Wireless headphones with a case for recharging and storage – a new trend in the world of Bluetooth-sound. Some of the representatives of the segment – Sony WF-1000X are supplemented with the functions of active noise cancellation and ambient sound. But does modern technologies are ready for such magic? Lets have a complete review on sony’s new flagship of ear phones.
Sony WF-1000X Specifications
- Type of headphones: In-channel, closed type
- Diameter of radiators: 6 mm, dome type
- Frequency response of the speakers: 20 – 20 000 Hz
- Wireless connection: Bluetooth 4.1, SBC, AAC codecs
- Control: mechanical keys on the body
- Wired connection: Not available
- Operating time: up to 3 hours with the possibility of recharging from the cover
- Charging time: about 3 hours
- Weight: 6.8 grams of headphones + 70 grams of cover
- Features: active noise reduction system, surround mode
Sony WF-1000X Packing and Delivery kit
The design of the box is familiar from the overhead headphones WH-1000XM2 – all the same, only in miniature. Inside: headphones, a cover-charger, two sets of attachments, spare silicone calipers, a set of recycled paper and a USB cable. The latter did not reach our office, as did the second set of replaceable ear cups.
Sony WF-1000X Appearance
Headphones are available in black and beige versions. The fully plastic body was elongated. The outer side is glossy with a large brand logo. Of the elements, only the noise reduction microphone and the LED indicator under the transparent cover are equipped.
Inside is matte. Symmetrically the indicator has two contacts for recharging. The audio channel is strongly removed from the case and is compatible with the usual intracanal nozzles.
The headphones are bulky and protrude from the ears. The quality of planting and passive insulation depends on the selected attachments, an important role is played by silicone calipers. In my case, headphones do not fall out even during sports.
A metal case is provided for carrying. Its dimensions can not be called compact, but the box protrudes from the pocket of jeans. I think that it’s all about the built-in battery. The cover is charged via microUSB, next to the port there is a red indicator, which goes out when the battery is fully charged.
Headphones are installed in a line. After fixing the latches, charging starts, which is reported by the headphone diodes, flashing red. Due to the small slots on the side, the LEDs are visible with the lid closed. There is no battery level indicator of the case itself, the proprietary utility also does not display a charge. As a consequence, to predict when the case is empty the case is impossible.
Connection and Management
The Sony WF-1000X is equipped with a Bluetooth 4.1 module supporting SBC and AAC codecs. Places for aptX and LDAC were not found for several reasons. The first is obvious – the headphones are compact and do not pretend to Hi-Fi quality. The second is related to the power consumption of advanced codecs, the company tried to squeeze the maximum out of small batteries.
For the first connection or pairing, you need to hold the power button on the left earpiece, it is connected to the smartphone. Then you need to press and hold the button on the case of the right earpiece. To turn off the headphones, just put the battery in a complete case. After disconnecting from charging, the headphones automatically connect to the smartphone.
There are several remarks to the operation of the wireless interface. First of all, the lag of the sound is approximately 50 milliseconds, which is why the video clips are being resynchronized. If only one earphone is connected, there is no problem with the delay.
The second drawback is connected with the regular loss of sound in the right earpiece. Especially often this happens while moving around the city in places of congestion of extraneous Bluetooth and WiFi devices. If you are in one place, at home or in transport, there are no problems with the connection. The proprietary utility allows you to switch the codec to a less demanding SBC, but this does not save you from gaps.
Headphones are controlled using two keys, one on each earpiece. The button on the left is responsible for switching the noise reduction modes. And on the right for the music playback, a single press – a pause, a double – the next track and a triple – the previous one. Single and double presses followed by hold are responsible for rewinding the track back and forth, respectively. The scheme is convenient, but the volume can be adjusted only through the smartphone.
Sony WF-1000X Sound and microphones
As already noted, the sound quality is not paramount for our hero. The sound is simple, but balanced – no frequency range comes to the fore. Wait for stunning tools or disclosure every detail should not, but there is no squeakiness or unpleasant cargo. The size of the speakers is 6 mm, the type is domed.
From the software chips only an equalizer with eight presets. Adjust the sliders yourself will not work. Unlike the older WH-1000XM2 , here the equalizer does not require a codec change on SBC.
When making calls, the sound is only broadcast to the left earpiece, I think this is required to prevent delays. Headphones are felt like an ordinary, only compact, wireless headset, which makes talking more than convenient. The quality of speech in a quiet environment is impressive, there are no comments. In the city or, especially, the roads, the interlocutors constantly complain about extraneous noise and bad intelligibility – you have to switch to a smartphone.
Noise suppression in Sony WF-1000X
In my memory, the WF-1000X is the first fully wireless headphones with active noise reduction. The function is indispensable in the city and in travel. In general, it’s much nicer to use the WF-1000X in a subway or airplane than with conventional headphones, but the gag is not a flagship Sony WH-1000XM2. In addition to hiss in the upper range, other sounds interfere with music, which are usually suppressed by active noise cancellation.
The following modes are available in the application: noise reduction, surround sound with a focus on the voice and normal surround sound. The latter two broadcast part of what is happening around in the headphones to alert you of hazards. Modes do not always correctly filter out noise from important sounds, but, on the whole, cope with the task. The adaptive control function automatically switches the operating modes.
The manufacturer claims up to 3 hours of battery life with the included noise reduction, in fact, the figure is kept between 1-2 hours. To charge the headphones from the cover it takes up to an hour and a half. The case is really enough for 3 full recharges so that the overall autonomy is at a comfortable level of 5-7 days moderate use.
Sony WF-1000X – the first truly wireless headphones company, a nice model with a lot of nice features. But from the novelty, small mistakes and major shortcomings, which put an end to everyday exploitation, result. The loss of sound in one of the headphones and the out of sync movies are not acceptable for headphones of this class. But for those who are looking for compact, in-channel headphones with noise reduction, the choice is obvious.
- Adaptive noise reduction system.
- Fully wireless design.
- Advanced mobile application.
- Good, for its class, sound.
- Battery cover for easy carrying.
- Headphones strongly protrude from behind the ears.
- Intermittent sound loss in the right earpiece.
- Rassinchronization of sound when watching videos.
May not please:
- Noise reduction could be more effective.
- Inability to adjust the volume without a smartphone.
- The final estimation of the editorial staff: 5 out of 10.