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Sony expands its range of mid-tier headsets with premium features
- Sony released the Sony WH-XB910N noise-cancelling headphones and WF-C500 true wireless earbuds.
- Both headsets use Sony DSEE to upscale compressed audio files and render them nearly the same quality as high-resolution audio files.
- The Sony WH-XB910N and WF-C500 are available to pre-order today for $249.99 and $99.99 respectively.
Sony has just upgraded its mid-tier line of headphones and true wireless earbuds. The new models are the Sony WH-XB910N and Sony WF-C500. While these headphones and earbuds are priced more affordably than Sony’s flagship models, they include premium features like Sony 360 Reality Audio and onboard smart assistant access.
The XB910N noise-cancelling headphones let you bring a bass-heavy sound anywhere. But these aren’t just for bass-lovers: they include practical features like an advanced microphone array to handle conference calls and Sony’s DSEE technology, which the WF-C500 have too. DSEE upscales low-quality, compressed audio files and specifically improves the treble response that’s often lost during compression.
Just like the previous WH-XB900N before them, the WH-XB910N feature active noise-cancelling (ANC). While we don’t yet know how well the ANC performance works with the WH-XB910N, it should be better than before, meaning midrange frequency hums will sound at least half as loud as without the headset. Adaptive Sound Control intelligently adjusts the ANC intensity depending on your environment, making it more powerful when you’re in a noisy environment than when you’re studying at home.
The headphones use Bluetooth 5.2 and support the SBC, AAC, and LDAC Bluetooth codecs. To control playback, listeners must interact with the right ear cup’s touch panel. The headphones support multi-point connections, so you can connect to two devices at once. As with other Sony headphones, these support Google Fast Pair and Swift Pair for seamless pairing to Android and Windows devices. You get a 30-hour battery life when streaming via AAC and can quickly charge the headset — just 10 minutes of charge yields 4.5 hours of playtime.
The Sony WF-C500 true wireless earbuds use Bluetooth 5.0 and feature a compact design and comfortable fit, making them a great choice for daily use. They sit nearly flush with the ear and don’t draw too much attention to them. You can opt to use just the left or right earphones in mono mode, which is great for remaining aware of your surroundings and caters to some people with a hearing impairment.
Rather than touch controls, these earbuds use buttons to control playback and digital assistant access. You get 10 hours of playtime from the earbuds and an extra charge cycle from the case. Placing the earphones in the case for 10 minutes provides 60 minutes of playtime. Like the more premium Sony WF-1000XM4, the WF-C500 feature an IPX4 water-resistant build, making them a fine set of workout earbuds.
These earbuds house an advanced Bluetooth chip that transmits sound to the left and right ears simultaneously, so you’re not likely to notice any latency. Like the over-ear WH-XB910N, these earphones support Sony 360 Reality Audio for an engaging spatial music experience, but this requires you to have a subscription to a compatible service like Tidal or Deezer.
The Sony WH-XB910N and WF-C500 are available to pre-order today and retail for $249.99 and $99.99 respectively. The XB910N comes in black, blue, and gray (Best Buy only), and the WF-C500 come in black, white, green (Best Buy only), and orange (Target only).