The excellent Sony MDR-1000X wireless noise-cancelling headphones will have three successors, it has been announced at IFA 2017.
The original Sony MDR-1000X were a huge hit and shook up a sector of the market dominated by the Bose QuietComfort series. Sony’s next move is to improve on the original, but also add two new form factors: neckband-style in-ears and true wireless earbuds.
Here is everything we know about the new Sony 1000X range. All three models are Bluetooth and noise-cancelling headphones. All three can be tweaked by the Headphones Connect app, which lets you fine-tune the noise cancellation’s balance between immersion and awareness.
The top model is the Sony WH-1000XM2, where the H stands for ‘headband’.
This is the direct follow-up to the MDR-1000X, and uses a familiar over-ear design. It maintains the original’s touch-sensitive control pad on the right ear, along with ambient noise passthrough and personal NC customisation – but there are some new tricks too.
Now these headphones can sense your actions, and will automatically adjust the level of noise cancellation depending on whether you’re sitting, walking around, riding in a vehicle or running for the bus.
Another development is the Atmospheric Pressure Optimizer. The headphones can measure the barometric pressure around the user (which can affect noise cancellation performance) and will adjust the sound accordingly. The idea is that you’ll have the optimal noise cancellation performance whether you’re on a train or a plane.
Claimed battery life is 30 hours (wireless) and 40 hours (wired). There is also a quick charging feature, which gives you 70 minutes of battery life with a 10-minute charge.
Next up is the Sony WI-1000X, where the I stands for ‘in ear’.
These are neckband-style earphones, which Sony says is aimed at commuters and business trips. They also benefit from the Atmospheric Pressure Optimizer. There is a zip style cable management system, and vibrating alerts for phone calls. Battery life is estimated at 10 hours (wireless) and 14 hours (wired).
On the audio side, these use a dual driver system to maximise the frequency range covered. There is also LDAC, Sony’s proprietary, high quality Bluetooth format.
Finally, there is the Sony WF-1000X, where the F stands for ‘freedom’.
These are true wireless earbud style headphones, in the same category as the Apple Airpods and the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8. The noise cancellation here makes these headphones unique, since there are no other NC wireless earbud style headphones.
Total battery life is rated at nine hours – the buds themselves last three hours on full, and the charging case holds an additional six hours of battery. An auto on/off feature means you don’t need to faff with the power switch ever time you remove or replace the buds, and they’ll automatically pair with the last device used.
There is an ‘arc supporter’, a small fin that ensures the buds stay put, and Sony has paid special attention to an internal antenna that’s responsible for stable connectivity. Each bud weighs 6.8g.
All three models are out today, and prices are as follows.
Sony WH-1000XM2: £330/€400
Sony WI-1000X £300/€370
Sony WF-1000X: £200/€250