In a market full of low-cost truly wireless earphones, Sony last month launched their own set of affordable true wireless pair – the Sony WF-XB700 – in India. At Rs 9,990, the Sony WF-XB700 true wireless earphones are just a tad bit affordable, and it is because Sony has always focused on quality over price. As a result, we only see high-end premium earphones from the company. Also Read - Sony launches Reon Pocket, a wearable Air Conditioner: Here is everything we know
This time around, Sony seems to have experimented a little to provide good quality product at an affordable price, at least that’s what the company claims. We can’t directly compare these Sony WF-XB700 TWS to likes of cheap alternatives like Xiaomi’s Redmi Earbuds S or Realme Buds Q, instead, these compete with the likes of Jabra Elite 75T, Samsung Galaxy Buds+ or even the Apple AirPods. In this review we find out if these new true wireless earbuds are worth your money or not. Also Read - Sony launches WF-XB700 and WF-SP800N true wireless headphones in India: Price, features and more
Design, Fit and Charging case
Sony says that the WF-XB700 true wireless earbuds are ergonomically designed. Its cushioned arc supporter and three-dimensional curved design ensure a secure, comfortable fit. However, my experience was slightly different. Yes, the earbuds fit in securely, but I didn’t find them comfortable. Initially it was weird and uncomfortable to wear these, but after a few days, I felt okay about the fit. I generally do not prefer in-ear style earbuds, so maybe that’s the reason behind it. That said, I still feel that Sony could have gone for a little more slimmer design, so they would’ve fit perfectly. Also Read - Sony launches two smart TVs in India, price starts from Rs 37,990: Check features
The Sony WF-XB700 TWS comes with an oval-shaped compact magnetic charging case with a translucent cover. The earbuds have a 9-hour battery life but they give you a total of 18 hours with the charging case. You can use USB-Type-C charging cable to charge the case, and this cable is included (along with six replaceable eartips) in the box. The magnets in the case hold the earphones tight enough in the case, so these don’t fall out easily. The translucent cover lets you see through red charging LED light.
Coming to the features of it, the earbuds get IPX4 rating for water and dust resistance. This way you don’t have to worry about splashes, sweat and dirt. Both earbuds get a single physical button (which i like), and no touch controls have been offered.
Performance, Battery life and How it works
The moment you take these out of the charging case, each earphone tells you about the battery status and pairs up with the last connected/ available device. There’s a button on each earphone which does a different job. The one on the right lets you play, stop, or skip through tracks with single and double click respectively. It also triggers the voice assistant on your phone for easy search query, reminders or making a call.
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On the left earbud, the button with a single click increases the volume gradually on pressing. And to turn the volume down, all you need to do is hold it in a long press. To answer calls, you can use any earphone button and talk using any of it with hands-free calling with built-in mic.
Coming to the call audio quality, the other person could hear occasional ambient noise but it was mostly distortion-free. Also, the audio quality was better than many headsets.
Talking about the performance of these Sony TWS during my review time, I felt the punchy low-end sound was great. These get 12mm drivers with frequency range of 20Hz to 20Khz that are bass-heavy, but they maintained vocal clarity. Even on full volume, there was no distortion whatsoever. In terms of battery life, the earbuds could easily go over 7 hours for me. I kept switching between my phone and TV with these, and there was no problem with the connection. Thanks to the Bluetooth 5.0, the wireless connection with my phone or TV was seamless and it could maintain a good range without disconnection or distortion.
Should you buy?
The WF-XB700 are not the top-of-the-line TWS earbuds from Sony, but nevertheless, these are certainly good ones with rich audio and good bass performance. At Rs 9,990, these wireless earbuds are a good deal as per Sony’s standard and brand value, but otherwise you can look at cheaper alternatives from Chinese smartphone brands, if you want to save some money.
I personally prefer physical control keys, and these provide just that. So, these TWS came close to my ideal choice. Having said that, this might be one of the shortcoming for most people who prefer touch controls over physical keys.
The other good thing about these TWS earbuds is that you get a good battery life, and IPX4 rating ensures that you do not worry about sweat and water damage. Although, I feel Sony could have priced a bit lower considering the wireless technology has gotten cheaper now.