Sony WF-SP800N review. Noisy ears for a fitness crowd

Sony WF-SP800N review. Noisy ears for a fitness crowd

After the release of the Sony noise-canceling WF-1000XM3 headphones, they became the most popular real wireless headphones on the market. But the 1000XM3s don’t have any official sweat or water resistance, which means they don’t actually cross for running or other fitness.

With a new $ 199.99 WF-SP800N headset, there’s a better way to call these things. Sony maintains noise cancellation, adds proper IP55 certification for dust and water resistance, and even extends battery life by a fantastic nine hours of continuous listening (via the ANC). And that’s $ 30 less than the starting price of 1000XM3, although now it is difficult to find them at a low price.

800Ns don’t sound the same or clean as 1000XM3s, they don’t have wireless charging yet, and they’re paired with both devices at the same time. But they pack the bass wall and offer a lot of EQ subtle styling. Unlike Sony’s latest gym-focused wireless headphones, they have a more manageable design that obviously lasts after 1000XM3. On the outside of the headphones, you’ll see a microphone, a Sony logo, and a ribbon to control gestures. It is easy to feel when your finger is in that area of ​​contact because of its shiny texture, as it is larger than the circular touch of 1000XM3. There’s also a good downward slope that makes it easy to feel. The right earpiece tracks the controls, and the left one is used to cancel the noise and surround sound mode. (Sony is still offering its signature “Fast Attention” trick, where you can hold your finger under your left ear, temporarily raising the external noise so you can hear what’s going on around you.)

Sony's SP-800N headphones with a woman's side scarf.

The design is similar to 1000XM3 headphones, but more sporty.

A close-up of the Sony SP-800N headphones near someone's ear.

These ears are quite small.

The Sony box contains three sizes of silicone ear tips. You lose the memory-like foam tips that come with 1000XM3 and two different sized auxiliary bows. You can completely ignore the arches if you think the sprouts are safe in your ear without them. What is quite comfortable for one person can be painful for another over time, so I always prefer them to be optional instead of a permanent fit for physical training. (I’ve managed to snatch one of the silicone earbuds, however, use some care when fitting them. The downside of the 800Ns is that they’re still relatively heavy compared to Jaybird Vistas and the second generation Google Pixel. They are quite distorted, but they stay planted when I run or in the middle of training. I have never had a problem losing them.

Charging is quite sensible, not at the level of Powerbeats Pro, but a step back from more well-groomed options like Pixel Buds, AirPods Pro and Galaxy Buds that can slip into your jeans pocket. It contains only enough juice for one extra full charge. If you don’t use noise cancellation, Sony estimates that sprouts last about 13 hours, so you’ll get 13 more. When the noise cancellation is turned on, two of those numbers fall to nine, which is still the best continuous stability of the headphones that offer the feature. It’s a USB-C connector and a single external LED charger to reflect the charging status. Unfortunately, they lacked a smart design choice that debuted with Sony’s cheapest real wireless headphones, the WF-XB700. The top of the case is a bit translucent, so you can be sure that the headphones are charging as the red light shines. Now that’s something I would like Sony to do for its entire staff to avoid any frustrating charges.

There is no wireless charging without a case.

Like the WF-XB700, which was introduced in the recent past, the 800Ns are tuned to the company’s Extra Bass sound profile. And the bottom line, of course, is the star of the show, which should satisfy those looking for a strong workout soundtrack. Mids is a bit hollow, though it can be equated to Sony’s headphone jack with EQ controllers. The music is in full body, whether you’re playing a pop-up playlist or something more relaxed. I put Dizzy Gillespie’s “And then she stopped,” the pure trumpet, the piano, and the flute all pass with warmth and simplicity. But not everyone feels that you are in the same room of tools where the 1000XM3 headphones stand out. If you are looking for the most enjoyable sound that Sony headphones can deliver, they are still sporty at 800N. I think Powerbeats Pro is also the best in overall audio quality, but their open design isn’t for everyone, especially if you want to eliminate noise.

Picture of Sony's SP-800N headphones on hand, showing both sides of the ear.

Silicone earlobes can be removed if you find that the ear tips are good enough for safe placement.

Speaking of noise cancellation, while these headphones do a good job of making low-frequency raw materials around you և but also constantly making noise, they lack the QN1 chip, which helps 1000XM3s be so effective at entangling the outside world.

The Sony headphone jack offers a number of pre-set EQ controls, and it allows you to choose the balance of the surround sound / noise cancellation balance you prefer. There is an option for headphones to automatically adjust this mixture based on your activity, but it always feels a little too unpredictable, as headphones often make these changes. What’s more, Sony can now adjust noise cancellation and ambient noise based on you. location: (If you are comfortable with this app without restrictions), so you can set it to NC after entering the office, for example, or allow more noise after you arrive at the park, where you can often do exercises. . The 800N headphones support Sony’s 360-degree spatial recording from Taming’s և Deezer streaming services, which offer gauge. But since they don’t cover your ears like Sony’s full-size headphones, the effect is less convincing.

You can use the headset individually to make audio or calls. I would show these headphones in the middle of the box when it comes to making a voice call. It’s passable, and no one I’ve talked to has complained about the difficulty of hearing or missing words, but Sony still has work to do if it wants to match Apple’s AirPods և Surface Earbuds. The music will stop automatically when the headset is removed, and while watching videos on several devices, I noticed that there were issues with audio synchronization.

Since they are very similar to the 1000XM3, it should come as no surprise that they share a disappointing decline. There is no mating of two devices at once. The company is expected to fix this with its upcoming 1000XM4 headphones, but it doesn’t say when it will do the same for the headphones; Jabra continues to be one of the few companies to implement multi-wireless real-time headphones.

Because of Sony’s mid-range WF-XB700 headphone jack (which can’t be EQ or the app used with a headphone jack) and the flagship 1000XM3, the WF-SP800N shuts down the fitness crowd. They have received proper sweat resistance, long battery life, and all the bass you need for your most intense workouts. Even if the noise cancellation can’t match Sony’s best, it’s the main difference between this and something like Powerbeats Pro for people who can’t stand the distractions of average workouts.

Photography by Chris Welch / The Verge:



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