It’s still pretty hard to get a fantastic pair of wireless cans for 100 bucks. Sennheiser pulls it off well with it’s HD 4.40BT. And even Audio-Technica has one or two decent options. But Sony has yet to match these companies at the $100 price point in terms of build quality. So, in this respect, the WH-XB700 looks promising. Advertised as an “extra bass” headphone, what can you expect in terms of sound quality? Let’s find out in this Sony WH-XB700 Extra Bass Headphones Review.
Sony WH-XB700 Extra Bass Headphones Review
IN the BOX
The on-ear fit works well for me. But sensitive ears might prefer bigger cups. That being said, the headphone avoids being to tight while still providing some amount of sound isolation. The cushions, though pleather, are pudgy and soft. And the headband has some padding as well.
Battery life is 30 hours, which is 5 hours longer than the $100 Sennheiser HD 4.40BT. These cans charge quickly as well. 10 minutes of charging will yield 90 minutes of playtime. A USB-C to USB charging cable is included in the box.
Three of the buttons on the headphone control play/pause, skip and answering/ending calls. You can also activate Google Assistant or that creepster, Alexa.
Another feature is the Headphones Connect app that allows you to customize your bass levels and choose between different soundstages, like arena, hall and club. There is a button on the ear cup that lets you activate this feature. And next to it is the power button, which also pairs to your device. After you’ve paired the headphones to your phone the first time, it will connect automatically every time you turn them on.
Call clarity is okay. But if you tend to have long conversations about the meaning of life on your way home from work, you should probably go for another model.
Also important to the design is the capacity for a wired connection. Great for plane rides and when you run out of battery life.
The build looks pretty sturdy. That is, it feels like plastic. But at least it’s strong plastic.
Although these cans deliver some powerful bass, the low-end avoids going too nuts. And, for the most part, there was no muddiness, though certain pop songs with deep bass felt a little mushy in the low end. Indeed, this is not a critical listening headphone. But with bassy cans at this price point, that’s to be expected. The sub frequencies are yuge as well, bringing out brain-numbing vibration when listening to hip-hop.
While the mids feel present enough, the lower midrange is really overtaken by the low frequencies. So, most of the song’s body comes from the bass. This might bother folks who like to hear the entire spectrum of sound in big rock songs. But listening to folk music, there was enough separation to make it suitable for acoustic guitars. String instruments had a smooth quality with a decent amount of clarity. So, these cans do present some versatility if you have a taste for bass.
Again, strings are super smooth in this frequency range. You won’t get a ton of transparency, but the sound is definitely easy on the ears. Moving back to pop, although percussion had a touch of crispness, it didn’t sparkle at all. So, those who like a touch of brightness might find the blunted character of these cans a little disappointing. But let’s be honest. This isn’t a headphone for classical or jazz fans.
Though it’s certainly not the cleanest sound I’ve heard at around 100 bucks, it is an ideal bass-head’s headphone at this price point. And perhaps, even those with more moderate tastes will still appreciate the warmth offered by the low frequencies.
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