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Sony WI-C600N Wireless
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
6.9
Mixed Usage
7.0
Critical Listening
7.2
Commute/Travel
7.7
Sports/Fitness
7.1
Office
5.4
TV
5.1
Gaming
Type : In-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : Yes
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Sony WI-C600N are okay around-the-neck in-ear headphones that have a decent audio reproduction and ANC feature. They are quite versatile for various everyday uses, but their neckband design might not be for everyone. They also have a disappointing 6-hour battery life compared to neckband headphones, and they take about 2 hours to charge. On the upside, they can be used for commuting or at the office since they block out a good amount of ambient noise and they are compatible with the Sony mobile app, which offers plenty of customization and control options.

Test Results
Design 7.1
Sound 7.0
Isolation 7.5
Microphone 6.3
Active Features 5.6
Connectivity 3.3
Pros
  • Decent audio reproduction.
  • Lightweight and fairly comfortable design.
  • Good isolation performance.
Cons
  • Mediocre battery life.
  • In-ear fit and neckband design might not be for everyone.
Update 8/2/2019: We've updated the Power saving feature score as it turns out the auto-off timer of these headphones is only triggered when they are disconnected from their source rather than when being inactive for a while.

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7.1

Design

The Sony WI-C600N are around-the-neck headphones that have a flexible and malleable neckband, similar to the Beats BeatsX. They are fairly lightweight and fit comfortably inside your ears thanks to their small design. They don’t feel as well-built as the Sony WI-1000X, but are more portable since they can fold into a more compact format. Their controls are useful, but it might be a bit hard to push the buttons due to their small size and rubber coating. They’ll be stable for some sports, but can’t be used passively like the WI-1000X.

Style

The Sony WI-C600N are around-the-neck headphones that look fairly similar to the Sony WI-1000X, but with a slightly cheaper feel. They don’t stand out very much and they come in three different color schemes: black, blue, or grey. The neckband is fairly flexible and malleable, but the cables are very thin and look fragile.

7.0 Comfort
Weight : 0.07 lbs
Clamping Force
:
0 lbs

The WI-C600N are fairly comfortable in-ears. They are very lightweight and don’t apply too much pressure inside your ears, but some may still not find the in-ear fit to be comfortable. Also, the neckband is lightweight, but not everyone will like having something around their neck. They come with 4 tip options to help you find the best possible fit, but they aren’t as comfortable as the Bose QuietControl 30.

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

The control scheme of the WI-C600N offers common functionalities, but the small size of the buttons and the rubber coating makes it a bit hard to press them. On the left side of the neckband, you get a call/music management button, a volume rocker, and the power button. The play/pause button also acts as a track skipper with multi-presses. On the right side, you have the ANC control button that lets you cycle between ANC on, ambient mode enabled, and ambient mode disabled. You can also map that button inside the app to trigger Google Assistant (not available with other voice assistants).

9.2 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 0.8 C

Like most in-ear headphones, these Sony WI-C600N are very breathable as they don’t trap heat under an ear cup and allow a good amount of airflow. You shouldn’t sweat more than usual when wearing these during physical activity and won’t notice a big difference in temperature during casual listening sessions.

7.8 Portability
L : 6.3 "
W : 4.6 "
H : 0.5 "
Volume : 15 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

The Sony WI-C600N are fairly portable. Their neckband design takes more space than a typical wireless in-ear design, but it is malleable and flexible. You could fit them in large pockets, or in a bag, and bring them around. Also, their design is easy to carry around your neck at all times, which makes them a bit more portable than over-ear headphones. Unfortunately, they don’t come with a pouch or a case to protect them.

0 Case
Type : No case
L : N/A
W : N/A
H : N/A
Volume : N/A

The Sony WI-C600N headphones don’t have a case or pouch.

7.0 Build Quality

The Sony WI-C600N are fairly well-built, but don’t feel as solid as the WI-1000X. The neckband is malleable and won’t snap under physical stress, which is good. However, the cables are very thin and don’t feel very durable. On the upside, they don’t feel as cheaply made as the WI-C400. The buds are also magnetic, which helps with cable management.

7.5 Stability

The Sony WI-C600N are fairly stable inside the ears and don’t move too much thanks to their very small design. They sit nicely, but not everyone will like jogging or doing physical activity with a neckband. The buds feel secure, but a light tug on the cable can make them pop out. On the upside, since they are wireless, you don’t have to worry about any cable being in your way or getting hooked on something, yanking the headphones out.

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

These headphones don’t have any audio cables but come with a short USB to micro-USB cable. This means they can’t be used passively when their battery is dead like the Sony WI-1000X can.

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7.0

Sound

The Sony WI-C600N are decent sounding in-ears that sound fairly similar to the WI-1000X. They have a powerful, extended, and consistent bass, a very good and well-balanced mid-range, and good treble as well. However, they might sound a bit boomy, thick, and cluttered, which will mostly affect vocals and lead instruments. Also, their treble is slightly uneven, resulting in sibilants (S and T sounds) being overly sharp and piercing, while some may lack detail and brightness. Overall, these headphones are fairly versatile for a wide variety of music genres but will be better suited for bass-heavy music.

9.0 Bass
Std. Err.
:
1.53 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
:
12.42 Hz
Low-Bass
:
-0.37 dB
Mid-Bass
:
1.01 dB
High-Bass
:
2.57 dB

The bass performance of the Sony WI-C600N is excellent. Their LFE (low-frequency extension) is down to 12Hz, which is excellent. This and their very accurate low-bass means they’ll be able to reproduce the right amount of thump and rumble common to bass-heavy genres. Unfortunately, there’s a 2.5dB overemphasis in high-bass, which will result in a bass that sounds slightly boomy and muddy.

8.2 Mid
Std. Err.
:
2.43 dB
Low-Mid
:
3.84 dB
Mid-Mid
:
0.4 dB
High-Mid
:
0.45 dB

These headphones have very good mid-range performance. The response throughout the range is very close to our target curve, but there is a bump in low-mid, which is the continuation of the high-bass overemphasis. This will result in vocals and lead instruments sounding a bit thick and cluttered.

7.7 Treble
Std. Err.
:
3.78 dB
Low-Treble
:
-2.37 dB
Mid-Treble
:
-1.05 dB
High-Treble
:
-3.57 dB

The treble performance of the WI-C600N is good. There’s a shallow but broad dip under 6kHz that will negatively affect the brightness and detail of vocals and leads. Also, after the 6kHz region, the response is fairly uneven, meaning that some sibilants (S and T sounds) will lack detail while others might feel overly sharp and piercing on already bright tracks. However, not everyone hears the treble frequencies the same way, so your listening experience may vary.

9.4 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
0.12 dB

They 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, they should be able to get consistent bass and treble delivery every time they use the headphones.

9.3 Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.17
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
0.56
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
0.65
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
1.0

The stereo imaging of these headphones is amazing. The weighted group delay is at 0.17, 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. 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 game effects) in the stereo image. However, these results are only valid for our unit, and yours may perform differently.

1.3 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
N/A
PRTF Distance
:
N/A
Openness
:
3.1
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
1.2
Correlated Crosstalk
:
0.0 dB

The soundstage of the Sony WI-C600N 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 2 2019 and the SoundSport Free.

7.4 Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
:
2.394
Weighted THD @ 100
:
2.011

The total harmonic distortion performance of these headphones is decent. The THD is within good limits throughout the range, but the graph shows high peaks in the mid and treble ranges around 750Hz and 5.5kHz. This could make these frequencies a bit harsh and impure. On the upside, there is no big jump in THD under heavier loads, which is good.

7.5

Isolation

The Sony WI-C600N are active noise cancelling in-ears with good isolation performance. They isolate against a decent amount of lower frequencies like engine rumbles, which is good for commuting. They also don’t leak much, so you’ll be able to raise your listening volume to mask more ambient noise, making them a decent choice for a daily commute and also at the office.

6.8 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-20.1 dB
Bass
:
-11.78 dB
Mid
:
-18.22 dB
Treble
:
-30.84 dB
Self-Noise
:
22.21 dB

The Sony WI-C600N have a decent isolation performance. With their ANC (active noise cancelling) enabled, these in-ears achieved about 12dB of isolation in the bass range, which is decent. This means they will be able to cancel out the low rumbling noises like airplane and bus engines to a good degree. However, there seems to be a weak point around 250Hz. In the mid-range, important for blocking out speech they isolate by 18dB, which is also good. In the treble range, occupied by sharp sounds like S and Ts and air conditioning systems, they achieved 31dB of isolation, which is good. However, it seems the noise isolation gets worse once the ANC is enabled, but this won't be very audible.

8.9 Leakage
Leakage Audio
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
:
28.02 dB

Like most other in-ear headphones, these Sony headphones don't leak in the bass and mid ranges. The significant portion of the leakage is in a narrow range in the treble between 2kHz and 4kHz. 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 28dB SPL and peaks at around 44dB SPL at 1 foot away, which is below the noise floor of most offices.

6.3

Microphone

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

The microphone of the Sony WI-C600N is mediocre. 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, it will struggle to separate speech from ambient noise in moderately loud environments such as a busy street and won’t be the best option for calls.

6.4 Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
:
LFE
:
65.36 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
:
5.3 dB
HFE
:
2451.46 Hz
Weighted THD
:
14.539
Gain
:
41.71 dB

The recording quality of the integrated microphone is okay. LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 65Hz, which is good, but the graph shows that there’s a bump centered around 100Hz, which means the mic will be sensible to pops and rumbling noises. The dip around 150Hz means transmitted/recorded speech with this mic will sound noticeably thin. The HFE (high-frequency extension) of 2.5kHz indicates speech that lacks detail and is noticeably muffled. However, the limited high-frequency extension is a limitation of the Bluetooth protocol and is a problem with all Bluetooth microphones. Speech will still be decently intelligible with this microphone in very quiet environments.

6.2 Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
:
14.71 dB

The noise handling of the microphone is mediocre. In our SpNR test, it achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 15dB, meaning it is best suited for quiet environments since it will struggle to fully separate speech from ambient noise, even in moderately loud situations like a busy street.

5.6

Active Features

The battery life of the Sony WI-C600N is slightly disappointing, as you only get about 6 hours of continuous playback with a single charge, which might not be enough for a full workday. They also can’t be used passively like the WI-1000X. On the upside, they are compatible with the Sony | Headphones Connect app that offers a good amount of controls and customization options.

5.4 Battery
Battery Type
:
Rechargable
Battery Life
:
5.9 hrs
Charge Time
:
2.1 hrs
Power Saving Feature
:
No
Audio while charging
:
No
Passive Playback
:
No

Update: 08/02/2019: The auto-off timer of these headphones only triggers when being disconnected from their source rather than when no content is playing. We don't consider this to be a feature that prolongs the battery life as you could put the headphones down on your desk and they could still be connected to your PC or phone that is near, and drain out. The review and text have been updated. The battery life of the WI-C600N gives you about 6 hours of continuous playback on one charge, which is slightly disappointing when compared to similar headphones. You can also get up to 7.5 hours without their ANC being enabled according to Sony. Also, they take 2 hours to charge fully, which is quite long for the amount of playback time you get. On the upside, you can set the auto-off timer when disconnected fromm their source inside their companion app.

8.0 App Support
App Name : Sony| Headphones Connect
iOS : Yes
Android : Yes
Mac OS : No
Windows : No
Equalizer
:
Graphic + Presets
ANC control
:
Yes
Mic Control : No
Room effects
:
No
Playback control
:
Yes
Button Mapping : Yes
Surround Sound : No

The WI-C600N are compatible with the Sony | Headphones Connect app. You can customize the sound to your liking thanks to a graphic equalizer and presets. You can also adjust the amount of noise cancellation between the available settings. The app is well designed, easy to use, and also offers a playback player and lets you map the ANC button to trigger Google Assistant (won’t work with other voice assistants).

3.3

Connectivity

The Sony WI-C600N around-the-neck headphones can only be used wirelessly, via Bluetooth. They don’t have an audio cable to use them passively, like the Sony WI-1000X do. On the upside, their wireless range is amazing, but their latency might be too high for some when watching videos or gaming.

8.0 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
4.2
Multi-Device Pairing
:
No
NFC Pairing
:
Yes

These headphones are Bluetooth compatible and like most Sony headphones, they support NFC for quicker and easier pairing. Unfortunately, they can’t be connected to multiple devices at the same time, which would have been useful at the office if you often switch between your work computer and your phone.

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

These around-the-neck headphones can’t be used passively with an audio cable like the Sony WI-1000X can.

0 Base/Dock
Type
:
N/A
Optical Input
:
N/A
Line In
:
N/A
Line Out
:
N/A
USB Input
:
N/A
RCA Input
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
:
N/A
PC Compatible
:
N/A
Power Supply
:
N/A
Dock Charging
:
N/A

The Sony WI-C600N headphones don’t have a dock.

9.1 Wireless Range
Obstructed Range
:
54 ft
Line of Sight Range
:
168 ft

The Sony WI-C600N have a good line of sight range and an excellent obstructed range with about 54ft. You’ll be able to leave your Bluetooth source in one spot and move around in a small office or apartment without too many problems. However, wireless range is dependent on your device’s signal strength and many other factors, so your results may differ.

2.0 Latency
Default Latency
:
209 ms
aptX Latency
:
197 ms
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A

The Sony WI-C600N headphones have average latency for Bluetooth headphones, and some may notice a small delay between audio and video. They also have slightly lower latency when using the aptX codec, but most won’t notice the difference in that regard. This won’t be ideal for watching videos and isn’t recommended for playing games.

In the box

  • Sony WI-C600N headphones
  • 4x tip sizes
  • USB to micro-USB charging cable
  • Manuals

Compared to other Headphones

The Sony WI-C600N are decent around-the-neck headphones that are kind of an in-between of the Sony WI-C400 and the WI-1000X. They have a good isolation performance and a malleable, flexible neckband. However, their battery life is fairly short and their design might not be for everyone. See our recommendation for best neckband headphones, the best earbuds and in-ear headphones, and the best noise cancelling earbuds.

Sony WI-1000X Wireless

The Sony WI-C600N and the Sony WI-1000X Wireless are similarly performing headphones, but the ANC feature of the WI-1000X make them a more versatile pair of headphones. Their sound profiles are practically the same, but the WI-1000X are good for commuting as it blocks noticeably more low-end frequencies. They also have more battery life, can connect to two devices simultaneously, and can also be used passively with an audio cable, even if their battery is dead. They also have a rigid neckband that feels sturdier than the WI-C600N but isn’t as flexible.

Jabra Elite 65e Wireless

The Jabra Elite 65e Wireless are slightly better headphones than the Sony WI-C600N. Their earbud fit is more comfortable than the typical in-ear design of the Sonys. They also feel noticeably better-built and more durable. The ANC feature of the Elite 65e is also slightly better, and their microphone is noticeably clearer and better for calls. Additionally, you get more battery life with the Jabras. On the other hand, the Sony WI-C600N have a slightly better app and their default sound profile is better, although you can EQ both headphones to your liking. The Sony headphones also support NFC, but can’t connect to 2 devices like the Jabra.

Beats BeatsX Wireless

The Sony WI-C600N are noise cancelling in-ears, but the Beats BeatsX actually block out more noise passively. They also feel more secure inside the ears, which is better for sports. Their neckband design is quite similar and malleable. Sound-wise, they are quite similar, but you can EQ the WI-C600N inside their app, which the Beats are lacking. On the other hand, the Beats take a very short amount of time to fully charge and could have better performance with iOS devices thanks to the W1 chip.

Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear/HD1 In-Ear Wireless

The Sony WI-C600N are better around-the-neck headphones than the Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear Wireless. They are more portable thanks to their malleable neckband and their sound quality is also better, but you can EQ both headphones in their respective apps. They are also noise cancelling in-ears and block a decent amount of ambient noise, which is good for commuting. On the other hand, you get more battery life with the Sennheisers, their latency is lower, and some may not notice the delay when watching video content.

Conclusion

6.9 Mixed Usage
The Sony WI-C600N are okay mixed usage in-ears. They have a decent audio reproduction that is fairly versatile for a variety of music genres, and they have a good isolation performance, which is useful for blocking out ambient noise when commuting or at the office. They sit securely inside the ears and are very breathable thanks to their small design, which makes them suitable for sports. However, like most Bluetooth headphones, they won’t be ideal for watching video content and gaming due to their high latency.
7.0 Critical Listening
Decent for critical listening. The Sony WI-C600N have a powerful, extended, and consistent bass, a very good and well-balanced mid-range, and a good treble as well. However, they might sound a bit boomy, thick, and cluttered, which will mostly affect vocals and lead instruments. Also, their treble is slightly uneven, resulting in sibilants (S and T sounds) being overly sharp and piercing, while some may lack detail and brightness. Overall, these headphones are fairly versatile for a wide variety of music genres, but will be better suited for bass-heavy music. However, the in-ear fit might not be the most comfortable for long listening sessions.
7.2 Commute/Travel
Decent for commuting. These wireless in-ears have a decent ANC feature that blocks out a good amount of noise, including a decent amount of deep rumbles of plane and bus engines. They also barely leak, so you can mask more noise by raising your listening volume. Also, they have a portable neckband design since the band is flexible and malleable. However, their battery life might not be long enough for long flights.
7.7 Sports/Fitness
Good for sports. These around-the-neck headphones are fairly portable and easy to carry around thanks to the flexible neckband design. They sit nicely inside the ears and don’t pop out easily, which is suitable for most sports. However, some may not like the neckband design when jogging. On the upside, they are lightweight and the buds are very small, meaning they won’t make you sweat more than usual when using them.
7.1 Office
Decent for the office. The Sony WI-C600N do a good job at blocking out work environment noise like ambient chatter and A/C system noise. They also don’t leak, so surrounding colleagues shouldn’t hear what you’re listening to, even at higher volumes. Unfortunately, they don’t support multi-device pairing, so you won’t be able to switch between sources like your PC and phone, and their battery life might not be long enough for a full workday.
5.4 TV
Sub-par for watching TV. These headphones can’t be used wired, so you won’t be able to get rid of the latency issues they have. Some people may notice a delay between audio and video due to their Bluetooth connection latency. Also, the in-ear fit might not be the most comfortable for watching video content like a movie for hours.
5.1 Gaming
Poor for gaming. These headphones’ microphone won’t be suitable for online games and their battery life won’t be long enough for long gaming sessions. Also, like most Bluetooth headphones, they have latency issues that will make your gaming experience frustrating as there will be a noticeable delay between audio and video. The Sony WI-C600N shouldn’t be used for this use.

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