A few months back I had decided to stop reviewing truly wireless earphones, with some exceptions. One such exception is Sony deciding to offer a truly wireless experience at an affordable price point. Priced at Rs 9,990, the Sony WF-XB700 is just that.
But how good is it?
The Sony WF-XB700 comes in a compact charging case, one that is different because an LED light inside illuminates the semi-transparent case when the USB charging is on. Haven’t seen that before.
But the ear pods themselves are larger than what have seen of late. Not always a bad sign as it also indicates a larger driver inside.
Despite the side, there was no trouble in using the ear pods which stayed out even when I was taking brisk walks on the terrace to desperately get to my 10,000 daily steps without compromising on the social distancing norms. You just need to remember to give them a twist once you have put them in your ears to ensure they are firmly in place.
The Sony WF-XB700 is not complicated at all. The two sides pair easily with any device. You can control volume and navigate using the two small buttons on both the sides. Volume controls are on the left and skip and pause on the right. The right button also helps you take a call and initiates the voice assistant too.
One of the best features is the fact that it is splash-proof, which means you can take it to the gym or wear it out as the monsoon rains lash your city.
I have never been a fan of Extra Bass, something the Sony WF-XB700 touts on its box itself. But the audio profile of this earphone is not overpowered by bass. So when you listen to softer stuff like jazz and vocals, the bass is more balmy and enhances the overall experience.
But when you listen to something like Malang, where the song itself is partial to lows, the extra bass does come into its own. If that is your poison, you will enjoy every bit of it. But the versatility of the Sony WF-XB700 comes out when the playlist moves to Atif Aslam’s Kinna Sona and experience reminds you of the cinema hall with the right mount of roominess and space. But there are some songs where I could have lived with a bit more space for the different frequencies at play.
The audio profile is different when you are taking phone or zoom calls. It is sharp, almost tinny. During calls, you also hear a hollow barrel drone when there is no audio to be heard, something I noticed in certain Sennheiser models too. However, the audio quality is good enough for you to hear a Koel sing in some location during a zoom call.
The battery lasts about 18 hours with both earphones and charging case. The case charges to full in about two and a half hours. Do keep in mind that there is no noise cancellation on this model.
Given the pricing, the Sony WF-XB700 is a good option for those who need a true wireless earphone for work and fun. It is clearly not a top-of-the-line option and hence not the best option for the audiophiles. For everyone below this discerning breed, the Sony WF-XB700 is a good value for money option that comes with peace of mind Sony can offer.
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