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Sony WF-C500 Truly Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Review updated Jun 13, 2023 at 12:52 pm
Latest change: Writing modified May 14, 2024 at 01:19 pm
Sony WF-C500 Truly Wireless Picture
7.4
Neutral Sound
7.6
Commute/Travel
8.0
Sports/Fitness
7.0
Office
5.7
Wireless Gaming
5.6
Wired Gaming
6.7
Phone Calls

The Sony WF-C500 are budget-friendly earbuds with a versatile sound that will suit most types of audio content. These sleek wireless in-ears have many customization features like 360 Reality Audio for virtual surround sound and a graphic EQ to personalize their mix via Sony's Headphones Connect companion app. While they don't have active noise cancellation (ANC), their long battery life and IPX4 rating for protection against water splashes still make them well-suited for use on the go.

Note: We noticed a hissing or white noise in our earbuds when no audio played. Several users have also reported the same issue, and while it may not affect every pair, it can get annoying over time. If you've experienced this, please let us know in the forums.

Our Verdict

7.4 Neutral Sound

The Sony WF-C500 are decent for neutral sound. Out of the box, they have a very neutral sound profile suitable for various genres. However, sibilants like S and T sounds are a bit dull. Additionally, our unit's right driver is noticeably more bass-heavy than the left, delivering a bit of extra thump and rumble to mixes. On the plus side, their companion app has a graphic EQ and presets to let you customize the mix.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ and presets.
Cons
  • Passive soundstage seems small and unnatural.
7.6 Commute/Travel

The Sony WF-C500 are good for commuting and travel. They struggle to passively isolate you from the sound of rumbling bus and plane engines, but they're portable and have a sturdy case to protect them when you're out and about. While their battery lasts nearly 12 hours, the case only holds one extra charge. They'll still last you through a long flight or commute.

Pros
  • Long continuous battery life.
  • Good build quality.
Cons
  • No ANC feature.
8.0 Sports/Fitness

The Sony WF-C500 are great for sports and fitness. They're portable, have a long continuous battery life, and are decently stable, so they stay in place during moderate exercise. They're also well-built and rated IPX4 for resistance against water splashes. However, they're likely to fall out during a more intense workout.

Pros
  • IPX4 rating for water resistance.
  • Long continuous battery life.
Cons
  • Can fall out during intense workouts.
7.0 Office

The Sony WF-C500 are satisfactory for office use. Despite not having an ANC feature, they block out a lot of office-type noise, like chatty coworkers or the hum of an A/C unit. They also have a long continuous battery life, so they'll last a typical workday without recharging. Unfortunately, they don't have multi-device pairing, and using the buttons on the side of the buds can hurt your ears.

Pros
  • Long continuous battery life.
  • Controls for answer/ending calls.
Cons
  • No ANC feature.
  • Mic has mediocre noise handling.
5.7 Wireless Gaming

The Sony WF-C500 are Βluetooth-only headphones. They're compatible with Βluetooth-enabled PCs but have high latency, so you may notice a delay if you use them for gaming. They also aren't compatible with PlayStation or Xbox consoles.

5.6 Wired Gaming

The Sony WF-C500 are truly wireless headphones, and you can't use them wired.

6.7 Phone Calls

The Sony WF-C500 are okay for phone calls. Recorded speech is clear but thin-sounding, and your voice can get drowned out if you take a call somewhere loud, like a busy street or subway station. Also, they don't have an ANC feature, so you may have trouble hearing the caller over the sound of a passing train or bus. Fortunately, they have onboard controls for answering and ending calls, so you don't need to pull out your phone.

Pros
  • Controls for answer/ending calls.
  • Adequate recording quality.
Cons
  • No ANC feature.
  • Mic has mediocre noise handling.
  • 7.4 Neutral Sound
  • 7.6 Commute/Travel
  • 8.0 Sports/Fitness
  • 7.0 Office
  • 5.7 Wireless Gaming
  • 5.6 Wired Gaming
  • 6.7 Phone Calls
  1. Updated May 14, 2024: We've added a comparison between these headphones and the JLab Audio JBuds 3 True Wireless in Noise Isolation.
  2. Updated Jun 13, 2023: We've made minor changes to the text to keep the article up to date with current review methodologies.
  3. Updated May 18, 2023: We've retested Continuous Battery Life in Battery, which has changed the scoring of this test.
  4. Updated Feb 25, 2022: Added Sony's 360 Reality Audio feature to Virtual Soundstage.
  5. Updated Nov 23, 2021: Review published.
  6. Updated Nov 17, 2021: Early access published.
  7. Updated Oct 21, 2021: Our testers have started testing this product.
  8. Updated Oct 14, 2021: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  9. Updated Oct 07, 2021: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Sony WF-C500 come in four different colors: 'Βlack', 'White', 'Green', and 'Orange'. We tested them in black; you can see the label for the unit we tested here.

If you encounter another variant, please let us know in the forums, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Headphones

The Sony WF-C500 are budget-friendly headphones with a very neutral sound profile, similar to the EarFun Air Pro 2 True Wireless or the JBL Live Free NC+ TWS True Wireless. Unlike those headphones, though, they lack ANC. Also, unlike Sony's previous budget earbuds, the Sony WF-XB700 Truly Wireless, they work with the Sony Connect Ηeadphones app. It offers sound customization features and access to 360 Reality Audio, a virtual surround sound feature, although you need to subscribe to a compatible streaming service to work.

If you want more options, check out our lists of the best true wireless earbuds, the best earbuds and in-ear headphones, and the best wireless Βluetooth earbuds under $100.

Sony WF-C700N Truly Wireless

The Sony WF-C500 Truly Wireless and the Sony WF-C700N Truly Wireless are extremely similar headphones. Their design and build quality are nearly identical, but the WF-C700N has active noise cancellation (ANC). This lets them cut out more background noise than the WF-C500 can passively. However, this impacts their battery life, and the WF-C700N only lasts half as long on a single charge as the WF-C500.

Beats Studio Buds True Wireless

The Sony WF-C500 Truly Wireless are better than the Beats Studio Buds True Wireless. They have a longer continuous battery life, better overall mic performance, and better noise isolation performance. Their default sound profile is more neutral, which some may prefer, and their app includes a graphic EQ and presets for sound customization. On the other hand, the Beats are more comfortable.

Jabra Elite 3 True Wireless

The Jabra Elite 3 True Wireless are better than the Sony WF-C500 Truly Wireless for most purposes. They have a more comfortable fit, better stability, and a more comprehensive control scheme. They also have a better noise isolation performance and mic recording quality. On the other hand, the Sony have longer continuous battery life. Their mic also has better noise handling.

Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Truly Wireless

The Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Truly Wireless are better than the Sony WF-C500 Truly Wireless for most purposes. The Samsung have a more comfortable, stable fit and lower latency with iOS and Android devices. They have ANC and a significantly better noise isolation performance. Their mic also has a better recording quality. On the other hand, the Sony have longer continuous battery life. Their app also includes a graphic EQ and presets for sound customization, while the Samsung's just has presets.

Sony WF-1000XM4 Truly Wireless

The Sony WF-1000XM4 Truly Wireless are better for most purposes than the Sony WF-C500 Truly Wireless. The 1000XM4 are better-built and have a much more stable fit. They also have ANC and a much better noise isolation performance. On the other hand, the C500 have a more neutral default sound profile that some may prefer. Their mic’s recording quality is also much better.

Google Pixel Buds A-Series Truly Wireless

The Sony WF-C500 Truly Wireless are better for most purposes than the Google Pixel Buds A-Series Truly Wireless. The Sony have a much more accurate bass response, which some may prefer, a longer continuous battery life, and works with a companion app that has a graphic EQ and presets. They also have a much better passive noise isolation performance. On the other hand, the Google have a significantly more comfortable fit.

Sony WF-XB700 Truly Wireless

The Sony WF-C500 Truly Wireless are better than the Sony WF-XB700 Truly Wireless for most purposes. The C500's controls are easier to use, and the headphones have an app with sound customization features. They also have a better overall mic performance. On the other hand, the XB700 have a better passive noise isolation performance.

JBL Vibe Buds True Wireless

The Sony WF-C500 Truly Wireless and the JBL Vibe Buds True Wireless are similarly performing wireless buds with slight differences. While both buds are well-built and decently comfortable, the Sony support a virtual soundstage for a more immersive audio experience and have a longer continuous battery life. However, their carrying case holds fewer charges. Conversely, the JBL have a longer total battery life but have a shorter continuous one.

Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless

The Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless are better for most purposes than the Sony WF-C500 Truly Wireless. The 1000XM3 have ANC and a better noise isolation performance. Their case holds more extra charges, and they have a better build quality. They're also rated IP55 for dust and water resistance, while the C500 are rated IPX4 for water resistance only. On the other hand, the C500 have a much longer continuous battery life.

Sennheiser CX True Wireless

The Sony WF-C500 Truly Wireless are better for most purposes than the Sennheiser CX True Wireless. The Sony have a much more comfortable fit, better noise isolation, and a more neutral default sound profile that some may prefer. They also have longer continuous battery life and a significantly better mic recording quality. However, the Sennheiser are better-built, have a more stable fit, and their Βluetooth latency with iOS and Android devices is lower.

Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Truly Wireless

The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Truly Wireless are better than the Sony WF-C500 Truly Wireless for most purposes. The Samsung have a much more comfortable, stable fit and a more neutral default sound profile that some may prefer. They also have lower latency with iOS and Android devices and a mic with a much better noise handling performance. On the other hand, the Sony have a much better passive noise isolation performance and easier-to-use controls. 

Jabra Elite 4 Active True Wireless

The Jabra Elite 4 Active True Wireless are better than the Sony WF-C500 Truly Wireless. They have a much more stable fit and a better, more customizable control scheme. Their battery life is longer, and they have an auto-off timer to save power. They also have lower latency with iOS and Android devices. However, while they have an ANC feature, the Sony headphones can passively block out more noise. The Sony headphones also have longer continuous battery life.

Apple AirPods (2nd generation) Truly Wireless

The Sony WF-C500 Truly Wireless are better than the Apple AirPods (2nd generation) Truly Wireless for most purposes. The Sony have a more neutral default sound profile, which some may prefer, and they are customizable with a graphic EQ and presets in their companion app. They also have easier-to-use onboard controls, a longer continuous battery life, and passively isolate you from much more noise. On the other hand, some may prefer the Apple’s open design, which allows you to hear ambient sound. They also feel sturdier and have a mic with a better noise-handling performance.

Anker SoundCore Life P3 Truly Wireless

The Anker SoundCore Life P3 Truly Wireless are better than the Sony WF-500 Truly Wireless for most purposes. The Anker have a much more comfortable, stable fit and a significantly better noise isolation performance, thanks to their ANC feature. Their mic also has much better noise handling. However, the Sony have longer continuous battery life.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro Truly Wireless

The Sony WF-C500 Truly Wireless and the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro Truly Wireless have different strengths, and you may prefer either, depending on your needs. The Sony have a longer continuous battery life and a more neutral sound profile, which some may prefer. Their mic also has much better noise handling. On the other hand, the Samsung have a much more comfortable and stable fit. They have lower latency and a mic with significantly better recording quality. The Sony’s mic has much better noise handling, so they’re more suitable for calls outside quiet places.

Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless

The Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless are better than the Sony WF-C500 Truly Wireless for most purposes. The Apple are sturdier and have a much more comfortable, stable fit. They also have ANC and a much better noise isolation performance. On the other hand, the Sony have a longer continuous battery life. They have an app with a graphic EQ and presets, and their mic has a better recording quality.

Jabra Elite Active 75t Truly Wireless

The Jabra Elite Active 75t Truly Wireless are better than the Sony WF-C500 Truly Wireless for most purposes. The Jabra are better-built and have a much more comfortable, stable fit and a more comprehensive control scheme. Their overall mic performance are slightly better. They also support multi-device pairing. However, the Sony have longer continuous battery life.

JLab Audio JBuds ANC 3 True Wireless

The Sony WF-C500 Truly Wireless and the JLab Audio JBuds ANC 3 True Wireless share a similar price point but offer slightly different features, so your preferences will play a large part in which is best for you. While both have companion app support, the Sony have a virtual soundstage feature to help immerse you in your audio. They also sound more neutral out of the box, which some users may prefer. That said, the JLab have an ANC system, and while it doesn't offer a mind-blowing experience, it can still help reduce some sound around you. They also support multi-device pairing.  On the downside, if you're using the transparency mode at max and obscuring the ANC mics, then you may experience a painful high-pitched noise.

JBL Live Free NC+ TWS True Wireless

The JBL Live Free NC+ TWS True Wireless and the Sony WF-C500 Truly Wireless have different strengths, and you may prefer either, depending on what you’re looking for. The JBL have a much more comfortable, stable fit and an IP57 rating for dust and water resistance, while the Sony are rated IPX4 for water resistance only. However, the Sony have a much better noise isolation performance and a longer continuous battery life. Their mic also has a significantly better recording quality.

JBL Tune 125TWS Truly Wireless

The Sony WF-500 Truly Wireless are better than the JBL Tune 125TWS Truly Wireless for most purposes. The Sony have a significantly better build quality, an IPX4 rating for water resistance, and a much better control scheme with a volume function. They have longer continuous battery life and a companion app with sound customization features. On the other hand, the JΒL have a better noise isolation performance. Their mic also has a better recording quality.

Jabra Elite 75t Truly Wireless

The Jabra Elite 75t Truly Wireless are better than the Sony WF-C500 Truly Wireless for most purposes. They have ANC and a better noise isolation performance, and longer total battery life because their case holds more charges. They’re also better built, have a more comfortable, stable fit, and are rated IP57 for dust and water resistance, while the Sony have an IPX4 rating for water resistance only. However, the Sony have a much longer continuous battery life.

Skullcandy Grind Fuel True Wireless

The Sony WF-C500 Truly Wireless are better for most purposes than the Skullcandy Grind Fuel True Wireless. They have a longer continuous battery life, a better overall mic performance, a better passive noise isolation performance, and a more neutral sound profile that some may prefer. On the other hand, Skullcandy's case holds more extra charges, giving them a longer total battery life. You can also remap their controls, which have a built-in voice control feature.

JBL Endurance Peak 3 True Wireless

The JBL Endurance Peak 3 True Wireless are better for sports and fitness than the Sony WF-C500 Truly Wireless. The JBL have an ear-hook design to keep them stable during tough runs and workouts and are better built. They can also block out more background noise and have a better overall battery life. However, the Sony are more comfortable and have a more neutral sound, which some users may prefer.

TOZO T6 Truly Wireless

The Sony WF-C500 Truly Wireless are better for most purposes than the TOZO T6 Truly Wireless. The Sony have much longer continuous battery life and a more neutral default sound profile, which some may prefer. They also have a companion app with a graphic EQ and presets. They also support 360 Reality Audio. Ηowever, the TOZO have a much more stable fit and a significantly better noise isolation performance, although neither pair has ANC.

Wyze Buds Truly Wireless

The Sony WF-C500 Truly Wireless are better for most purposes than the Wyze Buds Truly Wireless. The Sony have a much better passive noise isolation performance and a more neutral default sound profile that some may prefer. They also have significantly longer continuous battery life. On the other hand, the Wyze have a more stable fit and an IPX5 rating for water resistance, while the Sony have a lower IPX4 rating.

+ Show more

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Type In-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Truly Wireless
Transducer Dynamic

These earbuds are slightly bulky, rounded earbuds with angled silicone tips. They don't stick out from your ears as much as the Sony WF-XB700 Truly Wireless and come in more colors: 'Βlack', 'White', 'Green', and 'Orange'.

7.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.02 lbs
Clamping Force
0 lbs

They're decently comfortable. The buds are on the bigger side, but they come with a few different options for silicone tips and don't have a deep fit. Still, depending on your ear shape, they may put a bit of pressure on your ears, and pressing the buttons on their outside surfaces can feel uncomfortable.

6.8
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Good
Feedback Good
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
No
Additional Controls Voice Assistant

The controls are okay. Each bud has a big round button on its outside surface. They're easy to press, but the commands aren't very intuitive, and sometimes the buttons feel too sensitive, so you can end up double-pressing when you meant to single-press. They aren't very clicky, but on the plus side, there are voice prompts or beeps for most functions.

On the left ear:

  • Short press: Raises the volume.
  • Long press: Lowers the volume.

On the right ear:

  • Press: Play/pauses audio.
  • Double press: Skips the track forward.
  • Triple press: Skips the track backward.
  • Long press: Activates voice assistant.

On either earbud:

  • Press one bud: Answers or ends calls.
  • Long press one bud: Rejects a call.
  • Long press both buds: Enters pairing mode.

9.5
Design
Portability
L 1.2" (3.1 cm)
W 1.1" (2.9 cm)
H 0.9" (2.2 cm)
Volume 1.20 in³ (19.60 cm³)
Transmitter Required No

Like most truly wireless in-ears, these are very portable. You can toss them in a bag or slip them in your pocket, so carrying them around is easy.

7.5
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 3.1" (8.0 cm)
W 1.4" (3.5 cm)
H 1.2" (3.1 cm)
Volume 5.30 in³ (86.80 cm³)

These earbuds come with a good case. It's a bit smaller than the Sony WF-XB700 Truly Wireless' case and has an indicator light for the case's remaining battery life. The lid is transparent, so you can see the earbuds' battery lights when they're inside and charging. It can be hard to open, but if you drop the case, the lid stays closed. The case matches the color of the earbuds too.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

These earbuds have good build quality. They're mostly made of plastic but still feel sturdy. While they don't feel as premium as the Sony WF-1000XM4 Truly Wireless, their IPX4 rating protects them against water splashes, like when running outside.

7.0
Design
Stability

These earbuds are decently stable. They'll stay in place during exercises like a light run in the park but may fall out of your ears during more intense workouts.

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

  • Sony WF-C500 earbuds
  • 3x silicone tip sizes
  • USB-A to USB-C charging cable
  • Manuals

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
0.81 dB
Treble Amount
-0.81 dB

The Sony WF-C500 have a very neutral sound profile suitable for listening to most kinds of audio content. The bass range provides adequate thump and punch without overpowering the rest of the mix, while vocals and instruments sound present, clear, and detailed. Their companion app's graphic EQ and presets can help you adjust the mix if you prefer a different sound.

Unfortunately, our unit's left and right earbuds are mismatched, and the right side has noticeably more thump and rumble than the left. We also repeated our tests with different ear tip sizes to ensure the mismatch between the left and right drivers wasn't a seal or fit issue and confirmed our results with subjective listening. Our unit also produces a quiet white noise when on standby, which gets annoying over time. However, these issues may not affect every unit, meaning you may have a different experience.

Note: There's a slight discrepancy between the left and right drivers in the raw frequency response graphs due to how the files were processed. However, all other graphs are correct; this difference isn't audible to most users.

9.3
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.15 dB

They have incredible frequency response consistency, like most in-ear headphones. Once you have a good fit with the included ear tips, you'll get consistent bass and treble delivery.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
9.3
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
0.92 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10 Hz
Low-Bass
1.66 dB
Mid-Bass
-0.18 dB
High-Bass
-0.47 dB

These earbuds have fantastic bass accuracy. Most of the response is flat and neutral, so mixes have the right amount of rumble, punch, and boom. However, the left and right drivers of our unit are slightly mismatched. There's some overemphasis in the low-bass range in the right earbud, so it sounds noticeably more bass-heavy than the left earbud.

9.0
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.29 dB
Low-Mid
0.01 dB
Mid-Mid
-1.69 dB
High-Mid
0.64 dB

These earbuds have superb mid accuracy. In songs like Smooth Operator by Sade, the saxophone and lead vocals are present and accurate throughout the song. The dip in the mid-mid nudges them slightly to the back of the mix, but they still sound clear and intense.

7.5
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.72 dB
Low-Treble
0.42 dB
Mid-Treble
-1.79 dB
High-Treble
-5.05 dB

They have good treble accuracy. Instruments and lead vocals are present and detailed, but a bit of under-emphasis in the mid-treble makes sibilants like S and T sounds and cymbals sound slightly dull.

7.7
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.4 dB
Dips
1.31 dB

These earbuds have good peaks and dips performance. Our unit's right driver has a peak in the low bass that brings extra thump and rumble to mixes. There's a dip in the mid-mid that nudges instruments and lead vocals to the back of the mix, although it's much more present in the right driver of our unit. A peak in the low-treble can make some instruments sound harsh, and the uneven mid-treble makes sibilants, like cymbals, alternately piercing or dull.

6.9
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.16
Weighted Phase Mismatch
40.44
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
1.19
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.46

Sony is known for having good quality control and ergonomics, which factors into how well a pair of headphones' L/R drivers match. That said, imaging varies between units. Our unit's drivers are well-matched in group delay, which falls below the audibility threshold. This results in tight bass and transparent treble reproduction. The L/R drivers are also well-matched in terms of amplitude and frequency response. However, the drivers are mismatched in phase response, resulting in inaccuracies in the stereo image that are audible with real-life content. Sounds in the mid-range, like voices, are perceived as off-center and louder in the right earbud.

0.8
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
N/A
PRTF Distance
N/A
Openness
3.2
Acoustic Space Excitation
0.6

These earbuds have a bad passive soundstage, typical for closed-back earbuds. Their sound seems to come from inside your head rather than speakers in the room around you, and the soundstage seems closed-off and small compared to most open-back headphones.

4.1
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
On/Off
Speaker Modeling
On/Off
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
360 Reality Audio

These earbuds can create a virtual soundstage via the 360 Reality Audio feature on the Sony | Headphones Connect app. This feature analyzes the shape of your ears to help make music sound like it's coming from all around you. However, a subscription to a compatible streaming service, like Tidal, Deezer, or nugs.net, is required to access this feature.

7.6
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.278
WHD @ 100
0.158

Their weighted harmonic distortion performance is good. There's some distortion present in the treble range at normal volumes. However, it's very minor and is hard to hear unless you're an astute audiophile.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
1.0.4
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 5.0
Codec
SBC, 16-bit, 44.1kHz
EQ
Off
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Silicone (small)
Microphone
Integrated

These are the settings used to test the Sony WFC500. Our results are only valid when using these settings.

Isolation
6.8
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-20.06 dB
Noise Cancelling No
Bass
-6.86 dB
Mid
-18.67 dB
Treble
-35.74 dB

These earbuds have a reasonable noise isolation performance. Unlike the JLab Audio JBuds ANC 3 True Wireless, they don't have active noise cancelling (ANC) and don't block out very much bass-range noise, like rumbly bus or plane engines. They do a good job of isolating you from higher-frequency sounds, like background chit-chat and humming A/C units.

9.4
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
24.41 dB

These headphones have a fantastic leakage performance. They leak very little audio at high volumes, so you don't need to worry about bothering others at the office or at home.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No
Mic Yes
6.9
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
250.34 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
2.61 dB
HFE
6,834.38 Hz
Weighted THD
3.271
Gain
0.28 dB

The integrated mic has an alright recording quality. Recorded speech is clear and bright but sounds thin and a bit distorted.

6.3
Microphone
Noise Handling
SpNR
12.32 dB
Noise Gate
Always On
Speech + Pink Noise Handling
6.5
Speech + Pink Noise Audio Sample
Speech + Subway Noise Handling
6.0
Speech + Subway Noise Audio Sample

These earbuds have mediocre noise handling. In moderately loud environments, background noise is audible, but your voice is still clear and understandable. Louder background noise, like a train passing in a subway station, distorts your voice and makes it harder for the person you're calling to understand what you're saying.

Active Features
7.0
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
11.8 hrs
Additional Charges
1.0
Total Battery Life
28 hrs
Charge Time
1.8 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
No
Audio While Charging
Yes
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port USB-C

The Sony WF-C500 have satisfactory battery performance. They last nearly 12 hours on a single charge, which is longer than the advertised 10-hour battery life, and will easily last you through a long work shift. That said, like the Sony WF-XB700 Truly Wireless, their case only holds one extra charge, which isn't ideal for longer trips or situations where you can't easily charge the case back up. However, you can use one earbud at a time while the other charges. Keep in mind, however, that battery life depends on your usage.

7.5
Active Features
App Support
App Name Sony| Headphones Connect
iOS Yes
Android Yes
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
Graphic + Presets
ANC Control
No
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
Yes
Button Mapping No
Surround Support
Yes

The Sony WF-C500 are compatible with the Sony Ηeadphones Connect app. There's a graphic EQ and presets that you can use to customize the sound profile, and you can set up 360 Reality Audio if you're subscribed to a compatible streaming app. You can also see the earbuds' battery life, available software updates, the codec used, and access a guide to the onboard controls. The app lacks some extra features compared to other Sony models like the Sony WF-1000XM4 Truly Wireless, though, since they don't have an auto-off timer or control remapping.

Connectivity
6.9
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.0
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
250.33 ft (76.30 m)
PC Latency (SBC)
241 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
142 ms
Android Latency
231 ms

These earbuds have adequate Βluetooth connectivity performance. They can connect only with one device at a time, but they support Swift Pair and Fast Pair for easier pairing with Windows 10 and Android devices. They're compatible with Βluetooth version 5.0 and have somewhat low latency with iOS devices, so they're suitable for streaming video or watching movies on your iPhone. However, they have high latency on PC and Android devices. Some apps seem to compensate for latency differently, though.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
0
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
No
USB Audio
No
Detachable No
Length N/A
Connection
No Wired Option
Analog/USB Audio Latency
N/A

These headphones are truly wireless, and you can't use them wired. They come with a USΒ-A to USΒ-C charging cable for the case.

Connectivity
PC Compatibility
Analog
No
Wired USB
No
Non-BT Wireless
No

The Sony WF-C500 are fully compatible with Βluetooth-enabled PCs. However, they can't connect to them in any other way.

Connectivity
PlayStation Compatibility
PS4 Analog
No
PS4 Wired USB
No
PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
PS5 Analog
No
PS5 Wired USB
No
PS5 Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
Xbox Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
No
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No
Xbox Series X|S Analog
No
Xbox Series X|S Wired USB
No
Xbox Series X|S Non-BT 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-C

The Sony WF-C500 come with a charging case that holds about one extra charge. It has no inputs except for a USΒ-C port for the charging cable, and you can't charge it wirelessly.