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The Best-Sounding Truly Wireless Earbuds?Posted
I am an audiophile, but more specifically, a headphone fanatic. I own far too many pairs of headphones to count—each with its own purpose. I own headphones as cheap as those that come with your flagship smartphone— all the way to high-end headphones that cost $1k. Whether it's bluetooth or wired, I'm out to find the best and only recommend the best to consumers like you. UNBOXING: The packaging for the WF-1000X is small, which is to be expected, as they're earbuds. Inside the box is the pair of earbuds with their charging case, 3 extra pairs of foam tips, 3 extra pairs of hybrid silicone tips, an extra pair of fitting supporters (silicone wings), as well as manuals and warranty info. Sony is definitely doing things right by including so many options. I immediately swapped out the default silicone tips for the small-size foam tips and found those to fit excellently. While many products are semi-charged out of the box, these were not—at least for me. I docked the earbuds into the charging case and plugged it into a USB wall charger using the included microUSB cable. After waiting the suggested 1hr 30 minutes to go from 0% to 100%, I paired the earbuds with both my iPhone 7 Plus and my brand new Google Pixel 2 XL and downloaded the Sony Headphones Connect app on both devices. SOUND: I listen to a lot of different music—ranging from EDM, Pop, Jazz, Progressive Rock/Metal and much more. The good news is that The WF-1000X handles them all really well. Color me impressed. The default sound signature is very pleasant with great bass extension (especially for EDM), sparkly highs for cymbals, crystal clear mid-range for dynamic guitars, and recessed sibilance to prevent fatigue from consonants in vocals. Listening to "Fantasy" by the rock band Eternity Forever, the WF-1000X handles the guitars wonderfully with good instrument separation and clarity. The bass guitar maintains its clarity, and the drums remain tight in the mix with the kick and snare being very impactful while the hi-hats and cymbals shimmer in a way I've not experienced from other Bluetooth earbuds. The vocals remain balanced without fatiguing the ears, letting you enjoy the entirety of the mix. Moving on to "Dreamer" by the prog-influenced jazz pianist Hiromi Uehara, I am once again impressed by the WF-1000X. It is easy to get lost in the dynamic nature of Hiromi's playing in addition to Simon Phillips' drums and Anthony Jackson's bass lines. Despite having small 6mm drivers, these earbuds continue to do justice to these masterful compositions. Unlike other Bluetooth earbuds I've tried, I have no issue listening in on a specific instrument in a mix. Switching to EDM, songs like "Shelter" by Porter Robinson, "Live for the Night" by Krewella and "Clarity" by Zedd maintain their bass presence while also delivering the excited mid-range and treble that the genre is known for without drowning out the vocals. Considering the types of mixes and masters that are typical of this genre, the bass extension may vary from artist to artist, but overall, I was certainly pleased. But if you're expecting rumbling bass, you will have to move up to over-ear headphones to enjoy such an experience. IN-APP EQUILIZER: In my opinion, the equilizer in the Sony Headphones Connect app is not worth recommending. The default sound signature of the WF-1000X is already quite impressive. No matter what I was listening to, I always preferred the sound without an equalizer applied. It's also worth mentioning that you cannot adjust individual paramaters of the equalizer—you can only select one of Sony's presets. If you absolutely must use an equalizer, you might be better off using your device's native EQ or a third party app. NOISE CANCELLATION: If you're familiar with Sony's top-of-the-line wireless over-ear noise-canceling headphones like I am, you'll be pleased to know that their active noise cancellation has made it to the WF-1000X, as well. To engage the noise canceling feature, you can press the button on the left earbud or enable it from the companion app. While the noise cancellation isn't as good as those found on Sony's over-ear headphones, it is certainly best-in-class among truly wireless earbuds. The WF-1000X does an impressive job at filtering out unwanted noise while maintaining clarity in your music. I would have no problem trusting these on a short domestic flight. It's important to also mention that there is no noise canceling optimizer nor atmospheric pressure optimizer like that found on the most recent flagship over-ear model from Sony. Even so, I took the earbuds outside and used them while operating a garden vacuum to pick up leaves in the yard. The vacuum is quite loud, so having the WF-1000X made things much more tolerable, as I could listen to music and focus on my yardwork without feeling like I was damaging my ears from the constant stream of loud noise from the vacuum. AMBIENT SOUND: The utility of the ambient sound feature while listening to music at reasonably volumes is incredibly limited. If this feature was a major factor in your purchase decision, you may be disappointed. To enable ambient sound mode, you can simply press the button on the left earbud until you hear the built-in alert say "ambient sound". Unfortunately, the hardware button only engages the "voice mode" mode, and doesn't allow you to engage the "normal mode" that is accessible from the app. Whether it's set to "voice mode" or "normal mode", the ambient sound mode isn't very effective unless you're listening to music at lower volumes. And unlike the latest over-ear model, you cannot adjust the volume of the ambient sound. To make this feature more effective, Sony would have to prioritize external sounds over your music—which defeats the purpose of calling this feature "ambient" sound. The "normal mode" might be useful to you if you are in a loud industrial/city environment and want to be a bit more alert of your surroundings, but the "voice mode" is lackluster and would require someone to really raise their voice for you to distinguish them from your music. ADAPTIVE SOUND CONTROL: Additionally, you can enable the "adaptive sound control" feature in the Sony Headphones Connect app. This feature will determine if you are sitting, walking, running, or on public transportation. Based on this status, the app will automatically switch the sound profile between noise canceling and the ambient sound modes. When it automatically switches modes, it will disrupt your music entirely to play an ambiguous alert tone in your ear that does not tell you which mode it is switching to. PLAYBACK CONTROLS: The playback controls are accessible from the right earbud or from your device. To pause or play, simply press the button on the right earbud. To skip forward a track, quickly double-press the button, and to navigate back to a previous track, quickly press the button three times. Unfortunately, there is no volume control on the earbuds, so you'll have to adjust the volume from your source device. Additionally, you can hold the button to spawn your phone's default voice assistant. BATTERY LIFE: Unfortunately, the WF-1000X doesn't break any records with its battery performance. Compared to other truly wireless earbuds from well-known brands, the battery performance is subpar. You're only going to get 3 hours of use before they require a charge. Thankfully, a quick 15 minute charge from the charging case can get you 75 minutes of use, but that's still overshadowed by a competitor's 15 minute charge for 3 hours of use. Regardless, I do feel as though I wouldn't want to use the WF-1000X for more than 3 hours at a time, anyway. The charging case can deliver up to 9 hours of charge to the earbuds, so if you use them quite often, then you'll find yourself reaching for a charging cable more frequently. COMFORT: Some may feel differently about this, but I tend to experience fatigue from in-ears much quicker in comparison to over-ears. I'm honestly not sure that I could keep the WF-1000X in my ears for more than 2 hours at a time. Even so, the WF-1000X remains snug in my ears using the smaller foam tips. I haven't had any issue with them slipping out unless I start jumping. CONCLUSION: Overall, I think the WF-1000X is a good first attempt from Sony at making truly wireless earbuds. Their sound signature is excellent, they have a comfortable fit, and the noise cancellation is best-in-class. The ambient sound features, while not particularly useful at normal listening volumes, don't take away from the overall experience of the product. Even so, it's the only product of this class to have such a feature, and some may find it to be useful. I look forward to seeing the improvements made over time with software updates and new hardware revisions. Sony definitely has a winner on its hands, and with each hardware iteration, I hope to see Sony learn from its shortcomings.
I would recommend this to a friend
Great audio performance. Not great for video.Posted
While the audiophiles out there may scoff at the mere existence of a small, highly mobile, wireless earbud that requires a special case just to charge it, there is no denying that truly wireless earbuds are becoming more and more popular with each passing month. No, Apple wasn’t the first to do it, not even the first to do it well, but man oh man did they do it well. And, we’ve seen the typical post-Apple-success market spike with truly wireless earbuds over the last several months, with more and more players coming into the space. There is a natural tendency to harshly judge the first players to a space, namely Apple, which (regardless of how you truly feel about them) have been able to really drive the accessories market forward as a result of their products. Truly wireless earbuds are no different, as Apple (with their AirPods) have been wildly successful since release in a market that had previously seen novelty exposure at best. More frequently than on store shelves, another Kickstarter campaign for another truly wireless bud that was another of the first of its kind would find its way to your Facebook timeline—but alas, those products were months (or years) away if they ever hit market at all. The AirPods spent their first several weeks after release with limited or no availability, and since then audio manufacturers have been working on perfecting their own versions. Enter Sony’s WF-1000X earbuds. My very first pair of over-ear headphones were Sony-branded, and I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for their products. More recently, I was disappointed when purchasing one of their small Bluetooth speakers, but nonetheless was excited about the WF 1000X’s and the Sense Engine technology that would allow me to adjust the noise canceling based upon my environment (as a side note—Bose’s ANC technology was a bit too much for me and made me motion-sick, so adjustable noise cancelation is a big deal for me). Upon opening the Sony buds, the first thing I noticed was a lack of a premium packaging experience. But, at a price of $200–I expect a box that you’re more likely to keep than one you won’t mind throwing away. Nonetheless, the buds themselves are packed separate from the small charging case, and come with a variety of tips and a couple different sizes of fins to help with the ideal fit. And speaking of fit—let’s talk about how Bose’s earbuds are the best (in my opinion) in terms of fit across the entire market of earbuds right now. I have tried dozens of manufacturers and products, and no one has really been able to consistently deliver what Bose does in terms of earbud fit—both from a security and noise isolation perspective. And, at first glance, Sony’s buds weren’t going to change my opinion; they came with two sets of add on fins that didn’t seem to be large enough for folks with bigger ears. The buds themselves are designed to fit snugly into the ear canal, but I always tend to have problems with wearing buds of that style for long periods without having to readjust them every couple minutes. But, miraculously, Sony has put out the first (ever) fin that really holds this style bud in my ear. Serious kudos to Sony for developing such a simple tool for the job (it’s worth noting here that the fin is entirely optional, and if you have no issue at all with ear-canal style buds, I would expect these to be no different). Something else that’s important here, perhaps even more important than the sound quality, is the Bluetooth performance, as there are no “wired” options for these buds. This, for me, was the biggest area of disappointment with Sony’s buds, as the onboard software doesn’t seem to be advanced enough to prevent the Bluetooth audio/video lag that we all remember from 3 or 4 years ago. As far as music-only performance is concerned, Bluetooth performed well without any skips, but as soon as I pulled up a YouTube or Netflix video, the lag was too much to bear and I had to switch to another set of headphones...and that very well could be a deal breaker for many buyers. Next, on to Sony’s Sense Engine technology, which is supposed to be a great new way to customize your noise cancelling experience. Most noise-canceling headphones being released right now have some sort of adjustability to ANC, and the implementation with the WF-1000X’s is acceptable, but certainly not revolutionary, nor is it anything that sets them apart from the competition. Again, when it comes to ANC, Bose is the leader and that hasn’t changed. Honestly, with the fit being as good as it is, the noise isolation alone is adequate for some basic noise canceling, and honestly the ambient noise “bleeding” settings just pump more hissing into your ears than anything else. Another key performance indicator for a good set of truly wireless earbuds is the battery life. Keeping in mind that sound settings (like a more bassy xperience, or higher volumes) will impact battery life significantly, I was less than pleased with the battery life of the WF-1000X’s. Battery technology is hopefully on the brink of a major paradigm shift, but until that shift happens small earbuds will never house batteries large enough to give them great battery life. It is for that reason that manufacturers are including charging cases, which both help prevent loss as well as add some extra battery life. The buds themselves are advertised to push 3 hours of playback on a charge, and through my testing this is a pretty accurate number. The case, when fully topped off, should charge the buds completely twice—taking your listening time to around 8-9 hours total with some time in between charging. And then there’s sound. Holy cow, the sound. I consider myself a wannabe audiophile—the kind of person that plays really close attention to the variations in headphones and earbuds, but doesn’t own a DAC and tends not to play with mixers. That said, the sound profile on these Sony WF-1000X buds is probably what I would consider the ideal profile for me: exaggerated bass (although not too much) with clear lows and less preference on quality in the highs. I found the low to be impressive considering the size of the drivers, the mids to be ideal for most users, and the highs to be less important than the other two but still clean enough so as not to be a distraction when listening. And, if you don’t like the particular profile that these have out of the box, you can download Sony’s Headphones app which allows for some preset mixer configurations that are remembered on your buds even if you change between devices (phone, tablet or laptop). The app hasn’t yet been ported for the iPad’s screen size or orientation, but I can get past that. Another quick note; I did test a couple of calls with these in my ears and found that the other parties could hear me clearly without much background noise, even though I was outdoors on a windy day. In my opinion this is not a reason to buy these, necessarily, but definitely a value-add that you can take a call while you’re on the move without having to worry about whether or not the caller can hear you. So the verdict is simple...if you’re doing shorter listening sessions that don’t require video synchronization, and you don’t need much by way of noise cancelation, but you still like a slightly heavier sound profile and want to go fully wireless—these should be right at the top of your list. Hands down, the sound quality on these obliterate Apple’s AirPods, for what that’s worth. If, however, you’re looking for earbuds that you can use to listen to music AND watch movies, without additional software you may be frustrated in not being able to synchronize audio and video. In theory, this can be patched with firmware updates, but nonetheless something to be aware of. All in all, for the price, these are a good addition to my collection, albeit a little disappointing that I can’t consistently use them for anything other than music and phone calls (yet).
I would recommend this to a friend
Truly wireless Bluetooth earphonesPosted
Setup: Start-up instructions were pictorial and a bit cryptic. A few words would have been nice (e.g. NFC connection instructions are on the second page and could have been used in place of the Bluetooth setup instructions on the first page). Nonetheless, I followed the instructions from step 1 and encountered no problems. Instructions suggested charging in carrying case for 1.5h. I did not try to use/pair them out of the box. The left earpiece went directly into pairing mode when removed from the case and was easily paired with my Bluetooth source (Samsung S4 Active). The right earpiece automatically connected to the left one when it was removed from the charging case. I had some difficulty getting any sound from the Neutron music app and had to resort to the native Android music player. However, after switching to and then removing my favorite wired in-ear-monitors (IEMs), Neutron seemed happy to send output to the WF-1000X. This was likely a configuration issue with Neutron and not a problem with the Sony headset. Sony Headphones Connection App: While I rarely recommend installing the app accompanying most headphones, the Sony Headphone Connection (SHC) app is an exception. The SHC app allows you customize the noise-cancelling (NC) features for the WF-1000X. On Android, the app needs the following permissions: • GPS and network location information • Read/Modify/Delete contents on SD card • Full network access and view network connections • Access Bluetooth settings and pair Bluetooth devices • Prevent phone from sleeping The app will send some personally identified information back to Sony. You can opt out for some items by going to the online privacy statement (accessed through the EULA). Location information is used by the adaptive location-dependent NC feature. The app also includes some (relatively useless) equalization (EQ) presets which cannot be modified and, in my opinion, diminish the overall sound quality (SQ) without an accompanying increase in volume. I could not find a way to customize any of the EQ settings to my personal preferences. “Off” is the best EQ setting IMHO. The app also allows you to select from two Bluetooth communication protocols (“Priority to Sound Quality” [A2PD] and “Priority to Stable Connection” [SBC]). If the sound is intermittent in the right earphone (or both earphones), as it was for me in my office environment with lots of 2.4GHz interverence, you will need to select the “Priority to Stable Connection” option and be content with the lower complexity codec [see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SBC_(codec)]. It’s not that bad and reduces the drop-outs in environments with high 2.4GHz interference. NC is OK, but isolation seems to have the biggest impact on muting external sounds. I have not tested the adaptive (i.e. location-dependent) NC feature. Comfort: The earphones are relatively large, but fit comfortably and snuggly (for me) with the medium tips and smaller “wings”. The ear tips provide some isolation, but, while Sony refers to the design as “closed dynamic”, there is no back-suction on removal. The only “discomfort” for me is the occasional annoying click when changing apps and low-frequency noise when NC over-corrects. Bluetooth: Bluetooth range is adequate for most purposes, at least 30 feet in “line-of-sight” or less depending on physical obstacles. For environments with high 2.4GHz interference, I recommend the “Priority on Stable Connection” option in the HPC app. Microphone & remote control: From what friends and colleagues tell me, the microphone works well with good voice quality and no feedback. Audio for phone calls comes only from the left earphone. Both earphones contain a microphone for NC, but only the left functions during telephone calls. A small button on the right earphone allows you to accept incoming calls and disconnects calls when you are done. To my knowledge, there is no button to pause/play or forward/back functionality. Battery: The downfall of many Bluetooth devices, battery life. Doubly so when playing music and processing external noise for active NC. The WF-1000X “solves” this problem with a nifty carrying case that charges the earpieces when not in use. Sony claims 9hr of battery life, but, with NC enabled, the earpieces will only go for 3hr of continuous listing without recharging in the case. Battery life will depend a lot on usage (NC vs no NC; standby vs active listening, etc.). Don’t expect to use them continuously on a transcontinental flight. Sound Quality: Were it not for the Bluetooth connection, these would near-audiophile quality IEMs. The sound signature is surprisingly flat. Instrument separation and sound stage are good. Treble and mids are well-reproduced. Bass is forward, but a bit muddy compared to a reference-quality wired balanced armature IEM and headphones (think Etymotic ER4SR and Sennheiser HD600, respectively). System sounds (i.e. button push tones, app change “clicks”, etc.) can be annoying and changes in the output mode using the HPC app can pause playback. The closed design is a blessing and a curse. The blessing, you can’t hear what is going on around you. The curse, you can’t hear what is going on around you. The adaptive and user-selectable NC behavior is a help here. I was not fatigued listening for several hours. The following albums were sampled during my review: • Adam Harasiewicz: Chopin Nocturnes & Preludes • Adrian Legg: Waiting for a Dancer • Antonio Pleeth: 6 Geminiani cello sonatas • Beatles: 1 • Billy Mclaughlin: Fingerdance • Bonnie Raitt: Road Tested • Calum Graham: Phoenix Rising • Creed: My Own Prison • Dirks und Wirtz: Kinski Spencer Gismonti • Don Ross: PS15 • Earl Klugh: Whispers and Promises • Francois Sciortino: French Guitar • Giovanni Palombo: La melodia segreta, A Secret Melody • Goran Sollscher: Eleven-String Baroque • Hoff Ensemble: Quiet Winter Night • Jewel: Spirit • Jian Wang: The Baroque Album • Joe Satriani, Surfing with the Alien, Crystal Planet, Flying in a Blue Dream, Unstoppable Momentum • John Doan: A Celtic Pilgrimage • John Williams: The Guitarist • Julian Webber: Elgar Cello Concerto - Saint-Saens Cello Concerto No.1 • Krzysztof Meisinger: Villa-Lobos Melodia Sentimental • Laurence Juber: Guitar Noir • Lawson Rollins: Elevation • Los Angeles Spin • Luca Stricagnoli: Luca Stricagnoli • Markus Segschneider: Snapshots • Michel Haumont: Michel Haumont & Co • Mike Dawes: What Just Happened • Miles Davis: Kind of Blue • Mstislav Rostropovich: Beethoven The Cello Sonatas- Vol1&2, Chopin Cello Sotatas, Schubert Schuman Debusy Cello Sonatas, The Brahms Sonatas, Vivaldi - Tartini - Boccherini Cello Concertos • Nora Jones: Come Away with Me • Oslo String Quartet: The Shubert Connection • Peppino D'Agostino: Acoustic Guitar • Ryan LeBlanc: Speechless • Sarah Mclachlan: Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, Surfacing • Sergio & Odair Assad: Sérgio & Odair Assad Play Piazzolla • Steve Vai: The Ultra Zone, Fire Garden • Tomasz Gaworek: Born To Be Together • Tori Amos: Little Earthquakes • TRONDHEIMSOLISTENE: In Folk Style, Souvenir I & II, • Vladimir Horowitz: Rachmaninov Piano Concerto #3 • Yo-Yo Ma: Bach Cello Suites Nos. 1, 5 & 6, Rachmaninov Prokofiev Cello Sonatas, Mendelssohn Piano Trios, Op. 49 & Op. 6
I would recommend this to a friend
Wireless is the New FreedomPosted
The setup for the Sony 1000X Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones can be a tiny bit confusing. However, a nice picture diagram is included to help facilitate the process. After you have taken out the pair of headphones, you need to insert them into the case for them to power on. The case works like a portable battery for the headphones and a carrying case at the same time. They will power on and will be discoverable in your mobile device. I tested these on an iPhone and the phone recognized that the Sony Headphones App needed to be downloaded for proper installation. I proceeded to do so after it prompted me to. The key feature of these headphones is that they are truly wireless. There is no connecting wires between the two ear pods. This makes them ideal for working out without having to worry about accidentally pulling on a wire. I wore them while jogging, doing household chores, and walking about without them falling off once. The noise canceling feature work fine, though not the best I’ve used. I was able to use things like a blender and a vacuum cleaner without disturbing my music. I could, however, hear my voice. You have the option to optimize the noise canceling features in the app that you download. The performance of these headphones are great. They are stereo headphones, so you won’t hear the deeper bases produced by headphones that fully cover the ear for a similar price, but the convenience of not having something heavy on your ears is worth it. Bass and deep sounds still sound great. This is especially true when you turn on the noise canceling feature that eliminate most ambient sound around you, helping you focus and immerse deeper in your entertainment of choice. The headphones meets my expectations. I did encounter a common problem amongst bluetooth headphones and mobile gaming. There seems to be a delay in audio when playing video games on your mobile device. I tested this with Clash Royale and with Geometry Dash, the latter which is crucial for there to be no delay in audio to be successful. For that reason, I deduct one star. This problem doesn’t exist when listening to music or watching your favorite streaming show from popular streaming services. If mobile gaming isn’t your scene, then these are a great pair of headphones. The price for Sony 1000X headphones in terms of value may look steep at first, but you must use them to believe how good they sound and how convenient their size and wire-free status can be. Keep in mind that included in the package is a portable rechargable battery for the headphones that doubles up as a carrying case. There are also plenty of options for various sizes of ear holes. I highly recommend this product for people who are tired of having wires in the face or arms while exercising or doing household chores. If you like listening to music or watching TV shows while on a bed, there won’t be much of a hindrance or discomfort, thanks to the unique design and smallness of it. These headphones pack a lot of power in a tiny package.
I would recommend this to a friend
It seems like everyone is coming out with wireless earbuds nowadays. The WF-1000x is Sony's entry into the premium earbud space. While the WF-1000x is a nice earbud set, it does have its quirks and compromises. First off, like with most accessories, you can unlock more tweaks and settings with Sony's companion app called Headphone Connect. Usually, I automatically dock a star on a review if I have to download software to use it, but Headphone Connect unlocks enough extra functions that it's worth the space it takes up in my Utilities folder. The WF-1000x is compatible with both iOS and Android devices - but I used my iPhone 7 Plus for the purposes of this review. From a call perspective, the Wf-1000x supports HD Voice. This is nice since many headsets don't - I realized how much I missed the clarity of HD Voice until I had to get on a conference call. Everything was crystal clear and it was nice to not be tangled up by cords while on the call. I was truly able to multitask, which was nice. From a battery stance, the WF-1000x states that it can last up to 3 hours for music playback. I didn't check the time, but I think that HD Voice uses more battery life, because I had to charge these things again and I'm not sure I got a solid 3 hours. The case is nice, sturdy and metallic. Like most wireless earbuds, the WF-1000x's case also doubles as a recharging station for the earbuds. It comes with a standard USB cord, so you can charge both the case and the earbuds at once. It also comes with several different sizes of earbud tips to try out. The medium ones worked best for me - my wife tried the small ones, but they didn't stay in her ear. That's my biggest gripe with the WF-1000x. From a design stance, they actually sit out further from my ear than other brands that seem to fit fine and use some vertical weight to keep them secure. There's a little rubber piece that's supposed to help keep it in your ear, but I seemed to dislodge them without really trying. Finally, a nice additional feature, and probably the biggest selling point, is that they are noise cancelling - and that setting is customizable. You can use total noise cancellation, or let ambient sounds through. You can use the Headphone Connect app to set it to automatic, which means the earbuds will actually listen to the environment and adjust for you. If you're in the market for some premium earbuds and don't mind ones that poke out of your ears a bit, then the WF-1000x are a great set. They're priced competitively with others in the market and also offer Google Assistant / Siri functionality. I think I'll end up using them primarily at work so that I can listen to music and hear when people are yelling my name!
I would recommend this to a friend
Big Features in a Small PackagePosted
My Sony WF-1000X Wireless Headphones showed up this week and I have mixed feelings after giving them a full testing. I've been looking for wireless earbud headphones for a while now and haven't been able to find a pair with great sound, comfort and feature packed. I was hopeful these would be the answer…and they are…kinda. Spoiler alert - I would recommend them, but still feel like there's a better sounding option out there. Sony’s packaging is top-notch ad well thought out to protects the equipment and looks great. The first thing I noticed upon opening the box was the small size of the WF-1000X unit itself. I’ve tried a number of other earphones and have found some to be too large for everyday use/running/biking. These earbuds are very small in comparison. So far so good! What’s in the box: the earbuds, charging case, charging cable and S, M and L earpieces and paperwork/quick start guide. In terms of a quick start guide, it's pretty straight forward. Take the left bud out of the case and power it up and connect once the lights start flashing blue/red. Once connected, power on the right earbud and go. Only problem was I couldn’t get the left earbud to turn on. The power switch is small based on the overall size of the earbud and I figured I wasn’t hitting it properly. I tried the right bud and it would power up. I tried a couple times through the Bluetooth setup on my iPhone and then downloaded the Sony Headphones Connect App. I put them in the case and charged them for 20-30 minutes to make sure it wasn’t a power issue (most electronics come with somewhat of a charge out of the box). Tried again and still nothing? This time, I made a point of really pressing the earbuds into the charging case…”pop” and they were in and charging. Turns out I wasn’t pushing them in hard enough to charge. Problem solved, after an hour or so of charging, I popped the left out, powered it up and connected to my iPhone no problem. So kind of a user error, but figured I’d point it out as others may have the same issue. The buds came with a medium sized fitment attached and they seemed to fit pretty well, so fired up some tunes to see what they’re all about. After walking around a bit, I noticed the right earbud was somewhat loose and had to readjust it a couple of times. They are meant to be inserted and twisted into a “locked” position within the ear. There are soft tabs that come off the back of the bud that helps lock them into place. The sound quality is good, but was lacking that rich bass sound. I opened the Sony Headphone App and it is actually really feature rich and has a bunch of sound adjustments in the form of pre-programed equalizer settings. Sure enough, was able to adjust with a little extra bass and now I really excited. I’m not an audiophile by any means, and there are a number of setups to try…so most users will get the sound setup they are after. The app also provides settings for the ambient sound/noise cancelling features. They were set on noise cancelling and it really works. My wife was talking to me from right across the room and I couldn’t hear a word…perfect! Just kidding honey! Phone calls sounded crisp and clear on both ends. The headphones are set up so the phone is only audible within the left earphone...the control and mic are both on the right side. Not a big deal, but was hoping for the call to come across in both. Next, I ran a quick 3 miles to see if they would hold in place and sound the same outside. The sound quality was great outdoors and the ambient settings are great allowing the user to select how much of the outside world comes through. The connection was solid from both my iPhone and my Apple Watch. Now I can run with just my watch and these headphones and still stay in touch with the outside world...if wanted! There was a bit of fiddling needed at times to make sure the earbud was solidly in place while running. Pros - great quality Sony construction, fit and functionality - Noise Cancelling / Ambient settings - easy to setup and use right out of the box with or without the Sony Headphones app (just make sure they’re charged first!) - Included portable charging case for additional battery life - Phone calls are easy to manage and with excellent sound quality - Strong Bluetooth - Never lost connection, even with going in other rooms in my house - One of the smallest truly wireless headphones out there Cons: - Phone calls are in left earbud only, was hoping for stereo to make it easier to hear calls while active - Earbuds did move around in my ear a bit, seemed to not want to “lock” into place that easily - Was never able to get the rich full sound quality I was after, but can get close with adjustments on the app I would recommend these truly wireless headphones if you're looking for great sounding, comfortable headphones that have plenty of features and support phone calling / Siri. The addition of noise cancelling is an added bonus!
I would recommend this to a friend
These things are greatPosted
I am enjoying these so far. They might not be the best headphones on the market but they seem to be a good balance of what's available on the market from competitors but does not stay too far on the amazing side or poor side of things. Starting with the unboxing, the packaging walks a line between premium and cheap. The materials overall feel cheap (cardboard and plastic) but the design is great with nice perks like darkened plastic and foam to nicely organize the components. You will find the headphones, the case, S M and L rubber earpieces, S M and L foam earpieces and a larger set of ear anchors for the device. There is the usual warranty documentation, instructions and a USB cable, no charger though. I had some hiccups during the first use as it seemed the case was charging but the ear buds were not doing so. I later figured out that you have to push the ear buds with a little force to make sure they make contact with the connectors, after this they glowed a nice red until charged. The case appears to not have to be closed to charge so you can leave it open if you want to see the indicators. The case is a little bulky but it holds extra battery that will recharge the device a few times. As for the ear buds, it took a minute to figure out the proper fit. Most ear anchors are placed in the upper ear but the ones on this device hang on to the lower ear which feels a little strange if you are not used to it. The rubber tips are comfortable once you find the right size. Ensure you get a good fit since you will lose a lot of the base in the headphones if they do not fit properly. As for the fit they seem to stick out of your ear a lot when wearing them so they look a little goofy on me but that might just be me. The devices look a little large in general and they do not feel like they will stay in my ear but after prolonged testing I found that I have had no issues with loosing a seal or having them fall out. They sound great. I recommend you download the associated Sony app “Headphones Connect” since it will add some cool features such as adaptive sound control which will change the EQ and noise canceling based on your environment around you. There is a lot of clean bass, lots of crisp accents in the notes, clean sound (no static), great highs. I am no audiophile but it sounds amazing to me like a decent set of cans. I was using a iPhone 8 at a test using the AAC codec and I can say this headphone does a great job with Bluetooth audio. Gym use was superb. I was slightly worried they might fall out when working out but they never once came out of my ear. The only time they didn't feel snug was when I was doing push ups or was in an incline type position since the anchor was less not as able to grab my ear when not in a normal vertical position. I ran across one issue with prolonged use, it seems the right headphone occasionally missed a few notes and seems to reconnect to the left ear bud every 3-4 songs. It was minor enough to not interrupt my experience but it is noticeable if you are looking for it. Battery life is pretty much as advertised, you can expect about three hours of use and they recharge in about an hour or so when you put them back in the case. Pairing the devices on iOS is done with the usual holding a button for a few seconds to get it in pairing mode. Android pairing can be done with NFC to make things a little easier. I was very impressed with the range. I have yet to find the max range but I have walked more than 30 feet and had no degradation in quality. I have a lot of good things to say about these but here really the reasons I am not giving it a perfect score. First, there is no sensor to see if it is in your ear or not in the ear. It will keep playing music if you take it out. If you put it back in the case it seems to stop though. Charging is via micro USB. I would have preferred lightning or USB C. They are somewhat bulky including the case and have a weird light that people can see that blinks every so often that you don't see much on headphones these days. You might like or dislike that but I find it draws attention. There is only a power button on the left earphone and the right one has a single control button which can pause, skip or go back on 1, 2 or 3 presses. I have not discovered any volume button which is every annoying since you must rely on your device for that. So as I said there are great factors to this device, there are also some forgotten or half baked parts of this. If you want a simple device with great sound quality that has noise canceling and pretty good battery life, these are great. If you want all the bells and whistles in a small or discreet package I would avoid. Over I like them as they work great and are reliable.
I would recommend this to a friend