Skip to main content

Sony updates its wireless headphones with new noise-canceling processor

Sony WI-1000XM2 Wireless Noise Canceling In-ear Headphones Digital Trends

Good news for sporty audio lovers: At IFA 2019, Sony announced it will be expanding its range of noise-canceling headphones. As well as the true wireless WF-1000XM3s and the beloved over-ear WH-1000XM3s, Sony is releasing an updated version of their wireless model with noise-canceling technology called the WI-1000XM2.

The WI-1000XM2s use a similar approach to noise cancellation as the other products in the line, but they boast a new QN1 noise-canceling processor that Sony says has “best-in-class signal-to-noise ratio” and low distortion, making it ideal for portable devices.

Related Videos

Two microphones sit on top of the earbuds to facilitate the noise canceling, and there’s an inline microphone as well so you can use the headphones to place calls from your smartphone.

In addition to the microphone, there are standard inline controls with buttons for volume up and down, play/pause, and skipping tracks forward or backward.

The headband that holds the headphones is rubbery and very flexible. It feels like it could withstand some serious abuse, meaning these would make good traveling headphones. They come with a traveling case too, and they fold up to a surprisingly small size considering the heft of the headband.

Sony WI-1000XM2 Wireless Noise-Canceling In-ear Headphones in their carrying case Digital Trends

The stand out feature, however, is the noise canceling. The WI-1000XM2s have impressive noise-canceling for in-ear buds though of course it’s not as good as on an over-ear pair such as the WH-1000XM3s. But one feature the wireless headphones do borrow from their over-ear brethren is the ambient sound mode. If you want to be able to hear sounds happening around you while still listening to your music, you can enable ambient sound mode. This uses the microphones to pick up sounds like voices, honking, and announcements and pipe these sounds over your music.

This could make the WI-1000XM2s a great pair of headphones for running or other outside exercises, as you can enjoy great-sounding music while also being alerted to any dangers around you such as car horns.

In our quick hands-on with the headphones, the audio quality was nice and bright, and well-balanced without being too heavy or too light on the bass. True audiophiles looking for the best noise-canceling experience will likely still gravitate to the WH-1000XM3s, but for those looking for a durable pair of noise-canceling wireless headphones, the WI-1000XM2s could be it.

The WI-1000XM2s will be releasing in January 2020 in Europe for €330, with a U.S. release to come some time later.

Editors' Recommendations

Bluetooth Multipoint finally arrives on Sony’s best wireless earbuds
Sony WF-1000XM4

Let's categorize this one under "better late than never." Sony has finally released a software update for its flagship wireless earbuds -- the WF-1000XM4 -- that gives them a much-needed feature: the ability to connect the buds to two devices simultaneously, otherwise known as Bluetooth Multipoint.

When Sony originally announced the new feature, it said the update would be made available in November 2022. That timing materialized for the other two Sony products that were slated to get Multipoint (the LinkBuds and LinkBuds S), but for some reason, the XM4 were left out. Today, however, it was spotted by What Hi-Fi, and we can confirm that the update is now available if you open the Sony Headphones app on your phone and connect your WF-1000XM4.

Read more
The first wireless hi-res headphones with UWB will arrive in 2024
PSB M4U8 wireless headphones.

Wireless headphones (and wireless earbuds) have been hugely popular because of their wire-free convenience and handy features like active noise cancellation (ANC), but audiophiles have never been big fans of the way they sound. Thanks to a new partnership between PSB Speakers, MQA, and Sonical, that could be about to change in a big way: the threesome is planning to launch the world's first set of wireless headphones that use ultra-wideband (UWB) technology instead of Bluetooth, in the first quarter of 2024.

The PSB M4U8 wireless headphones don't have UWB, but they could be the starting point for the first UWB model. PSB

Read more
Can we talk about wireless audio’s missing speedometer?

Imagine someone spending $150,000 on a Porsche that had no speedometer. “This fine sports car can do zero to 60 in under three seconds.” Uh, how do I know? “Doesn’t it feel fast when you drive it? Trust us, it’s under three seconds.” Probably wouldn’t fly, would it? 

And yet, this unlikely scenario is exactly what’s happening in the world of wireless audio. 

Read more