Finding a decent wireless noise cancelling headphone that has a good battery life and great sound can be tough. But finding one that’s in-ear and lasts more than 8-hours is even harder. The Sony WI-1000X wireless noise-canceling headphone may just be the answer. Priced at just under $300, the Sony WI-1000X is capable of wireless connection via Bluetooth or NFC and offers noise cancelling technology for frequent fliers and everyday commuters. I’ve got one of these new headphones on my desk and I’m about to find out just how good it is with a full review.
In The Box
In the package with the WI-1000X you’ll find the following:
- WI-1000X Headphone
- 7 sets of eartips
- USB charging cable
- micro USB to 3.5mm audio cable
- Airplane audio adapter
- Carry bag
For the WI-1000X Sony opted for the around the neck “band” design. Some people don’t like this style but I really don’t mind it. It’s still wireless in the most important ways and the “band” design makes it more difficult to lose. The earphone wires can be tucked into the edge of the band when not in use keeping them safe.
The WI-1000X had no major issues staying connected to my mobile device. I easily got up to 30-feet away without dropouts. But it works best when you have line-of-sight.
Fit / Comfort
The Sony WI-1000X in-ear headphone fit quite well. The earphones aren’t too bulky and the band is light and really felt like it wasn’t there. Once I found the right eartips the seal was perfect and the earphones hang nicely down to the neckband.
Noise-Canceling / Ambient Monitoring
The noise cancelling on the Sony WI-1000X wireless headphone was extraordinary. Great noise cancelling has the tendency to make me a little dizzy at first and the WI-1000X did a great job. The ambient monitoring feature is also a handy feature if you want to monitor your surroundings without having to take out the earphones.
The battery on the Sony WI-1000X wireless headphone is about 10-hours. This is great for a wireless, noise-canceling earphone. Although I didn’t manage to run the WI-1000X all the way down I’m still confident in the 10-hour figure.
The sony WI-1000X wireless headphone is packed with a lot of features for a wireless headphone. Some more notable features are the hands-free calling with HD voice as well as the Qualcomm aptX HD and Sony LDAC audio codec.
It’s also worth mentioning that the WI-1000X can be used with the Google Voice Assist Function via the Sony Headphones Connect app. Inside the neckband you’ll find all the necessary controls to play and pause music as well as control volume and answer phone calls. And the neckband vibrates when you get notifications or incoming calls. Pretty cool.
Noting the balanced armature and frequency response of 3Hz – 40,000Hz I expected a lot out of the Sony WI-1000X wireless headphone and for the most part I wasn’t disappointed. I will note that the sound quality significantly increased with the noise-canceling off and also improved when wired directly using the special USB audio cable.
The bass was full and robust on the WI-1000X. It did sound a little boomy on some tracks and I could felt like I was missing a little in the high-bass and low-mids. This was likely the Bluetooth or noise cancelling causing issues that made the music sound a little compressed. Not too bad overall though.
The mids were especially good. The balanced armatures performed exceptionally well in reproducing mid-range frequencies as they should. This means great detail in music and excellent clarity in phone calls.
The highs in the WI-1000X were pretty good. Not too bright or overdone. I didn’t get the sense that the frequency response actually extended over 20,000 Hz and it’s not to be expected in a Bluetooth headphone anyway.
Listening with the aptX HD codec
I also tried the Sony WI-1000X wireless noise-canceling headphone with a Fiio X7 connected via Bluetooth using the aptX codec. The sound quality was quite accurate and definitely Hi-Res. I did find the connection was struggling at times when flipping through the volume rapidly. However, when using the WI-1000X with Bluetooth (using a standard streaming codec) on a smartphone I found the sound quality to be excellent. I honestly preferred it over the sound of the aptX codec. I didn’t have a chance to test the LDAC but I’m betting it works well considering it’s Sony’s very own codec standard.
The Sony WI-1000X Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphone has everything a frequent traveler needs to listen to music, talk hands free, and tune out the noise. Considering the decent audio quality and the 10-hour battery life, the WI-1000X is a headphone that stands to be a very handy tool for entertainment and business on the go. The optional wired function is really the icing on the cake giving you the ability to plug into the in-flight movie when the battery is depleted or Bluetooth isn’t an option. In conclusion, the Sony WI-1000X is a pretty cool wireless in-ear headphone for under $300.
Driver Unit: Hybrid
S-Master HX: Yes
DSEE HX: Yes
Input(s): Micro USB
Frequency Response: 3 Hz–40,000 Hz
Frequency Response (Bluetooth® Communication): 20 Hz–20,000 Hz (44.1 kHz Sampling)/20 Hz–40,000 Hz (LDAC 96 kHz Sampling, 990 kbps)
Frequency Response (Active Operation): 3 Hz–40,000 Hz
Passive Operation: Yes
Cord Length: Approx. 3.28 ft
Battery Life: 10hrs (NC On); 13hrs (NC Off)
Charge Time: 3.5hrs
Bluetooth Version: 4.1
Supported audio formats: SBC, AAC, LDAC, aptX, aptX HD
Smartphone App: Sony Connect (for iPhone & Android)