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This is an in-depth review of the Sony WH-H900N Bluetooth Noise-Canceling Headphones and comparison to the more expensive Sony WH-1000XM2.
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Sony WH-H900N Review
- Excellent sound, thanks to DSEE HX and LDAC
- Touch sensor for playback controls
- Available in various colors
- Good active noise cancellation
- Quick Attention feature to hear what’s going on around you
- 28-hour battery life
I picked up a pair of the Sony WH-H900N headphones the other day and was excited to give them a try because I had never owned noise-canceling headphones from Sony before. The Sony WH-H900N Bluetooth headphones feature a slick design without any visible playback controls that you would find on most other noise-canceling headphones. That’s because Sony decided to make smart use of touch sensors that they built into the right earcup. Using those touch controls, you can:
- Play or pause a song,
- Skip a track,
- Change the volume, or
- Activate Siri (or other digital voice assistants) by tapping or swiping on the earcup.
That may sound confusing at first but Sony implemented those touch controls very well, and I found them to be intuitive.
The other feature I liked is what Sony calls “Quick Attention.” By covering the right earcup with the palm of your hand, ANC turns automatically off, and the headphones lower the playback volume if you are listening to music. I don’t know how often I had to press pause and take off my Bose QuietComfort 35 on an airplane to listen or talk to a flight attendant. With the Sony WH-H900N, I only have to touch the right earcup instead of taking them off.
Quick Attention vs. Ambient Sound
On a recent trip to Florida, I was walking up to the gate agent at the Atlanta airport to board my flight. So I could hear what the agent was saying, I activated Quick Attention by covering the right earcup with my hand. The whole interaction took about 15 seconds and, honestly, it felt a bit weird running around with my hand on my head. If you think the same way, the Sony WH-H900N headphones also have a button on the left earcup to allow ambient sound through. But while Quick Attention amplifies ambient noise, pressing the NC/Ambient button doesn’t, it just lets it through. As a result, Quick Attention works better in noisy environments because it amplifies the sounds around you while pushing the NC/Ambient button is more convenient because you can press it once and let go.