Sony WF-SP800N review: Wireless sports earbuds deliver a mostly winning combo

Sony’s WF-1000XM3 is deemed one of the finest set of legitimate wireless sound-canceling earbuds. But to the dismay of some men and women, it lacked any sort of h2o-resistance, creating it unsuitable for sporting activities. It took a while, but now we at last have a new legitimate wireless sound-canceling sporting activities design from Sony: The WF-SP800N ($two hundred, £180, AU$450).

Table of Contents


  • Incredibly good audio with sturdy bass
  • Active sound canceling and good connect with high-quality
  • IP55 h2o-resistant (splashproof and dustproof) and secure fit
  • Exceptional battery life (up to 9 hrs with sound canceling on)
  • Responsive touch controls

Really don’t Like

  • Earbuds stick out from your ears a truthful quantity
  • Sound canceling and audio high-quality usually are not rather as good as the WF-1000XM3’s
  • No XL eartips in the box

This isn’t rather the WF-1000XM3 with a h2o-resistant system, even so. It really is missing Sony’s QN1e processor, but you can find nevertheless a lot to like about it and it really is definitely a awesome improve around the WF-SP700N, which came out in 2018. 

I gained the black edition but it also comes in a blue shade and the style and design is sleeker than its predecessor’s. It also fit my ears a tiny superior. That design had an IPX4 h2o-resistance rating. This one is IP55, which indicates it really is dust resistant and can get a sustained spray of h2o. 

The WF-1000XM3 (remaining) when compared to the new WF-SP800N.

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The situation is identical to the 1000XM3’s but it doesn’t really feel rather as quality. I like its shape and over-all glance superior, and it is somewhat smaller. You are unable to stand it up on a flat floor and the top rated isn’t flat, so you have to just lay it down on its side. It did fit in my pocket fine but clearly there are a lot of wireless earbuds out there with smaller circumstances. But it doesn’t really feel gargantuan. 

There is certainly no wireless charging, just USB-C. You get nine hrs of battery life on a single cost and up to a whopping thirteen hrs if you flip the sound-canceling method off. The situation offers one full extra cost and a 10-minute swift charging offers you up to 60 minutes of music playback. That is excellent for legitimate wireless. By comparison, Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Furthermore provide about eleven hrs of battery life on a single cost. 

The buds them selves are somewhat heavier (about 1 gram) than the 1000XM3s and are equally shaped. They stick out from your ears a truthful quantity, but they’re comfortable to dress in, even though they do weigh more than your normal legitimate wireless earbuds. A person of the biggest style and design distinctions is that these arrive with a few of distinct sized stabilizing arcs, which assistance lock the buds into your ears. The 1000XM3 fit my ears securely, but the sporting activities fins really feel like coverage. And they operate nicely for functioning: I went on two 3-mile runs with them with no a dilemma. Due to the fact they stick out a little bit, they can pick up some wind sound on windy times, but a lot of earbuds do that. 

The larger sized arc labored nicely for me, but I could not come across an eartip among the 3 dimensions that permitted me to get a limited seal so I had to put a set of my own larger sized suggestions on. I have explained to Sony several occasions to incorporate extra-huge suggestions for the little percentage of men and women who could possibly need to have them, but it has not happened nonetheless. Maybe they’re going to arrive with the rumored WF-1000XM4, anytime that comes out.

The earbuds do stick out from your ears but they are comfortable to dress in.

David Carnoy/CNET

I am griping about it mainly because if you will not get a limited seal, the sound-canceling genuinely doesn’t operate and they also will not audio all that fantastic mainly because you get rid of a lot of bass. Belief me, it really is night and day with a limited seal.

These will not audio rather as good or have as powerful sound canceling as the WF-1000XM3, but they’re nevertheless solid on both fronts. They do have the very same drivers as the 1000XM3. But that is where that missing QN1e processor comes in: It performs a part in both sound canceling and audio high-quality with all the digital processing it does, so its absence right here is notable.

The 1000XM3 has both top rated-notch audio and top rated-notch sound canceling — for legitimate wireless in any case. The sound canceling right here is fairly good, but it really is just a tiny lighter (examine: not rather as powerful), which some men and women who are sensitive to sound canceling may enjoy.

The situation is a tiny smaller than the WF-1000XM3’s.

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As for the audio, this is technically a Sony ExtraBass design. And yeah, there is a tiny extra bass — but it isn’t mind-boggling or bloated (it has decent definition). These will not audio rather as refined or clean as the 1000XM3 but they’re nevertheless excellent sounding legitimate wireless earbuds with dynamic bass, good depth and a fairly large soundstage. In shorter, they’re not significantly of a action down from the WF-1000XM3 from a audio standpoint — but it is a action.

They evaluate up nicely from other earbuds in the $one hundred fifty to $two hundred selection, only a couple of which currently present active sound-canceling. But I would not say they outclass them. These versions incorporate the Galaxy Buds Furthermore and Jabra Elite 75t, both of which I have rated a tad higher, partially mainly because they present a more discreet style and design. 

These have a sensor that is aware of when the buds are in your ears or not and pauses your music when you get them out. The touch controls labored nicely. You seize the bud on each side, then faucet the right bud to manage monitor playback. Tapping the remaining bud controls sound-canceling configurations, together with a transparency method that lets audio in. That is an essential security element if you want to be able to hear visitors while you’re out functioning (Sony refers to this as “ambient audio method” and its concentrations are adjustable in the application).

The earbuds also arrive in blue.


Like the WF-1000XM3, if you faucet and hold the remaining earbud you go into a swift awareness method. Your music pauses and you can hear the exterior planet and have a dialogue. Permit go and it resumes. It really is a awesome tiny element. 

Faucet and hold the right earbud and you get your voice assistant of selection. These assistance your phone’s voice assistant together with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. They also operate with Sony’s new 360 Fact Audio encompass audio audio structure, out there with particular music streaming companies these types of as Tidal, Deezer and Nugs.internet. 

What else? Effectively, my wireless relationship was fairly significantly rock solid (the older WF-SP700N’s wireless relationship was rather the opposite). These use a Bluetooth 5. chip “borrowed from the WF-1000XM3,” according to Sony, and its engineers seem to be to have manufactured some progress with connect with high-quality mainly because these did a decent job minimizing background sound when I was on calls. The WF-1000XM3 had some issues as a headset when they to start with launched but has improved subsequent firmware updates. In the end, these seem to be substantially superior for voice calls at launch than the WF-1000XM3 did when they launched. 

The WF-SP800N hyperlinks to the very same Sony Link application for iOS and Android that other Sony headphones do. The application permits you to tweak the audio and set your preferences for sound-canceling and ambient audio modes. It also permits you to update the earbuds’ firmware, which occurs often and tends to present tiny advancements to the earbuds around time.

There are some element updates in the application truly worth noting. You can now pick out your favorite configurations primarily based on your action — say, functioning — or locale. A person locale is stated as “business office,” which however, lots of of us will not likely see for a while.

Some men and women like to be able to Bluetooth pair their headphones to a number of units, together with their phones, tablets and desktops. You can wirelessly pair these with a number of units, but you have to manually swap involving them so you can find no multipoint pairing. Sorry.

That is the WF-SP800N earbuds in a nutshell. They may not be superb, but I liked them. They are good legitimate wireless sporting activities buds that have pleasant audio (especially if you like bass) and a sturdy element set. I believe the only problem is that with all the levels of competition out there, they’re a tiny costly at $two hundred, which is what the WF-1000XM3 looks to price tag these times. I might like to see them more in the $one hundred sixty to $one hundred seventy five selection, but that is me. I believe everything should be a tiny more affordable.