For those who regularly exercise, finding the right pair of headphone/ earbuds/ headset, can be a mighty hassle.
It has to be sweat resistant (you don’t want to corrode the electronics after all), comfortable to wear (especially if you’re running) and best of all, sound decent enough.
Sony’s WF-SP700N’s offers all of that, but it’s not as perfect as you’d think.
What are the SONY WF-SP700N?
The SONY WF-SP700N are wireless noise cancelling headsets meant for sports. It comes in four different colors and retails for SGD$299. It’s sweat resistant and comes with an IPX4 rating for just that contingency.
Each piece weighs a measly 7.9g, lasts for about 3 hours when fully charged. They come with a case that also holds 6 hours worth of charge, so you don’t need to recharge everything when the battery’s flat.
Aesthetically speaking, the headsets look damn good.
They’re all smooth with no edges, and feeling them in your hand is weirdly pleasing. Like touching a smooth polished opal.
The looks even extend to the carrying case, which also doubles as a charge. It rotates open smoothly on a hinge and seals very satisfyingly. When the headsets have been used, you’ll also see an indicator on them light up when they’re being charged in the box.
When operating, there’s only one button you need to be aware of.
It’s an all-in-one button; press it to play/ pause music, hit it twice to skip a track and three times to rewind. Weirdly, only the left headset can be used to answer calls (the sound comes out of both so don’t worry).
We’d have preferred the button to be a bit bigger and more pronounced, but the small size isn’t really an issue once you’ve used the headset for awhile.
Wearing them is pretty easy, though you might need to adjust them in your ear to find the perfect fit. Once in, they’re snug and pretty comfortable. We tried walking and running while wearing them and they stayed immobile throughout. They never felt loose or about to drop out, which is essential when you’re in the middle of a run.
How they sound.
Full of bass. That’s literally the first thing that popped into my mind when I heard the headsets for the first time. That’s not surprising as they incorporate Sony’s Extra Bass tech.
The bass isn’t as deep as those in Sony’s high end headphones, but they’re still pretty good for the size of the WF-SP700N. At times they can get a tad overwhelming, but that’s also partly due to the music as well.
You can tune the sound output somewhat with an app (more on that later) but I’ve never found a balance that I was really comfortable with. Even songs with light base (Final Fantasy X’s Suteki Da Ne for example) sounds a bit too bass-y for my liking.
Hi-Res audio isn’t supported, which means no LDAC or aptHD codecs. It’s only SBC and AAC codecs the whole way.
The headsets also have noise cancelling built it. Again, the feature is nowhere near as good as in the WH-1000XM3 (watch out for our review of that soon!) or even the earlier WH-1000XM2. Then again, those are Sony’s top of the line models and are over ear headphones. In that light, the noise cancellation in the WF-SP700N is more than adequate .
Compared to the WH-1000XM series, the noise cancellation is about 50% to maybe 60% per cent less effective. It can drown out ambient noise well, but you’ll still hear voices and other incidental noise slip in from time to time.
You can adjust the sound settings via Sony’s Headphones Connect app, which is compatible with this model. In it, you can adjust noise cancellation, music quality and other settings.
Connection quality with is generally very good. I’ve paired it with my Samsung Note 8 (which is also used with my WH-1000XM2) and aside from the initial issue pairing it, have not experienced any drops or disconnects.
Like most of Sony’s newer wireless headphones, you can also pair the WH-SP700N via Bluetooth, or if you have it on your device, NFC.
The bottom line.
Sony’s WH-SP700N isn’t as premium as you’d expect, despite the SGD$299 price tag. Its noise cancellation isn’t as good as other premium models in the company’s line and the music output can be too dominated by the bass.
Still, I rather like that they come with a carrying case that also doubles as a charger. The battery life might be a bit on the short side, but if you exercise for more than 3 hours at a shot, you’re more hardcore than most people.
It’s also great that the devices are sweat resistant and comfy. Jogging and doing the treadmill didn’t budge them in my ears at all and I had no issue at all with them in my ear for periods of time.
However, I’d suggest waiting for the next generation of these headsets if you can, as there are still some things that Sony can hopefully improve on, chief among them the noise cancellation.
If not, and you NEED a pair right now, I suggest you bite the bullet and get them. They’re not perfect, but they’re still pretty good, and sometimes, that’s more than enough.
Decent and comfortable, but sound quality can be too dominated by bass. Battery life is a bit iffy and noise cancellation isn’t that great but it’s still a pretty good headset if you’re looking for a device you can use when exercising.
– Customization via the Sony Headphones Connect app.
– Sweat resistant.
– Sound quality merely adequate.
– Too much bass.
– Noise cancellation could be better.