Think back just a few short years ago…
Truly wireless, headband free earbuds still seemed like a distant dream, let alone a set featuring active noise cancellation!
But, with Bluetooth and ANC technology coming along leaps and bounds recently, we were recently presented with the fantastic Sony WF-SP700N. This is the first set of wire-free, noise-canceling earbuds from the Japanese electronics monolith. With the pedigree of excellence, we are used to seeing from all Sony products; we could not wait to get our hands on the WF-SP700N!
So, let’s find out if it was worth the wait in this Sony WF-SP700N review…
Just like the food from our favorite taco joint, the Sony WF-SP700N comes with a generous serving of sides. A 1.5ft (50cm) micro-USB charging cable, two pairs of supports, four different sizes of silicone tips, and the carry case. And Sony’s standard warranty covers all sets.
Design & Construction
Jumping out of the box with a look that would not be out of place on the USS Enterprise, the Sony WF-SP700N are aesthetically quite unique. The test pair we received came in black/grey, adding to the space-age theme. However, they are also available in other color schemes, with the black portion swapping out for a splash of pink, yellow, or white.
An oversized pill shape, which is made out of the industry-standard: high grade, molded plastic – which Sony have decided to give a smooth and velvety touch. The shape and feel are not only satisfying in the hand but ergonomically designed to fit really comfortably in the ears.
Comfort is the name of the game here, with everyone in the office agreeing that these earbuds are supremely enjoyable for long sessions. The included silicone tips and wings come in a large range of sizes shipped in the box. This makes it easy to find a good fit for all ear shapes and sizes.
The tips also do a stand-up job of blocking noise passively (which only adds to the noise-canceling properties of these earbuds, but more on that later!)
Yep, it fooled us too – that’s not a button, but a LED indicator ring that relays information on battery and call status. The microphone is also housed in this part of the assembly.
The actual control button is slotted under the Sony branding. There’s one on each earbud, and they control different aspects.
The left controls:
- ANC (active noise cancellation) and Ambient sound modes.
The right controls:
- Track navigation.
- Call management.
- Voice assistance.
With a sweat-proof rating of IPX4, we felt safe to use these in all situations, with a bit of rain or sweat proving “no sweat” for these bad boys.
Sound & Performance
If like us, you were one of the crowd that felt that Sony’s last wire-free earbud set (the WF-1000X) were sorely underpowered when it came to the bass end of the soundscape, then you will be in for a pleasant surprise here. The company have obviously listened to that crowd.
This has resulted in the overall sound of the Sony WF-SP700N not only having more bass but also being more balanced in general!
If you find this new, bassy default mix a little overpowering for your tastes, just open up your device and head to the Appstore or Google Play. There you will find Sony’s Headphone Connect App, which hands over control of the sound to the user.
This is one of the better headphone connection apps that we have tested, with EQ controls easily found, and eight presets to choose from. We were using these as primarily our workout set of headphones and found the extra bass complimented our training.
With the bass taking center stage, we chucked on the all-time RnB classic “Ghetto Superstar” – Mya Feat Pras Mitchell And ODB. The walking bassline works beautifully to contrast Mya’s opening hook, and this was showcased perfectly here.
These also perform fantastically when listening to podcasts and audiobooks. The clear and concise balance of the mid frequencies lends itself to long binge-listening sessions.
Switch on the active noise cancellation to see what the Sony WF-SP700N really have to offer. In reality, they do not offer the ANC capabilities that the over-ear ANC sets on the market today do, but Sony have definitely done themselves proud here.
During testing, we kept this feature switched on whenever we left the office. And while not blocking all the desired frequencies (they do a great job of blocking the low rumble of a train or plane, but struggle a little with higher frequencies), they do more than enough to show a noticeable difference.
The battery for the Sony WF-SP700N truly wireless earbuds is advertised as having a life of three hours. This is a little shorter than some of the competition, with the Apple AirPods and the Beats Powerbeats Pro both having more juice than the Sony WF-SP700N. But neither of those have ANC, so while there is a trade-off, it was not a deal-breaker for us.
That’s right! As with many of today’s wire-free earbuds, the carry case doubles as a portable charging unit for the headphones. This increases the battery life to nine hours, more than what we needed for a day’s use. Recharging the earbuds is as simple as sitting them back into their case, with the case having a micro-USB charging slot at its rear.
In testing, we were able to push the single charge use time to 3.5 hours when ANC was turned off, and the volume was at 70%.
Although these do not have an Apple chip, they are still extremely straight forward to pair when using them for the first time, and it only has to be done once with each device you want to connect to.
The steps involved are:
- First, take the left-hand unit from the case (this will turn it on automatically).
- Next, hold down the button for a total of seven seconds. This will cause the LED indicator lights to flash blue and red, letting you know they are ready to be paired.
- Open up Bluetooth settings on your device, then find and select “WF-SP700N”. If a passkey prompt pops up, simply type in “0000”.
- Now you are paired! Take out the right earbud from the case, and it will auto-connect to the left.
Sony WF-SP700N Pros & Cons
- Active Noise Cancellation.
- Snug and comfortable in-ear fit.
- IPX4 sweat resistance.
- Big bass sound.
- Might be too bass-heavy for some users.
- Short battery life.
Looking For More Options?
If so? Check out our comprehensive reviews of the Best Noise Cancelling Earbuds, the Best Wireless Earbuds for Small Ears, the Best Sound Quality Earbuds, the Most Durable Earbuds, the Best Headphones and Earbuds for Sleeping, or even the Best Bone Conduction Headphones on the market.
We will be the first to admit that these headphones will not suit everybody.
However, if you have been waiting patiently for a set of truly wireless, active noise canceling earbuds that won’t break the bank. Then we think that the Sony WF-SP700N are definitely worthy of your attention. With a slick design, a great app, and good ANC, these are here to stay!