The WH-H910N is Sony’s latest attempt to do a premium over-the-ear headphone with all the essentials. Compared to the older model, it’s now lighter and lasts longer on a single charge
Sony knows what the Indian audiophile wants and it tries to deliver the stuff that they expect from a premium headphone. Last year, Sony came up with the Sony WH-H900N as an affordable alternative to the supreme Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones, offering almost similar audio performance and noise cancelling. Although Sony doesn’t share sales figures, it might have been doing good sales numbers and hence, Sony now has a sequel to it.
Continuing with the tradition of difficult-to-remember names, Sony has come up with the Sony WH-H910N. It starts at Rs 21,990 and is now available as a Flipkart exclusive only. On the brochures, it looks the same as most premium Sony headphones but Sony says it has refined it massively to make for an overall better experience – both in terms of audio performance and wear comfort. It still doesn’t offer the water and dust resistance but on the whole, it looks like a much better package.
Hence, I picked up a pair to let it groove along with me and after more than a week, I am quite impressed with the Sony WH-H910N.
Design: Looks and feels slimmer, lighter
Most over-the-ear headphones from Sony carry a hefty bulk and that make them suitable only for a short while. The WH-H900N was only useable for a short time because of the weight but Sony has trimmed the fat on the WH-H910N. The new model is not only lighter than the older model but it is significantly slimmer. The ear cups are slimmer and the design is done in a way to pamper the ears – the headphone follows the contour of the head’s shape. Even the plastics on the outside has been trimmed to makes it look sleeker.
Sony has also worked on the build quality and it feels better to touch and wear than the 900N. There’s copious use of soft-touch plastics that’s smoother to touch (that also means more smudges). Even the cushioning is now softer and it helps with the overall comfort while wearing.
Some of my favourite features make a return on the WH-H910N, including the USB-C port, the touch controls for music playback and volume adjustment, as well as the dedicated button for noise cancellation. The touch controls make life easier on the move and every premium headphone should get touch controls.
Performance: Sounds great but Extra Bass is missed
This is where the Sony WH-H910N has got massive upgrades over the older model. Sony has changed the drivers and that has led to all the slimming and trimming of the headphone’s bulk. It has also helped in improving the performance by a noticeable margin. My review took place over music streamed from Amazon Prime Music and Apple Music.
The 900N used the usual 40mm drivers but the new model uses smaller 25mm drivers. It sounds unimpressive on paper but Sony says the new 25mm drivers along with the highly rigid aluminium domes and soft urethane edged diaphragms deliver the same sound pressure as the regular 40mm ones. Hence, you get similar performances but your head has to carry a lot less weight.
With the new drivers, Sony has tuned it impressively. Gone is the inclination towards bass as there’s no extra bass present here. Instead, Sony has tuned it in a way to make the audio sound more balanced. The mids are strong and rich whereas the low-end frequencies (drums, guitars) come across as highly detailed. The high-end frequencies are clear and I did not notice any distortion at the high volumes. In layman’s terms, the Sony WH-H910N sounds nice with a slight emphasis on the drum beats and instrumentals but without pressuring the ears with heavy bass. If you love a balanced audio profile, you will like the Sony WH-H910N. It’s not as perfect as the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless but for the price it sells, it certainly has a better audio profile than the Skullcandy Crusher ANC.
That said, I love Sony’s extra bass and I wish there was an option here to toggle it ON or OFF based on preference. Sony defines bassy audio performance and it could have been present here.
For example, in Selena Gomez’s ‘Hate you to love me’; the guitar work is rich and clear whereas the vocals remain strong. Bollywood songs are rendered nicely, with lots of clarity in the instrumentals.
Helping the WH-H910N is Sony’s Ambient Sound system. Once you pair it with the Sony Headphone app on your phone, the Sony WH-H910N will automatically sense the surroundings and it will adjust the levels of noise isolation on its own. Hence, when you are listening to the music on your own in a closed room, the system will engage in full noise isolation. As soon as you fill the room with some people, the headphone starts letting in some ambient sound to let you stay aware of the surroundings. You can also place your palm on the right earcup to listen to people clearly while the music is playing.
That sounds fancy, doesn’t it? If you want old-school noise cancellation, you can press the dedicated button or turn on the option in the app. The noise cancellation performance is good but it is not the best I have heard on a headphone yet. The earcups provide decent passive noise isolation but you can still hear the ambient sounds. With the active noise cancellation engaged, the headphone filters out most of the low-frequency sounds but I was able to hear someone talking next to me faintly. This may be due to the average passive noise isolation and this is where Sony could have worked to offer slightly better performance.
On the whole, the Sony WH-H910N provides a satisfactory performance and those looking for an overall balanced audio profile will find this suitable.
Battery: Never dies
I don’t know how Sony has achieved it but despite the overall profile slimmer, the Sony WH-H910N manages to outdo its predecessor in terms of battery life. Sony claims up to 35 hours of battery life on a single charge without noise cancellation. I only used it for 11 days and during that period, I listened to music with a mix of Adaptive sound as well as noise cancellation daily on an average of 2-3 hours, and with all that use, the Sony WH-H910N never died on me. The fast charging does help as before using it, it filled up the battery fast.
The Sony WH-H910N is a great example of what Sony does best – offer a great listening experience. This one exactly does that and if you love balanced audio profile, this is the best headphone you can pick up for less than Rs 25,000. The active noise cancellation performance is good but I wish the passive isolation could have been better. The battery life compensates for it massively and the best part is that despite packing a rich audio performance, it is light and extremely comfortable to wear.
At Rs 21,990, the Sony WH-H910N is a great headphone to consider if you want a nice balance of good audio performance and wearing comfort.