Headphones

Sony WF-1000X Review: True Wireless Noise-Cancelling Headset

Sony WF-1000X and WM1Z review

The new Sony 1000X series were announced in in Aug 2017. I have reviewed the neckband WI-1000X and the headphone WH-1000XM2. On this article, I shall review the last model, true-wireless WF-1000X, tested on V1.07 firmware.

Sony WF-1000X zero-wire earphones unboxing

All the 1000X series come with active noise cancelling, transparency mode, adaptive sound mode. The WH-1000XM2 is the second-generation 1000X headphones (hence the additional “M2” suffix), and is actually an impressive upgrade. The WI-1000X is a premium neckband that similarly does not disappoint in features and audio quality. The true-wireless WF-1000X is the most underwhelming of the three: the digital noise cancelling is the weakest, the wireless audio codec only supports SBC and AAC (no aptX HD, no LDAC), there are no sound enhancements like DSEE HX or S-Master HX.

Sony WF-1000X review true wireless earbuds

The egg-shaped earbuds have a front transparent tip that reflects the LED indicator. The earbuds are supported on the ears with small ear hooks that do not make the fit feel secure, though I am impressed the buds did not fall off during jogging. The earbuds are designed such that they will stay in place if nothing bumps onto them, so the end result is that they felt comfortable without any significant ear pressure.

Sony WF-1000X review earbuds closeup

Sound characteristics is similar to WI-1000X, with sufficiently transparent treble, detailed mids, and firm balanced bass (slightly more if you push the earbuds deeper into the ears). Sound staging is also close and wide. Despite the relatively inferior audio codec like the other two 1000X series, the highs retain sufficient resolution and do not crack as prevalent as Beoplay E8. Also, being true wireless, there is almost half-second audio lag when watching video, an overlooked drawback where very few manufacturers address that.

Sony WF-1000X audio rating by Singapore tech gadget reviewer site musicphotolife.com

Volume buttons are absent from the earbuds and the controls have to be adjusted from the Sony Headphone Connect app. There are just one button on each earbud. The left button is the power button and noise cancelling mode, while the right button is the playback control. The digital noise cancelling is rather tame, giving just slight suppression of general noise, but I can still hear ambient sound at a lower volume, as if I am wearing a tighter silicone bud for passive isolation. The ambient sound mode also lets in average audio without sounding too excessive.

Sony WF-1000X review true wireless earbuds

The large charging case can hold only enough battery to deliver just 2 additional charges, despite its size. There are no LED indicators outside the case, so I cannot see the charging status when closed.

Sony WF-1000X charging case

Verdict

Being Sony’s first ever true wireless earphones, the WF-1000X opts for a stylish design, ignoring ergonomics, that seems to do its job. Given the 1000X series branding, I expected the features to match the other 1000X series products. While that was not the case, the product delivers satisfactory audio experience over zero-wire condition. Retails at S$349 at Sony authorised retailers and online stores like Lazada (affiliate link), the WF-1000X should please Sony fans who enjoys the signature Sony sound in true wireless convenience. Active-noise cancelling users should research further on other brands to get better noise isolation earbuds.

Official product website: https://www.sony.com.sg/electronics/truly-wireless/wf-1000x/specifications

 

Thanks to Sony Singapore for the review loan unit.

Summary
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Sony WF-1000X
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