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Sony WF-C700N Truly Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Reviewed May 18, 2023 at 10:43 am
Latest change: Writing modified May 18, 2023 at 10:43 am
Sony WF-C700N Truly Wireless Picture
7.4
Neutral Sound
7.7
Commute/Travel
8.2
Sports/Fitness
7.1
Office
5.8
Wireless Gaming
5.6
Wired Gaming
6.9
Phone Calls

The Sony WF-C700N Truly Wireless are entry-level noise cancelling earbuds. Aside from their active noise cancellation (ANC) feature, which cuts out background noise to help you focus on your music, these buds have much in common with the Sony WF-C500 Truly Wireless. They have the same sleek design and lightweight build well-suited for commuters and casual listeners. They're also rated IPX4 for protection against water splashes, making them durable enough for brisk jogs and hikes outside.

Our Verdict

7.4 Neutral Sound

The Sony WF-C700N are decent for neutral sound. Their default sound profile is slightly warm and has enough bass to provide ample thump and rumble to hip-hop and EDM. Voices and instruments sound clear and detailed, but an underemphasized treble range makes the mix sound veiled and lispy. Fortunately, the companion app lets you change the sound to your preferences via graphic EQ and presets.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ and presets in-app.
Cons
  • Bad passive soundstage.
7.7 Commute/Travel

The Sony WF-C700N are good for commuting and travel. Their lightweight build won't put undue pressure on your ears, and their long battery life will last you a long bus ride or flight. Their in-ear design also won't leak any audio to passengers around you. While their ANC does a good job of isolating you from background conversations, it's less good at isolating you from the rumble of a loud bus or plane engine.

Pros
  • Lightweight and decently comfortable.
  • Long continuous battery life.
Cons
  • ANC can't block out low-frequency noise very well.
8.2 Sports/Fitness

The Sony WF-C700N are great for sports and fitness. Their lightweight build and stable in-ear fit will keep them in place during a brisk jog or moderate workout. They don't have stability fins, so more intense workouts will displace their fit, requiring readjustment to make them sit comfortably again. Their battery lasts nearly eight hours, and they have an IPX4 rating against water splashes, so you can take them on long hikes without worrying about damage. Their ANC doesn't do a great job cutting out ambient noise from loud traffic or passing buses and trucks.

Pros
  • Lightweight and decently comfortable.
  • Rated IPX4.
  • Stable in-ear fit.
Cons
  • ANC can't block out low-frequency noise very well.
7.1 Office

The Sony WF-C700N are decent for use at the office. They barely leak any audio, and their ANC does a good job of cutting out coworker chit-chat and whiny PC fans. Their lightweight and deep in-ear fit makes them comfortable enough for all-day wear, but using the control scheme can create a suction-like feeling in your ear canal, which can be annoying. Depending on use, it's not likely that their roughly 8-hour battery will make it through a whole shift without needing a recharge.

Pros
  • Lightweight and decently comfortable.
Cons
  • ANC can't block out low-frequency noise very well.
5.8 Wireless Gaming

The Sony WF-C700N are Bluetooth-only headphones; their latency is too high for wireless gaming.

5.6 Wired Gaming

The Sony WF-C700N are truly wireless Bluetooth headphones; you can't use them wired.

6.9 Phone Calls

The Sony WF-C700N are okay for calls. The mic makes your voice sound clear but a little thin. However, the mic tends to pick up background noise and make your voice sound distorted. While they don't leak much audio, meaning others won't hear your call if you're talking on a loud bus or train, their ANC doesn't do a great job isolating you from said vehicle noise. However, they're much better at cutting out noisy office noise, like co-worker chit-chat and whiny PC fans.

Pros
  • Lightweight and decently comfortable.
Cons
  • ANC can't block out low-frequency noise very well.
  • 7.4 Neutral Sound
  • 7.7 Commute/Travel
  • 8.2 Sports/Fitness
  • 7.1 Office
  • 5.8 Wireless Gaming
  • 5.6 Wired Gaming
  • 6.9 Phone Calls
  1. Updated May 18, 2023: Review published.
  2. Updated May 08, 2023: Early access published.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Sony WF-C700N come in four color variants: 'Black', 'White', 'Sage Green', and 'Lavender'. We tested the 'Black' variant, and you can see our unit's label here. If you come across another variant, please let us know in the forums, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Headphones

The Sony WF-C700N are noise cancelling wireless Bluetooth earbuds. Essentially, they're an upgraded version of the Sony WF-C500 Truly Wireless, with better controls and ANC. While they perform well for their price, more expensive earbuds in Sony's lineup, like the Sony LinkBuds S Truly Wireless, still have better ANC and longer continuous battery lives. Ultimately, battery power is where they show their weakness. While the WF-C700N only have one charge in the case, other mid-range buds, like the Jabra Elite 4 Active True Wireless, have three.

If you're interested in a pair of wireless earbuds, check out our articles on the best wireless Bluetooth earbuds, the best earbuds for running, and the best noise cancelling earbuds.

Sony LinkBuds S Truly Wireless

The Sony LinkBuds S Truly Wireless are better than the Sony WF-C700N Truly Wireless. The LinkBuds S' ANC does better to cut out low-frequency noise, like a passing truck or loud bus engine. They're also more comfortable since their touch controls don't require as much pressure to activate them, unlike the WF-C700N's physical buttons, which can create a plunging feeling in your ear canal. While both buds last around the same time on a single charge, the LinkBuds S have just over double the extra charges in their carrying case. The WF-C700N have a deeper bass extension by default, so genres like hip-hop and EDM have more thump and rumble to please your ears. Both headphones' mixes can be changed via the companion app's graphic EQ and presets.

Sony WF-C500 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.

Sony WF-1000XM4 Truly Wireless

The Sony WF-1000XM4 Truly Wireless are better earbuds than the Sony WF-C700N Truly Wireless. The Sony WF-1000XM4 have a better build quality, better-performing ANC, and a longer-lasting battery, and they come with multi-device pairing. However, if noise cancellation isn't a priority to you, there are advantages to the less expensive WF-C700N that still make them worth considering. They have a better-performing mic, a more intuitive control scheme, and a much more neutral default sound profile, which some users may prefer.

Jabra Elite 4 True Wireless

The Jabra Elite 4 True Wireless earbuds are better than the Sony WF-C700N Truly Wireless. The Jabra's ANC does a better job at isolating you from office-type noise, like chatty coworkers or loud AC units, though they struggle just as much as the Sony at cutting out bassy noise from transit vehicles. The Jabra also have a higher IP rating for better protection against the elements during outside runs and a better-balanced sound profile, making them more versatile for listening to different audio content. That said, even with the ANC off, they have a high noise floor, so audio won't sound as clear during playback. However, the Sony last longer on a single charge, though the Jabra's case holds more extra charges and has a longer total battery life.

Jabra Elite 4 Active True Wireless

The Jabra Elite 4 Active True Wireless are better sport earbuds than the Sony WF-C700N Truly Wireless. Both buds are comfortable, lightweight, and well-built, but the Jabra are more resistant to the elements thanks to their IP57 rating, which protects them against brief immersion in water. The Sony's IPX4 rating only protects them against splashes, and they can still get damaged if briefly dropped in a nearby puddle. While the Jabra and Sony have the same continuous battery life, the Jabra's carrying case holds three charges compared to the Sony one, meaning you can use them for longer before recharging their case.

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Test Results

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

These earbuds have a similar design to the Sony WF-C500 Truly Wireless. They're round buds with a sleek design and minimalist profile that doesn't protrude much from your ear. They come in four color variants: 'Black', 'White', 'Sage Green', and 'Lavender'.

7.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.02 lbs
Clamping Force
0 lbs

The Sony C700N are decently comfortable. While they're lightweight and fit deep in-ear, using the control scheme can put extra pressure on the buds and create a suction feeling in your ear canal. Fortunately, they come with three ear tip sizes to help you get the best fit possible.

7.7
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 On/Off
Talk-Through
On/Off
Additional Controls Voice Assistant

The control scheme is easy to learn and intuitive. The buttons have good clicky feedback; you can use them to switch between tracks, play and pause audio, and answer, reject, and end calls. Control remapping is done in their companion app but is limited to exchanging current inputs for ambient sound and volume controls. Additionally, the buds only give input chimes when using ambient sound controls.

On the left earbud:

  • Single press: Toggles between ANC/transparency modes. You can turn ANC off as well, but you have to enable that function via the companion app.
  • Double press: Answers and ends calls.
  • Press and hold: Rejects incoming calls.

On the right earbud:

  • Single press: Plays and pauses audio.
  • Double press: Plays the next track. Also answers and ends calls.
  • Triple press: Plays the previous track.
  • Press and hold: Activates the voice assistant. It also rejects incoming calls.

9.5
Design
Portability
L 1.2" (3.0 cm)
W 1.2" (3.0 cm)
H 1.2" (3.0 cm)
Volume 1.34 in³ (22.00 cm³)
Transmitter Required No

The buds are very portable. Like most truly wireless earbuds, their small profile won't take up much space in your pocket or bag.

7.5
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 3.0" (7.5 cm)
W 1.3" (3.4 cm)
H 1.2" (3.0 cm)
Volume 4.63 in³ (75.80 cm³)

They have a good carrying case. It's small and, unlike the Sony Linkbuds S Truly Wireless' case, the plastic feels premium and durable. There's one LED on the front of the case to indicate battery level and a Bluetooth pairing button on the back. While the lid is a little hard to open, this can be advantageous as the buds aren't as likely to fall out during an accidental drop.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

These earbuds are well-built. They're made from good-quality plastic and can survive a few accidental drops without significant damage. The ear tips, however, feel very thin and prone to tearing over repeated use. Fortunately, the buds are rated IPX4 for protection against water splashes, so they'll hold up if you get them a little wet.

7.5
Design
Stability

Stability is good. Their deep in-ear fit and lightweight build won't move during moderate exercise. However, they can get dislodged from your ear canal during more intense movement, requiring readjustment to get a comfortable fit.

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

  • Sony WF-C700N earbuds
  • 3x tip sizes
  • Charging case
  • USB-C to USB-A charging cable
  • Manuals

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-0.6 dB
Treble Amount
-5.55 dB

The Sony C700N have a slightly warm sound profile. The bass range has plenty of thump and punch, while vocals and instruments sound clear, present, and detailed, though a little veiled due to an underemphasized treble range. It also makes sibilants, like cymbals, sound dull and lispy. Fortunately, you can fine-tune their sound using their companion app's graphic EQ and presets.

9.2
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.17 dB

These earbuds have fantastic frequency response. Once you get a good fit and seal, you'll receive consistent bass and treble delivery each time you use them.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
9.3
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
0.92 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
21.81 Hz
Low-Bass
-0.79 dB
Mid-Bass
0.67 dB
High-Bass
0.73 dB

These earbuds have incredible bass accuracy. The range is very flat and well-balanced, so the mix has ample thump, punch, and boom without overpowering the rest of the mix.

9.2
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.11 dB
Low-Mid
0.02 dB
Mid-Mid
-0.9 dB
High-Mid
1.01 dB

The Sony WF-C700N have superb mid-accuracy. A dip in the mid-mid pushes vocals and instruments into the back of the mix, but only very slightly. They still sound clear, present, and detailed.

7.7
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.42 dB
Low-Treble
-2.17 dB
Mid-Treble
-4.23 dB
High-Treble
-24.83 dB

These earbuds have good treble accuracy. In songs like Dynamite by Taio Cruz, the vocals and synths sound a bit veiled and lose some of their detail, while sibilants, like cymbals, sound dull and lispy.

7.4
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
2.07 dB
Dips
0.41 dB

The Sony C700N's peaks and dips performance is decent. A small peak in the bass range adds extra thump and rumble to the mix. A mismatch in the L/R drivers following a dip in the mid-mid affects the left driver more than the right, and a peak in the high-mid is slightly more prominent in the right driver, though both are overemphasized. These issues in the mid-range push voices and instruments to the back of the mix and make them sound harsh. Most noticeable, though, is the peak in the mid-treble, which makes sibilants, like cymbals, sound piercing. There's also a dip in the high-treble. It's extremely severe compared to the rest of the response. However, it's very difficult to hear, and we lose sensitivity to this range over time.

7.0
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.42
Weighted Phase Mismatch
46.46
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.25
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
0.86

Imaging performance is decent. Sony tends to have good quality control and ergonomics. While our unit's L/R drivers have phase and group delay mismatch in the high-treble, it's not noticeable with real-life content since this range isn't audible for most people. The small bump in the phase response's mid-mid isn't audible in real-life listening. Overall, they're well-matched in amplitude and frequency, which helps ensure a balanced and stable stereo image. For the most part, group delay is well-matched, too, ensuring tight bass, although the peak in the treble still has a small impact on imaging transparency. Keep in mind, however, that imaging varies between units.

0.9
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
N/A
PRTF Distance
N/A
Openness
2.8
Acoustic Space Excitation
1.2

These closed-back earbuds have a bad passive soundstage, which is expected with their design, as audio needs to engage with the outer ear to create a more immersive and open sound. It feels like audio comes from inside your head rather than all around the room.

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 are compatible with Sony's 360 Reality Audio feature via their companion app. However, you must be subscribed to a compatible streaming service to use them, like Tidal or 360 by Deezer. When you use it, the app analyzes your ear shape and creates a virtual soundstage to create a more immersive listening experience.

6.9
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.561
WHD @ 100
0.315

These earbuds have reasonable weighted harmonic distortion performance. Distortion is present across the whole range, but it's only slight and not audible with real-life content. This is especially the case with the high amount of distortion between 10 and 20kHz. Fortunately, this range is difficult to hear, especially as you age and lose sensitivity to certain high frequencies, so you'll likely experience clean and pure audio reproduction in daily listening.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
1.0.1
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 5.0
Codec
SBC, 16-bit, 44.1kHz
EQ
Off
ANC
On
Tip/Pad
Silicone (small)
Microphone
Integrated

These are the settings used to test the Sony WF-C700N. Our results are only valid when used with these settings.

Isolation
7.2
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-21.21 dB
Noise Cancelling Yes
Bass
-8.5 dB
Mid
-23.62 dB
Treble
-33.12 dB

The noise isolation performance is decent. We measured a very similar amount of noise isolation between ANC on and off between 120 and 160Hz, meaning no noise was blocked. We tried to confirm this by playing isolated tones at 120 and 160Hz and recording the sound pressure level (SPL) on our testing rig. While our testing shows little difference between ANC on and off in this range, it's only during subjective listening that we can hear a difference between both modes, but only by about 2-3dB. As such, they can't isolate you from bass-ranger background noise, like rumbly bus or plane engines during a commute or trip. Fortunately, these headphones do a good job of cutting out background chit-chat, but they do a better job at passively cutting out treble-range noise, like a whiny PC fan, than they do with the ANC on.

9.0
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
26.96 dB

The leakage performance is excellent. Escaping audio is mainly concentrated in the bass and treble ranges but is hard to hear unless you're in a very quiet environment. If you like to crank your tunes, you won't need to worry about disturbing coworkers or commuters.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No
Mic Yes
7.4
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
273 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
2.63 dB
HFE
6,834.38 Hz
Weighted THD
0.074
Gain
-4.81 dB

The integrated mic performance is satisfactory. Your voice sounds clean and understandable but somewhat dark and thin.

6.3
Microphone
Noise Handling
SpNR
14.61 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

Noise handling performance is unremarkable. In moderate and loud environments, background noise is still very audible and distorts your voice, which is annoying. Louder noise, like a passing train, drowns most of your voice out and distorts what's left even more.

Active Features
7.4
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
7.9 hrs
Additional Charges
1.0
Total Battery Life
15.8 hrs
Charge Time
1.5 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
Auto-Off Timer
Audio While Charging
Yes
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port USB-C

The Sony WF-C700N's battery performance is reasonable. Sony advertises 7.5 hours of continuous playback time with the ANC on, and we measured around that. Their carrying case only holds one extra charge, less than the Sony LinkBuds S Truly Wireless. Thankfully, they feature an auto-off timer to save power. Keep in mind that battery life varies depending on use.

8.0
Active Features
App Support
App Name Sony| Headphones Connect
iOS Yes
Android Yes
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
Graphic + Presets
ANC Control
On/Off
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
Yes
Button Mapping Yes
Surround Support
Yes

The Sony | Headphones Connect app is great. There are a ton of extra features available in this app. You can monitor the battery life of each bud and the case, adjust the mix via graphic EQ and presets, customize button functions and playback controls, and much more. You can see how some features work here.

Connectivity
6.9
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.2
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
237.86 ft (72.50 m)
PC Latency (SBC)
219 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
174 ms
Android Latency
174 ms

Bluetooth performance is okay. These headphones have high latency on PCs. Audio lag is slightly lower on iOS and Android devices, but you may still experience lip sync issues while watching a video on mobile. Keep in mind that some devices and apps compensate for latency, though.

Note: These headphones are advertised to feature Bluetooth Multipoint connection. While this function allows you to connect to two devices simultaneously, we couldn't get our unit to connect this way since the button to enable Multipoint wasn't showing up on our app, which was also up to date with the latest firmware. Please let us know in the forums if you also encounter this issue.

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 earbuds come with a USB-C to USB-A cable for charging their carrying case. You can't use them wired.

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

These earbuds have full voice and audio compatibility with PCs via Bluetooth.

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

Their carrying case holds one extra charge. You can't charge it wirelessly, so you'll need a USB-C cable to top it up.