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Reviewed on Aug 22, 2018

Sony WF-SP700N Truly Wireless
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
6.5
Mixed Usage
6.5
Critical Listening
6.9
Commute/Travel
7.7
Sports/Fitness
6.6
Office
5.1
TV
4.4
Gaming
Type : In-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Truly Wireless
Noise-Cancelling : Yes
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Sony SP700N are average truly wireless in-ears for most use cases, with a unique earbud design. They're decently well built, stable enough for sports, and have a fairly well-balanced sound quality that packs a lot of bass, but won't as detailed with instruments and vocals. Unfortunately, they have a sub-par control scheme that makes them a bit difficult to use, very high latency not suitable for watching videos, and a poor noise cancellation feature that does not isolate better than most passive in-ears, which is very disappointing.

Test Results
Design 7.6
Sound 6.3
Isolation 6.8
Microphone 5.6
Active Features 5.5
Connectivity 2.7
Pros
  • Stable fit for sports.
  • Compact and decently sturdy design.
Cons
  • High latency.
  • Poor noise isolation.

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7.6

Design

The Sony SP700N have a fairly unique earbud design. The buds are comparatively larger than other truly wireless in-ears we've tested, but they're also lightweight, stable and built well enough that they won't get damaged from a few accidental drops. They also come with a decent charging case that unfortunately doesn't feel very premium or durable but is compact enough to carry around on your person without much hassle. However, they do not have the best control scheme. The buttons are stiff, a bit difficult to use and do not provide volume controls. They also do not come with as many tip option as the WF-1000X.

Style

The Sony WF-SP700N have a unique look and form factor that sets them apart from other truly wireless in-ears. The earbuds are comparatively bulky but are not angled to fit within the notch of your ears but rather protrude a little similar to the WF-1000X's design. Some may prefer this design since it gives them a more traditional in-ear fit with the benefit of slightly softer silicone gel tips and stability fins. They also come in a few color variants, which combined with their unique shape and design makes them stand out more than other truly wireless earbuds. Unfortunately, they do not look quite as premium as the WF-1000X or some of the other truly wireless options we tested, like the Apple AirPods or the BeoPlay E8.

7.0 Comfort
Weight : 0.04 lbs
Clamping Force
:
0 lbs

The Sony SP700N have a decently comfortable in-ear fit. The earbuds are a little bulky, but fairly lightweight and the part that actually goes into your ear canal has a fairly typical in-ear design. On the upside, they come with decently soft silicone gel tips and 2 stability fins to help you find the right fit. This makes them slightly more comfortable than more common in-ears, but they won't be as comfortable as some in-ears with angled earbuds or foam tips like the Westone W40.

5.1 Controls
Ease of use : Mediocre
Feedback : Okay
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : No
Microphone Control : No
Channel Mixing
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through
:
N/A
Additional Buttons : No

The Sony WF-SP700N have a mediocre at best controls scheme that's a bit difficult to use and has no volume controls. There are two buttons, one on each earbud. The right earbud controls call, and music management with a multi-function that you can single, double or triple press to control to play/pause, skip, or rewind tracks respectively. The second button on the left earbud controls the noise cancellation feature with single presses to cycle between the on, ambient, and off. The buttons have okay feedback once you press them, but they're small and a bit difficult to use when you have the earbuds in your rears.

8.9 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 1.1 C

The Sony SP700N, like most truly wireless in-ears, are very breathable headphones. Their compact in-ear design does not cause any significant temperature increase when exercising or working out. However, since they are a little bulkier than most, they do trap a little more heat within the notch of your ear, but won't make you sweat more than usual even during more intense work out routines.

9.5 Portability
L : 1.4 "
W : 1.2 "
H : 0.8 "
Volume : 1.3 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

These headphones, like most truly wireless designs, are very compact and highly portable. They will easily fit into almost any pockets, and they are a lot smaller than the Bose SoundSport Free. Their charging case is pretty bulky. However, it is flat and won't be as noticeable in your pocket as the Jaybird Run.

7.5 Case
Type : Hard case
L : 2.1 "
W : 2.1 "
H : 1.2 "
Volume : 5 Cu. Inches

The Sony WF-SP700N in-ears come with a decent charging case that's fairly compact and will shield the earbuds from most drops and accidental impacts. Unfortunately, the case does not feel as high-end or as durable as some of the other truly wireless designs we've tested like the Jabra Elite 65t, the Sony WF-1000X, or the Samsung Gear IconX.

7.5 Build Quality

The Sony WF-SP700N have a decent build quality but are not as well built as the WF-1000X also made by Sony. The SP700N have a slightly plasticky design although the earbuds are dense, lightweight and durable enough that you won't be too worried if you accidentally drop them once or twice. They also look well made and fairly high-end although not as premium as some of the other truly wireless headphones we've tested like the Apple AirPods or the BeoPlay E8. Unfortunately, their case further makes the overall build quality feel a bit cheap. The case is mostly plastic and feels less durable than that of the more premium WF-1000X. The lid especially feels bit fragile and likely to break but does have a nice swiveling hinge.

7.5 Stability

The Sony WF-SP700N 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 makes them pretty good for working out. Unfortunately, they only have 2 sets of stability fins, so they won't be ideal for all listeners but should be stable enough for running and most exercises.

Cable
Detachable : N/A
Length : N/A
Connection : N/A

The Sony WF-SP700N come with a USB charging cable.

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6.3

Sound

The Sony WF-SP700N is an average-at-best sounding pair of closed-back in-ear headphones. They have a deep, powerful, and consistent bass, an even and well-balanced mid-range. However, their bass is quite heavy and boomy, which fans of heavy bass may like. Also, their mid-range is a bit recessed so vocals and lead instruments are a bit pushed towards the back of the mix, and their treble is uneven and lacking detail. Overall, these are a decent choice for fans of heavy bass, but won't be ideal for vocal-centric genres.

7.3 Bass
Std. Err.
:
4.03 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
:
10 Hz
Low-Bass
:
5.66 dB
Mid-Bass
:
4.28 dB
High-Bass
:
3.35 dB

The Sony SP700N have an above-average bass response. The LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 10Hz, which is excellent. Also, the response throughout the range is flat and even, but consistently overemphasized by about 4dB. This results in a thumpy and heavy bass, which could sound a bit muddy as well. But fans of heavy bass may like it.

8.0 Mid
Std. Err.
:
2.71 dB
Low-Mid
:
-0.18 dB
Mid-Mid
:
-4.0 dB
High-Mid
:
-1.61 dB

The mid-range of the Sony SP700N is great. The response is very even throughout the range, but the 5dB recessed centered around 700Hz pushes the vocals and lead instruments towards the back of the mix, by giving more emphasis to the lower frequencies.

6.0 Treble
Std. Err.
:
5.07 dB
Low-Treble
:
-3.83 dB
Mid-Treble
:
-4.46 dB
High-Treble
:
-1.49 dB

The Sony WF-SP700N have a mediocre treble performance. Low-treble is underemphasized by about 4dB. This has a negative effect on the presence and detail of vocals and lead instruments. Mid-treble, where the sharp sounds like S and Ts sit, is rather inconsistent. So some sibilances (S and Ts) depending on their frequency may sound overemphasized and piercing, and some may sound underemphasized.

9.0 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
0.2 dB

The Sony SP700N have excellent frequency response consistency. 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, then they should be able to get consistent bass and treble delivery every time they use the headphones.

8.8 Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.22
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
0.27
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
0.91
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
9.05

The imaging of the WF-SP700N is great. The weighted group delay is at 0.22, which is very good. The GD graph also shows that the entire group delay response is below the audibility threshold, suggesting a tight bass reproduction and a transparent treble. The large group delay swings below 20Hz fall below the human auditory range, so should not have a significant effect. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test unit were well-matched in amplitude, frequency, and phase response, which is important for the accurate placement and localization of objects (voices, instruments, video games effects) in the stereo image.

1.5 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
N/A
PRTF Distance
:
N/A
Openness
:
4.0
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
1.7
Correlated Crosstalk
:
0.0 dB

The soundstage of the Sony SP700N is poor. Since creating a large and speaker-like soundstage is partially dependent on having a speaker-like pinna activation, and in-ear headphones bypass the pinna (the outer ear) and don't interact with it, their soundstage will be perceived to be small and located inside the listener's head. Their closed-back design also means that their soundstage won't feel and open as open-back earbuds like the AirPods and the SoundSport Free

7.9 Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
:
0.892
Weighted THD @ 100
:
1.415

Good harmonic distortion performance. The amount of harmonic distortion in the bass range is low and within very good limits. This suggests that they should be able to take a good amount of EQ boost in the bass range before distorting. However, the spikes in THD around 1KHz could make the sound of that region (vocals/leads) a bit harsh and impure.

6.8

Isolation

The SP700N, like the WF-1000X, are noise canceling headphones that do not perform much better than passive in-ears. They do decently well against high-frequency noise and would block even more noise you're able to achieve an air-tight seal with the provided earbud tips. Unfortunately, their noise cancellation feature does not do much. They do not remove the low-frequency rumbles of engine noise, like a good noise canceling headphone would. On the upside, since they barely leak, you can play your music at much higher volumes to masks the ambient noise that seeps into your audio, without distracting the people around you.  

5.9 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-16.96 dB
Bass
:
-4.83 dB
Mid
:
-17.13 dB
Treble
:
-30.12 dB
Self-Noise
:
22.67 dB

The ANC (active noise cancellation) performance of the SP700N is mediocre-at-best. In the bass range, where the rumble of airplane and bus engines sits, the total isolation is about 5dB, which is sub-par. But some other in-ears like the JBL Free, Jaybird X3, and Beats BeatsX achieve similar results with passive noise isolation. In the mid-range, which is important for canceling out speech, the Sony achieves a good 17dB 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 their ANC system hurts the passive isolation of the headphones in the treble range, this is similar to what we observed with the WF-1000X.

8.5 Leakage
Leakage Audio
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
:
30.76 dB

The leakage performance of the WF-SP700N is great. Like most other in-ear headphones, the Sonys don't leak in the bass and mid ranges and the significant portion of the leakage is in a narrow range in treble between 2KHz and 5KHz. This means that the leakage will be thin and mostly consist of sharp sounds. The overall level of the leakage is not very loud either. With the music at 100dB SPL, the leakage averages at 31dB SPL and peaks at around 48dB SPL at 1 foot away, which is just below the noise floor of most offices.

5.6

Microphone

Integrated
:
Yes
In-line
:
No
Boom
:
No
Detachable Boom
:
N/A

The microphone of the Sony WF-SP700N is mediocre-at-best. In quiet environments, speech recorded or transmitted with this mic will sound relatively thin, noticeably muffled, and lacking in detail. It may also be prone to pops and rumbling noises. In noisy situations, they will struggle to separate speech from ambient noise, even in moderately loud environments such as a busy street.

5.3 Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
:
LFE
:
58.23 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
:
5.32 dB
HFE
:
2416.32 Hz
Weighted THD
:
139.479
Gain
:
42.38 dB

The recording quality of the SP700N's microphone is sub-par. The bump around 80Hz makes these headphones prone to pops and rumbling noises. The dip around 150Hz means speech recorded/transmitted with this mic may sound a little bit thin. The HFE (high-frequency extension) of 2.4KHz results a speech that is muffled and lacks detail.

6.0 Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
:
11.67 dB

The noise handling of the SP700N's microphone is mediocre. In our SpNR test, they achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 12dB, meaning they are best suited for quiet environments since they will struggle to fully separate speech from ambient noise even in moderately loud situations.

5.5

Active Features

The Sony SP700N have a below-average battery life but decent app support that offers a good amount of customization options. They last about 2.2 hours when the noise cancellation feature is active, and a bit longer when disabled. They also have an additional 6 hours in the case for a total of roughly hours 8-9 hours depending on the volume level and noise cancellation. They won't be ideal for more heavy users and do not last as long as most recent truly wireless designs like the Elite Active 65t. On the upside, they have a better companion app than most other truly wireless designs that give you EQ presets, as well as adaptive sound control and noise canceling aware mode options.

5.3 Battery
Battery Type
:
Rechargable
Battery Life
:
2.2 hrs
Charge Time
:
1.1 hrs
Power Saving Feature
:
Standby mode
Audio while charging
:
Yes
Passive Playback
:
No

The Sony WF-SP700N 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 to about 8-9hours of battery life depending on your use case and volume level. 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 App Support
App Name :
iOS : Yes
Android : Yes
Mac OS : 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-1000XM2. 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.

2.7

Connectivity

The Sony SP700N support NFC pairing via their charging case, which makes pairing with smartphones a bit easier. Unfortunately, they do not support multi-point pairing to seamlessly switch between audio sources like the Jabra Elite Active 65t. They also have way too of latency to be a good choice for watching movies and gaming but on the upside, they have decent range and a slightly more reliable wireless connection than the WF-1000X.

8.0 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
4.1
Multi-Device Pairing
:
No
NFC Pairing
:
Yes

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.

0 Wired
OS Compatibility
:
N/A
Analog Audio
:
N/A
USB Audio
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
:
N/A
PC Compatible
:
N/A

The Sony SP700N 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.

2.1 Base/Dock
Type
:
Charging Case
Optical Input
:
No
Line In
:
No
Line Out
:
No
USB Input
:
No
RCA Input
:
No
PS4 Compatible
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
:
N/A
PC Compatible
:
N/A
Power Supply
:
USB
Dock Charging
:
Yes

The Sony WF-SP700N come with a charging case that delivers up to 6 additional hours of battery life. However, it has no other inputs or outputs.

7.4 Wireless Range
Obstructed Range
:
33 ft
Line of Sight Range
:
74 ft

The Sony WF-SP700N have a decent wireless range and a slightly more reliable wireless connection than WF-1000X. They reached up to 33ft when the source was obstructed, and up to 74ft in direct line of sight. It's a decent range and should be good enough for most use cases but will not be ideal if you're paired to a fixed Bluetooth source like your PC or TV.

0 Latency
Default Latency
:
400 ms
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A

The Sony SP700N have very high latency similar to the WF-1000X. Their latency is a bit better if you're only using the left earbud but when both are paired they're a poor choice for anything but listening to music.

In the box

  • Sony WF-1000x Headphones
  • Earbud tips (x3 sizes)
  • Stability tips (x2 sizes)
  • Charging case
  • USB charging cable

Compared to other Headphones

The Sony WF-SP700N are average mixed usage truly wireless in-ears with a unique earbud design. Like most truly wireless in-ears, they're compact enough to easily carry around on your person. They also have a stable in-ear fit for the gym and a decent sound quality that packs a good amount of bass. Unfortunately, their sound can be a bit uneven with most tracks, they have a relatively short battery life and a poor latency performance that makes them worse for watching videos than most of the other truly wireless options compared below. Their noise cancellation feature also doe not do much, and won't isolate you better in noisy conditions than most passive in-ears. See our recommendations for the best noise cancelling earbuds and the best noise cancelling headphones under $200.

Sony WF-1000X Truly Wireless

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 SoundSport Free Truly Wireless

The Bose SoundSport Free are a better truly wireless headset than the Sony WF-SP700N. The Sony are noise cancelling in-ears, so they do a little better in noisy situations, although the ANC of the Sonys is not that strong. They also have a customizable sound, which the Bose do not. On the upside, the Bose have a more comfortable earbud fit, a better-balanced sound that caters to a lot more tracks, and a more durable build quality. They also last longer on a single charge and have a longer cumulative battery life. Both headphones are equally poor for watching videos and with latency-sensitive content.

Jabra Elite 65t Truly Wireless

The Jabra Elite 65t are better truly wireless headphones than the Sony WF-SP700N. The Elite 65t have a more isolating in-ear fit; even without noise cancellation, they block more noise than the SP700N. They also have a better sound quality, a longer range, and a more stable wireless connection that supports Bluetooth 5.0. You can also customize the 65t better than the SP700N, they last a lot longer on a single charge, and have a longer total battery life when you include the case. The SP700N, on the other hand, have a slightly more comfortable in-ear fit and come with a better case that does not open as easily as that of the Elite 65t.

Apple AirPods 1 Truly Wireless 2017

The Sony WF-SP700N are a somewhat better truly wireless headset than the Apple AirPods, although not by much. The SP700N have a more isolating in-ear fit that will block noise better than the AirPods, but getting the right seal can be a bit tough at times. They also have a customizable sound quality that packs more bass than the AirPods. The Sony are also a bit more stable for the gym and do not leak as much even at high volumes. The AirPods, on the other hand, have a more reliable wireless connection, a better range, better battery life, and much lower latency that makes it suitable for watching videos, especially on iOS devices. They also have a more comfortable earbud fit and last a lot longer, at 5 hours of continuous playback and more than 24hrs of total battery life, compared to 2.2 and 9hrs for the Sonys.

Skullcandy Push Truly Wireless

The Skullcandy Push and Sony WF-SP700N perform similarly and also have a similar design. Even if the Sonys have an ANC feature, they don’t isolate more noise than the Push. Their control scheme is also a bit hard to use, and you don’t even get volume controls on the buds. Also, the Skullcandy Push have better wireless range and battery life, making them slightly more versatile throughout the day. On the hand, the Sonys and their case are slightly better made and feel more like premium headphones.

JBL UA True Wireless Flash

The JBL UA True Wireless are better headphones than the Sony WF-SP700N Truly Wireless. They have better audio reproduction, are more stable for sports, and even if the Sonys are ANC headphones, the JBL UA Flash have a better isolation performance. Their control scheme is easier to use too and their build quality feels more high-end, on top of being rated IPX7. They also have about twice the battery life of the WF-SP700N. Overall, the JBL UA Flash are better in almost every aspect, but they don’t support NFC like the Sony do.

JBL Endurance Peak Truly Wireless

The JBL Endurance Peak are better truly wireless in-ears than the Sony WF-SP700N. The Peak have a more stable fit and much better isolation. They also sound better, especially in the treble range. The sound of the Sony WF-SP700N can be customized through the Sony | Headphones Connect App, though. The Sony WF-SP700N are also more comfortable and have a better build quality. However, even though the touch-sensitive control scheme of the Endurance Peak is a bit finicky, it’s better than the WF-SP700N’s physical buttons. The Peak also have a better battery, since the WF-SP700N lasts for less than 3 hours of continuous playtime and their charging case only delivers up to 6 additional hours of battery life.

+ Show more

Conclusion

6.5 Mixed Usage
Average for mixed usage. They're compact, easy to carry around and have a decently comfortable in-ear fit. They also have a decent if slightly too bass-heavy sound and unique design that's decently durable and will stand out when compared to other truly wireless in-ears. Unfortunately, despite being noise canceling headphones, they do not do well in noisy environments. They also have a fairly short battery life and very high latency that a deal breaker if you mostly use your headphones to watch videos or for gaming.
6.5 Critical Listening
Decent for critical listening. The Sony WF-SP700N have an above-average sound but an over-emphasized bass that will drown some of the instruments and vocals in the mid-range. They also have a couple of sharp spikes in the higher frequencies that will make some S and T sounds, piercing and a bit too bright. They won't be the ideal choice for more critical listeners but the deep bass and may sound exciting for some and you can always somewhat tweak their sound profile thanks to the preset available in the Sony| headphones Connect app.
6.9 Commute/Travel
Above-average for commute and travel. The Sony WF-SP700N are compact and easy to carry around and have active noise canceling which is rare for a truly wireless design. Unfortunately, their noise cancellation does not do much and isn't better than their passive in-ear fit. They also do not last as long on a single charge, so they won't be the ideal headphones for long trips and long continuous listening sessions.
7.7 Sports/Fitness
Good for sports. The Sony SP700N are breathable and stable enough for running and exercising. They're also compact, and decently comfortable truly wireless headphones that you can easily have on you at all times. Unfortunately, they have a poor control scheme and short battery life that may not be ideal for all training regiments.
6.6 Office
Decent for office use. The Sony WF-SP700N don't leak much, so you mask some ambient noise by playing your music at higher volumes without distracting colleagues. Unfortunately, they do not block a lot of noise even with the noise cancellation feature enabled. They also have a relatively short battery life and a fairly typical in-ear fit which might not be ideal for really long listening sessions.
5.1 TV
Sub-par for home theater. The Sony WF-SP700N have way too much latency for watching videos. They also have no wired option to alleviate some of the latency issues which makes them considerably worse.
4.4 Gaming
Poor for gaming. The Sony WF-SP700N 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.

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