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Sony WH-H910N ANC Headphones Review: A Treat For Audiophiles
If you are an audiophile and in a constant look-out for the best sounding pair, chances are you will zero-out on products from Sony, JBL, or Bose. With the technology advancing, brands are coming up with new powerful products that cater to the demands of masses. Speaking of which, Sony, the pioneer in the premium audio products category has unveiled another over-the-ear headphones called the WH-H910N.
- Larger earcups and lightweight design makes it super comfortable
- Touch-enabled earcups for easy controls
- Support for multiple audio codecs
- Good Audio output
- A bit costly
- No IPX certification
The Japanese tech giant has introduced the device as a sibling of its flagship WH-1000XM3 ANC headphones. The latest product has some similarities in terms of hardware as the WH-1000XM3. Besides the ANC support, the Sony WH-910N offers touch-enabled earcups for media controls, high-end drivers, and also support for a voice-based digital assistant.
The ANC headphones will cost you Rs. 21,990 and is available for sale exclusively on Flipkart. It comes in a single black color option. But, you might be wondering if this device lives up to the expectation and delivers as crisp output as the WH-1000XM3. Let's find out in this detailed review of new Sony ANC headphones:
Bigger Earcups, Lightweight Design Makes It Super Comfy
Wearing comfort is one of the other factors determining the quality of an audio product. A superior wearing comfort undeniably complements high-resolution audio output. And Sony's high-end audio products have always catered to this need of a user.
The Sony WH-H910 feels like featherweight headphones whose over-the-ear design with larger earcups is what adds to the comfort. The company has focused on improving the design and has also added some textured-patterns on the earcups to enhance the overall look.
That said, the headphones offer good quality padding on the earcups which is not only soft but seems sweat-proof. I didn't find my ears getting warm or sweating with a continuous usage over an hour. Besides, the soft cushioning on the headband further adds to the comfort.
The large-sized oval earcups cover the ear completely and the thick padding also assists in blocking the outside noise to some extent even when the device is not in use.
That's not all, similar to the WH-1000XM3, this one also has rotatable earcups which will allow you to carry it around with ease. You can also adjust the headband as per your comfort.
Intuitive Touch-Sensitive Earcups With Quick Attention Mode
The Sony WH-H910N features touch-enabled earcups for media controls as its older sibling WH-1000XM3. You can not only control the media playback but also access the Quick Attention mode. Let's talk about the gesture controls first. You can swipe up or down from the center of the right earcup to adjust the volume levels.
To change tracks you will have to swipe left and right and to play/pause music you need to double-tap on the center of the earcup. This same gesture is also used for answering calls. We will be coming to the calling quality in a while.
It also offers a quick-attention mode which allows you to hear to the surroundings without taking the pair off. You simply need to place your palm on the right earcup which will lower down the volume so you can listen to the surroundings. This is quite a handy feature as it saves you from the hassle of wearing the pair on/off again and again.
But, it seems like there is a delay of a few seconds. Also, you will have to keep your hand placed on the earcup till the time you want to lower the audio down. The audio turns up back as soon as you remove your palm.
While the right earcup is a storehouse for touch-controls, the left earcup packs the manual keys and ports. There a USB Type-C port, a 3.3mm headphone port, a notification LED, and a power key. There is another key called ‘Custom' which you can use to summon the Google Assistant. Do note that the headphones also support Amazon Alexa.
Once connected, the voice-based digital assistants work perfectly fine and you can get some basic tasks like calling get done easily. The quality of the keys and ports are also good and the company has compromised on the quality by packing it with stiff keys. They are rather swift in functionality.
High-Resolution Audio Output; Supports Headphone Connect App
Sony has equipped the new headphones with smaller 25mm drivers, but claims it delivers the same pressure as the conventional 40mm drivers to produce full-range frequencies. In my testing, I found the pair to deliver an output comparably similar to the other premium Sony headphones. This is in regards to the loudness and audio clarity.
Moreover, similar to the high-end WH-1000XM3, this pair supports multiple audio codecs and also supports DSEE HX (Digital Sound Enhancement Engine HX) which is Sony's proprietary audio technology that enhanced the audio quality by restoring the high-range sound lost during compression. This feature is primarily used by the company on its high-end headphones and isn't activated by default.
You need to toggle it on from the Headphone Connect app; about which we will be talking in a while. As for the codecs, the WH-H910N supports SBC, AAC, and LDAC Bluetooth codecs.
Just like the comfort, the headphones deliver high in terms of audio output. Play any genre on this pair and you won't be left disappointed. What I precisely liked about this pair is that, even without any ExtraaBass support, it delivers a punchy bass. It also doesn't muffle or distort the audio when media is being played the loudest.
I have played a wide category of songs and could listen to every beat and drop in the background. The vocals are clear and don't get overlapped by the instruments. Thanks to the high-resolution audio support, there is a minimum loss in the audio quality when the music is played wirelessly.
Its performance with AUX cable is also good. You won't find any specific difference in the output. Besides, this pair is compatible with the Headphone Connect app and you can make a plethora of adjustments to the audio.
The highlight settings are the Adaptive Sound Control and 360-degree Reality Audio setup. The former allows you to select the mode from Staying, Walking, Running, and Transport which is nothing but the ambient sound setting as per the background. For instance, the noise cancellation levels on the Transport mode is slightly less compared to the other modes, so that you don't get completely disconnected from your surroundings.
If you want minimum disturbances, then ‘Stay' is the setting you need to select. Do note that you can also automatically adjust the Ambient Sound levels and select Noise-canceling or wind noise cancellation manually using a slider on this window.
Moving to the 360 Reality Audio Setup, this feature captures the image of the ear to analyze ear shape for the best output. Completing the ear-analyzing process might need some effort at first, but once the setup is completed successfully, you will be able to enjoy the 360-degree sound. You also get the option to set Automatic Power Off which will basically turn off the pair when not in use after a certain period.
Effective ANC, Easy Pairing, And Solid Battery Backup
If you are pairing the headphones with any device for the first time then you need to press and hold the power key until you hear ‘Bluetooth pairing'. Now, head to the Bluetooth setting on your smartphone or tablet and look for ‘WH-H910N' device.
There is no hassle in the pairing process as such and I have been able to connect the pair with multiple devices. Complementing the high-resolution audio is the support for ANC. This feature is effective and does a perfect job of blocking outside noises. It is improved than what we have seen on the previous WH-H900N.
As for the backup, Sony has claimed up to 35 hours with a single charge which is close to what we have got with the pair playing at over 70 percent. Also, 10 minutes of charge can give you over 2 hours of usage which is quite handy when you are somewhere outdoors. You can use a USB Type-C charger to refuel the pair.
Sony WH-H910N Verdict
The Sony WH-H910N comes as another premium product from Sony that delivers high on audio and is super comfortable to wear. Also, it has modern-day features like the touch-sensitive earcups, multiple-audio codecs, and ANC support, and is a digital voice assistant enabled. Those who loved the WH-1000XM3 will definitely be impressed by Sony's new offering. It's a treat for audiophiles with best-in-class features.