Sony Noise Cancelling True Wireless Headphones 1000X Review

Sony Noise Cancelling True Wireless Headphones 1000X Review
8.2 Total Score

$86.69 $199.99

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  • Noise cancellation technology
  • You can choose to allow ambient sounds in
  • Very good sound quality

Features

You can think of these earbuds as Apple AirPods with Active Noise Cancelling technology. While I’m usually not a big fan of earbuds that seal into your ear canal (since it can block the sound of traffic), these Sony earbuds have a setting that allow ambient sound to come in. In fact, there are 3 settings:

  • Block all outside sounds (ideal for airplanes and travel)
  • Block all sound except voice (ideal for waiting on an announcement)
  • Allow ambient sounds (ideal for walking outside)

So you can set these earbuds to actively block all outside sounds (similar to the Bose QuietComfort 35) or you can set them to be more open like the Apple AirPods.

The earbuds automatically turn on when you remove them from the charging case, then turn off when your place them back into the charging case.

Each earbud has one button. When listening to music, press the button on the right earbud to play and pause or answer an incoming phone call. Double-tapping the button will skip forward a track, while triple tapping the button will rewind the current track.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to adjust the volume directly with the earbuds. The manual suggests using your phone’s volume controls instead.

The XF-1000X earbuds are not geared towards working out and feature no water resistance rating.

Design

Unlike the AirPods that “hang down” from your ear, the Sony XF-1000X stick out from my ear a little more than I was expecting. To put them in, you point them down, press them into your ear, then twist them up so the translucent end points towards the front of your face. This allows the wing tip to tuck behind your ear fold and secure them in place.

While I like the overall design of the earbuds, I did notice that both the left and right earbuds will occasionally blink a blue LED at different times. This doesn’t really bother me, but I imagine it must look silly to someone sitting in front of me. Luckily, no airplanes have confused my head as a landing strip… yet.

Sound Quality

Sound quality on the Sony XF-1000X is very good. I would probably rate it about the same as PowerBeats 2. Bass is good and mids and highs come through clear. If you want more bass, you can use the Sony Connect app to increase it as well as choose from several other EQ presets.

The noise cancellation feature is effective, but not quite as effective as the Bose QuietComfort 35. It will reduce the hum of an airplane or a fan near your head, but you still know it is there. Still, the noise cancellation feature allows you to keep the volume at a lower, more comfortable level when in a noisy environment, so you don’t need to crank up the music to drown out the noises around.

Bluetooth Connection

Unfortunately, I’ve noticed occasional disconnects with the right earbud.  This issue seems to occur more frequently outside and when carrying the phone in my pocket.  Sony has released new firmware to help with this issue, but it still occurs from time to time.

Battery Life

The Sony XF-1000X earbuds last about 3 hours per charge. The charging case also has a built-in battery and provides about 2 additional charges, giving you up to 9 hours of total listening time, just enough to get you through the work day. If you’re in a hurry, a 15 minute charge will get you 75 minutes of listening time.

The charging case uses a standard Micro USB port to recharge. While a Micro USB cable is included in the package, an AC wall outlet adapter is not. However, you can use a computer USB port or your phone’s USB charger to recharge the case. Make sure you do not misplace the charging case as it is not possible to charge the earbuds without it.

8.2 Total Score

Overall, the Sony XF-1000X are a more portable and less expensive alternative to the Bose QuietComfort 35s. While not quite as effective in active noise cancellation technology, the XF-1000X are a lot smaller and can easily fit in your pocket. The XF-1000X also give you the option of allowing in more ambient sounds so you can still be aware of what is going on around you. The charging case gives you up to 9 hours of total play time. Unfortunately, disconnects between the left and right earbuds occur from time to time, especially outside.

Sound Quality
8.7
Design
8.5
Features
9
Bluetooth Connection
6.7
Battery Life
8
PROS
  • Noise cancellation technology
  • You can choose to allow ambient sounds in
  • Very good sound quality
CONS
  • Occasional connection problems with the right earbud
  • Not waterproof nor sweatproof; cannot be used to working out

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