Sony’s new WF-1000X are truly wireless earbuds that come with a slim charging and storage case. Worth it?
Full written review: Blog.BestBuy.ca
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Smartphones are evolving to eliminate wired connections. There’s wireless qi charging, and of course the lack of headphone jacks in many phones today. So ready or not, you’re going to need a set of truly wireless headphones… eventually.
Sony’s new WF-1000X are truly wireless earbuds that come with a slim charging and storage case. Rather surprisingly, the earbuds only deliver three hours of battery on a single charge, compared to what seems to be the industry standard of about 5 hours on other wireless earbuds like Jabra Elite, Samsung IconX, Bose SoundSport or, Rocksport Audio RockPods or Apple AirPods.
I recieved a pair of these earbuds for a week of testing and this is my review.
Getting these earbuds set up ad paired was straightforward, but it does require a specific set of steps:
Open the charging case and remove the left earbud. Push and hold the small nib on the underside of the bud to power on. Keep holding for 7 seconds until the headset goes into pairing mode, which will be confirmed from the robot voice prompts.
Go to your phone’s Bluetooth menu and select the WF-1000X to connect it.
Once it’s connected, remove the right earbud from the case. It should power on and connect automatically. If it doesn’t, push and hold the power nib on the right to get things started.
To access some of the headphones’ more advanced features you’ll need to download the free Sony Headphones Connect app.
Adaptive Sound Control will allow the headphones to detect your motion, and adjust the sound parameters automatically. For example, if you’re standing still, you won’t need to be so attuned to traffic noise, for example. Similarly if you’re walking, you might need to head a little more background noise.
Ambient Sound Control allows you to choose whether to hear background noise, and at what level.
I will say these earbuds are comfortable, and since they come with nearly a dozen pairs of tips and an extra set of different sized wings, it’s possible to get a better custom fit. The earbuds themselves are long and oval shaped and are about the size of my thumb.
I wore them for long periods of time and never really felt like they were making my ears achy.
There’s no doubt these headphones sound good. They’re quite clear and there’s strong bass. I listened to a variety of music on these and found everything sounded very good. There was no tinnyness to them, no distortion, and overall everything just sounded exactly as I thought it should.
A common problem with truly wireless headphones is a noticeable delay when watching videos on your smartphone or tablet. This is most noticeable with YouTube, for example, but less a problem with native videos shot on, and viewed on your phone.
The problem does exist here too. There’s a significant delay of several seconds when using the 1000X to watch YouTube content and it’s enough that will make it extraordinarily frustrating. There’s next to no delay when watching my own videos. So depending on how you plan to use these headphones most, you’ll want to keep this in mind.
The battery life on these headphones is perhaps the most disappointing feature. With just three hours on a charge, that means you’ll be sending these back to their case for recharging constantly. Three hours isn’t enough for an average plane flight, and even commuters spending an hour on the train morning and night are going to need these to be recharged daily.
If there’s a plus, however, it’s that these earbuds have an auto on/off feature which keeps the battery from draining needlessly.
There’s a lot to love about the Sony 1000X truly wireless headphones. They’re compact, comfortable, and you can personalize the fit with a variety of tips and fins. I also like the size and shape of the charging case; it’s not so small it’ll get lost, but it’s not too big either.
The sound quality is great, and it’s nice there’s built in phone call capability. I also thought the noise cancellation and ambient mode worked reasonably well.
The frequent dropouts were super annoying and I didn’t like that I couldn’t watch YouTube videos with these, but that’s par for the course with truly wireless headphones today. I also thought the three hour battery life was disappointing. More manufacturers are working hard to grow that life and 5 hours on a single charge is standard. It’s a bit of a burn that these give you so little battery life before they need to go back in their case.
Sony 1000X truly wireless earbuds sell for about $200-280 from Best Buy. there’s a full written review at Blog.Best Buy.ca