Starting with the lean side of the price scale, these sporty in-ears are Sony’s new bid for the active crowd seeking a way to pump up their workout tunes with no strings attached. The ‘phones are IPX4-rated water resistant to battle the elements (and the sweat), and the tips are attached with earhooks at the top to keep them in place under strain.
Other features include one-button control microphone, 9mm drivers, and a an estimated 8.5 hours of playback from an on-board lithium-ion battery.
Moving into a full sized headphone, the ZX330BT won’t be a jogger’s choice, but these on-ear cans do offer a very affordable way to cut the cord and jam out for hours on end — 30 of them if the estimated battery life is to be believed. The headphones use smaller 30mm drivers and, at 150 grams, are also extremely light for an on-ear.
For a $50 upgrade users will likely get a better burst of sound quality and more power, thanks to an over-ear design and larger 40mm drivers. However, the next tier does take a hit on battery life, offering about half the run-time of its smaller sibling at 17 hours. On the bright side, users with aptX compatible phones (i.e. not iPhones) should get better sound resolution from this model, and that might just be more important.
At the top of the heap are the premium ZX770BN, which offer the added luxury of active noise cancelling to the party. That makes this model the ideal choice for the frequent traveler, though with more features comes more battery drain, leaving this model at an estimated 13 hours per charge. Other features include a carrying pouch, aptX for compatible devices, and a supplied cable (unlike the rest of the family) which allow the headphones to be plugged in if the battery goes down.
All of the headphones in the new lineup also include NFC touch pairing for compatible devices.
Sony’s new Bluetooth cans are all slated to arrive sometime next month, so we should know soon whether these wireless workhorses are worth your time. With prices starting at $100, there’s never been a better time to consider cutting the cord for your next pair of headphones.