Sony WH-XB900N: wireless noise-cancelling headphones for less

As the Award-winning Sony WH-1000XM3s (£279) are our go-to wireless noise-cancelling headphones, we’re rather pleased that Sony is bringing that digital noise-cancelling tech to a more affordable pair for 2019.

The WH-XB900Ns (£230/$tbc), available from July, are new additions to the brand’s Extra Bass range, so we’d hope for impressive bass performance (and would reasonably expect bass-heavy tuning) from the new cans. They sport a 30-hour battery life (with noise-cancellation activated) and are compatible with quick charge to provide an hour of playback from a 10-minute charge.

A quick attention feature allows the user to lower the volume of their music in order to hear their surroundings by simply touching the right ear cup. Further tap and swipe ear cup actions control play, pause, track skip and volume adjustment.

They’re compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa voice control for hands-free control, too.

Sony has also announced another new addition to the series, the SRS-XB402M Bluetooth portable wireless speaker.

Bearing a strong resemblance to the Sony LF-S50G smart speaker, it is sonically designed to enhance lower frequencies through its dual passive radiators and allegedly more transparent speaker grille. 

It aims to rise above the rest with wi-fi features, too. Built-in Spotify Connect allows Premium subscribers of the service to stream directly to the speaker, while Amazon Alexa support is onboard for voce control.

A ‘Live Sound’ mode aims to create a more immersive 3D sound, and multi-colour lights and a flashing strobe that syncs to the beat adds a visual flair to the waterproof and dustproof (to the IP67 rating), shockproof (so it can be dropped) and rustproof, design. A 12-hour battery life rounds off the spec sheet.

The SRS-XB402M will be priced at approximately £250/$tbc when it becomes available in July.


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Becky Roberts

Becky is the managing editor of What Hi-Fi? and, since her recent move to Melbourne, also the editor of Australian Hi-Fi magazine. During her 10+ years in the hi-fi industry, she has reviewed all manner of audio gear, from budget amplifiers to high-end speakers, and particularly specialises in headphones and head-fi devices. In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching Liverpool FC and horror movies, and hunting for gluten-free cake.