The Sony H.ear On 2 WH-H900N is one of the many over-the-ear style headphones we’ve seen from the brand. This is no surprise, given that this is the preferred type of headphones for people who lead an active life and need headphones to match it without any issues. Additionally, these headphones are wireless (you do have the option of plugging a 3.5 jack in there, though), meaning that no cables will get tangled in your clothes or hair, pulling the headphones down while you’re working out. That being said, several factors prevent the H.ear On 2 from being great all-activity headphones, the first one being their weight. Since these headphones are on the heavier side, they only offer moderate stability, meaning that they’ll move around as you tilt your head. The other reason why these might not be suitable for every activity is the fact that will make your ears pretty warm if your workout lasts long enough. These two factors eliminate the possibility of doing most high-intensity exercises
that require a lot of moving and jumping since the headphones probably won’t offer functionality and comfort. However, if you’re interested in headphones that you can use in your regular listening activities, including some steady-state cardio
, you won’t experience these issues.
The Sony H.ear On 2 headphones support SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX HD, and LDAC audio formats. As a consequence of their wireless nature, they feature all the audio control you’ll need right there on the headset. There are two types of controls on these headphones: physical ones, and touch-sensitive ones. You’ll find the physical controls on the left side of the headset, where you’ll see the power button that can also initiate device pairing upon long-press; next to it are the 3.5mm audio jack, and the micro USB connector used for charging the headphones. The final button on the left side is the noise cancellation toggle which activates the Ambient Sound mode which we’ll cover in detail below. The right earcup is touch-sensitive and allows you to adjust the volume by swiping up and down, while swiping left and right skips through tracks. Additionally, you can cover the entire earcup with your hand, which activates the Quick Attention mode. The microphone
on these headphones offers a clear and crisp sound and performs well even in noisy environments.
There are three different listening modes available on the Sony H.ear On 2 headphones, which allow you to be in absolute control of your listening experience. The first mode, called Ambient Sound, allows you to listen to music while hearing the ambient noise at the same time. This mode prevents you from blocking all external noises and lets some vital sounds through the headphones, which is immensely useful for when you’re walking on a busy street or you’re in need of hearing the traffic for whatever reason, but you don’t want to stop your music.
Another useful audio mode is the Quick Attention, activated by cupping the right earcup. This movement will temporarily lower the playback volume and allow you to listen in on a conversation or an important announcement, without pausing the music and/or taking the headphones off. The main difference between the Ambient and Quick Attention mode is that the first one just lets the ambient noise through, while the latter amplifies the noise while simultaneously lowering the headphone playback volume. Another difference is that the Quick attention mode is meant to be used for a brief amount of time, seeing how holding your hand on the left earcup does look a bit silly, while the Ambient Sound mode is meant to be used for a longer period of time, allowing you to split your focus both on the music and your surroundings.
The final audio mode is the Active Noise Cancelation
(ANC) mode which is pretty self-explanatory. The idea is to eliminate all outside noises around you and be left alone with your music. You can choose between three ANC options in Sony’s Headphones mobile app: Noise canceling, Wind noise reduction and Ambient sound. However, while this mode works fine compared with other headphones in the Bluetooth noise-canceling category, the Sony WH-1000XM2, which are more expensive, do offer significantly better ANC experience. Also, keep in mind that by turning the ANC mode off, you’ll prolong battery life to 34 hours, offering you around 30% more juice from one charge.
Overall, the sound quality that the Sony H.ear On 2 offers is great. This is thanks to the improved Bluetooth audio, given that the LDAC transmits more data than conventional Bluetooth wireless connections, providing excellent sound quality that's closer to High-Resolution Audio. Additionally, DSEE HX will restore detail in your music that was lost during compression, creating ample and enjoyable sound. Most users have said that these headphones have nice bass and a crisp sound which has left them satisfied. Going into more detail, the lows played by these headphones provide a textured, rich bass without it sounding too harsh and aggressive. The mid-range sounds are well-balanced, offering clear and diverse sound, which will leave you with the impression that you’re able to hear the entirety of tones and voices, especially while listening to rock, folk, and bluegrass. As far as the highs, they are equally as high-quality as the mids, providing a plush and detailed sound. At the same time, some potentially ear-piercing sounds will be toned down without stripping them of their crispiness.
This level of sound quality
really does make the H.ear On 2 a very versatile pair of headphones that will provide great music playback, whether you’re into EDM, rap, hip-hop, rock, folk, jazz or trap.
The Sony H.ear On 2 features several Bluetooth profiles: A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile), AVRCP (Audio/Video Remote Control Profile), HFP (Hands-Free Profile), and the most commonly used HSP (Headset Profile). These headphones feature the NFC (Near Field Communication) One-Touch connectivity, and along with the Bluetooth 4.1, they are able to connect to your device without a single cable involved
. The effective range which is tolerated between the headphones and your device is around 30 feet or 10 meters, more or less. Additionally, the headphones come with a TRS audio cable which measures 3.94ft in length, as well as a micro-USB charging cable.
We’ve grown to expect satisfactory comfort levels from Sony, and the H.ear On 2 WH-H900N wireless headphones
are no exception. You can easily wear the headphones for several hours at a time, without experiencing too much pressure, overheating and discomfort. There is some heat emanating from the earcups, though, after about a couple of hours of playback, but it’s far from a deal-breaker. This slight overheating is a result of using synthetic leather in the headphones build. However, if you’re intending on wearing these headphones in a situation where your body will be heating up as well, the heat might become a bit too much. Also, while these over-the-ear headphones perform well for around 3-4 hours, you can expect to feel slight pressure on your ears and head if you decide to wear them upwards of five-ish hours. However, this slight discomfort can easily be prevented by taking the headphones off for about 15 minutes every couple of hours, which shouldn’t be too much of a hassle for most people. Also, keep in mind that while these headphones are foldable, they’re still a bit bulky and won’t fit in a pocket or a small handbag.
The weight of the Sony
H.ear On 2 is around 10.23oz, which is a bit on the heavier side when it comes to over-the-ear headphones. However, their weigh doesn’t influence their sleek and modern look, which features clean lines and minimal detail, without the playback controls being visible. These versatile headphones resemble the brand’s WH-1000XM2 model, underlining the general impression that the H.ear On 2 is the lower-end version of the WH-1000XM2. Unlike that model, however, the H.ear On 2 features hard plastic buttons. There are a number of different colors which allow you to choose one that will suit your style and closet the best. The colorful choices include Horizon Green, a beautiful toned-down muted green, Twilight Red, a brick-hued, vibrant red, and Moonlit Blue, a deep, almost grey jeans-blue. On the more classic, subdued side, we have the Pale Gold, a rich, creamy gold color (without the bling) and the usual classic Grayish Black, which is exactly that.
While the design and look of the H.ear On 2 are very similar to the original Sony H.ear On MDR-100AAP, the second iteration of the model features a sturdier build, as well as a wider and thicker headband. This makes these noise canceling headphones
more durable than the original. Additionally, the earcup pads are a little bit thicker as well, which increases the weight of the headphones but also increases the comfort. The sturdy design makes these headphones relatively able to endure moderate stress without sustaining serious damage. However, even though the headband is reinforced with a metal frame, the surrounding material is still plastic, which still makes these headphones more than able to break if they’re mishandled or stretched too much. The overall durability of the H.ear On is average-to-good, compared to the category standard, and while the build quality is far from premium, these headphones are a step in the right direction.
Ease of Use
The H.ear On 2 headphones are very intuitive and easy to use, especially with the touch-sensor control options featured on the right earcup. Switching between tracks, as well as adjusting the playback volume is simple and quick. Other than that, the touch-sensor option allows you to play or pause the song, answer phone calls and activate Google Assistant or Siri, for which they’re optimized. Through the Headphones Connect app you can, among other things, fine-tune your desired settings, by adjusting equalizer settings or picking an optimal sound preset for you.
The rechargeable Lithium battery of the Sony H.ear On 2 charges via the micro USB cable and takes a whopping 6 hours to charge to 100%, which sounds and is a bit disappointing. The brand was obviously aware that this would irritate most music lovers, so plugging the headphones for 10 minutes only will buy you around 65 minutes of playback time. This isn’t ideal, but it’s a good compromise nevertheless. Aside from the charging nuisance, the H.ear On 2 has a great battery life of 28 hours of continuous music playback time, which jumps to 34 hours if you decide to switch off the ANC. In waiting time, the ANC-on playback time is 48 hours, with the maximum being 200 hours with the ANC switched off. The vast majority of users have been more than satisfied with the battery life, and there aren’t many headphone models that can beat Sony
in this category.
Although the official price of the Sony H.ear On 2 WH-H900N isn’t cheap, you can find discounted versions on Amazon. The official pricing on these headphones
is strange because if you’re willing to splash that amount of cash on headphones, you can save up a bit more and go for the WH-1000XM2 which have better ANC mode. However, if you find them on discount, they’re very much worth the money, since the sound quality, durability, battery life, and audio modes are all satisfactory, and there aren’t a lot of headphones in this category – if any, that are better than the H.ear On 2.
● Over-the-ear style headphones
● 3.5 audio jack, micro USB charging
● SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX HD, LDAC supported audio formats
● Physical and touch-sensitive controls
● Good microphone
● Ambient Sound, Quick Attention and Active Noise Cancelation modes
● Great sound quality
● Bluetooth 4.1, Near Field Communication (NFC) One-Touch connectivity
● Average durability
● Nice design, a lot of color options
● Rechargeable Lithium battery, 28 hours continuous playback time
The Sony H.ear On 2 WH-H900N is a well-rounded pair of headphones which will satisfy the needs of everyone except the passionate audiophiles who require premium sound and premium build. While there is room for improvement in the noise canceling department, the intuitive controls, touch sensors, and great sound quality make this a very solid choice, especially for people who have used the cheaper headphones and wish to see what the world of mid-range headphones has to offer.