I'm always on the hunt for a good pair of earphones that can easily fit into my jeans pocket, and are easy of use, but also boast good sound quality.
When I saw Sony showing the WF-SP700N earphones at CES 2018 earlier this year, I immediately wanted to try them. Five months later, the earphones have finally been released in black and white colour options, just in time for the Unionville Festival Funky 5K Walk/Run in my area. Originally, the pre-order list included a rose gold finish, which I ordered, as well as a yellow, but thus far, these colours haven't been released.
Just like every pair of earphones of this style, these totally wireless headphones, known as "true wireless," live and die by their design, and how well they fit in your ears. In my case, these fit pretty well. Each bud weighs less than 10 grams, which is comparable to many other competing true wireless buds. If you use them at the gym during a sweaty workout, you'll have nothing to worry about. With their IPX4 rating, these earphones can handle moisture and a little bit of drizzle without a hitch.
I was a little disappointed that while wearing them during the Unionville Festival event, they didn't stay in my ears quite as securely as I'd have liked. They come with a nice variety of tips that help you get a tight seal. You have to jam the tips in your ears, but the included wings (Sony calls them "Fitting Supporters,") didn't lock the buds in place as I first hoped they would. Although you get two sizes of wings, the larger fin is barely bigger than the smaller one, and neither hooked under any of the ridges in my ear. But this might be more a personal issue than anything, as I still found the fit to be good, and my daughter and her friends who tried them didn't have an issue with the fit.
The battery case is rather bulky: don't expect to be able to fit it in your pants pocket. It can charge the buds fully in about 1.5 hour, and they can run for continuous music playback for up to three hours at a time. The metallic paint finish of the case looks nice, but can get scratched up easily if you leave it in a bag with other objects, as I did. (Good thing I took all the photos I needed on the first day I received the earphones, before the case got all scratched up!)
Using the Sony Headphones Connect app, which is required for the initial set up, you can adjust the equalizer settings. There are several presets to choose from, but after playing around with the EQ, I decided to set it to "Off" (flat setting). When I was feeling nostalgic, I chose "Extra Bass" as a reminiscence of Sony's "Super Bass" era.
A couple of other features are worth noting. You can choose to let sound in and hear the inside world, which can be a good thing. Also, the earphones can be used as a headset for making calls. Although very effective, I'd still choose my Jabra 65t for calls. But the music playback of the Jabra earphones is nowhere near Sony's audio quality.
There's a button on each earbud: the left is for power on/off and the right a multifunction button that pauses and plays your music, skips tracks forward and back, and allows you to call up your Apple or Google voice assistants. Both are rather tiny (what do you expect?) but with a bit of getting used to, I was consistently able to double-tap to advance tracks. Tapping on the power button allows you to toggle through noise-cancelling settings. They include "noise-cancelling" on, "ambient sound" on, and "voice" or "off."
I was deeply underwhelmed with the noise-cancellation features, however. Turning the function on or off, I could hardly tell the difference. At times, I had to look at my Sony app to make sure that active noise cancelling was actually turned on.
For music listening, if you can get a tight seal, the WF-SP700N is capable of delivering excellent sound for this type of totally wireless earphones. It sounded smooth and dynamic, and had more clarity and better-defined bass than any competitor models I've tried in the same $229 price range. As for audio/video sync, I was able to watch YouTube and Netflix without any problems.
So, was I happy with these earphones? I was, indeed, and still am. With a few tweaks, they'd be even better. For the time being, if noise cancelling isn't a top priority, and you don't mind keeping the charging case in your backpack or purse, I highly recommend these earphones.