The Sony WF-1000x are decent mixed usage headphones with a few flaws. They're the only noise cancelling truly wireless headphones so far which makes them suitable for commuting. They have a high-end and durable design, they're stable enough for sports and they sound decent. Unfortunately, they have one of the worse latency performances for any Bluetooth headset and the right earbud would often drop connection regardless of range which can be frustrating.
The Sony WF-1000X have a premium looking design that feels sturdy and durable. The earbuds are fairly compact but do stick out of the ears a bit compared to some other truly wireless designs like the Jaybird Run. They come with a great charging case that's a little bulky but flat, which makes it a bit easier to carry around in your pockets. They're stable and breathable enough to run with and come with multiple tip sizes and types including foam tips which should help you find a comfortable fit. Unfortunately, they have a poor control scheme and no volume buttons.
The Sony WF-1000X have a premium design that looks and feels high-end. The earbuds have a good blend of high-quality plastic and metal with a transparent tip that shows the antenna and lights up when in pairing mode. The case also has an elegant metal finish that feels durable and looks a lot more appealing than some of the other truly wireless designs like the Jaybird Run or the SoundSport Free from Bose. Unfortunately, the earbuds do stick out a bit once in your ear which may not be the ideal look for some listeners.
The Sony WF-1000X have a pretty typical in-ear fit but thanks to a wide range of tips provided in the box, they're above-average comfortable. They come with 7 tip sizes including foam tips. The earbuds are relatively lightweight, and since they're truly wireless, there is no cable pulling on the buds which makes them less noticeable once in your ears. However, since they're in-ears, they do put a bit of pressure within your ear canal which may not be as comfortable as some of the earbud designs like the Bose SoundSport Free or the Apple AirPods. The tips are also not angled like the Jaybird Run which makes them slightly less comfortable.
These earbuds have a mediocre control scheme with no volume control. They provide two buttons, one to end calls and pause tracks and another to cycle through noise-canceling modes. The buttons themselves are pretty clicky and have good feedback. However, the lack of functionality forces you to use your phone to turn up the volume or even change tracks, which is a little disappointing.
The Sony WF1000x are very breathable truly wireless headphones. Their compact in-ear design does not cause any significant temperature increase when exercising or working out. They do trap a little heat in the ear canal, but since they do not cover the ears like on/over-ear headphones, they won't make you sweat more than usual even during more intense work out routines.
These headphones, like most truly wireless designs, are very compact and highly portable. They will easily fit into almost any pockets, and they are a lot smaller than the Bose SoundSport Free. Their charging case is pretty bulky. However, it is flat and won't be as noticeable in your pocket as the Jaybird Run or even the Bose.
These headphones come with a flat metal hard case that will easily protect the earbuds from impacts and drops and even mild water damage. However, the case does add a bit of bulk. But on the upside, since it's flat, it won't stick out in your pocket and it's a bit more convenient to carry around than the Bose and the Jaybird's truly wireless design.
The Sony WF-1000X have a great build quality that feels and looks premium. The earbuds have a metal back plate that adds to the high-end appeal of the headphones and also makes them a bit more durable. The buds feel dense enough that they won't break from a couple of accidental drops and the case is also a sleek metal build that feels sturdy and protects the headphones fairly well. The lid has a slight lift mechanism that may be cause for concern due to wear and tear over time. Overall, the build quality feels superior to that of the Jaybird Run and on-par if not better than the SoundSport Free. They would be as good as the AirPods if the case and buds were a little more compact while keeping the level of premium design and build quality.
The Sony WF-1000X have a stable in-ear fit that goes fairly deep into the ear canal. That combined with the multiple tip sizes and the truly wireless design make them pretty good for working out as they will rarely move around once in your ears. They only have one set of stability fins for listeners with slightly larger ears which is not ideal but also not really necessary in most conditions, unlike the angled earbuds of the Jaybird run which fit a little looser.
The Sony WF-1000X is an average sounding pair of closed-back in-ears. They have a consistent, extended and punchy bass, but it is a bit light on sub-bass and sounds slightly boomy. Their mid-range is also very good, but slightly overpowering bass and treble regions. Their treble is very well-balanced and even, but it is noticeably sharp and piercing on S and T sounds. Also, like most other in-ears, they don't have a large and out-of-head soundstage due to lack of interaction with the outer pinna.
These in-ears have a very good bass. Their LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 10Hz, which is excellent. But low-bass is underemphasized by about 2dB. This means that the Sonys are able to produce low thumps and rumbles, but at a slightly lower level than our reference. Mid-bass, which is important for the punch of bass and kick instruments, is virtually flat and flawless. High-bass, however, shows a 3dB bump which could add a bit of boominess to the sound. Overall, the bass of the Sony is deep and well-extended, but a bit light on sub-bass and a bit boomy sounding.
The mid-range of the Sony WF-1000X is pretty good. Low-bass shows about 3dB of overemphasis, which is actually the continuation of the high-bass bump. This makes the body of vocals and lead instruments a bit thick. Mid-mid and high-mid are flat but rather uneven. Overall, the mid-range of the Sony is a bit muddy and cluttered sounding.
The Sony WF-1000X have a very good treble. Low-treble is flat and within 0.5dB of our target, which is excellent. However, there is a 12dB bump around 10KHz which is going to make the sound of these headphones noticeably sibilant. Overall, their treble is well-balanced and detailed, but could sound sharp and piercing on S and T sounds.
The frequency response consistency is excellent. Assuming the user is able to achieve a proper fit and an air-tight seal using the assortment of tips that come with the headphones, they should be getting a consistent bass and treble delivery with each re-seat.
The imaging of the Sony WF1000X is excellent. Their weighted group delay is 0.09, which is among the lowest we have measured. The graph also shows that the entire response is below our audibility threshold. This ensures a tight bass and transparent treble reproduction. Also, the L/R drivers of our test unit were very well-matched. This indicates accurate localization and placement of objects (voices, footsteps, instruments) in the stereo field.
The soundstage of these in-ears, like most other headphones, are poor. Since creating a large and out-of-head soundstage is dependent on a good pinna (outer ear) activation, in-ears such as these ones end up with a small and inside-the-head soundstage. Also, because of their closed-back design, their soundstage won't feel as open as open-back earbuds such as the Apple AirPods and the Bose SoundSport Free.
Mediocre harmonic distortion performance. The amount of harmonic distortion in the bass range is low and within very good limits. This suggests that they should be able to take a good amount of EQ boost in the bass range before distorting. However, the spikes in THD between 1KHz and 2KHz could make the sound of that region (vocals/leads) a bit harsh and brittle.
The Sony WF-1000X have a decent isolation performance and are the first truly wireless design with active noise canceling. They should isolate enough for most commuters and have an aware mode which is better suited for runners that need to monitor their environment. However, noise cancellation, although decent, isn't as good as some of the other in-ear/earbuds with ANC like the Bose QuietControl 30 so they will let in some ambient noise in louder environments. On the upside, they barely leak so you can turn up the volume to mask some of the noise without distracting those around you with leakage.
The ANC (active noise cancellation) performance of the Sony WF-1000X is about average. In the bass range, where the rumble of airplane and bus engines sit, the total isolation is about 9dB, which is decent. But some other in-ears like the JBL Free, Jaybird X3, Run, and Beats BeatsX achieve similar results with passive noise isolation. In the mid-range, which is important for cancelling out speech, the Sony achieves a good 22dB of isolation. In the treble range, where sharp and S and T sounds sit, they isolate by more than 30dB, which is good. It also seems that the ANC system hurts the passive isolation of the headphones in the treble range especially around 3KHz.
The leakage performance of the Sony WF-1000X is very good. Like most other closed-back in-ears, the significant portion of the leakage is a narrow range in the treble section. The level of the leakage is quiet as well. This makes the leakage of these headphones barely audible, even at loud volumes.
The performance of the integrated microphone is sub-par. Speech recorded/transmitted with the mic of the Sony will sound relatively thin and quite muffled. This could make the speech a bit difficult to understand. They also struggle in noisy situations and they may have difficulty separating speech from ambient noise even in moderately loud environments, such as a busy street.
Sub-par recording quality. LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 240Hz, indicating a thin sound. The HFE (high-frequency extension) of 1.7KHz means that speech recorded/transmitted with the mic of the Sony WF-1000X will sound muffled and lacking presence. This will have a negative effect on the intelligibility of recorded/transmitted speech.
The noise handling capabilities of the Sony WF1000X's mic is mediocre. In our test, they achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 12dB, which is below average. This means that this microphone is only suitable for quiet environments and may struggle to isolate speech from noise even in moderately loud environments.
The Sony WF-1000X have a below-average battery life but a great app that offers a good amount of customization options. They last about 3 hours, but a bit less if you're using the active noise cancellation. They have an additional 6 hours in the case for a total of 9 hours of playback if you take breaks. They won't be ideal for more heavy users but on the upside, they have a better companion app than most other truly wireless designs that give you EQ presets, as well as adaptive sound control and noise canceling aware mode options.
The Sony WF-1000X have a sub-par battery life. They have less than 3 hours of continuous playtime, especially when using the active noise canceling feature with adaptive sound enabled. This makes them a bit worse than most of the other truly wireless designs but on the upside, the charging case has 2 additional charges totaling in 9 hours of battery life if you take breaks. This should be decent enough to last you through the day but won't be ideal for more heavy users with long listening sessions.
These in-ears support the Sony| Headphones Connect app which gives them a bit more control over their active features and more customization options than some of the other truly wireless designs. The app is easy-to-use and provides adaptive sound profiles for when you're walking or standing still as well as different noise canceling options. You also get EQ presets but unfortunately, it's not a parametric equalizer like on the WH-100XM2. You can't make your own custom EQs and there are no room effects which is why the app has a slightly lower score for these headphones.
The Sony WF-1000X support NFC pairing via their charging case which makes pairing with smartphones a bit easier. Unfortunately, if your Bluetooth source does not support NFC, pairing becomes is a bit more of a hassle as you have to manually pair the right earbud then switch on the left which causes a lot of syncing issues. This implementation of the truly wireless design causes exceedingly high latency which is not suitable for watching videos. The right earbud would also frequently cut out and drop connection regardless of the distance from the source, which is quite disappointing.
These in-ears only connect to other devices via Bluetooth. They do not have simultaneous multi-devices pairing but do remember the last sync device for auto-pairing when you open the charging case. They also Support NFC which makes pairing with smartphones a bit easier, especially for a truly wireless design.
These in-ears come with a charging case that delivers up to 6 additional hours of battery life. However, it has no inputs but does have the NFC tag which allows you to pair the headphones easier with smartphones and other NFC-ready Bluetooth devices.
The Sony WF-1000X has a decent wireless range but an unreliable wireless connection. They reached up to 31ft when the source was obstructed but performed much worse in direct line of sight than most Bluetooth headphones. The right earbud would also frequently lose connection and would be very unreliable regardless of the distance from the Bluetooth source. This seems more like a poor implementation of the truly wireless design than the wireless range of the headphones.
The Sony WF1000X have one of the worst Bluetooth latency performances that we've measured. This makes them considerably worse for watching movies and gaming than most typical Bluetooth headphones.
The Sony WF-1000x are great looking and well-built truly wireless headphones. They're one of the only truly wireless design with active noise cancellation which makes them bit better suited for commuters. However, they have a relatively short battery life, a decently balanced but slightly sharp sound quality but a terrible latency performance which makes them one of the worst headphones for watching videos.
The Beoplay E8 are a slightly better truly wireless headset than the Sony WF-1000X. The E8 have a more compact and portable design and a better charging case. The E8 also have a better latency and a more balanced default sound that you can customize thanks to the Beoplay app. They also isolate a little better than the WF-1000x despite not being the noise canceling. On the other hand, since the WF-1000x have ANC, they do a bit better against low-frequency noise like the rumbling sounds of an engine.
The Samsung Gear IconX are a much better headphone than the Sony WF-1000X. The Gear IconX isolate better in noisy environments despite not having ANC like the Sonys. They also have more features that make them better for sports than the WF-1000X. They're also more portable than the Sonys and have a better latency performance. The Sonys on the other hand, have a better more premium looking build quality. They're noise cancellation also does a bit better in the bass range than the IconX and their app is slightly more customizable than that of the IconX.
The Bose QuietControl 30 are a much better wireless noise-canceling headset than the Sony WF-1000x. The QC 30 have a more comfortable earbud fit, better noise isolation performance, better sound quality and a longer battery life and wireless range than the Sonys. They also have a better latency performance although both headphones would not be the ideal choices for watching a lot of video content. On the upside, the Sony WF-1000X are a lot more compact than the Bose and will more easily fit into your pocket despite their fairly large charging case. The Sony also have a slightly more premium looking truly wireless design which some will prefer over the bose even if their wireless connection is not as stable.
The Apple AirPods are also well-built truly wireless headphones with a decent sound and a good set of active features. They have a much better latency performance, which makes them somewhat OK when watching videos, especially on iOS devices. However, they lack a bit of bass due to their open fit, they're not as stable and they're more optimized for iOS. They won't be as good as the Sonys for Android users. If you 're not going to be watching a lot of videos, the Sony WF-1000x could be a decent option but the AirPods have a way more reliable Bluetooth connection and should be your first choice.
The Bose SoundSport Free are the first truly wireless headphones from Bose. They have a good and well-balanced sound quality and a sturdy and durable design. However, they're not as portable as the Sony WF1000X, they have a few bugs and one of the worst latency performances, which makes them poorly suited for watching videos. If you mostly care about sound quality then get the SoundSport Free but if you need more isolation for your daily commutes, then the WF-1000X is the better choice.
The Jaybird Run are a sports-oriented truly wireless design. This means they do not have quite the same build quality and stylish metal finish of the Sonys but they're a bit better for sports and have a more customizable sound profile via their app. Their battery performance is also slightly better but they are equally bad for watching videos. For purely sports, go for the Jaybird Run but if you want a more stylish looking truly wireless headphone and need noise cancelling for more noisy commutes, then go with the WF-1000X.