These are my first try at truly wireless headphones from Sony. I am a huge fan of the 1000 XM2 over-ear headphones so I expect good sound and great battery life. How did the SP700N fare after several days of use and a few workout sessions?
Design and Build
The WF-SP700N headphones from Sony charge in a small little box. The lid of the box swivels to cover and uncover the headphones. The box charges via micro USB. The earbuds themselves are a bit on the thicker side. They have the shape of a large kidney bean. They fit nice and snug in the charging box. There’s not much in terms of controls. Each earbud has a button on the outside and that’s it. The button on the right earbud allows you to play/ pause the track. The button on the left allows you to toggle the level of noise-cancellation.
Experience and Features SP700N
It took me a while to get used to the earbuds. They feel like will fall out of my ears. Thanks to the arc tips, they managed to stay in place. They weren’t so intrusive, where I felt annoyed by them, even after an hour of cardio. I got used to the “weight” that hangs off my ear and was able to rock these without fear of them falling. The WF-SP700N are rated IPX4, which mean they can take on some sweat. Like I stated in other fitness headphones reviews, I don’t think I sweat enough to short out headphones. I usually towel dry them after the gym, then use disinfecting wipes to keep the headphones and prongs clean. They are easy to clean and maintain.
Sound and Connectivity
Sony has a great reputation for sound and bass. I was reminded of that when reviewing the 1000XM2 over-ear headphones, but I don’t expect loud sound from earbuds, especially truly wireless earbuds at that. With these earbuds, you have the option of ambient sound and full noise cancellation. The noise cancellation is actually pretty good for wireless earbuds. Sony doesn’t slack on the bass either. But if you’re not a fan of the sound, you can slightly tweak it with the Sony Headphones Connect app.
Listening to some pop and EDM, the bass doesn’t fall flat, and while the voices don’t sound all clear, they sound clear enough over the beat. I am not a fan of using the buttons on the headphones themselves because it feels like you’re drilling into your head and it’s just extremely uncomfortable. I resort to using the app to toggle things and my phone for volume control. For the most part, I didn’t have any connectivity issues, but when I did, it was a series of skips when I turned my head in a certain direction. Afterward, it would go back to playing music smoothly.
With an update that came to the earbuds in late September, you can now use Google Assistant with the earbuds. There’s a ton of things you can do with Google Assistant. So how is Google Assistant useful when it comes to headphones? You can assign the button on the right earbud to activate Google Assistant, and do things like, add an event to your calendar, ask it to show you pictures from your Google Photos feeds, and even control the YouTube playback. It reads messages for you and lets you know if you have messages pending. You can change what you get notifications on, but it was way too much for me. Too many notifications got in the way of listening to my music, and I felt like they just kept going and going.
As the case with truly wireless headphones, small space, small battery. The SP700N are set to last just 3 hours, and on some days I didn’t make it that far. Luckily with the charging case, you can get up to 9 hours of battery, with multiple charges of course. I am a fan of the battery indicators. When you first turn on the headphones, the lady will tell you what battery level you have (high, medium). I do feel that you don’t get a timely warning when your battery is low. From the time you’re notified to “please charge”, to the time the earbuds die is very small. I made sure to charge the headphones and the case at least once during the middle of the day to prevent them from dying on me.
At $150, I wouldn’t recommend the SP700N, but at the $110 / $120 price point, I would say these are worth a try if you’re looking for a decent pair of truly wireless earbuds. I recommend these for those who use earbuds for one to two hours at a time. If you’re trying to use these earbuds and keep them on for over three hours, you’ll get annoyed at the battery dying. If you don’t really need to go truly wireless yet go for regular wireless headphones or some on-ear headphones for the gym. The SP700N are available in four different colorways. You can learn more from sony.com.