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In the box
The Sony WI-C400 are average-at-best wireless in-ears with an easy-to-use control scheme and a long battery life. They're stable enough for sports use and have a decently comfortable fit, but they have a treble-heavy sound that may be a bit too piercing for some. They also lack a lot of bass. They won't be the best headphones for watching a lot of video content either and take a considerable amount of time to charge, but on the upside, they do not leak much even at high volumes.
See our recommendations for the best Earbuds.
- Lightweight and stable design.
- Low leakage.
- Long battery life.
- Poor noise isolation.
- Mediocre-at-best and slightly piercing sound.
- High latency.
The Sony WI-C400 are decent-looking headphones, with a slightly weak build quality. Like most in-ears, they are stable and very breathable making them an above-average option for sports. They're also decently portable if you don't mind dangling them around your neck. However, the neckband isn't as flexible as the BeastX so you won't be able to fit them in your pockets and unfortunately, their build quality doesn't feel as durable as other similarly designed headphones. The thin audio cables and cheap earbuds make the whole design feel less premium than most of the recent Sony headphones.
The Sony WIC400 look somewhat decent but feel a little cheap and fragile. They have a simple around-the-neck design, with a slim neckband stem and two thick plastic casings to house the electronics. The neckband has a matte finish and a decently polished design that makes them look a little more premium than some of the budget around-the-neck in-ears we've tested like the Mpow Jaws. Unfortunately, this is offset by the thin audio cables and the cheap-looking earbuds. Overall they have an understated style that will work for most but doesn't feel as high-end as some of the more recent Sony releases.
The Sony WI-C400 have a decently comfortable around-the-neck design and in-ear fit. They're lightweight, and you can adjust the length of the cables so that they do not pull on the earbuds while not being too distracting like on the Mpow Jaws. Unfortunately, the earbud tips are pretty standard. You get 3 different sizes of silicon tips and no other accessories to improve comfort. They do not go in as deeply as some in-ears but if you are not the biggest fan of in-ear designs then you will have some of the same issues with these headphones.
The Sony WI-C400 have a simple and efficient control scheme. They provide all the essential functions for a Bluetooth headphone; call/music, track-skipping, and volume controls (skipping tracks is done by holding down the volume buttons). Overall, the buttons are responsive and decently easy-to-use once you get familiar with the layout which doesn't take too long.
- 100% Avg.Temp.Difference
The Sony WI-C400 like most in-ears are very breathable. They do not cover the outer-ear so they won't make you sweat more than usual when doing strenuous exercises or workout routines. They do trap a bit of heat within the ear canal, but it's negligible which makes them decently suitable for physical activity and sports.
These headphones are fairly portable and easy-to-carry around on your person, especially if you just let them dangle around your neck. However, they're not as flexible as the BeatsX so you can't fold and put them in your pocket. If you do not mind having them around your neck most of the time, then they won't be a hassle to carry around. Unfortunately, they don't come with case or pouch which is slightly disappointing.
These headphones have a slightly weak build quality but do not feel cheap like some of the budget around the neck designs we've tested. They have a decently flexible neckband that won't easily snap under physical stress, but it's not as flexible as the BeatsX so folding them past a certain point will damage the headphones. Unfortunately, the audio cables are thin and fragile, and the earbuds look and feel low-end. They feel better built than the Mpow Jaws but are not quite on the level of the Samsung U Flex or Level U Pro.
The WIC400 have a stable in-ear, around the neck design for running and sports. They stay put under most circumstances even during more intense physical activities. However, the audio cables leading to the earbuds are a little long and could get caught on an item of clothing which will pull them out of your ears. The neckband has a decent cable management system to mitigate this issue but getting the cable length just right requires a bit of adjustment from time to time. Also, the neckband will sometimes shift around depending on the item of clothing which pulls on cables and may cause the earbuds to slip out of your ears.
The Sony WI-C400 is a mediocre sounding pair of closed-back in-ear headphones. They have a consistent bass, a good mid-range and very good imaging. However, their bass lacks quite a bit of thump and rumble, and is boomy. Their mid-range sounds a bit cluttered and too thick on vocals, and their treble is too bright and sharp, especially on S and T sounds. They also don't have a large and speaker like soundstage. Overall, they are not recommended for those who care about sound quality, unless they want to use it for listening to podcasts and audiobooks.
The bass is sub-par. With the LFE (low-frequency extension) at 64Hz, and sub-bass lacking by more than 9dB, these headphones won't be able to produce much thump and rumble, which is quite common to bass heavy genres like Dubstep, Hip-hop, and EDM. This is in contrast with most closed-back in-ears like the BeatsX, X3 and Run, which can reach as low as 10Hz. Mid-bass, responsible for the body of bass guitars and punch of kick drums is lacking by about 2dB. On the other hand, high-bass is hyped by about 5dB, but this doesn't makeup for the lacking sub-bass and instead adds boominess and muddiness to the sound.
The Sony WI-C400 has a good mid-range. The 5dB bump in low-mid, which is the continuation of the high-bass overemphasis, thickens vocals and lead instruments and adds clutter to the overall mix. Also, the 3dB bump in high-mid, adds extra emphasis and projection to the higher harmonics of vocals and lead instruments which can make them sound a bit honky.
The treble of the Sony C400 is about average. The overall response is quite even for most of the range, which is good. But low-treble and mid-treble are overemphasized by 4dB which adds excess brightness and presence to vocals, leads and cymbals. The bump around 9KHz also means that these headphones will sound noticeably sibilant (sharp on S and Ts), especially when considering their lacking bass.
The Sony WI-C400 has 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. It should be noted, however, that this headphone was measured only once (instead of the usual five), in order to the reduce the wear and tear on our dummy head.
The imaging is great. The 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, 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.
The soundstage 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.
The harmonic distortion of the C400 is about average. The overall amount of THD is elevated, especially in the bass mid-range. This could make the sound of those frequencies a bit of harsh and brittle which will mostly affect vocals and lead instruments. The shape of the bump in the bass range at 100dB SPL also suggests that these headphones are not capable of producing a lot of bass, and won't respond well to EQ boost in the bass range.
The Sony WI-C400 only isolate passively against ambient noise. They create a somewhat decent seal that prevents a lot of leakage and blocks some high-frequency noise. Unfortunately, it is not enough for the rumbling sounds and ambient chatter of public transit, so you will hear what's going on around you especially in loud environments. On the upside, since they barely leak you can really turn up the volume level of your music to mask some of the ambient noise.
The Sony WI-C400 has a sub-par isolation. They don't have ANC (active noise cancelling) and don't isolate in the bass range at all, which is occupied by the rumble of airplane and bus engines. In the mid-range, important for blocking out speech, they achieved about 14dB of isolation, which is above-average. However, they reduce outside noise in the treble range by about 35dB which is good for cutting out sharp sounds like S and Ts.
The leakage performance of the Sony WI-C400 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 3KHz and 6KHz. This means that the leakage will mostly consist of sharp sounds like S and Ts. The overall level of the leakage is not very loud either. With the music at 100dB SPL, the leakage will peak at around 60dB SPL at 1 foot away, which is just above the noise floor of most offices.
The integrated microphone of the Sony WI-C400 has below-average performance. In quiet environments, speech recorded or transmitted with it will sound quite muffled and lacking in detail, which could make the speech a bit difficult to understand at times. It is also prone to picking up unwanted thump and rumble from the environment. In noisy environments, they are able to separate speech from background noise in moderately loud places like a busy street, but they will struggle in very loud situations like a subway station or gaming competition.
The mic has a mediocre recording quality. This microphone has a pretty good bass extension, but the build up in the sub-bass range (below 60Hz) means they are prone to capturing unwanted thump and rumble from the environment. The HFE (high-frequency extension) of 1.8KHz is rather poor and indicates a recorded/transmitted speech that lacks quite a bit of detail and brightness. This will negatively affect the intelligibility of speech, so they are not the best microphone for making calls.
- 100% SpNR
The noise handling of the WI-C400's microphone is decent. In our SpNR test, they achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 19dB, meaning they are best suited for quiet and moderately loud environments. However, they will struggle to separate speech from ambient noise in very loud places.
The Sony WIC400 have a long lasting battery life but take a surprisingly long time to charge. They have about 17.5 hours of continuous playtime on average but take a little over 4 hours to charge, which is very high for a simple Bluetooth headphone. They also do not have a lot of power saving features which makes their battery performance slightly worse. Unfortunately, they do not support the Sony| Headphones Connect app so they do not have the customization options of the more premium Sony models.
These headphones have a long battery life of 17.5 hours but also a long charge time. They will easily last you the entire day even if your a heavy user but the 4 hours of charge time means you have to leave them charging overnight. They benefit from a somewhat decent quick charge feature, that gives you an hour's worth of playback from a 15 minute charge, but the 4 hours total charge time may be a deal breaker for some, especially since they do not have power saving features like an auto-off timer or audio while charging.
They do not support the headphones connect app from Sony which is disappointing.
- 10% Bluetooth
- 32% Wired
- 10% Base/Dock
- 22% Wireless Range
- 25% Latency
The Sony WI-C400 support NFC for easy pairing but cannot connect to multiple devices simultaneously. On the upside, they are fairly easy to pair even if you do not use NFC since they have a dedicated power/Bluetooth pairing button. They have a decent range although they perform a bit worse than typical Bluetooth headphones. Unfortunately, they have a fairly high latency performance which makes them not suitable for watching a lot of video content and gaming,
- 79% Multi-Device Pairing
- 20% NFC
- 0% PS4 Compatible
- 0% Xbox One Compatible
The WI-C400 have NFC support but do not have simultaneous multi-device pairing. On the upside, they are fairly easy to pair with a dedicated power/Bluetooth pairing button.
- 13% Analog
- 9% USB
- 26% PS4 Compatible
- 26% Xbox One Compatible
- 26% PC Compatible
They have no wired option. If you want a good sounding wired in-ear, check the 1More Triple Driver In-Ear.
- 4% Optical Input
- 22% Line In
- 4% Line Out
- 22% USB Input
- 4% RCA Input
- 9% PS4 Compatible
- 9% Xbox One Compatible
- 9% PC Compatible
- 2% Power Supply
- 13% Dock Charging
These headphones 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 or portable.
These headphones have a decent wireless range but would not be ideal for large rooms or work environments with a lot of walls. They reached up to 27ft when the Bluetooth source was obstructed, which is just below average for most Bluetooth headphones. On the upside, they should have sufficient range for most activities especially if you keep your phone on you, but they won't be able to compete with headphones like the BeatsX or the U flex.
The WI-C400 have quite a bit of latency which is not suitable for watching a lot of video content. They perform a bit worse than typical Bluetooth headphones and have no wired option so they won't be the best headphones for gaming or watching movies.
In the box
- SOny WI-C400 Headphones
- USB cable
- Earbud Tips (x3)
Compared to other Headphones
The Sony WI-C400 are average around-the-neck, in-ears with a long-lasting battery life and a decently comfortable design that you can use for sports. They're also decently flexible and lightweight but do not have the build quality of some o the other around-the-neck headphones we've tested. They have a mediocre sound quality, they lack a bit of bass and can sound slightly piercing on some tracks. They also take a considerably long time to charge and have a high amount of latency which is not suitable for gaming or watching videos.
The Samsung U Flex, like the WI-C400, are easy-to-use and decently comfortable. They have a more flexible around-the-neck design that can fit into some pockets, but the neckband is a bit bulkier overall. On the upside, they sound better than the Sonys and are a bit more suitable for more use cases. They also benefit from the Samsung Level app when using a Samsung device which offers a lot more customization options than the WI-C400. The U Flex are cheaper and perform better overall but if need a longer battery life, then the Sonys could be a decent option.
The BeatsX are versatile headphones with a good sound. Their audio reproduction is a lot better than the Sony WI-C400 and their design and performance is better suited for more use cases. They have a more flexible and portable design, that you can easily fit into your pockets, and a greater wireless range. They also have less latency, especially when using them with an iOS device. They are a considerably better around-the-neck in-ears than the Sonys, but they're also pricer so if you're on a tight budget, the WI-C400 could be a decent alternative.
The Bose QuietControl 30 are slightly bulkier, around-the-neck headphones than the WI-C400. However, they're more comfortable thanks to their earbud fit and they're also noise canceling headphones so they are better-suited for commuting and traveling. They also sound considerably better but they're not as flexible, which coupled with their bulkier size makes them a bit less portable than the Sonys. On the upside, they are better in almost every category when compared to the WI-C400 but they're also considerably more expensive.
The Mpow Jaws are budget around-the-neck wireless in-ears with a better sound than the WI-C400 sound but a worse, cheaper build quality. They perform well for most use cases and have a comfortable in-ear fit but they have a slightly bulkier design than the Sonys. They're a bit cheaper than the Sony's with a slightly better performance overall but if you need a longer battery life and do not like the design of the Mpow Jaws, then the WI-C400 are a good alternative.