SONY TRUE WIRELESS IN-EAR
HEADPHONES BUYING GUIDE
WF-1000XM3 vs. WF-SP800N vs. WF-H800 vs. WF-XB700 
WF-1000XM3
VERSUS
WF-SP800N
VERSUS
WF-H800
VERSUS
WF-XB700
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DESIGN & BUILD

Right off the bat, we will realize that the cases of the WF-1000XM3 & WF-H800 look very similar but the WF-1000XM3's case is slightly bigger than the WF-H800. Meanwhile, the WF-SP800N's case is somewhat similar to both of the aforementioned models, the WF-SP800N's case is more rounded than the WF-1000XM3's case and the size is also slightly smaller. The 3 cases share a similar style of top opening to remove the earbuds from the case. Lastly, the WF-XB700's case is different from the rest of the earbuds with an angled front opening style. The WF-1000XM3 and WF-H800 cases are covered in silicone while the WF-SP800N & WF-XB700 cases are made of plastic. Notably, all cases have LED indicators outside to let users know the charge status of the case and earbuds. In terms of sizing, the WF-H800 case is the most compact, followed by the WF-XB700, then the WF-SP800N, and lastly, the WF-1000XM3. All the cases are definitely bulky and nowhere as compact as what their competitors from other brands are offering. Moving on to the earbuds, the WF-1000XM3 has a more elegant and upper-class aesthetic that has made it a subtle status symbol. Next, the WH-H800N has a modern and iconic design that stands out from the crowd. It comes in 5 different colorways and there are two distinct different hues of color combination on the earbuds. making them really special and appealing to the younger crowd. On the other hand, the WF-SP800N looks the most alike to the WF-1000XM3 but it softens the look with bright colors as well as the addition of earwings to help the earbuds stay in place. The WF-XB700 is the largest with the most stable fit without the use of any earwings. Meanwhile, the WF-1000XM3 is the loosest fitting earbuds that would most easily fall out from your ears. All the earbuds are nowhere as low-profile as regular round earbuds but they are all very durable and could take a beating, There are also different sizes of silicone buds included in the box, but the WF-1000XM3 go a step further to include foam buds that create a slightly better seal in your ears. For playback controls, the WF-1000XM3 and WF-SP800N use touchpads on both earbuds while the WF-H800 and the WF-XB700 use physical buttons that feel tactile and responsive. In the durability category, we first talk about the earbuds themselves. First, the WF-SP800N is the best as it IP55 water and dust resistant. Next, the WF-XB700 is IPX4 water-resistant. Meanwhile, the WF-H800 and the WF-1000XM3 are not water or dust resistant so do avoid using them for exercise or during rainy days. Onto the cases, the WF-XB700's case is the most different case amongst the earbuds with its front opening and a translucent plastic cover to allow you to have a sneak peek at the LED indicators inside. However, I doubt the plastic case could survive drops or crushes in backpacks without cracking. The rest of the earbuds cases are opaque plastic and they have a stiffer build that instills more confidence in day to day use. But the silicone covered cases like the WF-1000XM3 and WF-H800 are more prone to scratches from day to day use. 

COMFORT

Moving on to comfort, all the earbuds use the tri-hold structure but they all function differently on each model. The WF-XB700 is the largest with the most stable fit without the use of any earwings. It grips on using the back of the ear pinna, however, after 2 hours of use, you will feel wearing fatigue from the eccentric-shaped earbud. Next, the WF-SP800N is the opposite with the use of earwings. the fit is very stable too and well-suited for intensive sports use. I didn't feel any wearing fatigue even in long listening sessions. Without earwings, the fit is rather similar and the earbuds still stayed in place although it will shift a little, losing a tight seal. The WF-H800 is next with an okay fit. They don't fit extremely snug neither are they loose like the WF-1000XM3, but you will notice that they do hang a little awkwardly on the outer parts of your ear. The sound duct is a little deep but it isn't as bad as the WF-1000XM3, Meanwhile, the WF-1000XM3 is the loosest fitting earbuds that would most easily fall out from your ears. The sound duct on the WF-1000XM3 enters way too deep into your ear canal making the earbuds very difficult to forget that you are wearing them and soon you will be frustrated that they enter too deep while hanging too loosely on the outside.

SOUND QUALITY

Next, Sound Quality. In my opinion, I find that the sound of WF-1000XM3 is the best for all genres of music. The bass is strong and tight but it never bleeds into the mids. The mids are clean and articulate and highs have clarity and never sounded too sharp. The instrument separation is the best as well when compared to the rest. Next, the WF-H800 works best with pop and jazz and other genres that put a great emphasis on the mid-range and vocals combined with the clarity of instruments. However, its sound signature simply does not cut it for bass-heavy tracks. Which brings us to the next headphone, the WF-SP800N. This is the best headphone for any bass-heavy genres like EDM, Hip-Hop, and Rap. Lastly, there is the WF-XB700 with the punchiest and muddy bass response, however, the rest of the frequency response suffers because of it. The mids get drowned out by the muddy bass at higher levels and the sound signature distorts as a result leading to the inability to use it at near maximum volume. For volume level, the WF-XB700 is the loudest, followed by the WF-H800 and WF-1000XM3 with a pretty loud volume and the WF-SP800N with a slightly soft volume at its maximum level. It is also important to note that all earbuds except the WF-XB700 offer sound tuning with selected presets and customization with the Headphones Connect app, available for download on the App Store and Play Store. In the app, you can customize the sound signature via the equalizer and enable or disable various settings as well as receive occasional software updates. In terms of call quality, the WF-SP800N has the best microphone voice pick-up quality amongst the 4 earbuds. It managed to pick up the least ambient noise and allows the voice of the caller to sound the most natural. The WF-1000XM3 and WF-H800 are second in place with a decent similar quality mic and the WH-XB700 is last with a slightly muffled down voice-up and the most background noise.

NOISE-CANCELLING

Moving on to the next part, Noise-Cancelling, this part only applies to the WF-1000XM3 and the WF-SP800N. The WF-XB700 and the WF-H800 do not have active noise-canceling, only passive noise isolation. From my test, the WF-1000XM3 managed to successfully beat the WF-Sp800N. With its advanced noise-canceling processor, it offers the best Adaptive Sound Control which allows for toggling of different noise-canceling modes like Walking, Staying, Transport, and Running. Each has different levels of noise-canceling and ambient sound mode. These are all automatically detected by the headphone itself. Users can toggle the amount of ambient sound let in, focus on voice-only, or just turn it off completely. Now, the feature is better with the ability to learn your frequently visited locations and registers them for you so you would always have the specific settings when you are at a certain location. The WF-SP800N is next in line for noise-canceling. It is nearly as effective as the WF-1000XM3 but it does let it a slight amount of ambient noise. Both earbuds do have quick attention mode which allows you to hear announcements or talk to someone quickly without taking out your headphones. 

CONNECTIVITY

All earbuds except the WF-XB700 are compatible with the Sony | Headphones Connect app, which is available for download on the App Store and Play Store. The app allows users to take full control of the sound customization and Noise-Cancelling function. There are buttons or touchpads on all the earbuds themselves to cycle through different noise-canceling modes, playback controls, volume or bring up your smart assistant. Moving on to wireless usage, with all earbuds I experience absolutely no Bluetooth drop-outs or hiccups. They all support Bluetooth 5.0 but only have AAC & SBC codec support. You can only connect to 1 device at any one time. The WF-XB700 and WF-SP800N have a 9-hour battery life while the WF-H800 has an 8-hour battery life and the WF-1000XM3 with the lowest 6-hour battery life. The case on the WF-XB700 and WF-SP800N holds a total of 18-hours but the WF-SP800N case can last up to 26-hours without noise-canceling. Meanwhile, the WF-H800 case can hold 16-hours and the WF-1000XM3 can hold 3 additional charges for up to 24 hours. All earbuds do charge via USB-C and feature quick charging where a 10-15 minutes charge gives you at least 1 hour of playback.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Overall, all 4 earbuds come at very different price points and have very different target audiences. Now, let's recap and break down the differences to further understand which is the best for your ears. First, the WF-1000XM3 is the most popular amongst those who have the budget to afford it. It has the best sound quality, and customization, as well as loads of features. Next, the WF-H800 is the earbuds aimed squarely at appealing to youths. With its wide range of colors and designs choices to choose from, it is arguably the most stylish earbuds amongst safe black and white models from other brands. It may not have done so well with songs with heavy bass but it makes up for that in its bright, clear, and articulate vocal and instrument work. Next, we have the bass-heads favorite, the WF-SP800N with its subtle branding and minimalistic design. It may look plain outside but I guarantee it packs a serious punch when the bass drops. Lastly, the WF-XB700 is only worth getting if you have a really tight budget and could appreciate a really boomy bass experience, If you could stretch that budget a bit, I would recommend that you take the WF-SP800N extra bass sport earbuds since it offers better durability, app support, a cleaner bass-focused sound signature, and software updates.

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