Sony WF-SP800N Noise Cancelling Earphones Is Awesome
While Sony is one of the best personal audio brands in India, it has taken some time to finally bring true wireless headphones to the market here. I firmly believe that this form factor is the future of headphones, and global industry trends suggest that buyers are attracted by the convenience of being completely wireless. Although there are many affordable options, Sony’s approach to the segment, as expected, is relatively expensive.
Today we review one of Sony’s new True wireless products, the WF-SP800N, which is coming to the market as part of its sports range. These premium true wireless headphones are not as expensive as the Apple AirPods Pro and Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2, but they still offer active noise cancellation. Find out if these new true wireless earbuds have what it takes to challenge our current top picks in the segment.
The Sony WF-SP800N is large and waterproof
The first thing I noticed about these headphones and the powered cover is the size of everything. The headphones are significantly larger than most true wireless options and therefore require ear hooks for a secure fit. This also means that there is a special way to attach these headphones; you need to twist a little so that the ear hooks “lock” and you get a secure and sound-absorbing fit. We’re pretty used to more compact premium options, so the Sony WF-SP800N stands out a little.
That is, it is a comfortable pair of headphones. The fit is tight, but the plastic used in the construction keeps the headphones light.
The Sony WF-SP800N headphones are rated IP55 for their dust and water resistance; that’s not as impressive as the Jabra Elite Active 75T’s IP57, which comes at a similar price, but that’s enough to protect the headphones from water and dust. You should be able to safely walk in the rain with these headphones, and sweat should not cause any problems at all.
The powered box of the Sony WF-SP800N is significantly larger than any other true wireless headphones we reviewed recently. It’s also oddly curved at the bottom, so you can’t place it vertically anywhere; it has to lie on its side. The bottom has a USB Type-C port for powered, and there is a light just under the cover that indicates when the headphones are powered.
Similar lights on the headphones shine through the plastic cover, telling you whether they are charged, connected or in pairing mode. The sales package includes four pairs of earplugs, two pairs of ear hooks and a cable for powered the cover.
The Sony WF-SP800N supports SBC and AAC Bluetooth codecs and features active noise cancellation and ambient mode. There are also sensors on each headphone so you can automatically play or pause music when it has been inserted or removed.
The controls are tactile and there are touch areas on each headphone. By default, press the left side to switch between ambient noise and active noise reduction modes. Press and hold reduces the volume of the music to allow listening as long as you have your finger on the sensor. The right side controls playback (simple press to play/ pause; double press for the next track; triple press for the previous track) and you can enter your phone’s voice assistant by default with a long press.
These actions can be customized with the Sony Headphones Connect app (available for iOS and Android). You can choose to have volume controls or detailed commands for Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa, or you can completely disable the sensor of each handset. However, you can only define a group of functions on each page, so you need to choose what is most important to you. In my cover, I stuck to the default configuration, but it was a little disappointing to have to choose between volume controls and noise reduction modes.
The app also allows you to see the battery level of the individual headphones and the cover; it should be emphasized here that the battery level of the cover is only updated every time the headphones are removed, and was not usually accurate for me.
You can also use the app to configure adaptive sound control mode, which detects your environment based on your actions and the places you are attending, to set the noise cancellation mode and ambient noise mode to optimal levels. I have not used this often, but prefer to control these settings myself. Various other settings and features of the application include equalizer, power commands and firmware updates.
Battery life is something Sony has managed to do with its over-ear headphones, and it’s good to see that the company has understood well even with these true wireless headphones. The headphones easily met the requirements of the company and worked about ten hours per charge with mixed use and mostly with noise cancellation. The powered box gave the headphones a little more than a full charge. This is not a very impressive figure for the cover, but the running time of the headphones at once compensates for this.