It's fair to say there's a lot of competition among the best wireless earbuds on the market. Whether you're looking for the absolute pinnacle of what's on offer, or fancy a pair of earbuds with a good price-to-performance ratio, there are a massive range of options available.
Today, we're taking a look at the Sony WF-C700N. These sit above the Sony WF-C500 earbuds in the Sony range, but are still beneath the flagship Sony WF-1000XM4 unit.
But can they offer the perfect hybrid of price and performance? Let's take a closer look and find out.
Sony WF-C700N: Price and Release Date
The Sony WF-C700N wireless earbuds were unveiled on the 3rd of April 2023. In the UK, they retail for £99.99 and will set you back AU$199.99 in Australia. Check out the widgets on this page for local pricing, and to ensure you're getting the best deal.
Sony WF-C700N: What's New?
Comparing these to the WF-C500's – arguably the closest competitor in Sony's range – there's a couple of notable changes here. First, and most obviously, these earbuds pack in active noise cancellation. Within the Sony Headphones app, users can select between full noise cancelling, or 20 levels of ambience. It's also adjustable on the fly, via a button on the earbud itself.
Elsewhere, there's not loads of change. Bluetooth is upgraded from Bluetooth 5.0 to Bluetooth 5.2, but you're unlikely to notice any difference in use. The buds themselves are also a shade lighter, at 4.6g per bud, versus 5.4g on the WF-C500's.
Sony WF-C700N: Design
In terms of design, the WF-C700N's are as sleek as ever. The bullet-style case – shown in white on my review unit – is nicely textured with small dots. It's great for grip, and should make this pretty much impossible to drop.
However, it does pick up dirt and debris really easily, and also gets marked really quickly. Perhaps another colour is a better option, if that sort of thing will bug you.
There's a reassuring click to the hinge mechanism, too. It feels like a quality design, and something that should be able to withstand the rigors of day-to-day life without any issues.
The buds themselves are pretty standard for Sony. There's not much to shout about really – the stem for the earpiece is attached to a slightly larger bud, which houses the button and the microphone. They're sleek, though, and look good enough for discerning fashion fans.
I did find them slightly uncomfortable in use though. It's fine for a few hours, but longer listening sessions started to fatigue my ear. I can't put my finger on exactly why that's the case – perhaps because most of the weight is distributed outside of your ear canal?
Sony WF-C700N: Performance
Let's kick things off with the battery life, which is just ridiculously good. The buds themselves are rated for between 7.5 and 10 hours, depending on whether or not you use the noise cancellation. I found around eight hours was easy to achieve in a single session, flitting between ambient and noise cancelling as needed.
Charging is speedy, too, taking less than the stated three hours to fill up the case. That should mean you're never in fear of them dying on you, and if they do, you won't be without them for long.
One of the headline appointments on the WF-C700N's is the noise cancelling setting, and I'm pleased to report that it is fantastic. I took the chance to really put them to the test when sat on a flight next to a crying infant. As soon as I engaged the setting, all of the noise around me stopped, filtering out absolutely everything. Top marks there, Sony!
I'm a much bigger fan of ambient modes on earbuds, though. Usually, these are far more useful, allowing you to listen to audio without being completely oblivious to what is going on around you. Again, this is really well done here. 20 different levels of ambience can be selected, allowing you to really hone in just the right amount of outside noise to balance with your music.
All of that can be adjusted in the Sony Headphones app, which is as good as ever, here. There's a selection of EQ settings on the app, but the real godsend is the inclusion of a customisable option. With this, users can tune the sound to their liking, with five bands of EQ and a separately adjustable Clear Bass setting.
Clear Bass is real triumph on these earbuds. Simply boosting the lowest band leaves you with a fairly indistinct low-end. Instead, I found dropping that frequency band down a touch and boosting the clear bass yielded the most pleasing results, with a defined, powerful low-end which was even fine handling sub-frequencies.
Overall, the sound delivered by these earbuds is good. There's a really impressive level of detail – sounds buried in the mix were able to pop forward, occupying their own space without detracting from more prominent layers.
The sonic profile isn't quite as exciting as other earbuds in this market segment, though. Even with a healthy dose of equalisation in the app, things still feel just a tad restrained. That might not matter to most, but audiophiles will definitely spot it.
Sony WF-C700N: Verdict
All-in-all, these are a great quality pair of wireless earbuds, which will more than suit the needs of all but the most discerning of audio fans. The Sony name will carry a lot of weight with consumers, and rightly so.
Ultimately, whether these are the best choice for you comes down to what you value most. If it's the absolute best sound for the price, I'd probably opt for the Nothing Ear (2). But if you're happy with great sound, and a truly killer battery life, these are well worth your consideration.