Someone rightly said, “Without music, life would be a mistake”. Speaking of mistake, don’t you think, a bigger one would be if your new earphone fails to deliver audio as its supposed to? Thus, while hunting for the one out of the horde, we tend to rely on the general rule of thumb – if it’s more expensive it must be better. But, is it? Especially since in case of premium pairs like the one in the title, we look for things beyond just audio. And even minor quibbles are likely to be treated as cons.

I’ve had the Sony WI-1000XM2 glued to my ears for a while now. After wearing it and listening to it, I have a few thoughts to share. More importantly, I’ll touch upon the frequently asked queries too.

So, let’s not waste any more time and find out – whether this Sony wireless pair is worth every dime of the Rs. 20,990 sticker on its box.

You may sail or skip through as you like –

Sony WI-1000XM2 Price in India and Specs

Model Sony WI-1000XM2
Bluetooth 5.0
SBC, AAC, LDAC
Cord Length approx. 1 m
Range 10 meters
Driver HD Hybrid Driver System: 9-mm dynamic driver + Balanced Armature driver
Battery Charging time: 3.5 hours
Endurance: Up to 10 hours of listening
Frequency Response 20 Hz–20,000 Hz (44.1 kHz Sampling)
20 Hz–40,000 Hz (LDAC 96 kHz Sampling, 990 kbps)
Weight 58g
India Price Rs. 20,990


Sony WI-1000XM2 Review: Design & Build

Sony WI-1000XM2 Review
Sony WI-1000XM2 Box contents

Beginning with the box contents –

  • Earphone
  • Carrying Case
  • Plug adapter for In-flight Use
  • Connection Cable
  • USB cable
  • Eartips (4x Silicon and 3x Foam)

Although the packaging is simple, the contents are pretty much covered.

Before we dive into the design, let me preface that the setup process is fairly simple. You just have to install Sony’s Headphone Connect app from the app store (More on the app and its utilities down below) and it will guide you through the rest of the steps.

Sony WI-1000XM2 is both handsome and shizz! It’s built of premium and sturdy material. But, I felt it could’ve been lighter as the broad nodes do assert presence. And with heavy movements, they could jumble a bit.

Sony WI-1000XM2 Review
Sony WI-1000XM2 power button on Left node

Hold the power button on the left node for 2 secs to power up the thing. Right next to it, you would find a 3.5mm jack and the USB-C port covered by a flap.

Sony WI-1000XM2 Review
MFB on Sony WI-1000XM2

Moving your hand down the left wire will land you over an in-line remote. That ‘C’ button beneath the volume rockers is multi-functional. You get to remap it for triggering device assistant or toggle between ambient and ANC. Pick one amongst the three, whichever you prefer most. 

All that good but I felt the buttons less discernible and they failed to offer good feedback.

The right side is devoid of any switches or sockets. But, Sony has housed a handy feature here. NFC! Yea, more about it later.

Sony WI-1000XM2 Review
A bevy of earbuds to choose from!

Over the course of my usage, I suffered no ear fatigue. But, the experience wasn’t without woes. Although Sony has shipped a bevy of buds to choose from, none of them offered a perfect fit. Thus, the tips were prone to slide out. I know, I could be the one-off case but unlucky me. 🙁

If only, there was an ear wing inside. Hmm…

Sony WI-1000XM2 Review
Carrying case with the Sony WI-1000XM2

Anyway, here are a few more things to note –

  • The magnetic clasp of the earbuds isn’t very magnetic.
  • The flexibility of the silicone neckband fits it well within the carrying case. You can carry the analog cable and other thingies inside it. Good that there is even a mesh pocket within the case.
  • Bad, that there is no official water resistance on it.
  • If only there was an auto-pause option once earbuds are out of the ear.
  • The inclusion of an analog audio cable is very thoughtful! It stretches an arm and a half. This means you can enjoy passive playback, even when there is no power.

Sony WI-1000XM2 Review: Sound Signature

Sony WI-1000XM2 Review
Testing the Sony WI-1000XM2 sound quality

My ears are wired to Spotify or YT Music through most of my day. Lately, I’ve been tuning into podcasts en route to work and back home. So, a good sounding pair is a must. If noise cancellation is there, all the more good. Gladly, the Sony WI-1000XM2 is up to the task in both these respects.

The sound out of it is loud, lush and fun. The hybrid dual-driver system along with DSEE ousts well-balanced and detailed audio. The voice and instruments stay distinct and discerning.

Sony WI-1000XM2 Review
With the wired connection

Now that’s the crux of it. But, if I’d be anymore analytical, for the purists out of you, the audio review would go like this –

  • Bass is tight and thumpy but doesn’t overwhelm other frequencies. I would’ve been happier if it delivered the rumble effect in some songs. (Ref: Mirza by Nucleya, You Rock My World by Michael Jackson, Limit to your love by James Blake)
  • The high notes are crisp yet borderline shrill. Especially at loud volumes, the treble can be harsh around the edges. (Ref: Yeh Haseen Vadiyan by AR Rahman, November by Max Richter and Communion by park Jha)
  • The mids were rich and in control. The clear vocals played a major part in my podcast-listening. (Ref: My Other Side by Tabe Chake, Wish you were here by Pink Floyd, Like a fool by Keira Knightley)
  • Sound staging was airy and spacious enough, despite Sony’s proprietary 360-degree feature being off-limits. Imaging between both sides was evenly spread. (Ref: Beat of Passion by AR Rahman, Candy by Lifafa, Parey by Samar Mehdi)

ALSO READ: Skullcandy Method ANC Review

Sony WI-1000XM2 Review: ANC, APP & Battery

The ‘C’ button on the left-node can be configured to switch between Ambient Mode, Ambient Control Mode and ANC. Despite Indian traffic noise is tough to beat, it manages to negate a lot of that worldly noise. And when you set it to Ambient mode, you get to hear your surroundings. Additionally, the app has a feature that automates the atmospheric pressure and adaptive sound control based on activities. Neat!

Sony WI-1000XM2 Review
Sony Headphone Connect

Coming to the app, there’s a lot to like here. Sony’s Headphone Connect app, which is available on both Android and Apple stores, is packed with customizable options. You can fine-tune the atmospheric pressure, adjust the equalizer, set auto-power off timer to save some juice and more.

Sony WI-1000XM2 Review
USB-C Port on Sony-1000XM2

Sony WI-1000XM2 ran for 8.30 hours in our continuous music playback testing. But YMMV and it could go up to the advertised limits. I feel the battery life as sub-par. Even when it’s attached to a charger, it’ll take about 3.5 hours to full-up. A bit faster charging would’ve been sweet!

ALSO READ: 10 Best True Wireless (TWS) Earbuds: Affordable Airpod Alternatives in India

Sony WI-1000XM2 Review: Calls, Codecs & Connectivity

Sony WI-1000XM2 Review
LDAC on Sony WI-100XM2

Sony WI-1000XM2 has support for SBC, AAC, and LDAC Bluetooth codecs.

Although contrary to what Sony marketing wants you to believe in, the LDAC isn’t technically Hi-Res all the way. Still, I preferred keeping LDAC turned always on. If you’re on Android, you can also force enable LDAC at the claimed 990kbps from within the Developer settings.

Another thing I noticed is that the built-in EQ within Sony’s app disables LDAC. A zero-sum game indeed.

Similarly, within the app, you get to prioritize between sound quality and a stable connection. In case you pick the former, the audio dynamics would be better at the cost of connectivity. That means more stutters!

You can connect it to two smartphones (or one smartphone and one music player), but you can only use one – either calls or audio – at a time. These headphones won’t pick calls and audio simultaneously from both connected devices.

Sony WI-1000XM2 Review
NFC logo on Sony WI-1000XM2

NFC connection is nifty! You get to connect your device without Bluetooth by simply hovering the phone over the ‘N’ sign. Even the mic placement is nice attention to detail. The calls were clear on both ends.

Speaking of the end, its time for the final verdict –

Sony WI-1000XM2 Review: Verdict

Sony WI-1000XM2 Review

Sony WI-1000XM2 has a wholesome sound experience and a whole lot more to offer. Be it the effective ANC, feature-stoked app, suave finish, superior build quality, and on top of all these – Sony’s brand recall. With it comes benefits like reliable customer support.

OTOH, my major gripes are with the ear tip’s fit and the battery situation. The rest of the things are nit pickings TBH.

Thus, you see the positives weigh more than the pain points. And to answer the question – whether Sony WI-1000XM2 is worth its price, I raise my thumbs up!

So, if you’re interested, add it to your cart from Amazon, Flipkart, or your nearest Sony-authorized local emporium. If not, Sony WH-1000XM3 (review) and Sony WF-1000XM3 TWS with different form factors are also well worth considering. With neckbands like Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear and Bose QC30, you’re not going out of options either.

Pros

  • Balanced Audio
  • Amazing ANC
  • Crisp call experience
  • Heavily customizable app
  • Minimal yet meaningful design
  • Premium build quality

Cons

  • Fidgety ear tip 
  • Magnetic clasp
  • Average battery life
  • Multi connect and No multi pairing

FAQ

Q. Is there an option to fast forward and rewind on the Sony WI-1000XM2?

A. No, the volume rockers don’t let you fast forward and rewind the tracks.

Q. Do Sony WI-1000XM2 vibrate on calls?

A. No, the Sony WI-1000XM2 doesn’t vibrate on calls.

Q. Does the Sony WI-1000XM2 has a cable or white noise?

A. Yes, if you pay close attention, your ears would pick the white noise. 

Q. Is there a tonal change in wired and wireless sound quality?

A. Yes, when you listen through the wired source, you would feel the high notes tend to spaz out. But, hey it’s passable.

Q. Is there a leakage issue on Sony WI-1000XM2?

A. Nothing noticeable or worth mentioning.

Q. Is the Bluetooth on when you use the Sony WI-1000XM2 wired?

A. No, the Bluetooth goes off once the earphone’s wired.

Q. Do you get noise cancellation with wired?

A. Yes, ANC and wired connection go in tandem on the WI-1000XM2.

Q. Is the Sony WI-1000XM2 compatible with Xbox One, PS4 (PlayStation)?

A. Yes, Sony WI-1000XM2 supports audio from the Xbox and PlayStation. However, no recording though.

Q. Sony WI-1000XM2 or Bose QC30? Which one should you buy?

A. Music taste is personal and both are best in the class. That said, Sony offers better noise cancellation and a stable connection.

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