At the moment, Sony has five TWS headphones in the lineup: the most modern model is the WF-XB700, the most flagship is the WF-1000XM3 with noise canceling.
The alignment of forces is extremely simple: at the top of the WF-1000XM3 with noise cancellation and a bunch of functions, in the middle are the sports WF-SP900 with full protection from water and dust, and the new Sony WF-XB700 will play in the budget segment. I tried to get them as quickly as possible and write about them just as quickly.
Sony’s XB series is traditionally dedicated to low frequencies, so you shouldn’t look for leather or velvety plastic that caresses your fingers. Everything is tough! The surface of the case is deliberately rough, the cups are too, but, as for me, this is a cool feature of the model.
Despite the brutal texture, you can see the indicator light for charging through the top cover. The assembly is excellent, the case lid is fixed, the buttons click nicely, the light indicators on the cups and in the case echo each other. The correct work of the designers is visible!
I really like the way the cups are made. They seem to consist of three “terraces”: the main one is visible to the whole world, on the middle one has charging contacts, the bottom one is in contact with the auricle. Channel markings are clearly marked, R is highlighted – you can never go wrong!
Due to such a cunning device, the headphones fit perfectly. The attachments, of course, can be changed, do not forget to choose the size at the beginning of use. There is an interesting feeling that the cups seem to float in the air! Cool. I shake my head vigorously – they stay in place. There seems to be no sweat protection, but no one bothers to use the headphones while jogging or in the gym – I guess they can withstand a lot.
The headphones are available in two colors, this device is black and light blue. I am testing black headphones and would choose this modification for use. They look practical, stylish, nothing more.
The claimed operating time is about nine hours, the case gives one more full charge. Compared to competitors, it seems to be not very long, but think, nine hours. The first AirPods lived for about four hours, and over the past four years, fully wireless earbuds have run times that match regular Bluetooth models of the past. I spent a couple of days with the Sony WF-XB700, listened for three hours during the day – I guess I have enough charge by the end of the week. That is, you don’t think about the working time at all. The charging time of the case is two and a half hours, there is fast charging, in ten minutes of connection we get an hour of listening to music.
When you turn on the headphones for the first time, they are immediately ready to connect; to reconnect, you need to press and hold the buttons on the left and right earcups for seven seconds until the indicator lights start flashing blue twice in a row. I understand that no one reads the instructions, so I decided to talk about this separately.
Bluetooth 5.0 profile, stable connection, no interruptions. There is support for the AAC profile, this is a huge plus for Apple devices, I tested the headphones in tandem with the iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPad Pro, MacBook Pro 16. Reconnection is smooth, the operating range in the office is six to seven meters. In line-of-sight conditions, it can be about ten meters.
When connected, a female voice notifies the charging level. The controls are perfect: the buttons on the cups are clear, you instantly remember the position of your finger, there is a volume control. If you want, you can call the voice assistant, but I know that playback control is more important – and even more important that the buttons are physical, no sensors!
To summarize, these are well-assembled headphones that sit nicely in your ears. Small case. Brutal design, very good build. Honestly, and I’m surprised, I liked it! And even more than the flagship model Sony WF-1000XM3. The only thing is that there is no support for this headphone model in the Sony Headphones program, but what about updates? Unclear.
I re-listened to Michael McCann’s Deus Ex: Human Revolution soundtrack – very well. The XB series, let me remind you, is about bass, but here the low frequencies do not overwhelm the effects, there is a lot of air, volume, and a pleasant emotion. I liked it very much!
I also listened with pleasure to the track Party, this is Victor Solf, look in Apple Music. Here you can see: the master is well prepared, each sound is in its place, everything is cool. Nice work and immediately shows the potential of the headphones. For all the bass direction, the XB-700s keep the midrange alive.
Finally, the third track – I urge you to use all the listed music for the headphone test if you buy it in a store. It will be Emerald Rush (Solomun Remix), great Jon Hopkins, listened to on TIDAL – in maximum quality, great sound, great emotion. I liked it very much.
Everything about the XB700 pleasantly surprised me. The headphones are well made, sound nice, work for about 9 hours, there is support for AAC. There is a shower in the headphones and a lot of some small high-quality details – I just remembered Sony of past years. Sharp controls, cool landing, nothing superfluous, cool sound tuning – I remember my first Sony plugs, bought with a Sony CD player and a pack of discs: Block Rockin ‘Beats screaming, there are three more university courses ahead and, no, I don’t want to go back there , but it’s nice to remember. So buy Sony WF-XB700 for good sound and enjoyable time.