The Sony WF-1000x are noise cancelling truly wireless in-ears with a high-end build quality and cool metal accents that give them a premium look and feel. They come with an excellent, if slightly bulky, metallic charging case. Unfortunately, their defining noise cancelling feature is not as good in loud environments. They do not block noise as well as some of the purely passive truly wireless designs, which is a little disappointing. They also have a few issues with their wireless connection, have no volume controls and a lot of latency when watching videos.
+ Good audio reproduction
+ Lightweight with decent durability
+ Efficient, easy-to-use controls
– Mediocre noise cancelling
– A bit bright on treble-heavy tracks
Type: Truly Wireless In-Ear
The Sony WF-1000X have a high-end, premium look and feel that sets them apart from other truly wireless in-ears. They have a well-made and decently durable build quality and come with a great metal charging case. The case is a bit bulky but flat, so it will still easily fit into most pockets. Unfortunately, the buds do not look as great once in your ears. They protrude quite a bit, which makes them more noticeable than similar designs like the Samsung Gear IconX. They also have an inconvenient control scheme and no dedicated volume buttons, so you have to reach for your phone or Bluetooth source to increase the volume and even skip tracks. On the upside, they’re decently comfortable and come with a bunch of tip options and sizes to help you find the right fit.
The Sony WF-1000X have an above-average but sharp sound quality. They have a punchy bass and a good mid-range, although the slight bump in the lower frequencies makes them a tad boomy and cluttered. However, the sharp spike in their treble range will be more immediately noticeable than the boomy mid/bass-range. It makes these earphones piercing on S and T sounds, which will get fatiguing on longer listening sessions or on particularly bright instrument or vocal heavy tracks. They won’t have the soundstage and ambiance of big, open-back over-ear headphones, so they’re not the ideal choice for more critical listeners. But on the upside, they have a preset Equalizer with their companion app, so you can somewhat tweak their sounds to better match your listening preference.
Noise cancelling: Yes
The Sony WF-1000X isolate decently well against ambient noise but their noise cancelling feature doesn’t add much. They are one of the first active noise cancelling truly wireless in-ears and they block and cancel enough noise to be decently suitable for commute and travel. They also barely leak so you can play your music at higher volumes to mask even more ambient noise without distracting the people around you. Unfortunately, their A.N.C does not cancel that much noise and barely makes a difference to the passive isolation that the in-ear fit provides. This makes the WF-1000x as good at blocking noise as typical truly wireless in-ears, which is a bit disappointing considering A.N.C is their defining feature.
Mic type: Integrated
Like most Bluetooth headphones, and especially truly wireless designs, the mic on the Sony WF-1000x is below-average and would not be the best for making calls. Your voice will sound thin, muffled and will be difficult to understand. They also struggle to separate ambient noise from speech, so the person on the other end of the line will have a tough time to hear what your saying in a busy and noisy environment. They should be somewhat okay in quieter conditions but you may have to switch to your phone’s handset mic if you’re making a call while commuting or walking down a bustling street.
Earbud Battery Life: 2.7 Hrs
Charge time: 1.5 Hrs
Case battery life: 6 Hrs
App support: Yes
Passive Playback: No
The Sony WF-1000x have a mediocre-at-best battery life but a good app with decent customization options. The earbuds only last about 3 hours on a single charge and a bit less if you’re using the active noise cancellation feature. But on the upside, they have an additional 6 hours in their charging case for a total of 9 hours of playback. They won’t be the ideal option if you have long uninterrupted listening sessions but should have enough juice to last you throughout your day if you take breaks. They also support the Sony Headphones Connect app which gives them a preset EQ and noise cancelling options. You can also choose different sound quality codecs if your phone supports it.
Wireless range: 31 ft
Latency: 400 ms
The Sony WF-1000X are Bluetooth 4.1 headphones with NFC pairing. They have an NFC tag on the bottom of their case, which is pretty cool and makes pairing with phones and NFC-ready devices quite easy. Unfortunately, their regular hold-to-pair procedure can be frustratingly difficult at times since you have to pair the right earbud first which doesn’t always seamlessly connect to the left. They have an average wireless range but one of the worse latency performance we’ve measured. The right earbud also cuts out often regardless of the wireless range. These issues have been somewhat reduced with the firmware 2.0 update but may still be a deal breaker flaw for some.
Who should buy them?
If you want a high-end and premium looking truly wireless design for your commutes, then the Sony WF-1000X are a suitable option. They have a decent isolation performance and are one of the only truly wireless headphones with active noise cancellation. They also barely leak which makes them a good choice for noise sensitive environments like being at the office. Unfortunately, their noise cancellation feature doesn’t isolate better than some passive in-ear designs, they struggle to maintain a good and stable wireless connection and they have a terrible latency performance. They won’t be great for watching videos and they have no volume controls on the earbuds which is bit disappointing. They won’t be as good as some of the other truly wireless designs we’ve reviewed recently but if you really like the look of the Sonys, they’re a decently versatile option for most use cases.
Shop Now: $198 at Amazon
To see all our measurements and our test results of the Sony WF-1000X, please go here.