Playing off the success of its WF-1000x wireless earphones, Sony is expanding its lineup of Bluetooth buds in its new WF (wireless freedom) line, which is aimed at athletes and anyone else with an active lifestyle.
The WF-SP700N, which come in at $180, feature Sony’s proprietary noise-canceling tech, which we have found to be very effective. This totally wireless earbud with IPX4 splash-proofing can get a little wet with no ill effect. The truly wireless earbuds also support Google Assistant, among a litany of other features designed to make them your new best friend during workouts and other outdoor adventures.
Getting a secure fit was a key design point, Sony told us — you don’t want headphones falling out or flailing about while you get your sweat on. To achieve this, Sony redesigned the earbuds’ silicone arch, or “wings,” if you will, by retooling them to feel more natural and provide a killer fit while attaining the excellent seal necessary for great sound quality.
The new Sony WF-SP700N are meant to have a slight down-angle when worn — these aren’t meant to be perfectly horizontal. Extra bass is also a feature here, so there’s going to be some added punch. This will come as welcome news for those who have found their active headphones lacking in bass.
While the Sony WF-SP700N are noise-canceling, they also have an ambient sound mode. Letting some sound in is critical for safety during workouts outdoors where oncoming traffic is a chief concern. The ambient sound mode is designed to let in either noises or voices, allowing the user to carry on a conversation without removing their buds. App control enhances onboard buttons for noise-canceling control while also providing custom EQ adjustments and other features.
The in-ear headphones’ case acts as the charging unit. The WF-SP700N offer three hours of battery life, and before you poo-poo that low number, consider they are providing noise canceling, which is a power-intensive technology. The charging case will give users three more hours of listening time with 1.5- hours of charging, and they can do that twice for a total of 9 hours of use in the field, with breaks for charging. This makes the earphones suitable for moderate workouts, runs, and bike rides, but don’t plan on using these for a triathlon.
The WF-SP600N, at $150, is virtually the same headphone but with a wire connecting each earbud and an inline control microphone. Since it can store a bigger battery, this set offers six hours of listening per charge.
The WF-SP500N, at $80, does not offer noise canceling and fits more like an EarPod, so there isn’t much noise isolation either, but you get eight hours per full charge, and they are extremely affordable, especially considering their premium sound quality.
The 1000X Series is also getting updated to support Google Assistant, and will be carried over into 2018 as Sony’s premier true wireless earbud.
The new line is expected to be available in late April or early May.