Sony is a well-known brand in the audio space. They make some of the best earphones and headphones in the market. The WX series headphones are renowned for some of the best noise cancellation in the industry. They are also very popular with their XB Extra bass series of headphones and earphones that cater for the bass heads in the market.
The WI-XB400 is kind of an underdog in the wireless earphone segment (neckband). It is not as popular as Sony’s other wired offerings that cost similar and not anywhere near as popular as their XB wired earphones.
Let’s take a look at the WI-XB400 and what it brings to the table in an extremely competitive segment.
The WI-XB400 has a neckband design. But unlike other neckbands with thicker centre portion and thin wires, the Sony ones are connected entirely by wires. There are small compartments on either side accommodating the battery and other controls.
The earbuds themselves are quite comfortable. Though they seem to sit flush within the ears they don’t. They still protrude outside the ears and might cause some discomfort if you plan to use them lying down.
There are small vents on the bottom of earbuds which helps in relieving the air pressure caused by wearing in-ear earphones.
WI-XB400 comes in two colours Black and blue. The unit that has been tested is the black variant.
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WI-XB400 has an all-plastic design. The quality is very average for the price. The wires are flat which should help with tangle-free cables but the wires feel like they miss some density. I easily feel like they could be ripped off.
The compartments that contain controls and charging ports feel decent enough. Earbuds by themselves are built good but the coating feels like scratchy plastic. Some glossy accents could have brought the earphones a long way.
Sony provides 2 additional ear tips aside from the default medium size. The ear tips are not very comfortable and have a weird feel to them.
The advantage to an all-wire design is that it can be very portable as it can be collapsed easily to carry in pockets or small backpack pouches.
There are three different buttons on the earphones. Volume up, volume down and a multi-function centre button.
To pair the earphones, you must hold down the centre button for a while until you hear a voice prompt. It can also be used to manually turn on and off the earphones.
The volume buttons like usual provide volume adjustments and can be used to skip tracks by holding them.
Every time you turn on the earphones there is a voice prompt indicating the battery percentage which is a great feature. The flat cables help in a tangle-free experience.
The earbuds attach magnetically around the neck. But the magnetic connection does not provide any function of pausing the music.
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Sound quality is the most important aspect of any earphone. I have compared it against the Enco M31 which is a good benchmark. Sony uses the AAC Bluetooth codec for audio transmission.
Let’s start with the loudness. The XB400 can get extremely loud. It gets much louder than M31. Even 60-70% volume will be good enough for loud environments. The earbuds also provide a good seal and help in cutting down a lot of external noise.
The XB400 is a bass-heavy earphone. The bass is heavier than bass mode on the Enco M31. The bass easily gets in the way of instruments and vocal and makes them less emphasised. The earphones make even the tracks with the lowest bass a thumping experience.
The clarity of the earphones are good but they are not as clear as the Enco M31 due to the excessive bass leaking into other aspects of the music.
But the sound stage is quite good and it offers a very spatial listening experience.
But this is exactly the experience bass head lookout for. If you are someone looking for a bass-heavy earphone the XB400 is an excellent choice.
Battery life and Microphone:
The microphone quality of the earphone is decent. It picks up voices well but also picks up some environment noise. The earphones are good enough for calls.
Battery life is a strong point of the earphone as it offers around 13-15 hours of playtime which is much better than the Enco M31 reviewed before.
Should you buy the WI-XB400:
Choosing to buy XB400 is a pretty easy choice. If you are looking for an earphone with heavy bass but also decent clarity and soundstage the XB400 is a great choice.
But if you are looking to buy earphones with a balanced sound signature or clarity in instruments you should look away from the XB400.