Airpods competition: Sony's Bluetooth earplugs have nine hours of battery life

Sony launches new Bluetooth earplugs with the WF-XB700. The True Wireless In-Ears should deliver a particularly intense bass and generally produce a good sound. The plugs are operated with pushbuttons, whereby volume control should be possible directly on the plug. In terms of battery life, the plugs are very good at nine hours – unfortunately this does not apply to the charging case.

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As usual with Bluetooth earplugs, the new Sony earplugs also include a charging case. The plugs can be safely stored there when not in use. At the same time, the plug battery is charged. In the case of the WF-XB700, the capacity of the case is modest because the plugs can only be recharged one more time.

Often, with other Bluetooth earplugs, three or more charging processes are possible with the charging case. With the new Sony plugs, the maximum battery life is 18 hours. If the plug batteries are empty, it takes 10 minutes before they can be used again for one hour of listening to music.

Control via push buttons

The WF-XB700 are controlled by push buttons. There is a button on each of the two plugs that is assigned several functions. These include pause / play, activation of a digital assistant on the left plug and volume control on the right plug. Since there is only one button for volume control, changing the volume in at least one direction should only be possible with a longer or multiple button press.

As with other Bluetooth plugs, a digital assistant that is active on the smartphone can be activated from the plug so that you don't have to take the smartphone out of your pocket. The WF-XB700 support Bluetooth 5.0 and the two audio codecs SBC and AAC. The plugs protrude comparatively far from the ear. Pain is likely to occur when you wear a hat because it pushes the plugs further into your ear.

WF-XB700 (Image: Sony)

As with many other Bluetooth earplugs, Sony also uses plastic attachments in the new model to keep the plugs securely in the ear. Almost all True Wireless In-Ears have problems with step reverb. This means that the user perceives every single step while walking as a dull appearance in the ear – this is uncomfortable and reduces the enjoyment of music. With the Airpods Pro, Apple is currently the only manufacturer who has come up with a solution to this problem and has implemented an automatic ventilation system. Sony does not mention such a ventilation system.

Sony wants the Bluetooth earplugs WF-XB700 Launch in April 2020 at a price of 150 euros.

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