The influx of budget Bluetooth headphones once audio jacks started disappearing from smartphones has inspired brands like Sony to focus more on the more affordable segment while its premium WH-1000XM3 continues to enjoy critical success and win followers. While we wait for the them to get their successor sometime this year, Sony has dropped a couple of new options—one truly wireless and one over-ear—in the mid-tier price bracket.
Forgettably called WF-XB700, in classic Sony fashion, the truly wireless earbuds are IPX4 rated for some basic water resistance and come with Sony’s Extra Bass feature, which does what it says on the tin. Each earbud gets its own audio stream from the source device to avoid any latency and allow for single use. They're rated to last for up to 18 hours battery life in total, 9 hours from the buds and the rest in additional charges from the case. A quick 10-minute top-up can give you playtime of up to 60 minutes, according to Sony. They support hands-free calling and allow you to summon your phone’s voice assistant.
The over-ear WH-C710N headphones succeed last year’s C700N and bring along quite a few improvements. For one, the new model now looks a lot more in line with the general matte design Sony uses in the rest of its lineup. They also support AI-enabled noise cancellation, but the driver is a smaller 30mm compared with 40mm on its predecessor. It's unclear how much this will affect the audio quality. The headphones are said to last for up to 35 hours, and you can get 60 minutes of use time from a 10-minute charge.
Both US-bound headphones should go up for pre-order sometime this month. Sony didn’t share a definitive release date, although it did detail their prices — $130 for the earbuds and $200 for the over-ear headphones. In comparison, the 2019 C700N came out with an MSRP of $130, while we recently spotted the top-tier WH-1000XM3 retailing for just $230.