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Sony WF-XB700 Review

Last updated: 9 months ago
8 min read
Editor
rating
3.8
Sony WF-XB700 on a rock

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If you like your music with a generous sprinkle of extra bass, then you’ll love Sony WF-XB700. They’re an audiophile’s nightmare and a bass head dream come true.

For quite a few years now, Sony has been trying to please every group of music listeners. From audiophiles, casual listeners to bass lovers. Sony WF-XB700 are made for the latter.

The “XB” in the name stands for “extra bass,” and it doesn’t lie. These true wireless earbuds produce seriously punchy low-end sound.

Surprisingly, both the midrange and treble stay relatively smooth and natural sounding.

The WF-XB700 are also pretty comfortable, despite their weird TriHold design protruding from your ears.

On top of that, you get a great 11-hour long battery life on a single charge, reliable physical controls on both sides, and decent microphone quality.

However, the price fluctuates from $70 to $128. Are they worth the cost? Are there any deal breakers? Dive into the full review below and find out.

  • Robust construction
  • Bassy yet smooth sound with balanced midrange
  • Quite comfortable and stable for sports activities
  • Reliable physical controls
  • Excellent battery life
  • Good passive noise isolation
  • No companion app
  • Some find Tri-Hold design uncomfortable
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3.8
By HeadphonesAddict
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CONTENTS (show more)

    Sound

    Star Rating
    3.5 Almost Great

    Sony managed to mix a bass-heavy sound with natural midrange and treble. However, the bass likes to veil the details and occasionally becomes bloated.

    Sony WF-XB700 Sound Test

    Sony WF-XB700 Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    Learn how to understand sound comparisons.

    Sony’s XB series was always super bassy to the point of sounding muddy and overly warm.

    While you can’t deny the enormous thump of the WF-XB700, they surprisingly sound quite pleasing compared to the rest of the Extra Bass headphones and other true wireless earbuds.

    However, even when tuned carefully, the bass boost always takes its toll and veils other ranges.

    Bass

    Lower frequencies start rising at around 200Hz, measuring +15dB above the target at the highest peak.

    The bass kick feels tight and large in scale, probably due to bigger 12mm drivers. It produces a decent amount of rumble and adds warmth to the overall sound output.

    However, as soon as it starts kicking, you can hear it masking the details, especially in higher frequencies.

    For example, the beat from the “24k Gold” by Bruno Mars is simply too strong, and it stands from the rest of the frequency response.

    Furthermore, the bass can get muddy when playing already bassy music. Faster genres like metal also sound bloated.

    While I don’t mind a boost in bass, the amount coming from the WF-XB700 might give me a headache after a long listening session. It’s that strong.

    Midrange

    Mid-frequencies are a tiny bit recessed but stay natural for the most part. And thanks to a dip between 6-11kHz, the WF-XB700 never sound harsh or sibilant.

    Everything from vocals to instruments sounds pretty smooth and accurate yet pushed back in the mix.

    Listening to “Easy On Me” by Adele is still a pleasant experience, just don’t expect to hear fine nuances in her voice.

    Treble

    Despite a massive peak at 13kHz, the treble feels absent. It lacks power and extension to balance out the bass.

    Consequently, you don’t hear many details in higher registers. When listening to busier tracks, cymbal crashes are a bit splashy and get easily lost in the mix.

    Unfortunately, the soundstage is pretty tiny, even by in-ear headphones standards. Certain songs sound a bit too claustrophobic, with most sounds coming from inside your head.

    Listening to tracks like “Wandering” from Yosi Horikawa feels too crammed in to experience the track’s full potential.

    The imaging is reasonably accurate, and you can quickly pinpoint the direction of the sound.

    However, despite all the bashing I just did with the sound, the Sony WF-XB700 are probably one of the best-sounding true wireless earbuds for bass heads.

    Their sound quality is much better than on most bass-heavy headphones with a distinctively V-shaped sound signature.

    In conclusion, you don’t pick these earbuds to enjoy fine details and nuances in the music. You have many cleaner-sounding options at this price range.

    You choose these Sony headphones to create your personal party at home or anywhere else for that matter.

    Sony WF-XB700 Frequency Response

    Sony WF-XB700 measurement

    Comfort & Fit

    Star Rating
    4.0 Great

    Despite their large size, the WF-XB700 truly wireless earbuds feel comfortable and secure for extended periods. They can even endure some light running and exercising.

    Sony WF-XB700 use the TriHold ergonomic design that Sony uses in many true wireless earbuds. The idea behind it is that it grabs your outer ear in three places, ensuring a secure fit.

    Earbuds definitely stay in securely, no matter how hard you shake your head. However, due to their size, they like to bounce a little when walking, producing annoying “microphonics.”

    As for comfort, you can easily wear them for a couple of hours without experiencing fatigue. However, not everyone is content with this design, so your mileage may vary.

    Sony WF-XB700 earbuds shape
    An unconventional shape fits comfortably in your ears (for most people).

    Durability

    Star Rating
    3.5 Almost Great

    Earbuds can survive sweaty workouts or get caught in the rain. Their build quality is also robust, so dropping them on the floor shouldn’t cause damage. Only the lid feels a bit cheap.

    As with many true wireless earbuds, the Sony WF-XB700 come with an IPX4 rating, indicating a decent level of water resistance and complete sweat protection.

    You can wear them during your workouts without worry, and they can even survive some light splashes of water.

    On the other hand, the rating isn’t sufficient enough to listen to music under a shower or take them into a swimming pool.

    Despite their size, truly wireless headphones feel solid in hand and shouldn’t break apart if they accidentally fall on the floor. Of course, make sure to keep earbuds from falling out in the first place.

    Also, avoid getting them dirty due to the lack of dust resistance. If that happens, here’s how to clean your earbuds.

    In contrast, the case gives some mixed vibes. Overall, it feels sturdy, especially the bottom part.

    Sony WF-XB700 transparent lid
    The lid is semi-transparent so that you can see the LEDs indicating battery life status.

    However, the lid has a very stiff hinge, making it hard to close with one hand. The plastic used for the top is slightly translucent and feels cheap. It’s probably the first thing that will crack if dropped on the floor.

    In conclusion, the whole package is pretty solid and should endure everyday use.

    Battery

    Star Rating
    4.5 Almost Perfect

    Up to 11 hours and 20 minutes of battery life on a single charge are excellent, but the remaining 9 hours inside the charging case are too low for the highest rating. Also, the case lacks Qi wireless charging.

    Sony WF-XB700 Battery Comparison

    Sony WF-XB700 battery graph

    Sony WF-XB700 pack a sizable battery. During our battery life test, they played the music for up to 11 hours and 20 minutes per charge, which is above average for true wireless earbuds.

    Unfortunately, while being very bulky, the charging case only holds another nine hours, which is rather low.

    Moreso, it lacks Qi wireless charging, despite having a lot of space at the bottom.

    At least it can fast-charge the earbuds using USB-C charging port.

    You get an hour’s worth of juice in a 10-minute charge.

    Features

    Star Rating
    3.0 Good

    Earbuds come with physical buttons and a good array of commands. Sadly, they aren’t remappable since there’s no companion app. At least the mic quality is good.

    Sony WF-XB700 aren’t exactly packed with extra features. They lack active noise cancelling, ambient sound mode, companion app, and even some EQ presets.

    While you can’t remap controls to perform custom commands, the button controls are reliable to use and offer a good set of actions for music playback. Strangely, though, you can’t call your designated voice assistant (like Google assistant).

    Sony WF-XB700 physical buttons
    Two physical buttons on the bottom of both true wireless buds.

    Sony WF-XB700 controls:

    • Play/pause – one press on the right side
    • Next track – double press on the right side
    • Previous track – triple press on the right side
    • Volume up – one press on the left side
    • Volume down – press and hold on the left side

    Microphone Quality

    Overall, the call quality is passable and good enough for making phone calls in all situations.

    Sony WF-XB700 microphone test

    You can expect the best microphone quality when speaking in a quiet place with no outside noise.

    Making calls in a loud environment does hurt the quality a little bit, introducing some distortion. But for the most part, the active noise cancellation for calls keeps your voice understandable, which is the most important thing.

    Noise Isolation

    Star Rating
    4.0 Great

    Due to a deep fit and good seal, you get excellent passive noise isolation.

    True wireless earbuds use 4 pairs of regular silicone ear tips to seal off your ear canal. They do that very successfully, reducing background noise by a significant amount.

    It’s more than enough to block engine noises and people’s chatter and prevent them from interfering with your music.

    This isolation level is vital for Sony WF-XB700 since they lack active noise cancellation.

    Also, earbuds don’t come with the ambient sound mode, missing the ability to amplify surrounding sounds.

    Sony WF-XB700 open case
    The charging case is big but so are the buds, which could be a reason why it can’t hold more extra charge.

    Bluetooth

    Star Rating
    4.0 Great

    Earbuds provide a solid Bluetooth connection with an above-average range. However, they lack multipoint and mono mode on both earbuds.

    For the most part, Bluetooth 5.0 ensures stable connection strength with no hiccups.

    The Bluetooth range is great. Inside a house, I managed to walk around 55 feet before one earbud cut off the audio completely. There were at least 2 brick walls in between.

    How to pair Sony WF-XB700?

    • To initiate the pairing process for the first time, place the earbuds out of the charging case. Right after that, they should appear in your Bluetooth menu.
    • For all the pairings afterward, you have to hold the physical buttons on both earbuds for 7 seconds until you see the blue light blinking.

    Unfortunately, you can only use the left earbud for mono mode (the right earbud simply stops playing when the left one is in the case).

    Also, earbuds don’t support multipoint connection, meaning you can’t pair them with more than one device simultaneously.

    What Bluetooth Codec Do They Use?

    Sony WF-XB700 use SBC and AAC audio codecs. The latter is the default for Android and iOS, even though it doesn’t work as well with Android gadgets.

    However, if you force SBC Bluetooth codec inside Developer options, you might experience random audio stutters, which is weird. Therefore, you have to use AAC.

    Sony WF-XB700 charging case
    Sleek yet bulky case of the Sony WF-XB700 true wireless earbuds.

    Is There an Audio Lag?

    The audio is entirely in sync when watching movies and YouTube videos on both operating systems (Android and iOS).

    Even mobile gaming shows great results, with just a minor delay. Gamers might still want to consider true wireless earbuds with a dedicated gaming mode.

    Should You Get Sony WF-XB700?

    Star Rating
    3.5 Almost Great

    The price is constantly going up and down. At the time of writing this review, they sell for $128 on Amazon, which is too much. Especially since they were selling for $70 a few days ago.

    If you manage to get them for under $70, the Sony WF-XB700 are a pretty compelling choice for bass lovers.

    They deliver bold heavy bass sound with a tight, punchy sound that’s relatively natural throughout the rest of the frequency range. Of course, you have to love the extra bass since there are no EQ settings.

    Earbuds are also pretty comfy and remain securely in place during workouts, despite bouncing around in your ears. And, they’re water-resistant, so the excess sweat can’t harm them.

    On the other hand, they aren’t worth more than $100 since they’re other, better alternatives at the same price. Check our picks for the best true wireless earbuds under $100.

    How do Sony WF-XB700 Compare to the Competition?

    • They pack a more substantial bass punch that is perfect for bass heads. While the competition can be bassy, it doesn’t provide the same level of enjoyment.
    • Earbuds are equally comfortable, despite their strange design.
    • Physical controls are more reliable than touch ones found in most other buds under $100.
    • A long battery life of 11 hours on a single charge is above average.
    • However, only 9 hours inside the case is low.
    • An IPX4 rating is good to have, but most of the competition under $100 has at least an IPX5.
    • While the extra bass is great for a specific audience, it’s too strong for users who seek sonic accuracy.

    Sony WF-XB700 Alternatives

    EarFun Free Pro 2

    EarFun Free Pro 2 buds and case

    More energetic and clear-sounding earbuds with great sound quality, better detail, and bass control.

    Furthermore, they come with ANC, transparency mode, and touch controls. But they also lack an app.

    At 4 hours and 31 minutes, the battery life is noticeably worse. However, the case packs another 28.5 hours of juice and has Qi wireless charging support.

    EarFun Free Pro 2 review

    Tribit FlyBuds C1

    Tribit FlyBuds C1 buds and the case

    Smooth-sounding earbuds with only a mild extra bass boost make them suitable for all music genres.

    Having a similar shape as Apple AirPods Pro, they’re comfier than the WF-XB700. They’re also rated for an IPX5 rating, making them slightly more durable.

    Earbuds also use physical controls and have around 9 hours of battery per charge. But, the case carries an impressive 38 hours of extra playtime.

    Tribit FlyBuds C1 review

    Skullcandy Indy ANC

    Skullcandy Indy ANC on the rock

    A bit more aggressive-sounding earbuds with similarly substantial extra bass boost but not as punchy.

    In-ears have a stem and ear fins to help them stabilize during sports activities. They’re also rated for an IPX5 rating.

    You can pair them with the app and switch between 3 EQ presets. Their integration with Tile helps you find them if they get lost.

    Skullcandy Indy ANC review

    What’s in the Box?

    Sony WF-XB700 accessories
    • Sony WF-XB700 true wireless earbuds
    • Charging case
    • USB-C charging cable
    • 4 pairs of silicone eartips (S, M, L, XL)
    • User guide

    Specifications

    Type: True wireless
    Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Back design: Closed-back
    Drivers: 12mm
    Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Impedance: n/a
    Weight: 46g (with case)
    Mic & Controls: Yes
    Water resistance: IPX4
    Battery life: 9h + 9h in case
    Charging time: 2.5h + Quick charge – USB-C
    Active noise cancelling: No
    Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC
    Wireless range: 33ft (10m)
    Microphone: Built-in

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