Sony has launched the WH-XB700, its latest entry-level wireless headphones in the Extra Bass range, in India today. The headphones, available in black and blue, will be priced at Rs 8,990 and will be available online as well as offline with leading retailers from the April 15, 2019.
The WH-XB700 was announced earlier in March 2019 globally and is finally landing in India in April. Along with improved performance over previous models in the segment, the WH-XB700 also packs a number of new features. While the headphones claim a total battery life of 30 hours, there’s also a quick charge feature onboard that tops up the battery for 1.5 hours worth of listening time in 10 minutes thanks to USB-c charging. There’s also support for passive operations with a 3.5mm cable included.
Perhaps the most interesting feature that the WH-XB700 packs is the inbuilt support for google assistant and amazon Alexa. With this, you get dedicated voice assistant features on your headphones with bare minimum reliance on its corresponding functionality on the connected smartphone. We have more details about this in the next section.
For connectivity, along with the passive support mentioned earlier, you get Bluetooth 4.2 and it also supports one-touch listening with NFC. According to Sony, these headphones also support a range of Bluetooth audio codecs, namely aptX, AAC along with the standard SBC codec. Strangely, Sony’s own LDAC is missing. We verified that the WH-XB700 does not support the LDAC codec yet using the developer settings in Android as well as the Headphone Connect app.
We received a unit of the WH-XB700 from Sony one day prior to writing this piece. In the time we’ve spent with the headphones, it is evident that the design language of the WH-XB700 is different from previous models in the range. The influence of the highly successful WH-1000XM3 is quite evident, whether you look at the aesthetics or the features onboard. Right out of the box, the matte-black paint job and the curved lines all over the place hint at the influence of the noise cancelling flagship. Speaking of noise cancellation, there’s none onboard here, so if that’s a requirement for you then you should be looking elsewhere.The WH-XB700N is particularly lightweight and diminutive in its form. It would have been great if the cups could fold a full 90 degrees, making the design even more portable.
One of the most interesting things in the one day we’ve spent with the headphones has been using the voice assistant support on board. So far, we’ve tried out only Google Assistant. The moment you connect the pair to an Android device, the Assistant app detects the model and suggests configuring the onboard assistant. After a quick setup, which we will detail further in a full review, using the onboard assistant was quite a lot of fun. By default, it is triggered by the custom button on the left cup and does not require your smartphone to be awake for many actions, like controlling Spotify, reading out the news, announcing notifications when tapped etc.
We’re currently working on a full review of the WH-XB700, so stay tuned for more details about its build, features and audio performance.