Design & Construction
The Sony SBH-56 is the bluetooth headset made for those who wants to cut the cord. It weighs 17.4g and has a small dimension of 59.2mm x 24.1mm x 15.2 mm. On the front, it has no button controls but bears the Sony logo. While on the top, (Left to Right) there are the Vol -, Vol + buttons, play/pause/answer calls button and camera remote button. At the back, there is a clip with NFC and also the power on/off button. Underside, there is the USB Type C port to charge the device, while on the top, there is the audio-in port, LED indicator and speaker. From my daily uses and tests, I have accidentally dropped the device several times from waist height. Fortunately, everything works fine and the device still didn't suffer any damages or scratches. Definitely a peace of mind even when rough handling the device!
Sound quality is similar to an Xperia smartphone. When wired headphones and in-ears are connected to the device's audio-in port, the audio will be directed to your wired headphones. There is totally no distortion of sound when used with in-ears, headphones and speakers even at full volume. When users do not want to plug in their headphones, they can also enjoy their music with the device's speaker. The speaker volume is quite low but the main point here is that Sony made this device solely for personal listening. The speaker works fine with a sound signature that does not have much clarity. If users want a better sound quality, they can always plug in the supplied in-ears. The In-ear headphones, MH755, feature a shorter wires than regular in-ears but the purpose of it is for users to clip the device somewhere around their chest level. Sound quality wise, the highs, mids and bass all performed well and decent. Bass can be a little too boomy at times and lose clarity. However, to solve this issue, users can use their equalizer to bring the bass down. Overall, it is clear and very basic, not very enjoyable for longer listening period. Users can also take calls with the speaker or their own plugged-in in-ears and headphones, however the mic function will be the one on the SBH-56.
Connectivity & Portability
The Sony SBH-56's battery life lasts about 6 hours for music playback, 7 hours for talk time and 3 hours for speaker talk time. It also has a standby time of about 200 hours and takes approximately 2 hours for a full charge from a dead battery. The device has two colour options, Black & Silver, meant to match the colours of the Sony Xperia XZ Premium. The device offers Bluetooth 4.0 and will work with Android devices above Android 4.4 and IOS 9 and above but it isn't compatible with iPads. There is also an app in the Play Store and App Store called the Bluetooth Headset SBH-56. The app allows users to turn on/off functions like the Camera Remote function and also the function to turn on/off the voice notifications. It also shows the estimated battery life of the device itself. From my experience though, the app failed to detect the device and it unable to work about half the time. It is certainely frustrating but even if the app fails, the device still can connect to your phone's Bluetooth and work perfectly. You will probably only miss out on the features like the camera shutter button and speak the caller's name function.
No Distortion Even At High Volume Levels
Balanced Sound Output
Camera Shutter Button
Compact & Light-weight
Compatible Phone Matching Colours (Xperia XZ Premium)
The Bottom Line
The Sony SBH-56 is a fantastic accessory to have if you have many wired in-ears and headphones. It certainly turns all of your devices 'wireless'. Features like the 6 hours battery life, fantastic compact design and great sound with totally no distortion on all audio equipment makes the device a worthy buy. It is a fantastic choice for those who want to step in the wireless world without an overhaul of all their wired audio products.
WE RATE IT!