Reviewed on Jun 28, 2018

Sony WI-C300 Wireless HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.3
6.5
Mixed Usage
6.3
Neutral Listening
7.0
Commute/Travel
7.6
Sports/Fitness
6.4
Office
4.9
Wireless Gaming
4.8
Wired Gaming
6.1
Phone Call
Type : In-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Sony WI-C300 are average wireless in-ears for most use cases. They have a simple and easy-to-use design, although their control scheme doesn't have the best feedback. They're compact enough to fit in your pockets and sufficiently stable for running, which makes them a good option for sports. They also sound moderately well-balanced, although they won't be ideal for more critical listeners. Unfortunately, they have a weak build quality that doesn't feel as durable as some of the other in-ears in their price range. They also have a slightly bulky module on their cable which may be bothersome for certain listeners.

Test Results
Design 6.8
Isolation 7.2
Microphone 6.0
Active Features 5.1
Connectivity 3.0
Pros
  • Simple and compact design.
  • Breathable and stable enough for sports.
  • Very low leakage.
Cons
  • Mediocre-at-best noise isolation.
  • Weak build quality.
  • Poor microphone quality.
  • Bass delivery varies significantly across users.
  1. Update 11/6/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.

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6.8

Design

The Sony WI-C300 have a very simple wireless in-ear design. They have small in-ear buds that are comfortable to wear, moderately stable, and very breathable. This makes them a good option for sports and running.  They also have a fairly simple control scheme, and they're compact enough to easily fit into your pockets so you can have them on you at all times. Unfortunately, their in-line remote is not the easiest to use due to the flat buttons with mediocre feedback, and their overall build quality feels a bit cheap and not very durable. They also do not come with as many tip sizes to help you find the right fit. They don't have a case, and they have a bulky module on the back of the cable which can be a bit bothersome when working out.  

Style

The Sony WI-C300 have a basic wireless in-ear design. They have small earbuds that look a bit cheap and a thin cable that has an additional compartment to house the battery. They look fairly similar to the Mee audio M9B, except for the extra module, which some may prefer as it reduces the size of the in-line remote. Unfortunately, this design choice won't be for everyone, but on the upside, they come in a couple of color schemes to match your taste.

7.0 Comfort
Weight : 0.06 lbs
Clamping Force
:
0 lbs

The Sony WI-C300 are lightweight in-ear headphones with a decently comfortable fit. The earbuds are very small and do not have many points of contact with the outer parts of your ear canal like conventional in-ears, which makes them a bit less fatiguing to wear for long listening sessions. However, they do not come with as many tip options as some of the other in-ears we've tested like the 1More Triple Driver or the Mee audio M6 Pro, which could have improved their overall comfort level. Also, they have a rather bulky module on the back of the cable which will bounce up and down when working out or running, (unless tucked into a shirt) which may be a bit bothersome.

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

These headphones have a simple 3 button set up that's decently easy to use but does not provide the best feedback. They deliver all the necessary functions; track-skipping, call/music and volume controls. Unfortunately, the buttons do not have much travel and are quite flush with the in-line remote, which makes them a bit difficult to find by touch alone.

9.2 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 0.8 C

The Sony WI-C300 have good breathability. They do not touch any parts of your outer ear, so they will not make your ears warmer than usual. They're also a bit smaller than typical in-ears, so they barely cause any temperature difference even during more strenuous activities. They're a good option for sports and working out (see our recommendations for the best headphones for running and working out).

8.6 Portability
L : 3 "
W : 1.9 "
H : 1 "
Volume : 6 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

The Sony WI-C300 are portable headphones that will easily fit into your pockets. Their earbuds are smaller than typical in-ears, but they have an additional module on their cable that makes them slightly bulkier than some of the other wireless in-ears we've tested like the Jaybird Freedom. Unfortunately, they also do not come with a case.

0 Case
Type : N/A
L : N/A
W : N/A
H : N/A
Volume : N/A

These headphones do not come with a case.

6.0 Build Quality

The WI-C300 have a mediocre-at-best build quality with thin cables. The earbuds are lightweight but look a bit cheap. The in-line remote feels a bit plasticky, and the audio cables are thin and not as rubberized as more premium in-ears. The cable is also not removable so they won't last as long as some of the more high-end in-ears we've reviewed so far.

7.0 Stability

The Sony WI-C300 have decently stable wireless in-ear design but do not come with any additional stability tips or ear hooks like the Powerbeats3 Wireless. They also have a fairly bulky module on their audio cable that bounces around if not tucked under your shirt. It pulls slightly on the earbuds making them a bit less stable than other wireless in-ears with a similar design. They will be stable enough for running but may occasionally slip out of your ears during more strenuous workouts. I

Headshots 1
Headshots 2
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Sound

They have a good and punchy bass, an even mid-range, and a well-balanced treble. However, their bass lacks quite a bit of thump and rumble, sounds a little boomy, and is prone to inconsistencies across re-seats. Also, their mid-range sounds a bit cluttered and their treble is on the bright side and rather uneven. They won't be the ideal headphones for vocal-centric music but would be decent for bass-heavy genres or podcasts/audiobooks.

Sound Profile
Neutral
:
7.8
Bass-Heavy
:
3.9
Warm
:
7.6
Bright
:
4.9
7.1 Peaks/Dips
Peaks
:
1.83 db
Dips
:
1.57 db
6.4 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
0.79 dB

The frequency response consistency of the Sony WI-C300 is about average. If 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. However, it seems these in-ears are more sensitive to placement than usual and if they are not positioned deep enough in the canal, the user may experience a drop in bass.

7.2 Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.16
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
3.33
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
2.88
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
3.15

The imaging performance of the Sony Sony WIC300 is decent. Weighted group delay is at 0.16 which is very good. The GD graph also shows that the entire group delay response is below the audibility threshold. This suggests a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction. However, our test unit showed an audible level mismatch between the L/R drivers, which skews the stereo image and makes one side heavier.

It should be noted that this mismatch could be unique to our test unit and the one you buy may not have this issue. However, this could be considered as a metric for manufacturing tolerance of these headphones.

1.0 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
N/A
PRTF Distance
:
N/A
Openness
:
3.6
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
1.3

The soundstage is poor. This is because creating an out-of-head and speaker-like soundstage is largely dependent on activating the resonances of the pinna (outer ear). The design of in-ears and earbuds is in such a way that fully bypasses the pinna and doesn't interact with it. Also, because these headphones have a closed-back enclosure, their soundstage won't be perceived to be as open as that of open-back earbuds like the Apple AirPods, Google Pixel Buds, or the Bose SoundSport Free.

6.6 Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
:
0.663
WHD @ 100
:
0.412
7.2

Isolation

The Sony WI-C300 have a mediocre-at-best noise isolation performance which will not be enough for very loud and noisy environments. They will let the rumbling noise of a subway or train seep into your audio. On the upside, they barely leak even at high volumes so you can mask some of the ambient noise by just turning the volume up and not distract the people around you.

6.4 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-18.63 dB
Bass
:
-1.44 dB
Mid
:
-13.88 dB
Treble
:
-41.56 dB

The Sony WI-C300 have a mediocre isolation performance. In the bass range, where the rumble of bus and airplane engines sit, they achieve about 1dB of isolation, which is barely noticeable. In the mid-range, important for cutting out speech, they isolate by more than 14dB, which is above-average. In the treble range, occupied by sharp S and T sounds, they isolate by about 42dB, which is excellent.

8.8 Leakage
Leakage Audio
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
:
28.22 dB

The leakage performance is great. Similar to most other closed-back in-ears, these headphones don't leak in the bass and mid ranges. The significant portion of their leakage is in the treble range and between 3KHz and 6KHz, which is quite a narrow range. The overall level of the leakage is not loud either. With the music 100dB SPL the leakage at 1 foot away averages at 28dB SPL and peaks at around 48dB SPL, which is just below the noise floor of an average office.

6.0

Microphone

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

The in-line microphone of the Sony WI-C300 has a sub-par quality. In quiet environments, speech recorded or transmitted with this mic will sound full-bodied, but quite muffled and lacking in detail. They are also prone to pops and low-rumbling noises, and won't be the ideal choice for making calls. In noisy environments, they will struggle to separate speech from background noise even in moderately loud situations, like a busy street.

5.8 Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
:
LFE
:
162.33 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
:
4.25 dB
HFE
:
2061.43 Hz
Weighted THD
:
4.975
Gain
:
42.89 dB

The microphone has a sub-par recording quality. The bump in low-bass makes this mic prone to pops and low-rumbling noises. The rest of the response in the bass range is not too bad, so voice will sound relatively full-bodied. The HFE (high-frequency extension) of 2.1KHz is quite poor and results in speech that is muffled and lacking in detail. It also negatively affects the intelligibility of speech.

6.1 Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
:
13.77 dB

The microphone is mediocre at noise-handling. In our SpNR test, they achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 14dB, indicating they are best suited for quiet environments and will struggle to separate speech from ambient noise in moderate and loud situations.

5.1

Active Features

The Sony WI-C300 have a decent battery life of 8 hours but poor power saving features and no app support. They last long enough for a full day's use if you take frequent breaks. Unfortunately, they do not automatically power down to save power which is a bit disappointing. They're also not compatible with the Sony| Headphones Connect app which makes them less customizable than some of the other wireless in-ears we've tested like the Jaybird X3

5.6 Battery
Battery Type
:
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
:
8.1 hrs
Additional Charges
:
0
Total Battery Life
:
8.1 hrs
Charge Time
:
1.7 hrs
Power Saving Feature
:
No
Audio while charging
:
No
Passive Playback
:
No
Charging Port : micro-USB

These headphones have a decent 8-hour battery life but do not have a lot of power saving features. You can't use them while they are charging, they have no auto-off feature once connected to a Bluetooth source, and no passive playback since they are Bluetooth only headphones. On the upside, they charge decently quickly at 1.7 hours.

0 App Support
App Name : N/A
iOS : N/A
Android : N/A
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
:
N/A
ANC control
:
N/A
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
:
N/A
Playback control
:
N/A
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

The Sony WIC300 headphones do not come with a compatible app for added customization options.

3.0

Connectivity

The Sony WI-C300 are Bluetooth-only headphones with no audio cable or base/dock. They have a decent wireless range but do not support simultaneous multi-device pairing or NFC. Unfortunately, they also have a poor latency performance so they won't be suitable for watching videos or gaming.

7.4 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
4.2
Multi-Device Pairing
:
No
NFC Pairing
:
Yes
Line of Sight Range
:
79 ft
Default Latency
:
237 ms
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A

The Sony WI-C300 do not have multi-device pairing but do support NFC. Their hold-to-pair procedure is also not too difficult to use or not as frustrating as some Bluetooth headphones we've tested.

Disappointing latency performance. The Sony WI-C300 have about 237ms of latency which is on the high side of most Bluetooth headphones making them even less suitable for watching movies and gaming.

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

The Sony WI-C300 are Bluetooth-only headphones with no wired option. If you want a decent sounding, wired design with a universal in-line remote, then check out the 1More Triple Driver In-Ear.

PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC / PS4 Analog
:
No
PC / PS4 Wired USB
:
No
PC / PS4 Non-BT Wireless
:
No
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox Analog
:
No
Xbox Wired USB
:
No
Xbox Wireless
:
No
0 Base/Dock
Type
:
N/A
USB Input
:
N/A
Line In
:
N/A
Line Out
:
N/A
Optical Input
:
N/A
RCA Input
:
N/A
Dock Charging
:
N/A
Power Supply
:
N/A

These in-ear buds do not have a dock. If you want a headphone that's versatile and has a dock, try the SteelSeries Arctis 7. However, it won't be as compact and easy-to-carry around on your person.

In the box

  • Sony WI-C300 Headphones
  • Earbud tips (x3 sizes)
  • USB charging cable
  • Manual

Compared to other Headphones

The Sony WI-C300 are basic wireless in-ears, decent enough for most use cases. They have a moderately balanced sound, a decent battery life and wireless range, and a simple design that's easy to use but doesn't have the best feedback. They're also a bit more comfortable than typical in-ears thanks to their small buds. Unfortunately, they do not come with a lot of tip options, and their build quality doesn't feel as durable as some of the other wireless in ears in their price range compared below. They also do not block noise as well as more conventional in-ear designs. Check our recommendations for the best sounding wireless earbuds, the best Bluetooth earbuds under $50 and the best wireless earbuds.

JBL E25BT Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The JBL E25BT are better headphones overall than the Sony WI-C300. The JBLs also have a higher-end build quality and a flatter battery module with better cable management. The E25BT also have longer battery life and a more balanced sound with deeper bass. The WI-C300, on the other hand, support NFC, which makes them slightly easier to pair with mobile phones.

6.5 Mixed Usage

The Sony WI-C300 are an average mixed usage wireless in-ear. They have a passable sound quality that would be good enough for most but not ideal for more critical listeners. They also have a decent battery life and wireless range but lack a few features compared to similarly designed headphones. They do not have as many tip sizes and lack stability fins but should be stable enough to run with. Unfortunately, their build quality is mediocre at best and the thin cables do not seam very durable. They also do not block noise as well as typical in-ears, so they won't be the best headphones for commuting.

6.3 Neutral Listening

Passable for neutral listening. These headphones have a decently well-balanced frequency response although they can sound a bit sharp on already bright tracks and their bass range tends to be a little boomy and cluttered. On the upside, they should sound good enough for most listeners but they do not have a large and spacious soundstage due to their small closed back earcups which won't be ideal for more neutral listening.

7.0 Commute/Travel

Decent for commuting. They're compact and fit into most pockets. They also have a decent control scheme that you can use on the go with your phone. Unfortunately, the in-ear fit does not block as much noise as typical in-ear headphones but should be fine if you're playing your music at higher than average volumes.

7.6 Sports/Fitness

Good for sports. The Sony WIC300 have a decently stable in-ear fit, they're wireless and small enough to carry around on your person wherever you go. Unfortunately, though functional, their in-line remote doesn't have the best feedback and the module on the back of the cable may cause the earbuds to slip out of your ears during more intense physical exercises.

6.4 Office

Decent for office use. The Sony WI-C300 don't leak, so you can mask the ambient noise of a lively office by playing your audio at higher than average volumes.

4.9 Wireless Gaming

Sub-par for gaming. They have a mediocre-at-best mic, lack customization options and have a bit too much latency to be suitable for gaming. They're also Bluetooth only headphones that will not pair with your Xbox One or PS4.

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