Last month, when Sony’s new WF-1000X wireless earbuds started arriving at some outlets, there were legit complaints. There were not only some serious connection reliability issues, but the phone call quality was detestable as well. Luckily, Sony postponed most shipments of their wireless earbuds, fixed the problems, and shipped them back out this week. You can currently purchase the WF-1000X at almost any Fry’s Electronics store in the United States.
The new buds tested for this review are almost just like the limited-release buds from last month. They come in an impressively small but sturdy package with a bulky but still pocketable charging case. They may look weird, but fit into your ears very well when you choose the correct ear tips, which will also block out a lot of noise. But even though the Sony wireless earbuds offer more passive noise isolation than any other wireless standalone earbuds, they impressively offer great active noise cancellation as well. In fact, the noise cancellation on these small nuggets is just as good as it is on Bose’s popular QC35s and Sony’s MDR-1000X over-the-ear headphones, which cost as much as $200 more.
Unlike the first time this author used the WF-1000X buds last month, there were absolutely no connection problems this time around. The earbuds instantly connected to my iPhone and to each other for full stereo sound. The bass is strong, but not overbearing. Best of all, the bass doesn’t distort when you turn the volume up. The highs are crisp and clear while perfectly complimenting the lows. As usual with Sony headphones, the middle levels are present, but not very strong. The WF-1000X are best for listening to hip-hop, dance, or soft rock.
Listening to an older song like “Take My Breath Away” by Berlin brought out the soft instrumentation behind the hard rock beats, while Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” shows off its haunting bass with special effects in the higher-sound ranges. Bose’s SoundSport Free buds, which were reviewed on the Inquisitr this past weekend, are the only buds with slightly more bass. However, Bose’s bass distorts at very high volume levels.
The excellent noise cancellation (which can be adjusted to let in ambient noise) and the sculpted sound come at a hit to battery life. While many earbuds offer five hours of battery life on a single charge, Bose offers about three. However, the charging case these come with charges the buds instantly. If you put your buds in the case while you aren’t using them, you’ll never run out of juice. It would be great for Sony to make wireless earbuds that have at least five hours of battery life, but they would have to be larger. Right now, they are the perfect size.
We are still at the very early stages of wireless earbuds, where quality takes a hit for the sake of convenience. But as Sony proves with the WF-1000X, wireless standalone earbuds can be just about as good as any neckband or over-the-ear wireless headset. At $199, the WF-1000X earbuds are worth every cent.
[Featured Image by Daryl Deino]