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Sony WF-XB700 review: these wireless headphones do without luxuries to put focus where it matters most; in the sound

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Brian Adam
Professional Blogger, V logger, traveler and explorer of new horizons.
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Sony WF-XB700 review: these wireless headphones do without luxuries to put focus where it matters most; in the sound

These True Wireless headphones are not luxurious. They also have no noise cancellation. And its interface is not tactile. Even so, they have no complex. Sony has several options that offer us these and other benefits, such as the WF-1000XM3, but they compete in a league to which the headphones to which we are going to dedicate this analysis do not aspire.

The absence of the features I just mentioned seems to indicate that there is a chasm between these WF-XB700 and the most advanced wireless in-ear headphones Sony currently has, but it is not. Its autonomy, its ergonomics, and, above all, its sound quality they rival from you to you with those of many of the completely wireless models that we can currently find in stores with a significantly higher price. And we’re just scratching the surface. In their segment, these headphones promise. And a lot. So it has been in our test bench.

 

The reason why Sony engineers have decided to resort to a speaker with such a generous size (it is even larger than that mounted by the most expensive and luxurious WF-1000XM3 of this same brand) is none other than extend your response in frequency “under”. Extend the extent of its low end. Later we will check if it reproduces the low frequencies with the punch that reflect its specifications.

These in-ear headphones incorporate a 12mm diaphragm with one purpose: to extend your frequency response to deliver punchy bass

In the description of these headphones Sony does not reveal what material has been used in the manufacture of the diaphragm and the coil, but we can be reasonably sure that the latter element does not use CCAW (Copper-Clad Aluminum Wire), an aluminum core wire covered by a copper sheath that has very interesting electrical properties. Had Sony used this material, it would have indicated it in the specifications of these headphones, as it does in its high-end models that use it. What we do know is that the magnet, as expected in quality headphones, it’s neodymium, a chemical element that stands out for the great intensity of the magnetic field it originates.

Wf Xb700 case

A feature of this Sony proposal that may be interesting for users who practice sports with their headphones is that have IPX4 certification, so they easily withstand both sweat and splashes. Of course, it is important to keep in mind that they are not strictly sporting in-ear headphones. Their fixing system allows them to be used while practising moderate-intensity physical activity both in the gym and on the street, but they are not suitable for running or mountain biking, among other activities that may require us to carry out sudden movements.

SONY WF-XB700 characteristics
HEADPHONE TYPE Fully electrodynamic and closed-ear (True Wireless) in-ear headphones
SPEAKER 12mm diaphragm
MAGNET Neodymium
FREQUENCY RESPONSE 20 Hz to 20 kHz
BLUETOOTH VERSION 5.0
EFFECTIVE SCOPE 10 m
BLUETOOTH PROFILES A2DP, AVRCP, HFP and HSP
COMPATIBLE AUDIO FORMATS SBC and AAC
WATERPROOF IPX4
HEADPHONE WEIGHT 2 x 8 g
WEIGHT OF CHARGING CASE 46 g
PRICE 129.90 euros

Finish and ergonomics: bulky, but fit like a glove

Sony has designed these headphones to compete in the mid-range, and doing so with guarantees requires keeping their price under control. This is why, as I anticipated in the article title, the WF-XB700 dispenses with, among other things, a luxurious finish. In its enclosure we will not find the aluminium that some high-end models offer us; both earphones and charging case they are polycarbonate, which has undoubtedly allowed Sony to place them in stores at a more competitive price.

The touch interface has been replaced by a button that allows us to act on playback and volume, as well as answer calls

However, this is not the only concession that places these in-ear headphones in the mid-range and one step behind the most ambitious models that Sony has in its catalogue. They also dispense with touch control but incorporate a button to which we can resort to adjust the volume, act on the playback, access the voice assistant of our smartphone and answer calls. Everything we would do using the touch interface on these headphones we will carry out by pressing this button once or several times and for a more or less long time.

On the other hand, the enclosure of each earpiece is bulky, but since it is made entirely of plastic, its weight does not represent a problem at all (each unit weighs 8 g). Fortunately, where Sony has not made any cut has been in terms of ergonomics. In fact, the coupling of these headphones inside our ear is even more stable than what this brand has implemented in the much more expensive WF-1000XM3. If we choose the appropriate silicone pads (in the package four couples come different sizes) will fit into our ear pads like a glove and we can use them during long listening sessions without mechanical fatigue.

Wf Xb700ergonomia

Sound quality and autonomy

Before going any further, an important note: these headphones do not have noise cancellation. This is another of the concessions that Sony has decided to introduce in this model to be able to offer these headphones at a more content price. Of course, if we choose the right silicone pads, the ones that best fit our external ear hole, we can achieve a reasonably high level of isolation from environmental noise. And, as I mentioned a few lines above, also a very successful comfort level.

These headphones are not noise cancelling, but if we choose the right silicone earpads we can achieve reasonably high levels of ambient noise insulation and comfort

On the other hand, to test its sound quality I turned to Poweramp, a free music player for Android that offers us the flexibility, versatility and level of control we need for our tests. Here you have the complete list of music cuts that we have used in our test bench. We have chosen these themes above all for the high quality of the recording and the sound recording, although we have also tried to have the widest range of musical genres possible represented:

  • Mar Stir it up ’, by Bob Marley (FLAC 24 bits and 96 kHz)
  • Make You make me feel like a natural woman ’, by Susan Wong (FLAC 24 bits and 96 kHz)
  • Kno Redbud tree ’by Mark Knopfler (FLAC 24 bits and 96 kHz)
  • ‘Autumn in Seattle’, by Tsuyoshi Yamamoto Trio (PCM 16 bits and 44.1 kHz)
  • ‘Spanish Harlem’ by Rebecca Pidgeon (16-bit PCM and 44.1 kHz)
  • ’You’ve got a friend’, by Susan Wong (FLAC 24 bits and 96 kHz)
  • Ag Wasted time ’, by Eagles (PCM 16 bits and 44.1 kHz)
  • ‘Vivaldi – Flute concerto in D’, Chesky Records (PCM 16 bit and 44.1 kHz)
  • Ugh Stimela ’, by Hugh Masekela (PCM 16 bits and 44.1 kHz)
  • Stra Lush life ’, by Billy Strayhorn (FLAC 24 bits and 96 kHz)
  • ‘Afro blue’, by Mongo Santamaria (FLAC 24 bits and 96 kHz)
  • ‘April in Paris’, by Duke / Harburg (FLAC 24 bits and 96 kHz)
  • Jones No sanctuary here ’, by Chris Jones (FLAC 24 bits and 44.1 kHz)
  • ‘Under the boardwalk’, by Mighty Echoes (PCM 16 bits and 44.1 kHz)
Wf Xb700 quality

The sound of these headphones stands out, above all, for the extension of their subjective frequency response. Their highs are detailed and quite incisive, but at high sound pressure levels they can be a bit aggressive. This behavior I have perceived especially with the sound of the drums in some recordings of rock progressive and metal that I have not included in the reference selection that I have just listed because they do not stand out for the quality of their sound take. Of course, the mid-range, and especially the voices, restores it with a richness and warmth typical of more expensive headphones.

These headphones give us the best of themselves with ‘rock’ and ‘heavy’ thanks to their forceful low end

When it comes to the extreme, Sony engineers have had their way: these headphones have a serious blunt. With a lot of punch. There’s no question that the size of the diaphragm and the fine-tuning that comes from the factory helps them go over the bottom of the audible frequency spectrum. But, in my opinion, this bias comes at a price: These headphones don’t feel equally comfortable with all genres of music. The meatiness of its mid-range helps them to perform well with the pop and the jazz vocal, and its low end matches the rock and the heavy, but with other genres, such as classical music, the reggae or ethnic music, do not match the performance of other headphones that propose a flatter subjective frequency response curve.

On the other hand, although they do not have noise cancellation, the experience they offer us during calls is not bad. The microphone integrated in the enclosure of each earphone has the necessary sensitivity to collect our voice effectively, so the calls will only be somewhat uncomfortable when we make them from the street in the presence of a lot of ambient noise or a strong wind.

Finally, we cannot overlook what is undoubtedly the Achilles heel of many wireless headphones: their autonomy. The one proposed by this model is conditioned by the level of sound pressure with which we like to listen to our music, and also by the time we spend on calls. In any case, with a moderate volume to protect the health of our ears and without phone calls, autonomy fluctuates between 8 and 9 hours. In addition, the charging case allows us to replace the full charge of the headphones once, so that when they work in tandem they manage to offer us between 16 and 18 hours of total autonomy without having to connect the charging base to a computer or a transformer. feeding. It is not but nothing wrong.

Sony WF-XB700: Xataka’s opinion and note

These are not off-road headphones. AND they don’t pretend to be. The absence of noise cancellation technology does not allow them to offer us the best possible experience in spaces where there is a lot of ambient noise. Also, they feel more comfortable with it rock and the heavy than with other calmer musical genres in which it is preferable that the low end does not prevail with such forcefulness. Nor do they have a particularly robust construction, and they do not allow us to use the app that Sony makes available to us along with other more ambitious models to allow us to equalize the sound to our liking. These shortcomings can cause some users to dismiss them, but their strengths are consistent enough for us to take them into account if we can do without noise cancellation and our budget is tight.

In their favor they have a very careful ergonomics that allows us to use them in prolonged listening sessions without hardly suffering mechanical stress. In addition, its design allows that when we use them with the appropriate silicone pads, the coupling with our external ear hole is optimal. And, as I have already mentioned several times, its sound will dazzle fans of rock, he heavy and other musical genres that appreciate a robust bass. But this is not all. Its autonomy rivals you to you with that of the best high-end fully wireless models that we have analyzed, which are significantly more expensive than these WF-XB700, such as the WF-1000XM3 of Sony itself or the EAH-AZ70W of Technics. They are not the best equipped in-ear headphones on the market, but at their price level they promise to give a lot of war. Not bad as a cover letter, right?

Wf Xb700opinion

8

Design7.5
Sound quality7
Ergonomics9
User experience7.5
Autonomy9

In favor

  • Its powerful bass allows them to perform very well with rock and heavy, among other musical genres.
  • Its ergonomics is on the same level as that of other significantly more expensive top-end models
  • They offer us up to 9 hours of autonomy, which become 18 hours if we use the charging case

Against

  • They have no noise cancellation, and no touch interface, which will cause some users to dismiss them
  • Their subjective frequency response is not flat, so they do not perform the same with all musical genres
  • They do not incorporate an app that allows us to equalize the sound to our liking

 

This product has been released for testing by Sony. Can inquire our policy of relationships with enterprises.

 

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