Sony WF-1000X Truly Wireless Headphones Review

Reviewed Feb 27, 2018 at 05:40 pm
Sony WF-1000X Truly Wireless Picture
Usage Ratings - Version 1.3.1
7.1
Mixed Usage
7.2
Neutral Sound
7.6
Commute/Travel
8.1
Sports/Fitness
6.7
Office
5.5
Wireless Gaming
5.4
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 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.

Our Verdict

7.1 Mixed Usage

Decent for mixed usage. They're good for sports and decently comfortable. They're also one of the only truly wireless headphones with active noise cancellation which makes 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 use cases.

7.2 Neutral Sound

Average for neutral listening. The Sony WF-1000X 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 do not have the best soundstage since they're closed back in-ears.

See our Neutral Sound recommendations
7.6 Commute/Travel

Above-average for commute and travel. The Sony WF1000x have active noise canceling which is rare for a truly wireless design. That combined with their in-ear fit isolates enough for most noisy commutes. Unfortunately, they do not have the best control scheme and they have a relatively short battery life.

See our Commute/Travel recommendations
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.

See our Sports/Fitness recommendations
6.7 Office

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

See our Office recommendations
5.5 Wireless Gaming

Poor for gaming. The Sony WF1000x have very high latency which is a deal breaker for this use case. They also have a sub-par microphone and aren't as customizable as most gaming-oriented headsets.

See our Wireless Gaming recommendations
5.4 Wired Gaming
6.1 Phone Call
  • 7.1 Mixed Usage
  • 7.2 Neutral Sound
  • 7.6 Commute/Travel
  • 8.1 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.7 Office
  • 5.5 Wireless Gaming
  • 5.4 Wired Gaming
  • 6.1 Phone Call
Pros
  • Compact and sturdy design.
  • Stable fit for sports.
Cons
  • Unreliable Bluetooth connection.
  • High latency.
  1. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  2. Update 11/6/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.

Check Price

Test Results

perceptual testing image
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 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.

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 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.

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-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.

9.1
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 0.9 C

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.

9.5
Design
Portability
L 1.2 "
W 1.3 "
H 0.7 "
Volume 1.1 Cu. Inches
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 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.

7.5
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 3.6 "
W 0.9 "
H 1.7 "
Volume 5.5 Cu. Inches

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.

8.0
Design
Build Quality

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 about on-par with the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless and BeoPlay E8 2.0. 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.

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 really necessary in most conditions, unlike the angled earbuds of the Jaybird run which fit a little looser.

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

  • Sony WF-1000x Headphones
  • Earbud tips (x7 sizes)
  • Stability tips (x2 sizes)
  • 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 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.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
8.7
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 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.

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

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.

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 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.

7.3
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 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.

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 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.

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 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.

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

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.

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

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.

5.1
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
239.73 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
4.75 dB
HFE
1684.1 Hz
Weighted THD
13.726
Gain
39.67 dB

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.

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 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.

Active Features
5.1
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 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.

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 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.

Connectivity
7.3
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 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.

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.

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 do not have an audio cable or a wired connection. If you want a decent sounding and stable in-ear with a wired connection, we would suggest the Sony MDR-XB50AP or the 1More Triple Driver In-Ear.

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 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.

Compared to other headphones

Comparison picture

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

Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Sony WF-1000X are a slightly better truly wireless option than the Bose SoundSport Free, but not by much. The WF-1000X have an in-ear fit and isolate much better in noisy conditions which makes them a bit more versatile for commuting and different environments. They also have a more polished and premium looking design and come with a great case, but do not feel as durable as the Bose. The SoundSport Free, on the other hand, have a much better balanced sound quality that does not need an EQ for most listeners. They also have a more comfortable earbud fit that you can wear much longer than the Sonys. Their 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.

Sony WF-SP700N Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Sony WF-1000X are slightly better headphones overall when compared to the Sony WF-SP700N. 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 QuietControl 30/QC30 Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Bose QuietControl 30 are a much better wireless noise cancelling 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.

B&O PLAY Beoplay E8 Truly Wireless 2018
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The B&O PLAY 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 noise cancelling. 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.

Sony WI-1000X Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

If you don’t like the around-the-neck design of the Sony WI-1000X, then the Sony WF-1000X have pretty similar sound quality, but they are 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.

Samsung Gear IconX Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

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. Their 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.

Jaybird Run Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Jaybird Run are a slightly better truly wireless headset than the Sony WF-1000X. The Run 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.

Apple AirPods 1 Truly Wireless 2017
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Sony WF-1000X are better in-ear headphones than the Apple AirPods 1 Truly Wireless 2017 thanks to their closed-back design, which helps with noise isolation, and their audio quality which is also better. They 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, their interface doesn’t offer as much customization options as the Sony app.

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Sony WF-1000X Truly Wireless Price

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