Sony WF1000X headphones featured

SONY

WF-1000X Truly Wireless
Noise-Cancelling Headphones Review

PRICE


$199 

THE HIGH NOTES


  • Compact Design
  • Customizable Fit
  • Smart Noise-Cancelling

Company & Product Overview

Sony is a behemoth in the consumer electronics space, with a vast product selection ranging from TVs and projectors to camera’s, audio products, the PlayStation game console, and so much more. When they focus on a category or product, their sheer size alone instantly makes them a major player. This year, it seems that everyone is coming out with “true” wireless Bluetooth headphones, so it should come as no surprise that Sony has taken a swing at this rapidly growing category.

To be clear, the Sony WF-1000x are completely wireless Bluetooth headphones, in essence just two earbuds with no wire going around behind your neck. They’re designed for performance and have a minimal, non-obtrusive form factor.

Many companies making similar headphones have struggled with good sound quality and steady Bluetooth connectivity. With the WF-1000x, we had very little issue.

We also want to mention that a lot of the reviews we’ve seen from Amazon and the opinions expressed in them did not jive with what we found in our testing. Honestly, we are a bit concerned that many of the reviewers did not even personally or comprehensively test these headphones before writing their reviews. If you’re looking into these headphones, you may want to take these reviews with a grain of salt.

After our thorough testing, we can confidently say that if you’re looking for a great set of headphones for everyday activities or working out, the Sony WF-1000x is a great choice.

Design & Build Quality

The Sony WF-1000x headphones come in a small, hard case that can easily fit in a pocket or a small compartment in your backpack or jacket. The case functions as both a protective carrying case as well as a charger for the headphones.  

When the headphones are placed in the case, they automatically turn off and begin to charge. When you take them out, they automatically turn on. We found this to be a simple and convenient feature.

The battery life isn’t bad for fully wireless headphones. You can enjoy up to 3 hours of music playback on a single charge. When placed inside the charging case, it takes around 15 min of charging for 75 min of listening. The charger case provides the earbuds with 2 additional full charges giving you an additional 6 hours of listening. The earbud case can be charged via the micro USB port on the side.

In the box, you will find 6 pairs of earbuds — three sizes of rubber inserts and three sizes of foam inserts. Combined with the arc supporters, there is a lot of flexibility and fit customization. This provides you with the best fit so that the earphones stay in during commuting, workouts or long runs.

The WF-1000x are sleek looking headphones, with a nice glossy finish and a solid, sturdy design. They’re available in two colors, black and gold.

Sony WF-1000X man pressing button

Comfort

The WF-1000X are lightweight and comfortable. They were designed to be worn all day and feature ergonomic ear hooks that keep the headphones in place.

In the box, you will find 6 pairs of earbuds — three sizes of rubber inserts and three sizes of foam inserts. Combined with the arc supporters, there is a lot of flexibility and fit customization. This provides you with the best fit so that the earphones stay in during commuting, workouts or long runs.

Features & Technology

The WF-1000x are noise-canceling headphones and come with three different listening modes: noise-canceling, ambient sound, or off. In ambient sound mode, the headphones provide a nice balance between the audio from the headphone and the ability to hear things around you. If you turn the headphones to noise-canceling mode, the music sounds more robust with less outside noise interfering with the audio. Keep in mind that since these headphones are in-ear, they do naturally block a portion of the ambient sound even without the active noise-canceling feature turned on.

There is also a mobile app that can be downloaded from the App Store that connects to the Wf 1000x earbuds. Within the app, there are options that give you the ability to fine-tune the music to your liking as well as change to different noise-canceling modes.

The headphones contain a 6mm dynamic driver that can really pack a punch. We’re impressed that Sony was able to fit this driver, battery, and Bluetooth chipset into such a small design. The WF1000x also includes a mic, which can be used for phone calls.

Each earpiece for the WF-1000x contains a button. The button on the left earpiece is used for adjusting noise-canceling settings, while the button on the right earpiece is used for playback, voice control, and phone calls. We found that it took some time to get used to what does what, but after a couple of days, the buttons and features will become second nature.

WF-1000x gold, woman putting in case

Performance

We were able to spend a few weeks with these headphones and really break them, testing them in various listening situations. We paired them with the iPhone 6, iPhone 7, and iWatch 3, across many different activities. During all of that time, we are happy to report that we only experienced a couple of dropouts, even with heavy usage.

To push the capabilities of the WF-1000x we even put the iWatch 3 on a running shoe to increase the distance between the headphones and the device and they still performed well. If you are ever in an area with high-interference, we’d recommend changing the settings in the app to improve the connectivity.

You wouldn’t expect these small wireless Bluetooth earbuds to outperform high-performance over-ear headphones, and of course, they don’t.  However, out of all the other brands we’ve tested that are making wireless Bluetooth in-ear headphones, these sounded the best.  We were pleasantly surprised at the detail, clarity, and fullness of sound.

Like all in-ear headphones, the seal is critical to good bass reproduction. Taking the time to find the best fitting foam or rubber earbuds will pay off with very good sound. These are not designed to be studio monitors and obviously, you won’t achieve that level, particularly in bass.  

That being said, in-ear headphones have the advantage of naturally blocking out ambient noise which allows you to achieve a focused and robust sound level with much less transducer movement and lower required volume level for the same perception level.  

Overall Recommendation

If you are looking for a pair of wireless Bluetooth in-ear headphones, the WF-1000x hit the mark. They free you from troublesome wires and provide great sound quality for the price. if you want something to wear when you workout or for everyday activities then the Sony WF-1000x are the best option out there today.

HIGH NOTES UNPACKED

Sony WF1000x black in case

Compact Design

Sony has packed a surprising amount of technology into a small and sturdy form factor. The charging carrying case also makes this piece a truly portable system.

WF1000X gold

Comfortable Custom Fit

In addition to the small form factor, there is a lot in the way of customization of fit for the WF-1000x headphones.

WF1000X black vertical

Smart Noise-Canceling

Offering 3 different modes of noise-canceling the WF-1000X provides noise-cancellation for any type of listening situation.

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