Sony XB700 review: Wireless headphones with good bass, exceptional battery

Sony WH-XB700
After introducing the premium WH-1000XM3 wireless headphones, Japanese electronics maker Sony recently launched in India the Sony WH-XB700, an affordable product in the company’s Extra Bass headphones series.

Being entry-level mid-range headphones, the XB700 lacks most premium features like noise cancellation and isolation. But it boasts a bass-rich audio output, and that is what this pair of headphones is all about.

The XB700 has a minimal design, made mostly of plastic with leatherette cushioning on the headband and ear cups. Light in weight, the headphones boast an on-ear design with ear cups that turn 90 degrees outwardly, making it comfortable for you to lie flat even with the headphones hanging around your neck. However, thanks to an on-ear design, the headphones are not comfortable to use for extended hours. On the brighter side, though, an extendable headband design allows you to adjust the ear cups and provides a good fit perfectly over the ears.

Operating the headphones is fairly easy, too, especially because of limited but functional controller buttons on the lower side of both ear cups. On the right ear cup, there are dedicated buttons for volume up and down, and a play/pause button placed between them doubles up as the call key to take or reject calls. On the left, there is a power button, and another one to activate voice assistants like Google Assistant, Alexa, etc (when paired with supporting devices).

Besides Bluetooth connectivity, these wireless headphones also support near field communication (NFC) for tap to pair functionality. There is a 3.5mm audio-in port as well to connect the headphones with a device using aux cable.

In terms of performance, the headphones have average loudness with deep bass. The bass effect can be tuned, based on personal preference, using Sony Headphones Connect app — available on iOS and Android devices. The app also allows you to change the headphones’ audio output settings, such as surround sound effects, Sony’s DSEE, etc. Unfortunately, these settings work when the headphones are set to use the basic SBC codec. If you switch to high-quality Qualcomm aptX from the app, these settings grey out and roll back to default.

Priced at Rs 8,990, the Sony WH-XB700 is a decent pair of headphones with good bass and an exceptional battery life of more than 18 hours. The headphones support fast charging, too, which makes it suitable for people on the go. Though its on-ear design makes it somewhat uncomfortable to use for extended hours, especially during summers, the product’s lightweight build and 90-degree swivel ear cups allow you to conveniently hang it around your neck all day.

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