Sony WF-SP800N Truly Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Reviewed Aug 17, 2020 at 08:18 am
Sony WF-SP800N Truly Wireless Picture
7.0
Mixed Usage
6.5
Neutral Sound
7.5
Commute/Travel
8.2
Sports/Fitness
6.7
Office
5.4
Wireless Gaming
5.3
Wired Gaming
6.3
Phone Calls
Type In-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Truly Wireless
Noise Cancelling Yes
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Sony WF-SP800N are a very good pair of premium sports-oriented truly wireless headphones. They’re well-built, quite comfortable, last a fairly long time on a single charge, and do a great job of staying in your ears. They also have a punchy, bass-heavy sound profile that should help keep you pumped up, but if that’s not to your taste, their companion app features a graphic EQ along with a plethora of other features. On the downside, they have an ineffective active noise cancellation system and a control scheme that’s slightly lacking in terms of essential controls. Still, if you’re looking for a pair of sturdy truly wireless headphones that you can take to the gym but also wear in your day-to-day life, the Sony WF-SP800N are a solid choice.

Our Verdict

7.0 Mixed Usage

The Sony WF-SP800N are satisfactory for mixed usage. They’re well-built and have a comfortable, stable fit, so they’re great for sports. Their long continuous battery life and excellent audio leakage performance makes them a good pick for commuting and traveling, though they don’t have the best ANC system. While their out-of-the-box sound profile is quite bass-heavy, they have a companion app with a graphic EQ to adjust it to your taste. Unfortunately, they lack some premium features like multi-device pairing, and their integrated microphone is a poor fit for making calls in crowded environments.

Pros
  • Sturdy build quality.
  • Very secure fit.
  • Graphic EQ in companion app.
  • Long continuous battery life.
Cons
  • Ineffective ANC system.
  • Middling microphone noise handling capability.
  • Default control scheme doesn't have volume controls.
6.5 Neutral Sound

The Sony WF-SP800N are alright for neutral sound. Like most in-ears, they have a small soundstage that generates an unnatural, closed-off listening experience. Their default sound profile is quite bass-heavy and could make some mixes sound boomy and muddy. Meanwhile, treble is underemphasized, dulling the finer details on some tracks. Mids, however, are very well-reproduced, resulting in clear and present vocals and lead instruments. The Sony| Headphones Connect companion app also grants users access to a graphic EQ and audio presets to personalize their listening experience.

Pros
  • Very secure fit.
  • Graphic EQ in companion app.
Cons
  • Closed-off-soundstage.
  • Somewhat boomy out-the-box sound profile.
7.5 Commute/Travel

The Sony WF-SP800N are good for commuting. With a continuous battery life of over nine hours, they should be able to get you through a long day of travel. They do a good job of blocking out the chatter of fellow commuters, but they struggle to reduce the volume of lower-pitched ambient sounds like plane or bus engines. Also, their ANC system is almost useless and does very little to improve on their passive isolation capabilities.

Pros
  • Sturdy build quality.
  • Very secure fit.
  • Graphic EQ in companion app.
  • Long continuous battery life.
Cons
  • Ineffective ANC system.
  • Default control scheme doesn't have volume controls.
8.2 Sports/Fitness

The Sony WF-SP800N are great for sports and fitness. They have a very stable fit that allows the buds to stay in your ears, even during intense workouts. They’re quite well-built, with a dense plastic construction that’s rated IP55 for dust and water resistance, though we don’t currently test for this. They also provide a bass-heavy listening experience that’ll keep you motivated during your next run or workout at the gym.

Pros
  • Sturdy build quality.
  • Very secure fit.
Cons
  • Default control scheme doesn't have volume controls.
6.7 Office

The Sony WF-SP800N are adequate for office use. They’re comfortable enough to wear for extended periods and barely leak any audio, so you can listen to your music at pretty high volumes without annoying your coworkers. If you bring their charging case with you, you should have more than enough battery life to get you through the daily grind. Unfortunately, they don’t support multi-device pairing, which is annoying if you tend to swap between listening to content on your phone and on your work computer.

Pros
  • Very secure fit.
  • Long continuous battery life.
Cons
  • No multi-device pairing.
  • Ineffective ANC system.
5.4 Wireless Gaming

The Sony WF-SP800N’s audio latency is too high for them to be considered suitable for wireless gaming.

5.3 Wired Gaming

The Sony WF-SP800N are Bluetooth-only and can’t be used with a wired connection.

6.3 Phone Calls

The Sony WF-SP800N are mediocre for phone calls. Your voice should sound fairly natural and almost completely distortion-free, but also somewhat thin and muffled. Like most truly wireless headphones, their integrated microphone struggles to isolate speech from ambient noise.

Pros
  • Very secure fit.
Cons
  • Middling microphone noise handling capability.
  • 7.0 Mixed Usage
  • 6.5 Neutral Sound
  • 7.5 Commute/Travel
  • 8.2 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.7 Office
  • 5.4 Wireless Gaming
  • 5.3 Wired Gaming
  • 6.3 Phone Calls

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The Sony WF-SP800N are distinctive-looking truly wireless headphones. Similarly to the Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless, the buds themselves are a little on the bigger side and protrude from your ears to a greater degree than smaller competitors, like the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Truly Wireless. They’re made of high-grade plastic and are available in a broad range of colors that range from subtle to eye-catching, which may please fashion-conscious listeners who want a pair of earbuds that suit their sense of style.

7.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.04 lbs
Clamping Force
0.0 lbs

The Sony WF-SP800N are comfortable truly wireless headphones. While their deep in-ear fit may not suit everyone, they don’t exert a lot of pressure on the inner ear, so they should be comfortable enough to wear for extended periods. However, due to their somewhat large size, you’ll be constantly aware of their presence when you’re wearing them.

6.3
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Good
Feedback Good
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control No
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control On/Off
Talk-Through
On/Off
Additional Controls Voice Assistant

The Sony WF-SP800N have a passable control scheme. The touch-sensitive surface is easy to use and provides ample audio feedback to tell you when you’ve made an input, but it’s missing some important functionality out-the-box. The left earbud provides functionality for ANC activation and the Quick Attention feature, which lowers the volume of what you’re listening to when you hold your finger on the bud. The right bud provides controls for music playback, with one tap to pause and play media, two taps to skip tracks, and three taps to rewind. Unless you choose to remap their control scheme in the Sony| Headphones Connect app, they don't have any onboard volume controls. If you do select an alternate configuration, be aware that you'll be sacrificing either ANC activation or track skipping controls for onboard volume controls.

9.4
Design
Portability
L 1.7 "
W 1.3 "
H 0.8 "
Volume 1.8 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required No

The Sony WF-SP800N are outstandingly portable. You can put them in your pocket or toss them in a bag without much of a hassle. That said, their case is quite bulky and probably won’t fit in most people’s pockets.

7.5
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 3.3 "
W 1.4 "
H 2.1 "
Volume 10 Cu. Inches

The Sony WF-SP800N have a good charging case. It’s quite large, which isn’t ideal for go-anywhere portability, but it does feel well-made and should do a good job of protecting the buds from drops and bumps.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The build quality of these truly wireless headphones is good. The buds and case are made almost entirely of plastic and don’t look or feel quite as premium as the Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless, but the material used still feels quite high-grade. They’re also rated IP55 for dust and water resistance, though we don’t test for this.

8.0
Design
Stability

These are impressively stable truly wireless headphones. They come with a couple of differently-sized ear tips and stability hooks, so you should be able to achieve an airtight seal that’ll ensure the buds stay in your ears even during intense workouts.

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

  • Sony WF-SP800N headphones
  • 4x Earbud tips
  • 2x Stability tips
  • Charging case
  • USB-C charging cable
  • Manuals

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
4.28 db
Treble Amount
-4.71 db

The Sony WF-SP800N’s default sound profile is quite bass-heavy. Bass is overemphasized across the range, which should please listeners who prefer a little more thump and kick. Mids are well-reproduced, ensuring clear and present vocals and lead instruments. Treble, unfortunately, is somewhat underemphasized, which dulls the detail on finer instrumentals and vocals. It’s worth noting that the Sony| Headphones Connect companion app grants users access to a graphic EQ, so you can customize their sound profile to better suit your preferences.

9.5
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.1 dB

As with most in-ear headphones, the Sony WF-SP800N deliver exceptional frequency response consistency. Provided you’re using the correctly sized ear tips and stability hooks to ensure a tight fit, your music should sound the same every time you wear the buds.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
6.3
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
5.16 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10 Hz
Low-Bass
5.67 dB
Mid-Bass
6.08 dB
High-Bass
4.93 dB

Their bass accuracy is passable. It’s overemphasized across the frequency range but reasonably flat overall, resulting in a punchy sound profile that should please fans of bass-heavy genres like EDM and hip-hop. That said, some listeners may find it to be a tad overwhelming and muddy.

8.5
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.94 dB
Low-Mid
2.61 dB
Mid-Mid
0.12 dB
High-Mid
-1.34 dB

The Sony WF-SP800N have very good mid accuracy. While some mixes may sound a little cluttered due to a slight overemphasis in the low-mid range, it isn’t too noticeable, and vocals and lead instruments should sound clear and present.

6.1
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
5.18 dB
Low-Treble
-4.73 dB
Mid-Treble
-3.93 dB
High-Treble
-7.54 dB

Out-of-the-box, the treble accuracy of these headphones is mediocre. It’s underemphasized across the range, resulting in dull, closed-off lead instruments and vocals that are also lacking detail.

8.5
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.02 db
Dips
0.75 db

The peaks and dips performance of the Sony WF-SP800N is very good. Aside from a sharp spike in the mid-treble range that causes some notes to sound a tad piercing, the rest of the frequency range stays within good limits.

9.1
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.24
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.34
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.19
Weighted Phase Mismatch
2.14

The Sony WF-SP800N provide remarkable stereo imaging performance. Their weighted group delay falls entirely beneath the audibility threshold, resulting in tight bass and transparent treble. Likewise, the L/R drivers are exceptionally well-matched in terms of amplitude, frequency, and phase response, resulting in an immersive listening experience that accurately models the placement of objects in the stereo image. However, these results are only valid for our test unit, and yours may perform differently.

0.9
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
N/A
PRTF Distance
N/A
Openness
3.5
Acoustic Space Excitation
0.6

The Sony WF-SP800N have an awful passive soundstage, which is the norm for in-ear headphones. Their closed-back design and lack of interaction with the outer-ear result in a closed-off listening experience that makes music sound like it's coming from the inside of your head rather than speakers placed around you.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No

These headphones are compatible with Sony’s 360 Reality Audio (360RA) virtual surround sound feature, but it includes a couple of caveats. Firstly, only a few premium-tier music streaming apps offer support for it, including deezer, TIDAL, and nugs.net. Also, relatively few songs are mixed with 360RA, and the quality of said mix can vary depending on the artist. With that in mind, this feature’s performance wasn't evaluated.

7.8
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.279
WHD @ 100
0.109

The weighted harmonic distribution performance of these in-ears is good. While there’s some distortion at moderate volume in the low to mid-treble range, it’s not especially noticeable. The rest of the frequency spectrum falls within acceptable limits, which should result in fairly clean and pure audio reproduction.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
1.0.1
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 4.2
Codec
SBC, 16-bit, 48kHz
EQ
Off
ANC
On
Tip/Pad
Silicone (small)
Microphone
Integrated

These are the settings we used while testing the Sony WF-SP800N. Our results are only valid when the headphones are used in this configuration.

Isolation
6.5
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-15.78 dB
Bass
-7.61 dB
Mid
-17.01 dB
Treble
-23.7 dB

The Sony WF-SP800N’s noise isolation capabilities are adequate. They do a decent job of blocking out sound in the treble range, like the hum of an AC unit, and are quite effective in reducing the volume of background chatter. Unfortunately, they barely isolate you from lower-pitched noises like bus engines or construction equipment. Also, their ANC system is practically useless, as it either barely lowers the volume of incoming sound or actively hurts their passive isolation performance. In this respect, it’s quite similar to its predecessor, the Sony WF-SP700N Truly Wireless.

9.5
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
23.97 dB

The noise leakage performance of these in-ears is remarkable. You should be able to listen to your music at high volumes without disrupting people nearby, even if you’re in a quiet environment.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No

These truly wireless headphones have an integrated microphone.

7.2
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
276.97 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
2.82 dB
HFE
6544.63 Hz
Weighted THD
0.47
Gain
-0.69 dB

The Sony WF-SP800N’s integrated microphone has satisfactory recording quality. Your voice should sound natural and mostly free of distortion, but some listeners may hear your voice as being thin and a little muffled.

5.5
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
7.46 dB

The Sony WF-SP800N's integrated mic has middling noise handling capabilities. If you’re calling from an even moderately loud or crowded environment, people on the other end of the line will have a hard time understanding you.

Active Features
7.2
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
9.3 hrs
Additional Charges
1.0
Total Battery Life
18.6 hrs
Charge Time
1.3 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
Auto-Off Timer
Audio While Charging
No
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port USB-C

The Sony WF-SP800N have decent battery life. With ANC turned on, they last 9.3 hours on a single charge, which is quite good for a pair of truly wireless headphones. Considering their relatively long continuous battery life, the fact that their charging case only holds one additional charge isn’t too much of an obstacle. They also have an auto-off timer that turns the headphones off during periods of inactivity, which can be activated in the Sony| Headphones Connect app. Unfortunately, you can’t listen to your music on one bud while the other charges.

7.5
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
No

The Sony| Headphones Connect companion app is good. It provides a pretty broad range of configuration options, including a graphic EQ and audio presets to adjust the headphones' sound profile, active noise cancelling activation, auto-off timer adjustment, and control button re-mapping. There’s also a menu for adaptive sound controls, which alters the parameters of the headphones ANC system and talk-though mode depending on your current environment.

Connectivity
6.9
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.0
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
200 ft
PC Latency (SBC)
217 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
148 ms
Android Latency
128 ms

The Sony WF-SP800N’s have okay Bluetooth connectivity. They support Bluetooth 5.0, but not multi-device or NFC pairing. Their latency on PC is too high for them to be suitable for watching movies or gaming. There’s substantially less audio lag on iOS and Android mobile devices, but most users may still find latency a little too high to watch videos while wearing them. That said, apps compensate for this lag with differing levels of efficiency, so your mileage in the real world may vary.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A

These in-ears are Bluetooth-only.

0
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
No
USB Audio
No
Detachable No
Length N/A
Connection No Wired Option
Analog/USB Audio Latency
N/A

The Sony WF-SP800N are truly wireless headphones and thus can’t be used wired. They do come with a USB-C charging cable to recharge their case, though it should be noted that this cable is very short.

Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC/PS4 Analog
No
PC/PS4 Wired USB
No
PC/PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No

These headphones are Bluetooth-only and aren’t compatible with PS4 consoles. While they can connect to Bluetooth-enabled PCs, their audio latency is too high for them to be suitable for gaming.

Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
No
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No

The Sony WF-SP800N are Bluetooth-only and can’t connect to Xbox One consoles.

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

These truly wireless in-ears come with a case that holds an additional 9.3 hours of battery life. It can be charged via the included USB-C charging cable.

Compared to other headphones

The Sony WF-SP800N are a very good option if you’re looking for a versatile pair of sports-oriented truly wireless headphones. They feel sturdy and have a comfortable, stable fit, not to mention a decently comprehensive companion app and punchy sound profile. Unfortunately, their ANC system isn’t as impressive as that of the Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless and they don’t last quite as long on a single charge as the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Truly Wireless. If you’re looking for more options, take a look at our list of recommendations for the best true wireless earbuds, the best wireless Bluetooth earbuds, and the best wireless earbuds for running and working out.

Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless and Sony WF-SP800N Truly Wireless are stronger in different areas. The WF-1000XM3 have a more premium build, a more effective ANC system, and a better-balanced default sound profile. The WF-1000XM3 also support NFC pairing and have more options in the Sony| Headphones Connect app, including surround sound configuration. On the other hand, the WF-SP800N have a more comfortable, stable fit, leak less audio, and last longer on a single charge, though their case holds one charge to the WF-1000XM3’s three, so the WF-SP800N’s total battery life is less.

Jabra Elite Active 75t Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Jabra Elite Active 75t Truly Wireless are slightly more versatile sports-oriented truly wireless headphones than the Sony WF-SP800N Truly Wireless. The Jabra have a more comprehensive control scheme, feel sturdier, and block out more ambient noise, despite lacking an ANC system. They also support multi-device pairing so you can easily swap between listening to content on your phone and computer. Conversely, the Sony have a more stable fit, last longer off of a single charge, and charge more quickly.

Jabra Elite 75t Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Jabra Elite 75t Truly Wireless are slightly better for mixed usage than the Sony WF-SP800N Truly Wireless. The Jabra have onboard, out-the-box volume controls, a more premium-feeling construction, and support for multi-device pairing. Meanwhile, the Sony have a more stable fit, a slightly better integrated microphone, and a longer continuous battery life. The Sony also have an ANC system, though it should be noted that it isn't especially effective.

Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless and the Sony WF-SP800N Truly Wireless are fairly evenly-matched premium sports-oriented in-ears, thought the Sony have an advantage in mixed usage scenarios. The Bose have a semi-open back design that lets in more ambient noise at lets you stay more aware of your surroundings. They also feel slightly more premium. The Sony are more stable in the ear, last longer off of a single charge, and have a better integrated microphone, not to mention a companion app that allows for a much higher degree of personalization.

Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Truly Wireless are better suited for mixed usage than the Sony WF-SP800N Truly Wireless. The Samsung are smaller but have an equally secure, comfortable fit, deliver a much more well-balanced listening experience out-the-box, and have a better integrated mic. At over 13 hours, they’re also one of the few truly wireless headphones that have a longer continuous battery life than the Sony. However, the Sony retaliate with a more intuitive control scheme, less audio leakage, and a companion app with a graphic EQ to the Samsung Galaxy Wearable app’s simple audio presets.

Jaybird Vista Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Jaybird Vista Truly Wireless are closely matched to the Sony WF-SP800N Truly Wireless when it comes to sports and fitness. The Jaybird have a slightly more intuitive control scheme, a sturdier build, and a parametric EQ to give you greater control over how your music sounds. That said, the Sony have a better integrated mic, last much longer off of a single charge, and block out slightly more ambient noise. The Sony also have a higher IP55 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don’t test for this.

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Sony WF-SP800N Truly Wireless Price

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