Sony India has been really pushing its audio portfolio in the country. Recently, they launched two new affordable wireless earphones – WI-XB400 and WH-CH 510 – both of which are priced at Rs 3,999 for the Indian market.
Although prices are the same, there’s one big fundamental difference between these two – the CH 510 is an on-ear type, while the XB 400 is an in-ear type. Recently, we shared our two bits about the former and now its time to review the XB400.
These headphones offer Sony branding for a very affordable price and will be up against the likes of Realme buds wireless, Mi Neckband, Samsung Level U, and OnePlus Bullets Wireless. We have been extensively testing the XB400 for the last couple of weeks to know where they stand, and based on our experience here’s our final review.
Sony WI-XB400 wireless earphones Unboxing
Before we dive deep into the Sony WI-XB400 review, let’s first take a look at what’s comes in the box.
- Sony XB400 earphones
- Additional ear tips
- 20CM USB Type-C cord for charging
- User manual
Sony WI-XB400 Bluetooth Earphones Review: Design and fit
The wireless earphones from Sony have a conventional design and don’t try very hard to look fancy. The Japanese maker offers these earbuds in two colors: black and deep blue. For this review, we have the deep blue variant which is certainly not flashy and works better for us than the understated black.
There are earplugs and control units on either side of the flat, flexible neckband. The cable is tangle-free and light.
During the course of this review, we used these Sony wireless earphones for extended periods of time and such usage didn’t result in any sort of discomfort. Sony bundles additional tips in different sizes and you can choose the one that works best.
Both 12mm drivers have rubberized casing and tips ensuring a great fit. When not in use, the XB400 drivers magnetically cling together around your neck. Having said that, the Magnets aren’t strong enough to hold them together while running or other rigorous physical activities. Also, unlike the Realme Wireless or OnePlus wireless earbuds, these Sony Wireless earbuds don’t go into sleep mode when both are clamped together.
Sony hasn’t really bundled a case within the package which would have made a lot more sense. Still, considering the price they are on offer, the Sony WI-XB400 wireless earphones look decent and offer a comfortable fit.
Sony WI-XB400 Bluetooth Earphones Review: Connectivity, Codec Support, and Controls
Since these are wireless handphones they connect with other audio streaming devices via Bluetooth. These earphones are based on Bluetooth 5.0 and the coverage range was pretty good.
We were able to enjoy music across rooms without any interference or sound drop. As for Audio Codec support, Sony XB400 only support SBC and AAC but are missing AptX or AptX HD support.
Like most earphones, this one too has a 3-button remote and a mic on the cable. The Volume up and down keys sandwich the multi-action middle button that serves as the power button, triggers Bluetooth setup mode, as play or pause button, and as a shortcut to summon voice assistant or to answer calls.
Sony WL-XB400 Bluetooth Earphones Review: Audio
The Sony WL XB400 performance was in line with our expectations considering the price. Well, almost. For this review, we paired these headphones with the OnePlus 7T (review) and Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 (review). During the testing period, we primarily streamed audio from Spotify, Youtube Music and Jio Savan with the quality set to highest.
We played the Dave Burubeck’s renowned Take Five symphony from Time Out album on Youtube and the Sony XB400 impressed us with the precision of sound details and clear distinction between various tones. Peter Gunn Theme performed by Henry Manchini and his associate gave us further clarity. The soundstage is wide with good separation between lows, mids, and highs. The crispness in audio from percussion instruments really impressed us.
We also tested some Indian pops and desi music on the Sony XB400. We played the Coke Studio rendition of ‘Chaudhary’ song. The Sony earphones don’t do injustice to this beautiful folk song. One can clearly make out Instruments like Sarangi, Dholak, Tabla, Drums Flute. While all these instruments are there, you won’t fail to notice soothing lyrics of the song sung in Mame Khan’s mesmerizing voice.
Unlike many affordable earphones like Realme Wireless Buds, these Sony earbuds don’t excessively lean towards lows. The makers have done well by following a more balanced approach and not going overboard in the name of extra bass.
Sony WL-XB400 Bluetooth Earphones Review: Call Quality and Battery Life
The call quality on these Sony earbuds is about average. At times, the person on the other end found it difficult to hear us when we made calls in public places. There were no such complaints when these calls were made in quieter surroundings.
The XB400 offers a great battery life. During our review, we were able to use them for hours before it started bothering us with low power alerts. Fast charging is supported and you can get 1 hour worth of mileage with just 10 minutes of charging. Another positive here is the USB-C charging port which ensured that it didn’t have to carry a separate cable, but unless you have the same port on your phone this is a moot point. Given there’s no adapter in the box, it takes about three hours to fully refill its battery via a USB port
Sony XB400 Review verdict
The Sony XB400 makes the right noises from the price to the performance. These are quite basic headphones and are missing modern frills, but they deliver well-balanced audio and works where it matters. These are loud, comfortable and offer great battery life. Are these perfect? Absolutely not. Should you buy these under Rs 4,000? Definitely, as these are one of the better ones that we have seen in this price segment.