SONY WF-1000X

Design & Construction

The Sony WF-1000X is the Sony's first truly wireless noise-cancelling in-ear headphone. Under the left earbud, we have the power button while under the right, we have the multi-function button. Controlling the playback functions is possible via the button under the right earbud. Tap once to play/pause, tap twice to skip forward and tap thrice to go back to previous track. During calls, tap once to pick up/end the call. The LED on the earbuds will light up in red when it is docked in its case to charge. It takes about 3 hours to charge both the case with the earbuds and 2 hours to only charge the case. Tapping your phone's NFC tag to the NFC tag under the case instantly pairs the earbuds with your phone. Bluetooth pairing is triggered when the earbuds are removed from the case. A Blue LED light up once in 3 seconds during wireless usage. The power button allows you to toggle through noise-cancelling modes. Tap once to enjoy the full noise-cancelling, tap again to turn on ambient sound control and tap once again to turn off noise-cancelling. It is also worth noting that the headphones only requires 15 minutes of charging for 75 minutes of playback. Both earbuds bear the Sony logo and have LED light built-in to the visible antenna at the front of the earbuds. The earbuds also comes with different size eartips  and ear wings to ensure a tight seal and secure fit. Honestly, I would prefer them to include more sizes of ear wings as the ear wings are quite small and acts more like a safety net in case. The earbuds also do a great job at resisting fingerprints smudges even though it has a shiny finish. Moving on to the case, the case is rounded and slim with no protruding parts. The Micro-USB port can be found on the rear right of the case. The hinges holding the cover and body of the case is my utmost concern as it is a little flimsy and is likely to break after months of use. The earbuds do give a nice click sound when they are docked into the case.

Sound Quality

The 6mm drivers may seem small but they do get pretty loud. They produce a decent sound signature. Based on user experience, the noise-cancelling is the fantastic. I could not hear my surroundings when there was no music on. Sony also allows users to tune the noise-cancelling abilities through its Headphones Connect App available on the App Store and Play Store. In the app, you will find functions such as Adaptive Noise-Cancelling, Ambient Sound Control, Virtual Surround Sound, an equalizer. Definitely a whole lot of features to satisfy the pickiest of users. Adaptive Sound Control allows for toggling of different noise-cancelling modes like Walking, Staying, Transport and Running. Each has different levels of noise-cancelling and ambient sound modes. These are all automatically detected by the headphone itself through its smart Sense Engine technology built in. Of course, users can toggle the amount of ambient sound let in, focus on voice only or just turn it off completely. It is also good to know that the app has an internal equalizer to enable the best output of music. With a large category ranging from Bright, Excited, Mellow to Bass Boost, Treble Boost and Speech etc. You can also choose to customize your own too! This makes the headphones great for all genres of music ranging from soothing jazz to bass-heavy EDM tracks. Highs and mids come off as clean and balanced and bass is slightly boosted which gives off a nice thump in your ear. Soundstage was a little bit too shallow for my liking though as instruments, vocals, bass and treble do not have much depth and detail like those of the WH-10000XM2. Sadly, call quality was terrible, the caller did not manage to hear me clearly on the other end as the mics on the earbuds pick up too much surrounding noise. It is also important to note that when taking calls only one earbud function, making it unnatural and uncomfortable. I suggest you to take out your phone to answer calls.  

Connectivity & Portability

The headphone operates only wirelessly. So if you are out of battery, you are out of luck. The earbuds supports the basic AAC and SBC codecs together with Bluetooth Version 4.1. The earbuds also automatically power on/off when docked or taken out from the case. The battery life peaks at 3 hours per use and 2 additional charges from the case; a total of 9 hours. The package also comes with a micro USB cable for charging. The headphones' connectivity to the app is terrible as I do experience it being unable to detect my headphones when its already connected via Bluetooth mostly of the time. This is frustrating for me especially when I need to tune the sound immediately. Not to mention that the connectivity of the wireless earbuds themselves are flawed too. Almost every 5 seconds, I get no music playing from the right earbud itself. It recovers itself, start playing music again and the same problem repeats itself. A vicious cycle! Also, if you try to watch videos or movies with these, they have a 1 second delay in transmission. I tested these in a room without any Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connections but the same recurring issue happens time and time despite having my phone really close to the earbuds. Hence, I have come to conclude that Sony's truly wireless technology is not refined and tuned to its best yet and you most probably have to wait till future models if you don't want to encounter such issues. As always, I strongly encourage you to ask for a test at the store before making that purchase decision.

PROS

  • Bluetooth & NFC Enabled

  • Controls For Music Play & Calls

  • Adaptive Sound Control

  • Ambient Sound Control

  • Equalizer In App

  • Quick Charging

  • Low Profile

  • Charging Case

CONS

  • Imperfect App Connectivity

  • Connectivity Issues With Earbuds

  • Bluetooth Dropout & Skips

  • Terrible Call Quality

  • Lack Of Volume Controls 

  • Not Water-resistant

  • Limited Colour Options

 

The Bottom Line

The Sony WF-1000X is the world's first truly wireless noise-cancelling in-ear headphone with a decent battery life of 9 hours and customisable noise-cancelling. However, the app and connectivity between earbuds are flawed which will irritate users eventually. I won't recommended these for now but if you are still interested, Sony offers two colours for this model to fit users of different gender.

WE RATE IT!

8/10

Other Notable Competitors

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BEOPLAY E8
BOSE SOUNDSPORT FREE
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