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Sony WI-1000XM2 Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Reviewed Mar 06, 2020 at 07:40 am
Sony WI-1000XM2 Wireless Picture
7.1
Mixed Usage
6.8
Neutral Sound
7.5
Commute/Travel
7.5
Sports/Fitness
7.1
Office
5.6
Wireless Gaming
7.3
Wired Gaming
7.3
Phone Calls
Type In-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Yes
Noise Cancelling Yes
Mic Yes
Transducer Hybrid

The Sony WI-1000XM2 are the newest model of the WI-1000X line. Improving on design more than hardware, their silicone neckband and carrying case look sleek and refined. Unfortunately, these headphones have a decreased battery life when compared to their predecessor, even if they charge slightly quicker. Their sound profile is also darker and lacks bass.

Our Verdict

7.1 Mixed Usage

Okay for mixed usage. The Sony WI-1000XM2 are reasonably comfortable headphones. If you're on the go, their noise cancelling works well to cut the low rumble of plane and bus engines as well as speech. The silicone neckband is stable enough to be worn around the neck while exercising, although the earbuds can fall out with a few shakes. They aren't ideal for those looking for a more neutral sound. If you don't like their dark and veiled sound profile, you can tweak it using the EQ inside their companion app. Their high lag also makes them a poor choice for wireless gaming. When plugged into a controller using their cable, they'll receive audio only.

Pros
  • Flexible silicone neckband.
  • In-line remote.
  • Several differently sized silicone and foam tip options.
Cons
  • Lower battery life than previous model.
6.8 Neutral Sound

Okay for neutral sound. The Sony WI-1000XM2 have both recessed bass and treble, making notes in both ranges dull and veiled. While good for casual use, fans of neutral sound might not like the lifeless sound profile. However, if this isn't to your liking, you can customize this sound profile using the companion app's graphic EQ.

7.5 Commute/Travel

Good for commuting and travel. The Sony WI-1000XM2 cut out a lot of bass noise including bus and train engines. However, these earbuds aren't the most comfortable and can fall out. These headphones also reduce the noise of low rumbling engines like buses or trains. If you forget to charge your headphones, you can use also them passively with the included audio cable.

7.5 Sports/Fitness

Good for sports and fitness. The Sony WI-1000XM2's silicone neckband is stable enough to be kept around the neck, although the earbuds tend to fall out if you tend to shake your head back and forth. They also don't have an IP rating so they might not be the best option for more intense activity.

7.1 Office

Alright for office use. The Sony WI-1000XM2's earbuds aren't the most comfortable, and although they come with several differently sized tips, you might not be able to wear them in all day. Their noise cancelling will be good for an office setting though and others around you shouldn't be disturbed if you crank up your music. The battery life is also okay - it should get you through the work day but you might need to charge them on your break.

5.6 Wireless Gaming

Disappointing for wireless gaming. The Sony WI-1000XM2 are Bluetooth headphones that can't be used wirelessly on either the PS4 or Xbox One. While they can be used on PC via Bluetooth, these headphones aren't recommended for gaming due to their high latency and mediocre microphone.

7.3 Wired Gaming

Alright for wired gaming. While the Sony WI-1000XM2 can be used wired for gaming, their microphone won't work, so you'll only get audio through the headphones. This probably isn't the best choice if you like playing co-op games with others.

7.3 Phone Calls

Satisfactory for phone calls. You'll be able to take calls using the Sony WI-1000XM2 and still be heard clearly on the other end. However, this microphone doesn't perform as well in loud environments, so you probably shouldn't make calls in a subway station.

  • 7.1 Mixed Usage
  • 6.8 Neutral Sound
  • 7.5 Commute/Travel
  • 7.5 Sports/Fitness
  • 7.1 Office
  • 5.6 Wireless Gaming
  • 7.3 Wired Gaming
  • 7.3 Phone Calls

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

An improvement over the Sony WI-1000X Wireless, these headphones look more refined and sleek thanks to their flexible silicone neckband. The controls are now located in-line on the left cable but they don't really stand out. If you're not a fan of their black look, these headphones also come in a silver variant.

7.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.13 lbs
Clamping Force
0.0 lbs

These headphones are similar to the Sony WI-1000X Wireless in comfort. The malleable silicone neckband is light and comfortable, though it can snag longer hair if you aren't careful. Their in-ear fit, on the other hand, isn't the most comfortable and you might feel fatigued if you use them for a while. However, they do come with seven differently sized tip options that can help make your listening experience better. Note that their three sets of foam tips aren't memory foam, so don't expect the perfect fit from them right away.

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

An improvement from the Sony WI-1000X Wireless, the 1000XM2 have an in-line remote instead of controls on the neckband. This easy design makes controls like volume easily reachable. If you need a little less noise around you, the "C" button below it triggers noise cancelling by default - if you don't like this set up, you can remap the "C" to be voice assistance. The feedback is good, as it uses both voice prompts and beeps.

7.6
Design
Portability
L 7.5 "
W 5.0 "
H 0.5 "
Volume 19 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required No

The Sony WI-1000XM2 are more portable than the previous generation, thanks to their flexible silicone neckband. It folds into the carrying case, making it easier for you to take these headphones wherever you go.

8.0
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 6.0 "
W 3.0 "
H 1.5 "
Volume 27 Cu. Inches

This case is great. The Sony WI-1000XM2 should be able to survive a few falls when inside their fabric-clad hard case. Taking up less space than the previous pouch designs, they also have a mesh pocket inside, which is a nice touch if you want to carry the audio cable or extra tips with you.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The Sony WI-1000XM2's build quality is good. While the WI-1000X have a sturdy, rigid plastic and metal frame, the 1000MX2 have a flexible silicone neckband and flat cables. It feels fairly sturdy, even when you fold them into their carrying case.

7.0
Design
Stability

Similar to the Sony WI-1000X, these headphones are fairly stable in-ears. While they might be prone to falling out with a few head shakes, they also come with seven pairs of differently sized ear tips (four silicone and three foam), making it easy to find a better seal.

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

  • Sony WI-1000XM2 headphones
  • Hard carrying case
  • 4x silicone tips
  • 3x foam tips
  • USB-C charging cable
  • Analog audio cable
  • Airplane adapter
  • Manuals

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-0.74 db
Treble Amount
-4.5 db

The sound profile of these headphones leans warm but dark. Fans of bass might find this profile to be lacking rumble and thump and it's better suited for more vocal-centric content like podcasts and audiobooks. If you don't like the default profile of these headphones, however, the Sony | Headphones Connect app offers a graphic EQ plus presets.

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

The Sony WI-1000XM2 have exceptional 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.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
8.5
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.97 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
46.21 Hz
Low-Bass
-3.95 dB
Mid-Bass
-0.49 dB
High-Bass
0.9 dB

The bass accuracy of these headphones is very good. While the bass is understated in the low range, muffling rumbles and thumps, the bass is otherwise fairly consistent.

8.7
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.78 dB
Low-Mid
0.02 dB
Mid-Mid
-2.6 dB
High-Mid
-1.21 dB

The mid accuracy of the 1000XM2 is also excellent. The dip in the mid range, while relatively consistent, slightly pushes vocals and leads to the back of the mix. However, this probably won't be noticeable to everyone.

6.8
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
4.21 dB
Low-Treble
-2.3 dB
Mid-Treble
-5.1 dB
High-Treble
-19.39 dB

The treble accuracy of the WI-1000XM2s is okay. Vocals and leads sound veiled and dark due to the treble's progressive dip in amplitude. Sounds in this range like sibilants such as S and T sounds will also have less detail.

7.9
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.47 db
Dips
0.65 db

The Sony WI-1000MX2 have very good peaks and dips performance. The small dip in the mid-mid recedes vocals and leads in the mix while the spike between high-mid and low treble can make sounds in this range sound brighter. A couple of related peaks between low to mid treble also increase the sharpness of sound here. However, these peaks and dips are fairly shallow and might not be noticeable to all listeners.

7.0
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.26
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.04
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
0.97
Weighted Phase Mismatch
52.7

The imaging is okay. The group delay response is fairly low and it falls below the audibility threshold, which should result in a tight bass and a transparent treble production. While unit's L/R drivers were well-matched in amplitude and frequency, the phase mismatch is incredibly high: it's primarily concentrated in the high treble but it shouldn't be audible to most people. However, these results are only valid for our unit and yours may perform differently.

1.0
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
N/A
PRTF Distance
N/A
Openness
2.1
Acoustic Space Excitation
1.9

The passive soundstage of the Sony WI-1000XM2 is poor. Just like other in-ear headphones, these headphones are unable to create a spacious, out-of-head soundstage by design: the pinna or outer ear needs to be activated by different resonances. Since the in-ear design bypasses the pinna altogether, the soundstage will feel small and within the listener's head. These earbuds are also closed-back, so their soundstage also won't feel as open as that of open-back headphones.

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

These headphones don't have a virtual soundstage. While they have a 360 Reality feature available through the Sony | Headphones Connect app, you have be subscribed to compatible services to use this feature.

6.3
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.791
WHD @ 100
0.581

The weighted harmonic distortion of these headphones is mediocre. While there's more distortion in the treble range, this won't be noticeable to most listeners. Its frequencies otherwise fall within good limits, which should result in clear and pure audio reproduction.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
1.1.2
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 4.2
Codec
SBC, 16-bit, 48kHz
EQ
Off
ANC
On
Tip/Pad
Silicone (small)
Microphone
In-line

The Sony WI-1000XM2's results are only valid for these test settings.

Isolation
7.9
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-20.63 dB
Bass
-16.0 dB
Mid
-18.03 dB
Treble
-27.93 dB

The Sony WI-1000XM2 have good noise cancellation. They'll be able to reduce low sounds like bus and car engines, which is great when you're on the go. They'll also reduce voices, making them a good option if you work in an office setting. However, these headphones seem to filter out the wrong noise in the treble range and actually perform better when their ANC is turned off.

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

The leakage performance of the Sony WI-1000XM2 is great. The bulk of leakage happens in the low-mid bass and in the high-mid to mid-treble. Those around you might hear low rumbles or thin, sharp notes from your headphones. However, this is below the noise floor of most offices so it shouldn't be too noticeable.

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

The Sony WI-1000XM2 have an in-line microphone.

7.4
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
216.68 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
2.37 dB
HFE
6834.38 Hz
Weighted THD
2.352
Gain
17.81 dB

The recording quality of the WI-1000XM2's microphone is significantly better than its predecessor. While this mic struggles to record speech as full and deep, your voice will still be clear and understandable.

6.9
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
19.76 dB

The microphone on the Sony WI-1000XM2 is alright at noise handling. While the microphone struggles to separate low, loud background noise like trains from your own voice, it performs much better in quiet to moderately loud environments.

Active Features
6.9
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
8.6 hrs
Additional Charges
0.0
Total Battery Life
8.6 hrs
Charge Time
2.5 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
Standby mode
Audio While Charging
No
Passive Playback
Yes
Charging Port USB-C

The battery performance of the WI-1000XM2 is decent. Just like the previous model, you can still save power with their standby mode. However, the over 8 hours of battery life is a step down from the 1000X. On the upside, the charge time is slightly shorter. The change from micro-USB to USB-C charging port is also a nice touch.

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
No

The app support for the 1000XM2 is very good. More similar to the Sony WI-C600N than the previous generation, the Sony | Headphones Connect app has a graphic EQ as well as presets in order to customize your listening experience. At the same time, however, this app lacks the surround sound and room effect features. Still, this app is easy to use and is well-designed.

Connectivity
8.7
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.0
Multi-Device Pairing
2 Devices
NFC Pairing
Yes
Line Of Sight Range
164 ft
PC Latency (SBC)
203 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
116 ms
Android Latency
147 ms

The WI-1000XM2 supports NFC pairing and can be paired with up to two devices, making it easy to switch between your phone and computer. Like most Bluetooth headphones, the PC latency of the WI-1000XM2 is quite high, making them less than ideal for watching videos or playing games. While their latency is also high on iOS and Android, some apps seem to compensate for this, so your mileage may vary in regular use.

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

These headphones can only connect wirelessly via Bluetooth.

9.5
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
Yes
USB Audio
No
Detachable Yes
Length 3.5 ft
Connection 1/8" TRS
Analog/USB Audio Latency
0 ms

The WI-1000XM2, just like the WI-1000X, can be used with the included audio cable. These headphones also come with an airplane adapter.

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

These headphones are only compatible with the PS4 via the audio cable plugged into the controller. While you'll get audio, you won't be able to use the microphone. They won't work on this console with a Bluetooth connection.

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

These headphones are only compatible with the Xbox One via the audio cable plugged into the controller. While you'll get audio, you won't be able to use the microphone. They won't work on this console with a Bluetooth connection.

0
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
No Base/Dock
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
No
Power Supply
No Base/Dock

The Sony WI-1000XM2 don't come with a base/dock.

Compared to other headphones

Comparison picture

The Sony WI-1000XM2 are the upgraded version of the WI-1000X. They've got a sleek silicone neckband and a nice fabric-clad hard case. While their sound profile and noise cancelling isn't particularly special or outstanding, their design is good for those who prefer the neckband design. Check out our recommendations for the best headphones and the best neckband headphones.

Sony WI-1000X Wireless

The Sony WI-1000X Wireless are the predecessors of the WI-1000XM2 Wireless. While similar, the battery life of the 1000MX2 isn't as long lasting, even if it charges quicker. The sound profile is also less refined in the newer generation, making it less suitable for those looking for a more neutral sound.

Sony WI-C600N Wireless

The Sony WI-C600N Wireless are similarly performing headphones to the Sony WI-1000XM2 Wireless. While the WI-1000XM2 improved on battery life, their sound profile isn't as neutral as the WI-C600N. The in-line controls on the WI-1000XM2 are also a nice improvement over the on-neckband controls of the WI-C600N.

Jabra Elite 65e Wireless

The Jabra Elite 65e Wireless are better headphones than the Sony WI-1000XM2 Wireless. While the Sony have a solid silicone neckband compared to the Jabra's hard plastic design, the Jabra are more stable, making them a better choice for sports. The Jabra also produce more low bass than the Sonys, which is good if you like more thump and rumble in your audio. However, Sony's companion app offers more sound customization.

Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018 are slightly better headphones than the Sony WI-1000XM2 Wireless in-ears. The Bose have much better active noise cancelling, are more comfortable, and have a slightly better-balanced sound profile with more bass. On the other hand, the Sony have better controls and a better companion app that gives you access to a graphic EQ as well as presets.

Sony WI-1000XM2 Wireless Price

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