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Sony WF-1000X Truly Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.3.1
Reviewed Feb 27, 2018 at 05:40 pm
Sony WF-1000X Truly Wireless Picture
7.1
Mixed Usage
7.2
Neutral Sound
7.5
Commute/Travel
8.1
Sports/Fitness
6.7
Office
5.5
Wireless Gaming
5.5
Wired Gaming
6.1
Phone Call
Type In-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Truly Wireless
Noise Cancelling Yes
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Sony WF-1000X Truly Wireless are decent mixed usage headphones with a few flaws. They have active noise cancelling and can block out a decent amount of noise around you. 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.

Our Verdict

7.1 Mixed Usage

The Sony WF-1000X are decent for mixed usage. They're good for sports and decently comfortable. They're one of the only truly wireless headphones with active noise cancellation, making them suitable for commuting. Unfortunately, they have an unreliable wireless connection which has a lot of latency. They won't be ideal for home theater and gaming but should be okay for most other uses.

Pros
  • Compact and sturdy design.
  • Stable fit for sports.
Cons
  • Unreliable Bluetooth connection.
  • High latency.
7.2 Neutral Sound

The Sony WF-1000X are decent for neutral sound. They have a decently well-balanced audio reproduction. They have a good amount of bass but can sound a bit boomy and slightly sharp due to the peak in the higher frequency range. They also don't have the best soundstage since they're closed-back in-ears.

7.5 Commute/Travel

The Sony WF-1000X are above-average for commute and travel. They have active noise cancelling, and they can block out a decent amount of ambient noise like the low rumble of bus and plane engines around you. Unfortunately, they don't have the best control scheme, and they have relatively short battery life.

8.1 Sports/Fitness

The Sony WF1000X are good breathable and stable headphones for sports. They're compact, truly wireless, and come with a large variety of tips to help you find a comfortable fit that stays put while you exercise. Unfortunately, they have a poor control scheme and a spotty wireless connection.

6.7 Office

The Sony WF-1000X are okay for office use. They block a good amount of ambient noise and don't leak much, meaning you can play your music at higher volumes. However, they have relatively short battery life and a fairly typical in-ear fit which might not be ideal for really long listening sessions.

5.5 Wireless Gaming

The Sony WF-1000X are poor for gaming. They have very high latency, which is a deal-breaker for this use. They also have a sub-par microphone and aren't as customizable as most gaming-oriented headsets.

5.5 Wired Gaming
6.1 Phone Call
  • 7.1 Mixed Usage
  • 7.2 Neutral Sound
  • 7.5 Commute/Travel
  • 8.1 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.7 Office
  • 5.5 Wireless Gaming
  • 5.5 Wired Gaming
  • 6.1 Phone Call
  1. Updated Nov 21, 2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  2. Updated Nov 21, 2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.
  3. Updated Feb 27, 2018: Review published.

Test Results

Design
Design
Style

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 Truly Wireless or the Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless. Unfortunately, the earbuds do stick out a bit once in your ear, which may not be the ideal look for some listeners.

7.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.03 lbs
Clamping Force
0 lbs

The Sony WF1000X have a pretty typical in-ear fit, but thanks to a wide range of tips provided in the box, they're decently comfortable. They come with seven tip sizes, including foam tips. The earbuds are relatively lightweight, and since they're truly wireless, there is no cable pulling on the buds, making them less noticeable once in your ears. Since they're in-ears, they put a bit of pressure within your ear canal, which may not be as comfortable. The tips also aren't angled like the Jaybird Run Truly Wireless, making them slightly less comfortable.

6.1
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
N/A
Ease Of Use Decent
Feedback Decent
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control No
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
N/A
Noise Cancelling Control Yes
Talk-Through
Yes
Additional Buttons Voice enabled controls

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 cancelling 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.

9.1
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 0.9 ยฐC

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 trap a little heat in the ear canal, but since they don't cover the ears like on/over-ear headphones, they won't make you sweat more than usual, even during more intense workout routines.

9.5
Design
Portability
L 1.2"
W 1.3"
H 0.7"
Volume 1.1 inยณ
Transmitter Required N/A

The Sony WF-1000X headphones, like most truly wireless designs, are very compact and highly portable. They will easily fit into almost any pocket, and they're a lot smaller than the Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless. Their charging case is pretty bulky. However, it's flat and won't be as noticeable in your pocket as the Jaybird Run Truly Wireless or even the Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless.

7.5
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 3.6"
W 0.9"
H 1.7"
Volume 5.5 inยณ

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 SoundSport Free Truly Wireless and the Jaybird Run Truly Wireless.

8.0
Design
Build Quality

The Sony WF-1000X have a great build quality that feels and looks premium. The earbuds have a metal backplate that adds to the high-end appeal of the headphones and 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 cause concern due to wear and tear over time. Overall, the build quality feels superior to the Jaybird Run. They would be as good as the Apple AirPods (1st generation) Truly Wireless if the case and buds were a little more compact while keeping the level of premium design and build quality.

7.5
Design
Stability

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 necessary in most conditions, unlike the angled earbuds of the Jaybird Run Truly Wireless, which fit a little looser.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Sony WF-1000X headphones
  • Earbud tips (7x)
  • Stability tips (2x)
  • Charging case
  • USB charging cable

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-1.42 dB
Treble Amount
-2.22 dB
9.1
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.19 dB

The frequency response consistency is outstanding. Assuming the user can 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.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
8.8
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.77 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10 Hz
Low-Bass
-1.93 dB
Mid-Bass
-0.39 dB
High-Bass
2.51 dB

These in-ears have excellent bass. Their LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 10Hz, which is excellent. But low-bass is underemphasized by about 2dB. This means they can 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.

8.4
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.15 dB
Low-Mid
2.71 dB
Mid-Mid
1 dB
High-Mid
0.34 dB

The Sony WF-1000X's mid-range is great. Low-bass shows about 3dB of overemphasis, which is 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.

8.0
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.41 dB
Low-Treble
-0.35 dB
Mid-Treble
-1.57 dB
High-Treble
-1.15 dB

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 makes 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.

7.2
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.95 dB
Dips
0.94 dB
9.1
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.09
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.53
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.47
Weighted Phase Mismatch
2.36

The Sony WF1000X's imaging is outstanding. 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 unit were very well-matched. This indicates accurate localization and placement of objects (voices, footsteps, instruments) in the stereo field.

1.0
Sound
Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
N/A
PRTF Distance
N/A
Openness
2.7
Acoustic Space Excitation
2.1

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 like these 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 like the Apple AirPods (1st generation) Truly Wireless.

7.7
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.301
WHD @ 100
0.130
Isolation
7.3
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-19.75 dB
Bass
-8.62 dB
Mid
-21.53 dB
Treble
-30.45 dB

The noise isolation performance of the Sony WF-1000X is decent. 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 Truly Wireless 2018, Jaybird X3 Wireless, Jaybird Run Wireless, and Beats BeatsX Wireless 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.

8.3
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
31.73 dB

The Sony WF-1000X's leakage performance is great. Like most other closed-back in-ears, a 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.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
N/A

The integrated microphone's performance 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 may have difficulty separating speech from ambient noise even in moderately loud environments, such as a busy street.

5.2
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
239.73 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
4.75 dB
HFE
1,684.1 Hz
Weighted THD
13.726
Gain
39.67 dB

Disappointing 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 hurt the intelligibility of recorded/transmitted speech.

6.0
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
12.05 dB

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 mediocre. This means that this microphone is only suitable for quiet environments and may struggle to isolate speech from noise even in moderately loud environments.

Active Features
5.0
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
2.7 hrs
Additional Charges
2
Total Battery Life
8.1 hrs
Charge Time
1.5 hrs
Power Saving Feature
Standby mode
Audio While Charging
No
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port micro-USB

The Sony WF1000X have a disappointing battery performance. They have less than three hours of continuous playtime, especially when using the active noise cancelling feature with adaptive sound enabled. On the upside, the charging case has two additional charges totaling nine 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.

7.0
Active Features
App Support
App Name Sony| Headphones Connect
iOS Yes
Android Yes
macOS N/A
Windows N/A
Equalizer
Presets
ANC Control
Yes
Mic Control No
Room effects
No
Playback Control
Yes
Button Mapping N/A
Surround Sound N/A

These in-ears support the Sony | Headphones Connect app, which gives them 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 cancelling options. You also get EQ presets, but unfortunately, it's not a parametric equalizer. 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.

Connectivity
7.2
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
4.1
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
Yes
Line of Sight Range
62 ft
Default Latency
400 ms
aptX Latency
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
N/A

These in-ears only connect to other devices via Bluetooth. They don't have simultaneous multi-devices pairing but remember the last sync device for auto-pairing when you open the charging case. They also support NFC, which makes pairing with smartphones easier, especially for a truly wireless design.

The Sony WF1000X have very high latency. This makes them considerably worse for watching movies and gaming than most typical Bluetooth headphones.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
0
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
N/A
USB Audio
N/A
Detachable N/A
Length N/A
Connection N/A
Wired Latency
N/A

The Sony WF-1000X don't have an audio cable or a wired connection. If you want a decent sounding and stable in-ear with a wired connection, we suggest the Sony MDR-XB50AP Extra Bass or the 1More Triple Driver.

Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC / PS4 Analog
No
PC / PS4 Wired USB
No
PC / PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
No
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Wireless
No
2.2
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
Charging Case
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
Yes
Power Supply
USB

These in-ears come with a charging case that delivers up to six 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.

Compared To Other Headphones

Comparison picture

The Sony WF-1000X are great looking and well-built, truly wireless headphones with active noise cancellation, making them suitable for commuters. However, they have a relatively short battery life, a decently balanced but slightly sharp sound quality but a terrible latency performance, so your audio and visuals may fall out of sync.

See our recommendations for the best noise cancelling earbuds, the best noise cancelling headphones under $200, and the best earbuds with a mic.

Bose QuietControl 30/QC30 Wireless

The Bose QuietControl 30/QC30 Wireless are a much better wireless noise cancelling headset than the Sony WF-1000X Truly Wireless. The Bose have a more comfortable earbud fit, better noise isolation performance, better sound quality, and a longer battery life and wireless range than the Sony. They also have a better latency performance, although both headphones would not be the ideal choice for watching a lot of video content. On the upside, the Sony 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.

Jaybird Run Truly Wireless

The Jaybird Run Truly Wireless are a slightly better truly wireless headset than the Sony WF-1000X Truly Wireless. The Jaybird have a more comfortable and stable fit for the gym than the Sonys. They also have a much more customizable sound that you can fully EQ, unlike the Sonys, which only have presets. The Jaybird also have a much better latency performance, although they won't be the best headphones for watching videos since their latency is also fairly high. On the upside, the WF-1000X have a better build quality and a more premium-looking design. They also come with a more portable and sturdy case that also supports NFC pairing. The Sony also isolate more in noisy conditions with their more typical in-ear fit and active noise cancellation, though their ANC is not that strong and should not be the defining feature for getting these headphones.

Sony WF-SP700N Truly Wireless

The Sony WF-1000X Truly Wireless are slightly better headphones overall when compared to the Sony WF-SP700N Truly Wireless. They are both noise cancelling, truly wireless in-ears, but the WF-1000X have slightly better isolation (although not by much). The WF-1000X also have a better and more premium-looking build quality that most will prefer over the plasticky design of the SP700N, and a better default sound quality that's not as bass-heavy but does sound a bit sharp. On the upside, the SP700N sound a bit more exciting out of the box. They also have a slightly lighter and more unique design that some will prefer over the WF-1000X. 

Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless

The Sony WF-1000X Truly Wireless are a slightly better truly wireless option than the Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless, but not by much. The Sony have an in-ear fit and isolate much better in noisy conditions which makes them a bit more versatile for commuting and different environments. The Sony also have a more polished and premium-looking design and come with a great case, but don't feel as durable as the Bose. The Sony, on the other hand, have a much better balanced sound quality that does not need an EQ for most listeners. The Bose also have a more comfortable earbud fit that you can wear much longer than the Sony. The Bose's open fit is also a bit more suitable for outdoor runners since it lets you monitor your environment for traffic and obstacles, but also blocks a lot less ambient noise.

Apple AirPods (1st generation) Truly Wireless

The Sony WF-1000X Truly Wireless are better in-ear headphones than the Apple AirPods (1st generation) Truly Wireless thanks to their closed-back design, which helps with noise isolation. The Sony audio quality is also better than that of the Apple. The Sony also support NFC for quick and easy pairing. On the other hand, the Apple have a comfortable fit for most, and their overall battery life is pretty impressive with about 24 hours. They also have noticeably better latency, which might even be lower with iOS devices. However, the Apple interface doesn’t offer as much customization options like the Sony app.

Sony WI-1000X Wireless

If you don’t like the around-the-neck design of the Sony WI-1000X Truly Wireless, then the Sony WF-1000X Truly Wireless have pretty similar sound quality, but they're truly wireless. However, the around-the-neck model has better noise isolation, longer battery life, and it has access to all the customization options in the Sony app, unlike the truly wireless model. On the other hand, the WF-1000X are more portable, and their case offers two additional charges.

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8 Truly Wireless 2018

The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8 Truly Wireless 2018 are a slightly better truly wireless headset than the Sony WF-1000X Truly Wireless. The Bang & Olufsen have a more compact and portable design and a better charging case. The Bang & Olufsen also have a better latency and a more balanced default sound that you can customize thanks to the Bang & Olufsen app. They also isolate a little better than the Sony, despite not being noise cancelling. On the other hand, since the Sony have ANC, they do a bit better against low-frequency noise like the rumbling sounds of an engine.

Samsung Gear IconX Truly Wireless

The Samsung Gear IconX Truly Wireless are much better headphones than the Sony WF-1000X Truly Wireless. The Samsung 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 Sony. They're also more portable and have a better latency performance. The Sony, on the other hand, have a better more premium-looking build quality. Their noise cancellation also does a bit better in the bass range than the Samsung, and their app is slightly more customizable.

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