2017 was big for truly wireless earbuds with it coming from smaller companies to the big guns such as Bose and in this case Sony with the WF-1000X. These were announced back at IFA alongside a couple of headphones including the greatly praised WH-1000XM2 which I reviewed and continue to use on the daily. So seeing how splendid those worked it would be a no-brainer Sony’s truly wireless version would be just as good right?

Style

 

The WF-1000X are Sony’s first entry into the truly wireless arena and they are crafted with the usual quality aesthetics you expect from Sony. They are designed to go inside each ear canal with a silicone ear hook to keep them in place. They are light in the ear and pretty comfortable. Additional ear tips and ear hooks are equipped if you need to get that right fit catered to your ears. Each earbud has power on/off buttons to power on them if needed. Most of the time they power on right out of the included carry charging case. You are slated to get 9 hours of total listening time from the case which is essentially 3x as each charge gives you about three hours.

 

Like the earbuds the case is well crafted and has this slight brush metal feel to it. One thing to point out is make sure when putting the earbuds in there they are securely pressed in as I have made the mistake of not pushing them in all the way to click. You can also charge the case itself out the earbuds too.

Features/Sound

In the sound department the WF-1000X are equipped with 6mm drivers in each earbud. They are suited with Bluetooth 4.1 and also offer noise cancelling. There aren’t many truly wireless earbuds let alone earbuds out there providing noise cancelling capabilities in such a small frame. They do sound expressive though soon as you pop them in your ears you can tell the difference. WF-1000X provide a nice amount of bass and clarity while listening to any tunes. I personally have to say they are the best sounding truly wireless earbuds I have tested thus far for audio.

Watching some videos via YouTube and Facebook and other apps I did notice a delay in audio syncing about a 1-2 behind. If you like to watch a ton of video content this may irritate you a bit.

Holding the button on the left will power off the buds. Pressing the left ear one time will activate the “Ambient Sound Control”. I used it time to time on the WH-1000XM2 as well as these and its okay to hear your surroundings. It’s not 100% and I tend to have it off. On the right ear one press will pause music and of course two quick press or three will FF/Rwd. Long pressing the right earbud activates Google Assistant which works whether I ask the weather or my calendar events.

The Sony Connect app is good for accessing the Equalizer on the device and also seeing which audio codec it is using from your smartphone. Also if you want more access to the Adaptive Sound Controls.

Experience

Using the WF-1000X was a mixed bag. Originally charging them up and taking them out the experience was painful. While sounding great I would get them disconnecting or one going out which was indeed unpleasant. I saw there was a firmware update via the app which I saw might alleviate some of the issues I was having. The Sony downloads but transferring to the earbuds was tragic. This was trying to update via a Pixel 2XL, OnePlus 5T, Note 8, and a iPhone 7 Plus. I know I seen some updates work better on others but it would be painfully slow and would eventually fail. I finally got it to update via OnePlus 5T by not letting it ever go to sleep and constantly watching the very slow update.

But once I miraculously got it to 1.0.7 and took them out on a couple of store runs they worked terrific. Experienced just about no hiccups except in one instance and the range was good on them when I would leave my phone on my desk or elsewhere and walk away.

Verdict

Sony has made some pretty great sounding truly wireless earbuds in the WF-1000X. This is if you can get them to update to the latest version. Getting up to update was a pain to say the least and could see consumers wanting to send them back if having to go thru the horrendous slow process. If you can get past all that and get them up to speed they can be an excellent set of buds. Battery life could be better with it giving you an overall nine hours off three charges.

If you are interested in Sony’s WF-1000X Noise Cancelling Truly Wireless Earbuds they are available now for $159.99 in Black or Gold.