Announced at last year’s IFA trade show, the WF-1000X is one of three audio products from Sony’s wireless noise-cancelling headphone family, and probably one of the rst true wireless earbuds to sport noisecancelling capabilities. Coming in a choice of shiny gold or black, this has a more ashy design with a somewhat longish carrying case that doubles up to provide another two full charges for a total of nine hours battery life on the go. That’s just about long enough for meaningful use, but is still the shortest among all of the contenders in this shootout.
Like the WH-1000X Mark II, the earbuds also get ambient sound modes and Sony has added the option of Adaptive Sound Control to the app which attempts to detect your present activity and then automatically pick the ambient sound mode that best matches it. This all sounds good in theory, but the open nature of these wireless earbuds means that the di erence between ambient sound modes is minimal at best, so we just left the earbuds in full noise-cancelling mode at all times.
The supporting app also allows you to change EQ settings, and lets you choose if you’d like to place a priority on sound quality or stable connection (in which case the connection codec is xed to SBC). Firmware updates also come down by way of the app, thus letting you easily keep it updated. When it comes to audio, we thought the WF-1000X was one of the earbuds that easily stood out for its quality. The earbuds easily handled faster moving pop pieces like Sam Smith’s Money on My Mind. This piece has layers of overlapping vocals paced by a thumping bass beat, and the earbuds kept up with the pace and energy well. They did well on acoustic pieces too, with a level of refinement matched only by the Beoplay E8 in this shootout. For example, the earbuds presented an excellent rendition of the acoustic version of Hotel California by The Eagles, fleshing out each and every one of the various acoustic instruments present well while giving ample weight to both the singers and the crowd. As with most of the wireless earbuds we’ve tested so far the bass is on the dry side, but there’s enough kick for it to be felt.
The earbuds snap into place in the carrying case.
A button below the right earbud toggles noise-cancelling modes.