Sony’s next-generation true wireless earbuds, the WF-SP700N, continues to embark on a more unconventional design path. Unlike other designs, Sony clearly wants to stand out from the rest, and after reviewing the WF-SP700N, I feel that Sony is once again carving its own unique design DNA on the true wireless audio product category.
The WP-SP700N is not tiny at all. It’s so chunky that it will not delight consumers looking for smallness for the sake of smallness. Some things just cannot be too small, or else it becomes awkward to handle. For the SP700N, the size ensures the earbuds do not get accidentally misplaced or rolls off when dropped.
Despite larger than WF-1000X, the SP700N wears more comfortably thanks to its more rigid arc supporter that clings unto the ear lobes more securely. There is also less contact against the ear walls, unlike IEM-like earbuds Bragi The Dash or Jabra Elite Sport. During runs, the SP700N securely stays on my ears.
There are various sizes for the arc supporter as well as the earbuds, which can be swapped independently. You can even remove the arc supporter if you think you feel more comfortable without it.
The pebble-shaped earbuds has its buttons located such that it is easier to press it by supporting the earbuds with two fingers while clicking the button with the thumb. This means you do not press the button against the ears that causes discomfort.
In addition, the unique swinging case lid works great for one-hand operation while keeping the lid secure. Placing the earbuds into the case requires a bit of fitting to click in place. Make sure the charging light is on before you stow it away.
While the SP700N can be used without any app, the Sony Headphones Connect smartphone app allows access to additional settings and adjustments, including enabling Extra Bass. Through the app, you can customise quick settings that is activated by double-pressing the left earbud. From the earbuds, you can also enable noise cancelling or ambient sound mode by clicking the left earbud, while the playback controls are handled on the right earbud button.
The noise cancelling on the SP700N is not as aggressive as the WI-1000X neckband earphones, as it merely removes the low frequency ambient sound which results in more prominence at the higher frequency. As such, the earbuds are rather ineffective in eliminating noise in urban environment like cafes. Still, its digital noise cancellation is better than the WF-1000X and achieves some suppression of white noise.
I’m also liking the ambient sound mode which I turn on during runs as it provides a rather natural openness to listen to surrounding traffic noise or other footpath users. Sony seems to have perfected the balance such that the user can hear sufficient surrounding noise as if the earbuds are open-back, but not excessive enough to sound over-amplified.
As for the sound quality, the SP700N offers great enjoyment when listening to instrumentals and vocals. The earbuds deliver clear sound quality, while the bass is not boomy enough for EDM lovers but good enough for workouts. If you associate good earphones with clarity, then SP700N will not disappoint. They don’t sound too sparkling compared to Jabra or Beoplay E8, while bass is not massive like Soul X-Shock. Though the earbuds only support SBC and AAC wireless audio codecs, there is no audio distortion.
These earbuds offer up to 3 hours continuous use, while the charging case can recharge twice, totalling 9 hours. Micro USB port is still used for charging, and NFC is available for quick pairing.
Sony is design company that does not sacrifice form over function, as evident with its other similarly chunky wireless sport headsets. The Sony WF-SP700N is designed for the active lifestyle, offering adequate IPX4 water protection, rounded design for ease of handling, and comfortable audio tuning. Its noise cancelling is mildly adequate while the ambient sound opens up environment for a safe urban workout. They retail at S$299 in Singapore with 4 colours – pink, yellow, white and black.
- Driver: 6mm Closed Dynamic
- Frequency response: 20 – 20,000 Hz
- Wireless Connectivity: NFC, Bluetooth 4.1
- Supported Audio Formats: SBC, AAC
- Battery Life: 3 hours continuous usage, 9 hours with charging case
- Charging Time: 1.5 hours (earbuds), 3 hours (case)
- Weight: 7.6g x 2 (earbuds), 45g (charging case)
- Waterproof: IPX4