SONY WF-SP800N

Design & Construction

The Sony WF-SP800N is the Sony's long-awaited upgrade to the two-year-old true wireless noise-canceling sports earbuds, the WF-SP700N. In terms of design, the WF-SP800N looks rather similar to the previous generation but the curves are now replaced with straighter lines and a cleaner aesthetic. On the face of the earbuds, we have a single touchpad that controls all the functions. Controlling the playback functions is possible via the touchpad on the right earbud. Tap once to play/pause, tap twice to skip forward, and tap thrice to go back to the previous track, and tap and hold to bring up Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. On the left side, tap once to cycle through the different noise-canceling modes and tap and hold to activate quick attention. Quick Attention is a feature that allows users to instantly pause the music and deactivate noise-canceling to hear others when people want to interact with you. After you are done, release your finger from the touchpad and everything retracts to normal. Alternatively, you can also do the traditional way of removing your earbuds from your ears and there will be a proximity sensor to track that you did and pause the music automatically. The earbuds automatically power on when they are removed out from the case and go into pairing mode. If they don't do so, you can hold down the touchpads on both earbuds for 7 seconds to enable it. The LED on the earbuds will light up in red when it is docked in its case to charge. It takes about 2.5 hours to charge both the case with the earbuds and if you are in a rush, a 10-minute charge gets you up to 60 minutes of playback. Both earbuds bear the Sony logo and have LED light built-in to the top of the earbuds. In normal usage of music playback or calls, they never light up to attract unwanted attention. The earbuds also come with different size ear tips and wings to ensure a tight seal and secure fit. The touchpads do a great job of resisting fingerprints smudges even though it has a gloss finish. Moving on to the case, the case is rounded and it can be a little too bulky for my liking. The USB-C port can be found on the rear bottom of the case. The top cover has a magnetized closure to the body and seems to do great in day to day use. The earbuds do give a nice click sound when they are magnetically docked into the case.

Sound Quality

The 6mm drivers may seem small but they do get pretty loud, producing a bass-focused sound signature. Based on my experience, the noise-canceling is decent. it managed to muffle some ambient sound down without music on but it was definitely nowhere near the levels of the WF-1000XM3 or Airpods Pro. Fortunately, the WF-SP800N is compatible with the 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, 36o Reality Audio, and an equalizer. Definitely a whole lot of features to satisfy all your needs. Adaptive Sound Control allows for the toggling of different noise-canceling modes like Walking, Staying, Transport, and Running. Each has different levels of noise-canceling and ambient sound modes. Of course, users can toggle the amount of ambient sound let in, focus on voice-only, or just turn it off completely. This time, the feature has improved so much to be faster and responsive. It can also track your frequently visited locations to help kick in the right amount of ambient sound control when you are there so you don't have to physically switch each time. There is also a quick attention mode that allows users to strike up a quick conversation with someone without removing the earbuds from their ears. 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 fast-paced EDM tracks. Highs are bright and forward, mids come off as clean and crisp but the bass is strong and thumpy which gives you a nice kick in your ear. If you do boost the bass, it will stand out more especially for genres like techno or house. The soundstage was decent as instruments, vocals, bass, and treble do not have much depth and detail like those of the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2. Next, 360 Reality Audio is Sony’s object-based spatial audio technology that enables users to be immersed in music as intended by artists. However, this feature is currently only available to users of Deezer, nugs.net, and TIDAL. There is no support for mainstream music streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, or Youtube Premium as of yet. Call quality was decent, the caller on the other hand managed to hear me but the mics still picked up small amounts of surrounding noises. 

Connectivity & Portability

The earbuds support the basic AAC and SBC codecs together with Bluetooth Version 5.0.  In the app, you can configure the functions of the app to allow the user to stop music from playing when one earbud is removed from either ear and enable automatic power off to conserve battery life. You will also be able to customize the touchpad functions to your most-used options for convenience and update the software. The battery life peaks at 9 hours per use and a total of 18 hours. With noise-canceling off, the battery life is further extended to be 13 hours per use and 26 hours in total. There is also quick charging which will give you 60 minutes of usage time with a 10-minute charge. The package also comes with a USB Type-C cable for charging. The headphones' connectivity to the app is perfect as I never experienced it being unable to detect my in-ear headphones. If you are planning to watch videos or movies with these, I am glad to report that they do not suffer from any latency. Should you also wish to only use one earbud at one time, either earbud is available to do so.

PROS

  • Bluetooth 5.0

  • Responsive Touchpad Controls

  • Adaptive Sound Control

  • Ambient Sound Control

  • IP55 Water-Resistant

  • In-App Equalizer

  • Decent Noise-Cancelling

  • Bass-Focused Sound Signature

  • Quick Attention

  • Quick Charging

  • Long Battery Life

CONS​​​

  • No Wireless Charging

  • Bulky Case

 

The Bottom Line

The Sony WF-SP800N is certainly a step-up and improvement t5o the original WF-1000X. With features like a bass-focused sound signature and customizable noise-canceling and quick charging, the WF-SP800N is the ultimate gym rat grab-and-go companion. It is highly recommended for daily commutes and intensive workouts.

WE RATE IT!

9.5/10

Other Notable Competitors

BEATS POWERBEATS PRO
JABRA ELITE ACTIVE 75T
JAYBIRD VISTA
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