This is the review of the comparison between two earbuds from the same brand popular brand and from the same series. The comparison here is between the Sony WF-1000XM3 and the Sony WF-SP700N. There are a day and night difference in their price, and features, which brings the difference in their performance. To know which one is good for you to buy, go to the detailed review.
|Sony WF-1000XM3||Sony WF-SP700N|
|BUY NOW||BUY NOW|
|Active noise cancellation works exceptionally well.|
The audio quality is great.
EQ adjustment allows for musical tweaking.
Battery life is excellent.
|Sounds good for truly wireless headphones.|
Secure in-ear fit.
Frequent fliers may miss a cable option.
No wireless charging.
No on-earbud volume controls.
|Battery life is only OK at 3 hours.|
Low IP rating for gym-focused earphones.
First-gen connectivity dropouts.
|MODEL||SONY WF-1000XM3||SONY WF-SP700N|
|HEADPHONES||SONY WF-1000XM3||SONY WF-SP700N|
|Headphones Form Factor||In-Ear||In-Ear|
|Sound Output Mode||stereo|
|CONNECTIONS||SONY WF-1000XM3||SONY WF-SP700N|
|Type||Bluetooth, USB(power only)||Bluetooth USB|
|Connector Type||USB Type-C||5 pin Micro-USB Type B|
|REMOTE CONTROL||SONY WF-1000XM3||SONY WF-SP700N|
|Audio Controls||Noise-cancellation suspend button|
|Controls||Noise-cancellation suspend button|
|DIMENSIONS & WEIGHT||SONY WF-1000XM3||SONY WF-SP700N|
|Weight||0.6 oz||0.54 oz|
|POWER||SONY WF-1000XM3||SONY WF-SP700N|
|Battery Life||8 hour(s)||3 hour(s)|
|Recharge Time||1.5 hour(s)|
|FEATURES||SONY WF-1000XM3||SONY WF-SP700N|
|Features||Voice assistant function (Google Assistant)|
Industry-leading Digital Noise Cancellation
Sony I Headphones Connect for Android and iOS
|TRULY WIRELESS: Compatible with Apple or Android cell phones, sync using Bluetooth connection & NFC.|
DIGITAL NOISE CANCELING: WF-SP700N headphone set minimizes distractions & noises for crisp listening.
AMBIENT SOUND MODE: Blend music & environmental sounds during fitness sessions or outdoor workouts.
SPLASHPROOF: IPX4 rated to handle sweat or rain splashes when you’re at the gym or outside running.
LONG BATTERY: SP700N has up to 9 hours of playback battery life during workouts or athletic training
The Sony WF-1000XM3 wireless earbuds are arguably some of the best-looking and most exciting wireless earbuds and these particular wireless earbuds were released all the way back in August 2019. These earbuds are retailing for around a hundred and seventy-eight dollars currently on Amazon.
The Sony WF-SP700N is one of the in-ear earbuds from the WF series earbuds from Sony such as the WF-1000XM3. But these don’t look like the 1000XM3. These earbuds are retailing for a budget-friendly price of around ninety dollars on Amazon. For the price, in my opinion, it’s really good and has a unique design and also supports active noise-cancelation.
DESIGN & BUILD QUALITY:
There are actually two capacitive areas over both the earbuds left and right, and you can completely customize them. By default, the right one is for your music playback and stuff, for example, if you tap once on it, it will pause the music, a double-tap will move to the next track, triple tap it if you move to the previous track. It takes a little bit of time to get used but you quickly get used to it.
The left one by default is set to noise cancellation, you can invoke noise cancellation, you can off noise cancellation, and also you switch into an ambient sound mode. The active noise-canceling is complemented by the design of the earbuds themselves. Even without noise-canceling on, they do a really good job of naturally keeping out unwanted noise.
As far as the physical features, first of all, these things do indeed look quite unique, kind of like a bean but it’s much different than most other truly wireless earphones that just simply stick out of your ears. It’s all plastic construction with silicone ear tips, and your wings with the extended part right there to help stabilize the earphones. There is a little circle there on the earbuds that isn’t a button at all but this is where the microphone is located.
As far as the buttons control on these, they are easily identifiable and offers a very clicky response. The right earbud allows you to pause and play with a single press, double taps to skip forward, and triple taps to go back. The left earbud you can cycle through ambient sound, active noise-canceling, and basically leaving everything off you’re listening to your music like a traditional pair of earphones.
These earbuds are IP4 rate meaning they are able to take splashes of water from any direction. This is enough for most people but if you’re looking for something more rugged, the IP5 can take on jet sprays instead of splashes, and IP6 and IP7 can be dropped In my opinion, IP4 is enough for you because even its IP6 then also you should not drop this in the water if you want this sustain for so long. With my testing with splashing water on these, they’re still working perfectly fine.
They are surprisingly really comfortable, and I can have them in for hours until they need charging and still be comfortable. Luckily, Sony gives us a wide choice of ear tips including foam ear tips, so you should be able to find a combination that works for you. Although I found these very secure while start walking I’m not sure that I trust them to stay put whilst running but sadly since these aren’t designed for sports use in mind, they don’t offer any form of sweat or water resistance, which is probably the biggest feature missing from these earbuds.
During my time testing, these Sony 700N tends to be the earphones that you have to kind of push it a little deeper into the ear canal for them to not lose at the seal. They don’t fall out during vigorous movements which is a huge plus and also, they’re stable during running and working out but if you want as much passive noise isolation you can. But taking advantage of ANC at least with my ears, I felt I had to push them quite firmly in, and even at times, they still lose that nice seal that blocks out the world and I did swap out different ear tips as well.
I have to say after using them for at least three to four hours every single day since I got them, they’ve really held their own. Aside from their eye-catching design, their most prominent feature is of course their noise-canceling capabilities, something that was quite difficult to find on truly wireless earphones nearer the time of their release. I’ve tested these out in almost any scenario most people would find themselves in. For example, in the office, on the train, walking through the busy streets.
I was never disappointed in terms of noise cancelation in this. They don’t have the same effect as larger overhead earphones but you’d be surprised just how much background noise it does manage to block out. It doesn’t completely remove louder noises like car horns but it does a really great job of dialing down engine noise from the train, and people talking. It really helps put me into a relaxing bubble of focus and eliminate any distractions around you.
You do actually have the power to change how efficient the noise canceling is through the Sony app. For example, if you need to be more aware of your surroundings, you can slide the noise-canceling all the way down, perfect if you’re going to be crossing roads or need to be aware of your colleagues in the office, or you can slide it up to block out as much sound as possible for when you’re on the train.
I actually have not noticed any lag while watching a movie, the only time it struggles and it stutters is where it’s when I’m in really busy places, it doesn’t do too great there. But when I’m walking to work or just out and about, there’s never any stuttering, there are never any problems with the audio streaming. I’ve been really impressed with the connectivity.
They are not dust and water-resistant, these are not sports headphones they’re not meant for running and they’re not meant to get wet. That being said I have been caught in the rain a few times, and I have actually been to the gym with them and I have been running with them, I probably shouldn’t have done this but from my experience, I haven’t had any issues with it. But if you are going to be doing this do be cautious, and do bear in mind that they are not meant for that, and they are not water-resistant.
Make sure you download the Sony app called Headphones Connect app and there you can control your settings, and there’s a little equalizer on there that does help a bit to tune these the way that you would like. Within the app, you can change that button function that left one on the earbud that is to access Google assistant. With the press, you can get timely notifications and such which is really handy. The Google assistant is not built into the earphones themselves, so you have to have your phone nearby for this feature to work. Also, test this with Siri, and they didn’t do anything at all, unfortunately.
As far as the Bluetooth performance, these earbuds use Bluetooth is 4.1, we don’t even get Bluetooth 4.2. You can listen to one earbud at a time while leaving the other one distant away, basically. I’m getting about 85% coverage in general with the Bluetooth performance on both of these earbuds, which is not bad but competitors are getting about five to ten more feet in the distance before this signal starts to cut out, and they do have Bluetooth 4.2 at least and some of them with Bluetooth 5.0. By testing this on video though, YouTube played perfectly fine on my Samsung S8+ but on my iPhone, it was completely off sync. Testing Netflix both Samsung and Apple phones played perfectly in sync kind of surprising for Bluetooth 4.1. In addition, I did confirm you can pair this to more than one device at a time. For that go into your Bluetooth menu and click or tap on the earphones, and it’ll switch over.
Testing active noise-canceling and is one of the main reasons why I wanted to test these besides the audio performance. At first, being upfront here it didn’t sound too impressive since passive noise isolation seemed to be doing most of the work. There was a slight improvement but nothing major and very initial first impressions, and on the second day and wearing them all day, wearing them everywhere, I can appreciate this a little bit more. Especially, outdoors this does cut out a lot of the airiness around you, cars driving by, the sound of just how open maybe a park is, etc.
Going indoors, the air conditioner is cut down a bit here as well you don’t hear that whooshing noise with people who speak you’re nearby especially, at a coffee shop where it can be loud at times at certain locations there’s slight suppression but I can still hear conversations. Anything loud in general that they have doesn’t sound to have been canceled or even some frequencies don’t sound to be canceled at all. The ANC does work and it does offer something more than what passive noise isolation alone offers, just don’t come into this thinking that this was life-changing like the Sony 1000XM3 headphones. Coming to this expecting moderate levels of sound cancellation with the ear tips doing most of the work, and it works the best with softer sounding areas but keep in mind you still have a weird hiss going on there as well.
BATTERY AND ITS LIFE:
One of the biggest questions you might have if you’re looking to buy a pair of wireless earphones is what’s the battery life. Sony claims these last for six and a half hours, I personally probably get longer out of them really because the case charges the earphones that fast, that you never really notice them running out of charge it’s only very very rarely but I notice them run completely dry and even if they do, I only need to put them back in their case for 15 minutes. This uses USB Type-C which is pretty much the norm nowadays but there is no wireless charging with these.
As far as the battery life on these, these are rated at a low three hours of performance per charge with an additional six hours from the case, giving you a total of nine hours. To give you some perspective four to five hours per charge is normal and for total use, the average is usually around 12 to 15 hours. Sony falls short in this area and with my test, I did this twice once without ambient sound or ANC on strictly passive noise isolation just like any other pair of earphones and I got 2 hours and 44 minutes.
With ANC on at 50% volume until it died, I got 2 hours and 26 minutes, this does feel quite short if you’re intending on wearing these for long walks or simply worried them at the office. In order to charge these, you have to slide the earbuds in at a certain angle and also press it down to ensure contact and charging which is simply not as intuitive as some of the competitors.
Aside from being great for listening to music, these earphones can actually make and receive calls with the help of its built-in microphone but that does bring me back to my only drawback of these earphones. In my opinion, they’re not really great at making and receiving calls, the microphone is okay at best. They don’t do too bad in a quiet environment but they do struggle when you’re in a noisier place such as the city.
When you’re on the phone it sounds like you’re in a tunnel or maybe even underwater. I don’t really know how to describe it but there’s some really strange background noise. A few people I’ve been on the phone call, have always complained that they can’t really hear me, so I usually disconnect the earphones and then call them back, I guess it is circumstantial and depends where you are. But certainly, when you’re walking alongside the road, you cannot have a decent phone call, so something to bear in mind if you were looking for that feature.
With ambient sound, the Sony SP 700N turns on the built-in microphones and lets your environment kind of basically be pumped in, perfect for running safely or when you want to hear what’s going on around you. When I tested this Sony did a great job with audio not being too amplified and everything’s sounding very natural. The only downside though I do hear this slight hiss when I don’t have music playing. If I turn off ambient sound control, it does go away not a big deal but just not a clean sound.
As far as the phone call performance with their microphones and these are really good. My voice comes across as very clear and natural, no echoes heard at all here. There is some background noise being picked up but most speakerphones do that already. But when using this for phone calls, it’s only played through the left earbud and ambient sound does automatically turn on, so that way it sounds like you’re isolated and that you’re not shouting out in public.
In terms of actual sound quality, they’re actually pretty good especially, considering their size. They offer really rich bass and that paired with the active noise canceling really does give you a really immersive experience. Although these are great for listening to music, they’re not the best for watching movies. I’ve noticed more times than one, the audio is slightly behind the picture. Not so much that it’s annoying but it is something to bear in mind if that is going to be your primary use for these. It is something to be expected from truly wireless earphones though or at least it was a year ago.
These earbuds are nice and loud, at fifty to sixty percent in volume the 700N is capable of getting you grooving to your music. Any higher the sound quality does become a little too aggressive, some might not, some may, some with more sensitive ears will experience a little listening fatigue, listening to those higher volumes. The bass is really nice with punchy lows, we’re not touching sub based levels but there’s a nice thumb, enough depth to make most genres enjoyable especially, pop and EDM enough for hip hop. For bass-heavy songs, there isn’t muddiness experience in the vocals that’s a plus but the bass does ever so slightly overshadow the vocals just by a bit, just by a little smidge but for the most part, the mid-range is present. Clear audio separation is very much present with these earphones, and voice is standing more so in the forefront versus the beats going on in the background.
I never did notice the mid-range being recessed or dull and never too bright either. There’s not even really bright, this slight wordiness is a nice touch, and gives the audio a bit more dimension in the audio experience. The high frequencies are played safe here so that sharp high plucks and strings are as sharp or detail as much as I was hoping for but I wish there was a bit more sparkle up there. Same with soundstage, I wish it was slightly wider or bigger but it’s hard to an experienced soundstage in truly wireless earphones for some reason.
WHICH TO BUY?
In my opinion, you should buy the Sony WF-1000XM3 because it’s definitely much better than the Sony WF-SP700N. I’m actually really impressed with the XM3, they fit my lifestyle just perfectly, and because I spend so much time commuting on the train or either walking through, they do the job just fine. The sound quality is excellent and that noise canceling is just amazing which is not the case in the 700N.
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