Sony has launched its own pair of fully wireless earphones, the WF-1000X. Like it’s older sibling, the MDR-1000X, the WF-1000X feature active noise cancellation and also have a couple of new tricks up its sleeve.
The earphones are completely wireless and come with a carrying case that also charge the individual earphones. The earphones turn on automatically when you take them out of the case. While the pairing process wont be as simple on the AirPods, the presence of NFC will make things a bit easier.
The WF-1000X feature active noise cancellation. Like the MDR-1000X, you can turn on the ambient mode that lets you filter in outside sound so you can hear temporarily listen to whats going on around you. There is also a mode that will just let you hear voices around you.
One new addition is Smart Listening. This works with the app on your phone to figure out what you are doing. While you are traveling in a vehicle, the app will minimize background sounds and voices and focus on the audio. When you are walking, it will increase the background sounds so you can listen to your surroundings. When you are standing or sitting it can turn up the voices so you hear people or important announcements around you. Of course, you can take control of the app and adjust things manually as well or switch this off entirely.
The WF-1000X has a battery life of 3 hours with the active noise cancelling on and 9 hours if you charge them with the case. In comparison, the AirPods last for 5 hours on their own and 24 hours with the charge from the case.
The WF-1000X is priced at $199, which is more than the $159 you pay for AirPods but with none of the convenience, smart gestures and battery life. What you do get is active noise cancellation, however, and if thats your priority or if you have an Android device, this might be a good option.