The Sony WF-SP800N are the new true wireless headphones from Sony with active noise reduction. Do they deserve, however, that you invest almost 200 dollars to acquire it? Overview and full Review of the new headphones from the Japanese brand.
The fashion for true wireless headphones has not yet ended in the audio world. With this model, Sony offers an evolution of its SP700N, which already had a certain success. The new model is still designed for sports, but has many changes. If the Sony WF-SP800N confirm the status of the company in the audio field, they are not the best of the brand, which are rather the WF-1000XM3 in the field of true wireless as shown in our Comparison of the best wireless headphones 2020. However, for a more affordable model, they offer real advantages as we have seen from use. Here are the results of our Review to encourage you to really consider these true wireless headphones who offer an over-the-ear arch system for support.
What differences with the previous model SP700N?
If you owned the SP700N, you are probably wondering about the first essential question, what do these new WF-SP800N headphones bring?
- The first essential change concerns style. We are on a much more refined model. When we take it in hand, we realize that Sony wanted to move away from the impression that the previous ones could give, of being headphones only oriented towards the sporting practice. If this is still the trend that emerges, the whole is more stylized. Goodbye also the garish yellow model which was a little too “bright” for our taste. Here we are definitely on a more mature model from Sony which shows that the company is able to compromise between high-end and sport.
- Sony also abandons the big buttons in favor of a touch surface to adjust the settings.
- Protection against humidity, sweat and dust, with its Protection Index IP55, the new Sony headphones are significantly better than the SP700N and their IPX4.
- At the level ofautonomy, the difference between the two models is also obvious. The WF-SP800N gave us about 8:30 hours of use on a single charge when the Active Noise Reduction (RBA) was activated and about 13 hours in single music listening. Its predecessor did not exceed 3 hours when the RBA function was used.
Sony WF-SP800N Truly Wireless Sports in-Ear Noise Canceling Headphones with mic for Phone Call and Alexa Voice Control, Blue
Rise above the noise with the WF-SP800N wireless noise canceling sport earbuds, complete with IP55 sweat resistance, long battery life, and deep, punchy EXTRA BASS sound that gives you the boost you need to finish through any workout. A wide array of smart features will have you wearing them all...
I'm an earbud geek, probably a product of both working out frequently (running + cycling) and from working at home while wrangling small kids. I've primarily used a pair of truly wireless Jaybird Vista earbuds as my favorite blend of good for workouts plus 'good enough' for phone calls for the last year... though I also have a pair of Bose wired earbuds (SoundSport), Bowers & Wilkins P13 wired earbuds, plus a few much cheaper off brand pairs that I'll sometimes grab for phone calls. These Sony WF-SP800N are my new favorite earbuds across the board.SETUP & SONY APP: Fine -- but nothing to write home about. I initially followed the instructions which tells you to open the Sony Headphone app and pair the earbuds there, but while the app saw the earbuds, it gave an error trying to pair them to my phone. Ignoring the instructions and just pairing them the normal way through my phone's bluetooth setting worked immediately and the connection since has been very strong (no drops, and good consistent connection even when I leave my phone downstairs and go upstairs to grab something). Overall the Sony app is ok; it allows for some sound mix customization and has more features than the Jaybird earbud app, but that's a low bar (the Jaybird app is truly bad). The one feature in the Sony app is that's particularly cool is that you can set a baseline amount of ambient noise for different activities: sitting, walking, running, and commute. Since I have young (read: noisy) kids at home, I put the ambient sound control level higher than the usual default for sitting. You do have to enable location detection in order for the earbuds to decide whether you're sitting/running/etc -- or at a location like the gym where you can also specify custom setting by location -- so for those with privacy concerns, you might turn off location detection and thus lose those features. One slight knock on these earbuds is that you can pair bluetooth to multiple devices, but you have to manually switch connections so there isn't a multi-point connection option.CONTROLS: Mostly very good. I love that the left and right earbuds can be independently set to cover different areas of control, i.e. as an example you can set one earbud to switch between Ambient Sound Control on/off and Noise Cancelling on/off while the other earbud controls music (pause, forward, back, etc). Besides being able to choose separate controls for each earbud, there are also a lot of types of controls you can assign through the app: Ambient Sound Control, Playback Control, Volume Control, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, or none. The only thing that keeps these from being excellent is a personal preference, but it annoys me a bit that the controls are activated by brushing your finger on the earbud's control area, you don't actually push a button in. Once in awhile if I adjust my long hair to be out of my face or to pull it back, or am sweaty during exercise and towel off my face, my hands will brush the earbuds and trigger the controls. Not a deal breaker for me since it doesn't happen often, but it's one area where I prefer my Jaybird Vistas since they have an actual button you depress to trigger the controls. There are also a couple default controls that I found a little annoying and turned off in the app: example, if you remove an earbud it pauses the music automatically. All of those features are easy to turn on/off in the app though, so overall the flexibility of controls is excellent, with the control sensitivity being the only "un-fixable" annoyance.SOUND: The sound on these Sony earbuds is excellent overall and fantastic when compared to other truly wireless earbuds. They're nearly as good as a pair of over-ear Master & Dynamic MW65 earphones we have that are much more expensive ($499). I don't think any wireless earbuds can truly best over-ear headphones, but these come close. I thought the sound on my Jaybird Vistas was very good, but the Sonys have a better sound blend and also enable you to simply hear better because of the Ambient & Noise Cancelling features (neither of which the Jaybird Vistas have). The Noise Cancelling is excellent for earbuds, but it isn't perfect; if you're frequently on an airplane and want super strong noise cancelling, then I'd recommend some other options for over-ear headphones (or some of the wired earbuds like Bowers & Wilkins PI3 which is a similar price point to these Sonys; the noise cancelling is better on the B&W, but they have heavy cord controls and don't work at all for exercise). For wireless earbuds that pair functionality with overall excellent sound, the Sonys are the best I've come across. Phone calls also have very good sound, and I've had zero issues with dropped calls so far.COMFORT & BATTERY: I love the fit of these. My ears do best with earfins, which Jaybird Vista also has. This might not be for everyone, but it's the only type I've found that will stay flawlessly in my ears during sweaty workouts. These are a bit bigger in size than my Jaybirds but feel light and comfortable in my ears, and stayed in fine even during intense workouts running outside and on our Peloton. The battery is also very good. In theory the earbuds have 9 hours of playback with noise cancelling on and 13 without -- mine didn't last quite that long, which is understandable since I was frequently using the music controls, but I got close to 8 hours with noise cancelling on. The case provides another full charge worth of battery life. The case itself is frankly not amazing. It's bulky, considerably larger than the jaybird vista case, and is a weird oblong shape that doesn't fit comfortably in any sort of pocket.OVERALL: In any one category (noise cancelling, sound, battery life) you could probably find another brand that performs a bit better in that single category. But for truly wireless earbuds that are utility players across all the categories, these are my favorite by far. I find myself reaching for these for multi-hour Zoom work sessions as well as tough workouts or just around the house while I do chores. Great overall functionality and a nice value at the price point.
Never got to use them. No where in the Amazon description did it say "ALEXA BUILT IN". It's made to listen to you. No thanks. The interconnectivity of Alexa makes me uncomfortable generally. The fact that it's constantly collecting data on me to profit from later. That's a massive deal breaker for me personally. Returning it as soon as I saw the box.
I have the wf1000 and I now finally received wfsp800n, and the base is ooof! In love with the companion app. There pretty much alike especially if you get them matching with the EQ but with the sp800n you can definitely feel the base hitting you. I could run with the wf1000 but I had to keep checking it to stay in place as well avoid running rain. The spf800n I have no problem doing such things however it was a minor annoyance adjusting the tips and finding your fit for you’re ear. it’s well worth it though for the safety of your product and cutting out noise without using noise cancelation, The noise cancelation is ok and does it job with most things but I can tell right away the wf1000 is superior with noise the canceling.So if your a casual ear junkie not really doing a lot of heavy activities and really want to shut up the outside noise and relax then I’d suggest the wf1000. If you’re looking for somthing to take you outside, gym, late night run etc the sp800n would be the job I really enjoy them and luxury of not having to worrying about it falling my ear and breaking during my jogs. And please for love the consumer Sony can you make some adjustment to naming ur products?! It be nice lol.
Audio: Testing sound quality and sound reduction
One of the first ambitions displayed by Sony with the Sony WF-SP800N was to bring the excellence of the noise reduction system that can be found on the Sony WF-1000xM3, towards a model notably geared towards sport. Let’s be clear from the outset, Sony’s QN1e processor is clearly missing, one of the brand’s real high-end highlights. We have clearly noted that the noise reduction system is not performing as well as one would have hoped and the overall sound quality needs to be lowered.
However, we are talking about two models in a fundamentally different price range. Each of the headphones weighs about 9.5 grams, which is a little more than what is found on average, but remains very widely acceptable. From a resistance point of view, to be the type to knock them down a little too often, you can be reassured from the start, there is absolutely nothing to fear. They work very well and have not kept any marks of their adventures in our hands. Comfortable and resistant.
For those who are not used to Sony models, this is an ExtraBass, that is to say that the bass is a bit pushed to the extreme, but without being exaggerated. The sound is clearly not as refined, but for true wireless, the level of detail is particularly attractive. Above all, the WF-SP800N headphones are quite efficient compared to models in the same price range. For having tested them, however, we prefer the Jabra Elite 75t which are inherently superior, especially from a design point of view.
Sony WF-SP800N earphones comfort and fit Review?
The headphones are available in three colors: black, white and blue. For having tested the previous model of the company, these are really better in the ear and, if you have a small or specially shaped ear, many small adapters are available. The case is almost the same as on the high-end model from Sony, but you can immediately feel that it is not a premium version.
The shape and size are however rather attractive and the whole fits perfectly in your pocket. Be careful, it is not the smallest that you can find if it is a major criterion for you. Paradoxically, it is if your ear is too large that you may have difficulty obtaining a perfect sound seal. When we have been running, over the distance this is no problem, even outdoors. As for the gym, it will take patience to be able to Review it probably in a few weeks.
Charging system for Sony wireless headphones
We will immediately regret the absence of an element that could weigh in your final choice. The Sony WF-SP800N body does not offer a wireless option, so you will have to rely on USB-C. A single charge will give you nine hours of battery power and you can push up to 13 hours if you turn off the noise canceling. The housing gives you an additional full charge. Good news on the side of the fast charging system, in 10 minutes you will be entitled to an additional 60 minutes of charge.
The devil is hiding in the details of these headphones
Where Sony WF-SP800N headphones are particularly appreciated, it is undoubtedly in the small details that prove to be very practical in use. Thus, a small sensor can detect if your headphones are well in the ear. If so, the music stops immediately. The touch control system is also particularly responsive and works very well on both sides. On the right, the playback, on the left, the noise reduction system including the transparency mode. What to avoid an accident while you are running, to see the cars arriving. A feature that can be activated with a single press.
The Sony WF-SP800N are also compatible with the voice assistants of your choice, Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. You will also be able to benefit from Sony’s health home system, 360 Reality Audio, which is compatible with several audio streaming services, including Deezer. The device connects with the Sony Connect app for iOS and Android like other Sony headphones. Very intuitive, the application allows you to easily adjust the sound details, in particular to create favorite settings that you can activate immediately if you are going to run or if you are at work.
Finally, we also appreciate the reliability of the true wireless system, unlike the previous model. The use of a Bluetooth 5.0 chip, present on the brand’s high-end model, is undoubtedly responsible for this. Quality during calls is also there, especially with the noise reduction system. You can have your conversations quietly, regardless of the noise level around you.
Should we choose the Sony WF-SP800N?
These are not the best headphones on the market. If you are looking for a better true wireless model, you will be able to find some, but most of the time you will have to agree to pay more.. It’s up to you. In France, you will normally be able to acquire them very easily when they are available from July 2020 for an estimated price of 200 euros.
Sony WF-SP800N or AirPods Pro?
This is the question that most of those who are thinking about buying the Sony WF-SP800N will undoubtedly ask themselves. Is there a better model? Today, Apple AirPods are often considered the benchmark. However, can the Sony WF-SP800N really offer serious competition? Let’s be honest, physically, Apple’s charging case is much more convenient to charge, but also to use. The quality of the noise reduction system is also higher in the Apple product, but the Sony headphones also have arguments to make. So on the battery side, the WF-SP800N wins with flying colors, since we are talking more or less about twice the battery life. For allergy sufferers to refill, this is an important element to take into account.
Of course, on the side of the charging case, the AirPods Pro are superior. They are also much more easily customizable, even if from the point of view of the comfort and the size of the adaptable earphones, the two models are equal. Finally, the last high quality asset for Sony headphones, resistance to the elements. While the AirPods Pro only rely on an IPX 4, on the Sony side, it’s IP55, for dust and water. A real argument which can prove decisive when it comes to making the final choice. If you hesitate, the best is probably to determine what matters most to you, the customization or the battery. On the price side, the two pairs of headphones are currently in the same range. So be aware of any offers that may be the deciding factor for you.
Buy Sony WF-SP800N at the best price
- (+) Versatile sport and classic use headphones
- (+) Very good sound quality in this price range
- (+) Good hold in the ear
- (+) Discreet and elegant
- (+) Good resistance to water and dust
- (+) Good autonomy
- (-) Noise reduction is not optimal
- (-) A USB cable recharge
- (-) A little too deep bass
- (-) Little customizable
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