Sony headphones are famous for their quality sound and cool features, especially when we look at their most advanced and expensive models. Now, it has launched here in Brazil three new devices very different from each other, each one for a specific type of use.
The WH-CH710N is a supra-auricular headphone, those around your ear. It is Bluetooth, but also works with cable, has a battery for days of use and comes with active noise cancellation. The WI-SP510, on the other hand, is also Bluetooth, but it has a string that attaches the two headphones to a kind of necklace and was made for use during heavy sports – and is even washable.
Finally, the WF-XB700 was made for those who want the practicality of a true wireless headset with good sound and strong basses, and that still has resistance to liquids. We spent two weeks testing the three models, so check out the details now!
Designed for all tastes
Starting with design, the WH-CH710N it’s very comfortable to use. Both the shells and the cushion inside the handle are soft and covered with a synthetic leather that does not heat up even with a long time of use. I was able to spend hours using it without bothering myself, and the stem length and shell tilt adjustments help with that too. This type of “leather” has a reputation for peeling, but that only the prolonged use of months would show.
The body is made of a rigid plastic that doesn’t seem to be the toughest thing in the world and I didn’t want to force it to test. The shells rotate to the side to take up less space when storing, but as it has no hinges and does not come with a case, I would worry about leaving it in a backpack with other things. The ideal is to use more indoors, such as at home or at work, otherwise you will have to hang it around your neck when you are on the street, which is not ideal – especially on rainy days. It has no water resistance.
Moving now to the WI-SP510. It has a flexible rubberized rod connecting two plastic tips, and the wires for the headphones actually come out of them. A highlight here is that it is very light and with a smooth texture, which makes it comfortable to wear around your neck. This is important to note because I had a huge prejudice with this type of phone. I thought it was going to be uncomfortable, but it isn’t.
At the tip, it comes with the intrauricular rubber and a flexible rod that fits very well inside the ear without disturbing – here it is a good test all sizes that come in the box to find the perfect fit for you, which makes it very firm during the exercises. It also has no case, but as it is light, you can use it as a prop and you end up forgetting that it is there.
It is possible to attach the two ends together with the magnet they have, if you don’t like them swinging. It is IP-X5 certified for water resistance, so it can withstand sweat and rain, and you can even wash it with pure water under a tap, as long as you don’t use soap or other chemical materials – and keep an eye out to make sure The USB port cover of the phone is securely closed before washing to prevent damage.
About the WF-XB700, the first impression when we take the hand is that it is too big for a true wireless phone. However, the truth is that the design was well thought out, and when you put both sides on your ear and swivel backwards, they fit extremely well. Of all the headphones of the type I have tested to date, this one has the best seal when it is attached, even more after testing the erasers of the tips that are in the box to find the right size.
The only part of them that is visible is this dark blue exterior, which is not very flashy. The result is that he is not as discreet as his main rivals, but he is firmer than most. In addition, the two sides are made of plastic and are IP-X4 certified. That is, you cannot wash, but you can sweat and take a little rain without problems as long as you dry the headphones before storing.
In fact, it comes with a plastic case that also serves as a recharging base and extra battery. The hinge of the cover has a firmness that feels good, but the plastic of the case is not as secure. This case is light and small enough to fit in your pocket without much hassle, but it would be better if it were a little smaller.
The three models come with Bluetooth 5.0 and support for SBC or AAC codecs. To pair the first time, just plug in the headphones and hold the power button for 7 seconds to enter pairing mode. In the CH710N phone, this power and pairing button is alone in the left shell, and in the SP510 it is the middle key on the left side, which has high relief. These keys also serve to turn off these two headphones by holding for 2 seconds. On the XB700, to turn it on and off, just take it out and put it on the case, and to enter pairing mode you have to hold the buttons on both headphones at the same time.
The CH710N has the advantage of being the only model of the three with the option of connecting via the removable P2 cable that comes in the box. It also has NFC, which facilitates pairing with compatible devices: just touch the device to the symbol on the left side of the phone and it immediately turns on and connects.
The headphones can maintain a stable connection up to 10 meters away, as long as there are no obstacles in the way. The problem is that your own arm can often be an obstacle, which is a major nuisance during exercise. The headphones don’t get disconnected in these cases, but they can end up chewing a few seconds of your music. In addition, it is worth remembering that bluetooth headphones in general usually suffer from slight sound delays, especially during games. This is valid for the three headsets, but at least on the CH710N you can use the P2 cable when playing to avoid this problem.
100% physical controls
Controls are all via physical buttons on the three headphones, but how they work varies. On the CH710N the buttons are on the right side, and with the middle key you can tap to answer and end calls or to play and pause songs and videos. Two touches skip to the next track and three go back to the previous one. If paired on a smartphone, holding the middle button for 2 seconds activates the Assistant’s voice commands. The keys on the side are used to increase and decrease the volume and the more separate button is used to switch with one touch between the noise canceling mode, the mode that makes the ambient sound be picked up and played by the headset and the mode in which these two functions are turned off.
On the SP510, the buttons basically do the same things with the same commands, with the difference that, since the middle button is used to turn off the phone if you hold it, the activation of the cell phone assistant is done by giving two quick touches on it key. Because of that, to move to the next track you have to hold the button that increases the volume for a second and a half, and to go back to the previous one you do the same thing on the button that decreases the volume.
The XB700, which only has one button on each phone, is the most different of all. With a touch, the button on the right side answers and ends calls and plays and pauses the videos. Two quick touches change tracks and three come back, and a long press activates your phone’s Voice Assistant. The button on the left is only used to control the volume, and then each time you press it, it increases a little, but to decrease it is necessary to hold for a few seconds and keep it held down – in other words, it is faster to increase the volume than decrease.
Sound and silence
Speaking now of the sound quality, this is a point where Sony has been doing very well for a long time, and this remains true here. The CH710N has a more balanced profile, transmitting a clear sound in both the treble, mid and bass. The SP510 and XB700 use the company’s Extra Bass technology to give that enhanced bass, but also deliver a cool experience in the other tones. In any case, none of them are the type that would please the most purist audiophiles.
In terms of insulation, the best of the three is the CH710N because of active noise cancellation. As he covers his ears, he already has some sound insulation, but with this function on he uses the microphones to detect constant noise around him and eliminate it. This doesn’t work much for irregular sounds, like when someone is talking loudly close to you or when something glass falls and breaks, but for more constant noises like cars and fans, it works well. Turning on a song, then its sound isolation is very difficult to break.
The other two headphones do not have active noise cancellation. At this point, the XB700 isolates the external sound a little more because the seal on your ear is also better, since the SP510 has a seal similar to that of an ordinary earphone.
The batteries also have different proposals. The CH710N offers up to 35 hours of sound with noise cancellation enabled. It is difficult to measure this precisely because even without hanging up and using it every day during work hours, I didn’t listen to music or watch videos all the time. Still, it took me over a week and a half to end his battery.
The SP510 promises 15 hours of battery life, and training three times a week for those two weeks, with each training session lasting an average of 1 hour and 45 minutes – about 10.5 hours of use in total -, it still charged 30% of energy left, then the 15 hour estimate checks. The XB700 promises 9 hours of use only with the power of the headphones and 9 more hours with the extra battery of the case allowing the headphones to recharge inside it for 2.5 hours. Using during my free time, more or less 1 hour a day – which is just over 14 hours in two weeks -, I still haven’t had to recharge, so the promised 18 hours in total seem plausible.
And for recharging? None of the three supports wireless charging, so you need to use the USB-C cable that comes in the box, connected to a standard USB port on a computer or to a power outlet plug you have. In the case of the CH710N and the XB700, Sony promises 1 hour of use with 10 minutes of recharge, but to charge 100% of the big one you will need about 7 hours – that is, you have to leave it charging the whole day of work or turning over in the evening. The case of the little one needs 3 hours to recharge if it is only his battery that is zeroed, and 6 hours in total if that includes the headphones. The SP510, in turn, needs 3 hours to go from zero to 100%.
The WH-CH710N is officially leaving for R $ 799.99 on Sony’s official website, which puts it in a price range that is not cheap, but that can attract those who are not willing to spend more than R $ 1,000 in a noise-canceling headset and is willing to invest more than the price of cheaper rivals to have the quality of Sony technology. It is not perfect, especially in the materials, but it is a good phone.
The WI-SP510 arrives at a cost of R $ 499.99, which is a very high price for headphones in this category. The WI-C200, from Sony itself, delivers a similar experience with the same battery life and you can find it for R $ 169 in online retailers. Then, you really have to insist on the improved design and the extra fixation of his rubber to think about buying at that price.
The WF-XB700 arrives for R $ 999.99, but at launch it has a promotion for R $ 899.99 on the Sony website. It is expensive, without a doubt. For more or less the same price, you find Samsung’s Galaxy Buds +, which are more discreet, a little more versatile in functions and have a better battery in total, but have slightly weaker bass. Neither is the best cost-effective option for true wireless headsets, but the dispute between them is good, so it’s more for personal taste.
So, what did you think of the new Sony headphones? Is there a model from another brand that you think is much better for any of these categories? Leave your arguments in the comments below!