I am convinced that these are the best earbuds that are on the market right now, with a couple of modifications. I have compared these against the Jabra Elites as well as Bose Soundsport Frees and these win hands down. I also have a large collection of over ear headphones,...
I am convinced that these are the best earbuds that are on the market right now, with a couple of modifications. I have compared these against the Jabra Elites as well as Bose Soundsport Frees and these win hands down. I also have a large collection of over ear headphones, and the sound quality from these are easily on par, if not better. Here is a subjective list of pros/cons:
Pros: sound quality, noise isolation, noise cancellation, passthrough quality, touch controls, battery/quick-charging
Cons: stock tips/fit, microphone quality, lack of multipoint (NFC workaround)
Sound Quality :
First off, the sound quality is amazing on these, but you need to play around with the equalizer. I had the most success by setting the equalizer to "mellow" and then adjusting from there. The reason for this is because the treble and highs on these are fairly harsh out of the box. Music with loud vocals or high hats, etc. are EAR PIERCING without modification. Toning down the high ends significantly gives are more flat sound. The funny thing is that I found the opposite to be true for the WH-1000XM3s (headphone version of these earbuds). Another benefit is due to their isolation/noise canceling properties, you barely have to turn the volume above 50% to drown out ambient noise. This lends itself to much cleaner sounds and lower distortion.
For the Sonys, I found the noise isolation to be significantly better than any other headphones that I have tried. They offer both silicone and soft foam tips out of the box, both of which successfully isolate outside noise. However, they didn''t offer the best fit, but I will touch on that later. As far as noise canceling goes, these are comparable, but not as foolproof as the over the ear version. Things like loud talking, water faucets, crickets chirping, are not drowned out as easily as other sounds. Things like fans, hums, etc. will disappear almost completely. What they lack in NC, they make up for in noise isolation. A dash of increased volume helps drown out any other noises.
Compared to the Jabra Elites, the passthrough quality is far superior. By default, the left earbud controls ambient/noise cancelling controls, and a long press and hold on the left earbud allows passthrough of outside sounds. The sound quality is very natural, with almost no hiss or hum. The Jabras on the other hand sound like an old tape deck with lots of hiss in the background and had a much sharper tone.
Any reasonable person will have no issue with battery on these. I have worn them for multiple hours at a time and the battery has not even dipped below 70%. Toss them in the case for a quick charge and you are back on the go.
I am a huge fan of touch controls as they don''t involve you pushing the earbuds any further into your ears, which I don''t find that comfortable to begin with, coming from the comfort of Bose "stayhear" tips. The left earbud cycles through ambient/noise cancelling modes and also allows for passthrough. The right earbud handles play, pause, skip/previous track. For phone calls, it''s two double taps to answer, and two double taps to end. To enter pairing mode for a second device, press the touch sensors on both the left and right units for about 7 seconds. You can swap the controls among the earbuds as well as change it to google assistant or no effect. The only thing missing here is volume control. I get around this on my Apple Watch so it''s not a huge deal breaker for me.
I have never been that big of a fan of earbuds, but had success in the past with Bose due to their "stayhear" wing tips. Unfortunately, you can''t put similar tips on these as they would no longer fit in the charging case. That being said, the Bose tips don''t offer much noise isolation. I have small ear canals and even with the smallest tips, these would eventually fall out after light jostling, chewing, walking, etc. To get around this, I bought some Comply tips that also fit the Sony WF-1000x (Comply TrueGrip Pro Memory Foam Earphone Tips for Jabra Elite Sport, Master & Dynamic MW07, RHA TrueConnect, Sony WF-1000x, Sony WF-SP700N - Secure Fit Tips with SweatGuard) and now these are fantastic! They have a great fit and won''t fall out. I can barely hear myself typing at my computer with the volume hovering around 50-60%.
For calls, the incoming audio is great, but I have had many people tell me that I sound robotic or static-y. I''ve had others tell me that I sound fine. It seems to vary based on the environment, but I am still testing. On the plus side, call sound comes out of both earbuds to give you stereo sound, something that the Bose Soundsport Frees do not offer.
Update 5/2020: Sony pushed a firmware update that had significantly improved call quality according to others I''ve talked to while using the earbuds. No longer having issues with static sounds or robotic sounds.
Lack of Multipoint (NFC workaround):
Coming from Bose, the lack of multipoint was my biggest gripe. If you don''t know what multipoint is, it allows you to not only pair to multiple devices, but to also connect to multiple devices (usually two) at the same time. You can play music from one source, say your phone, and then you can start playing music from another source, maybe your laptop, and the transition is seamless. You don''t have to disconnect/connect to switch audio sources. This is not true for the Sonys. On the bright side you do have a couple of options.
If you have an Android phone, you can hot swap by tapping the NFC logo on the earbud case. From Sony (on Android)
"If you touch an NFC-compatible smartphone to the charging case while the headset is connected to another Bluetooth device, you can switch the connection to the smartphone (One-touch connection switching). However, the connection cannot be switched when talking on a headset connected to a Bluetooth compatible mobile phone.
When an NFC-compatible smartphone is connected to the headset, if the smartphone is touched by another NFC-compatible Bluetooth device (headset or speaker), the smartphone is disconnected from the headset and connected to the Bluetooth device."
If you have an iPhone, you can setup a shortcut that will easily get you to your bluetooth menu when you tap the case and then you are just one tap away. The shortcut is as follows: When NFC tag detected > URL - prefs:root=Bluetooth > Safari - Open URL.
Using these approaches in tandem with the earbuds being hot swappable means that you do not have to disconnect/reconnect each time, as long as you have previously been paired with that device. You also get audio alerts saying "bluetooth disconnected, bluetooth connected" although it would be nice if it told you which device was being disconnected/connected on the audio prompt.
Please rate this review as HELPFUL if you found any of the information of use!!