the treble range that are present with regular content, which could affect the accurate placement of objects in the stereo image. However, our results are only valid for our unit, and yours may perform differently.

4.0
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
3.74 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
9.49 dB
PRTF Distance
6.81 dB
Openness
2.4
Acoustic Space Excitation
2.5

The Sony WH-XM910N's passive soundstage is poor. The soundstage seems wide but unnatural and as if coming from inside your head. Since they have a closed-back design, their soundstage is perceived as closed-off and less spacious than open-back headphones.

4.1
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
On/Off
Speaker Modeling
On/Off
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
360 Reality Audio

Unlike the Sony WH-XB900N Wireless, these headphones don't support Virtualphones Technology (VPT). That said, you can set up Sony's 360 Reality Audio via their companion app by analyzing your head and ears. However, this feature is only available on compatible apps like TIDAL and Nugs.net.

6.8
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.713
WHD @ 100
0.252

The Sony WH-XB910N have an okay weight harmonic distortion performance. There are a few peaks at 90 dB in the mid and treble range, so your audio may not sound clear and pure. However, this can be hard to hear with real-life content.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
1.1.0
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 5.0
Codec
SBC, 16-bit, 48kHz
EQ
Off
ANC
On
Tip/Pad
Default
Microphone
Integrated

These are the settings used to test the Sony WH-XB910N. Our results are only valid when used with these settings.

Isolation
7.6
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-19.74 dB
Bass
-13.83 dB
Mid
-22.33 dB
Treble
-24.03 dB

The noise isolation performance is good. With the ANC on, they can block out some of the low rumbles of bus and plane engines, although it still may not be enough for everyday commutes. They do a better job of reducing ambient chatter, though. However, we expected the ANC to perform better than the headphones' passive abilities in the treble range. They only block out a satisfactory amount of sound from this range, like the high-pitched hum of an AC unit.

Note: The Sony WH-XB910N also have a 'Wind Noise Reduction feature, which is designed to help reduce wind noise. It works quite well and could be helpful if you're walking outside on a windy day. However, it could reduce the strength of the ANC.

7.8
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
34.81 dB

The Sony WH-XB910N's leakage performance is very good. Leakage is mostly in the mid-range and sounds fuller than that of in-ears or earbuds. However, the overall amount of leakage falls below the noise floor of an average office. As a result, you can listen to your audio at high volumes in a moderately noisy environment without worrying about disturbing others around you.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No
6.9
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
108.34 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
4.27 dB
HFE
6,834.38 Hz
Weighted THD
35.993
Gain
7.04 dB

The Sony WH-XB910N's integrated mic offers an alright overall recording quality. Your voice sounds clear and bright, although there's a bit of distortion present as well.

6.7
Microphone
Noise Handling
SpNR
16.79 dB
Noise Gate
Always On
Speech + Pink Noise Handling
6.5
Speech + Pink Noise Audio Sample
Speech + Subway Noise Handling
7.0
Speech + Subway Noise Audio Sample

The mic's noise handling performance is alright. Your voice can be drowned out by moderate ambient noise around you. As a result, whoever's on the other end of the line may not be able to hear you clearly if you're taking a call from a busy street.

Active Features
9.1
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
39.4 hrs
Additional Charges
0.0
Total Battery Life
39.4 hrs
Charge Time
0 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
Auto-Off Timer
Audio While Charging
No
Passive Playback
Yes
Charging Port USB-C

The Sony WH-XB910N's battery performance is outstanding. They're advertised to last 30 hours continuously, and we measured over 39 hours. However, battery life can vary depending on usage, and your real-life experience may vary. That said, they're equipped with an adjustable auto-off timer to help conserve battery life when you're not using them. You can also use them passively via their 1/8" TRS cable.

8.0
Active Features
App Support
App Name Sony| Headphones Connect
iOS Yes
Android Yes
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
Graphic + Presets
ANC Control
On/Off
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
Yes
Button Mapping Yes
Surround Support
Yes

The Sony | Headphones Connect app is great. You can activate ANC on or off and adjust the 'Ambient Noise' level as well as remap these controls onto the headphones. The app offers 'Adaptive Sound Controls' as well. This feature lets the headphones detect your actions and automatically switch between ANC on or an ambient noise level. There are the following modes: 'Staying', 'Walking', 'Running', and 'Transport'. You can also turn on 'Wind Noise' if you want to reduce this kind of sound while listening to audio outdoors.

If you want to customize their sound to your liking, the app offers a graphic EQ and presets. You can also adjust the auto-off feature, control audio playback plus volume, turn off touch controls, and see the devices you're connected to. You can adjust notification and voice guides as well as set up 360 Reality Audio.

Connectivity
8.3
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.2
Multi-Device Pairing
2 Devices
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
229.66 ft (70.00 m)
PC Latency (SBC)
201 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
80 ms
Android Latency
127 ms

The Sony WH-XB910N's Bluetooth connectivity is great. You can pair them with up to two devices at a time, but unlike the Sony WH-XB900 Wireless, they don't support NFC pairing. While their latency on PCs is high, they have lower latency on iOS and Android, making them more suitable for streaming video on these devices. That said, some apps compensate for latency differently, so your experience may vary.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
9.5
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
Yes
USB Audio
No
Detachable Yes
Length 4.04 ft (1.23 m)
Connection
1/8" TRS
Analog/USB Audio Latency
0 ms

These headphones come with a 1/8" TRS to 1/8" TRS cable. They also come with a USB-A to USB-C cable for charging up the headphones.

Connectivity
PC Compatibility
Analog
Audio Only
Wired USB
No
Non-BT Wireless
No

These headphones can connect to Bluetooth-enabled PCs with full compatibility. However, if you want to use them wired, they only support audio via analog.

Connectivity
PlayStation Compatibility
PS4 Analog
Audio Only
PS4 Wired USB
No
PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
PS5 Analog
Audio Only
PS5 Wired USB
No
PS5 Non-BT Wireless
No

These headphones are compatible with PS4 and PS5 headphones when connected to the console's controller via analog. However, you can only receive audio.

Connectivity
Xbox Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio Only
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No
Xbox Series X|S Analog
Audio Only
Xbox Series X|S Wired USB
No
Xbox Series X|S Non-BT Wireless
No

The Sony WH-XB910N only support audio when connected via analog to your Xbox One or Xbox Series X|S console's controller.

0
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
No Base/Dock
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
No
Power Supply
No Base/Dock

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Sony WH-XB910N come in two color variants: 'Black' and 'Blue'. We tested the 'Black' variant and you see our model's label here. If you come across another variant, please let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Headphones

The Sony WH-XB910N are the next generation of the Sony WH-XB900N Wireless. Like their predecessor, they have a very bass-heavy sound profile that delivers significant boom, thump, and rumble. While some users may find they sound overly muddy and harsh, if you prefer a different sound, their companion app offers a graphic EQ and presets to help tweak their sound to your liking. This generation also has a significantly better noise isolation performance, thanks to their ANC system. However, it still falls a bit short of that of the Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless.

Check out our recommendations for the best bass headphones, the best headphones for music, and the best noise cancelling headphones.

Sony WH-XB900N Wireless

The Sony WH-XB910N Wireless are the next generation of the Sony WH-XB900N Wireless. The XB910N are similarly comfortable and well-built as their predecessor. However, they come with a hard case to help protect them when you're on the go, they have an even more bass-heavy sound profile, which some users may prefer, and their ANC offers better overall performance. They also have an auto-off timer to help conserve battery life when you're not using them, and they support multi-device pairing. However, the XB900 support NFC pairing, which some users may prefer.

Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless are better headphones than the Sony WH-XB910N Wireless. While both over-ears are comfortable, the XM4 are better built, have a more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer, and their ANC offers a significantly better noise isolation performance. They also support NFC pairing. However, the XB910N have a better overall battery performance.

Sony WH-CH710N Wireless

The Sony WH-XB910N Wireless are better over-ears than the Sony WH-CH710N Wireless. The XB910N are more comfortable, feel better built, and have a significantly better battery performance. Their continuous battery life lasts longer, they have a companion app with a graphic EQ and presets to help you adjust their sound to your liking, and they support multi-device pairing. The CH710N have a more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer, and support NFC pairing.

JBL Live 650 BTNC Wireless

The Sony WH-XB910N Wireless offer better overall performance than the JBL Live 650 BTNC Wireless. The Sony are more comfortable, come with a sturdy hard case, and have a virtual surround feature. They also have a better noise isolation performance and a longer continuous battery life. However, the JBL have a more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer, and their companion app offers a parametric EQ.

Skullcandy Crusher Evo Wireless

The Sony WH-XB910N Wireless are better headphones than the Skullcandy Crusher Evo Wireless. The Sony are more comfortable, have a significantly better noise isolation performance, and have longer continuous battery life. Their companion app also offers a graphic EQ and presets to help you adjust their sound to your liking, and they support multi-device pairing. However, the Skullcandy have a haptic bass slider that some users may prefer.

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