Are they still one of the best Wireless NC headsets around?
Around the middle of the year, Carlo released the review for the MDR-1000X Noise Canceling Headphones from Sony. He heralded it, saying it was probably the best noise-canceling headphones yet and it has been his constant companion; earning a space for his Everyday Carry. Fast-forward to a few months later and Sony sent us the next iteration of the headset — the Sony WH-1000X M2. Are they worth the Php 17,999 price tag? Let’s jump into the review.
Audio: As Good as Ever
The previous iteration of the Sony’s Wireless NC headset had really great audio. It’s balanced and rich with punchy bass and bright highs. It’s pretty much the same experience with the WH-1000X. If you find yourself near a Sony Center, we advise you to make the time to head there and give them a try yourselves. The headset sounds great out of the box but Sony has also released an accompanying app for their wireless headphone to help tweak the audio to your liking; something that isn’t available on the MDRs. The equalizer has several presets for you to choose from but you can adjust manually as well.
The noise-canceling on the WH-1000X M2’s are a good as we remember with a couple of added features, which we’ll discuss further in a bit. They’ve been great at helping me personally tune out the two construction sites going at it simultaneously through the day and I even took it out during peak hours at the mall to help with the sensory overload.
Smart Features: Great on the Go
Back on the WH-1000X M2s are the touch controls from the previous iteration, which are definitely a godsend if you happen to be using the headphones while walking around. Instead of having to raise or lower the volume on your smartphone or have separate buttons on the unit, all you have to do is swipe up and down on the right ear cup. To skip to the next track or replay a previous track, you will have to swipe right or left. In case you bump into an old friend or ask a salesclerk a quick question, all you have to do is put your palm on the right earcup to turn off the noise-canceling and hear their response. Of course, you can always take them off or use your smartphone to control your tunes but it’ll save you from having to fish your device out of your pocket.
The M2s also have Adaptive Sound Control that can automatically adjust the ambient sounds it lets in depending on your activity. For example, while I was walking through the mall, it would let in a bit more ambient noise so I was still aware of my surroundings because you know how lost we can get in our tunes and you want to hear oncoming traffic if you’re out and about in the Metro. Sitting still will increase the amount of noise-canceling and even more so if it detects that you’re traveling on an airplane. A good feature to have if you are on-the-go for most of the day. Still, we advise you to be present of your surroundings when you do have these babies on.
Build: Staying Classy
We’ve always appreciated the looks of the MDR-1000x headset and we’re glad that the Japanese brand hasn’t changed much on the M2’s. You’ve got the same build quality with the cushioned metal band to let the headset sit comfortably on your head and the padded faux leather ear cups to make them comfortable enough to use for long periods of time.
The MDR’s had faux leather covering the housing for its hardware, which has been replaced with a paint job that still provides the same texture; perhaps to prevent wear and tear over time. This may lead to scuff marks if you aren’t careful, so we definitely recommend bringing the accompanying case with you all the time. It’ll take about the same space in your EDC plus it will protect your investment along with all its cables and accessories.
Battery Life: Last Longer than the MDRs
Sony has rated the WH-1000X M2s to last for 30 hours while using it wirelessly and 40 hours while using the cable. We definitely believe them. Since we’ve made the unboxing video, we’ve charged it to full capacity once and it hasn’t run out of juice since. We haven’t been using them for incredibly long periods of time, probably an hour or every day since then and they’ve been holding up quite nicely.
We didn’t get to time how long it took to charge but Sony says you’ll get 70 minutes of play with just a 15 minute top up.
Verdict: Worth It If You Have the Money
The Sony WH-1000X M2’s are one of the best noise-canceling headphones we’ve tried so far and the added features put it a step above its previous iteration. Like the MDR-1000X that came before it, the sound quality on the M2 is fantastic. They might not please the most discerning audiophiles but the tweaks you can now make in the headphone app may help further its cause. They’re comfortable to use for a long period of time and the battery life definitely holds up to Sony’s claims and it’s pretty hard to find any fault with this NC Wireless Headset. We highly recommend it though it does come at a rather hefty price tag of Php 17,999. If you have the money to spend, the Sony WH-1000X M2’s definitely gets two big ‘ol thumbs up from us.
If you already own the MDRs and they’ve been serving you well, you can hang on to them if you can skip all the additional features we’ve mentioned.
To check out our review for the Sony MDR-1000X, click the link below and read our other reviews for Sony products.