Blog

Sony WF-XB700 earphone overview: Reasonably priced enjoyable

“The Sony WF-XB700 is a fun, quirky earphone that offers tremendous value.”

Great battery life

IPX4 water resistance

Solid low-end sound

Pushy design

Limited codec support

There are any number of words you can use to describe Sony’s latest earphones, the WF-XB700. A few – like fun, bulky, powerful, or affordable – come to mind immediately.

However, one word resonates the most. Value.

You may not look like much, but for $ 130, the WF-XB700 offers a range of features that far exceed its cost. If you can accept that these buds are not a replacement for their bigger sibling, the WF-1000XM3, and learn to tolerate a few quirks, you will be pleasantly surprised with Sony’s latest true wireless offering.

Out of the box

The packaging of the WF-XB700 is as standard as possible and the contents of the box correspond to what we expect from earphones. There is a charging case with the buds themselves, a USB-C charging cable, additional earplugs and documentation that contains a user manual and warranty information.

Sony WF-XB700 earphonesNick Woodard / Digital Trends

If you were previously connected to a pair of wireless earbuds, you may not need to read the manual before trying the WF-XB700. However, you may need to replace the earbuds for one of the three pairs of replacement options. Conveniently, the tips supplied with the earphones fit my ears well from the start.

Like most earphones these days, the WF-XB700 supports Bluetooth 5 technology. After more than a week, I have not found any connection problems. For the reasons you might expect, I couldn’t quite exceed the limits of the Bluetooth connection, but I didn’t have to worry about any noticeable problems when I was moving around my house or garden.

design

I came into conflict over the design of the WF-XB700. To put it bluntly, it’s a functional construction, even if at first glance they don’t seem to be capable of such a feat. Once I found the right fit in my ears, the buds stayed secure thanks to what Sony called a “tri-hold structure” based on contact with three different points on the ear. They created a good seal around my ear canals, which is good for the sound quality.

Sony WF-XB700 earphonesNick Woodard / Digital Trends

At the same time, the structure of these buds is problematic. It’s a strange word for this type of product, but the WF-XB700 is what I can only call “layered” with a pronounced footprint that extends far beyond your ear. In other words, be careful with these hoodies. These massive buds have to get caught, a quirk that gets annoying every time.

Two buttons are built into the buds, one on each side, and they have proven to be reasonably appealing. Similar to the buds themselves, which are black with a blue border, the charging case is not noticeable. Compared to other cases, it has a considerable depth to accommodate the size of the buds.

Function over shape in earbuds is not a bad thing. I would have liked a slimmer profile overall, but for most people, given the capabilities of these buds, it’s a worthwhile compromise.

properties

IPX4 water resistance. Integration of the language assistant. Nine hours of playback on a single charge, with a quick charge feature that gives you an extra hour of audio after just 10 minutes in the case.

Sony WF-XB700 earphonesNick Woodard / Digital Trends

A year ago, these functions could easily have been reserved for equipment in a much higher tax bracket. Since then, they have quickly dropped to a budget level for earphones that is much more palatable to the masses, i.e. H. The WF-XB700.

In the time I spent with these bulky buds, each of these features worked remarkably well. The buds would easily take me through a whole working day before I had to recharge. The earphone case only has an additional charge, which is less than ideal. However, if you can hear them all day and charge them at night, I don’t see this as a major problem for most.

A couple of sweaty runs have shown that the IPX4 rating is correct. The voice assistant wasn’t as easy as wake-word enabled products like Amazon Echo Buds or Google Pixel Buds 2, but it still worked fine when I called it with the right earbud button.

The function I wanted for these buds, as simple as it is, would be the ability to automatically pause the sound when you take an earphone out of your ear. It’s something I’ve become so used to with other earbuds, and that’s why I’ve repeatedly missed parts of podcasts and music when I pulled out a bud to have a conversation.

Audio quality

If you take these buds for what they are, a pair of real $ 130 wireless earbuds that are supposed to be more fun than sophisticated, you will enjoy the new Sony product. If instead you are looking for excellent sound that matches Sony’s flagship WF-1000XM3, the WF-XB700 may not be for you.

Sony WF-XB700 earphonesNick Woodard / Digital Trends

Sony hit its Extra Bass brand on the WF-XB700, and for me that’s where the “fun” comes from. The bottom end has a lot of punch, but doesn’t sound bloated. If you regularly stream top hit playlists on Spotify, the WF-XB700 is an excellent addition to this listening experience.

The big bass has some drawbacks, however. The rest of the frequency range takes a back seat. If you take into account the lack of support for audio codecs like aptX, experienced listeners will likely look for definitions that are not fully available. However, if you’re looking for reference level audio, these are simply not the buds you’re looking for.

The WF-XB700 has no noise cancellation technology that is not expected outside of Amazon’s earbuds at this price (though I suspect this will change soon). The call quality is solid and contributes to what I consider to be above average sound for the cost of these buds.

Our opinion

For the money, the WF-XB700 from Sony are fun, quirky earphones that are a lot more fun than quirky ones. Despite their shortcomings, including the size boss, the new earphones from Sony are just as valuable as they have positioned themselves on paper.

Are there any better alternatives?

The Amazon Echo Buds for $ 130 have active noise reduction, but are sacrificing battery life. If you’re heavily invested in the Apple or Android ecosystem, the Apple AirPods or Google Pixel Buds 2 may be better, if more expensive.

How long will they last?

In addition to Sony’s general reputation as a company that manufactures durable products, the WF-XB700 also comes with a one-year warranty. You shouldn’t have to worry about getting your money’s worth with these earphones.

Should you buy them

Yes. I’m still not convinced of their design, but given the affordable price, the pleasant sound and the wealth of functions, the WF-XB700 is a bargain.

Editor’s recommendations




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *