It was at IFA last year that Sony delivered its MDR-1000X Bluetooth and noise-cancelling headphones, a design that was able to take on the best of the market at the highest level – it went on to become our 2017 Noise-Cancelling Headphone of the Year.
At IFA 2017 Sony has three new variations, and adds an interesting ‘Atmospheric Pressure Optimising’ feature to the general wirelessness and noiselessness.
The WF-1000X represents Sony’s take on fully wireless buds, and they follow the trend of providing a case that itself holds enough charge to rejuice the buds when in storage, while the buds sit in your ears receiving via Bluetooth. They use a 6mm driver quoting 20Hz-20kHz through A2DP Bluetooth, supporting SBC and AAC codecs. While the buds themselves offer only three hours playback time, the case can recharge them twice, giving a potential nine hours if you can give them a rest between sessions.
Two sizes of the all-important fitting supporters are included, plus four silicone tips and three others. Local pricing will be $399.95, launch expected in October 2017.
The WH-1000XM2 seems to be the gen 2 of the original MDR-1000X, though the price of the first-gen remains officially at $699.95 (though available for significantly less) while the initial price of the WH-1000XM2 is only $499.95, so we wait to see what if anything has been omitted or trimmed here. the new model includes the original's Ambient Sound mode and Quick Attention feature where you can let sound pass through the headphones by cupping your ear (we found this very effective once you’re used to it), and is one of the two models bringing in the new Atmospheric Pressure Optimising. This promises to analyse your surrounding atmospheric pressure and improve the NC performance accordingly – it is designed primarily for use in-flight. The Bluetooth codec support is wide, with SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX HD, and Sony’s own LDAC. Battery life is 30 hours wireless with NC up to 40 hours using the cable with NC (passive operation is also possible).
The third pair is the WI-1000X, behind-the-neck wireless noise cancelling buds – 10 hours life with NC on, but you can cable them for 14 hours of, say NC-equipped inflight entertainment. Price will be $449.95.
All are expected in Australia in early October. More info: Sony Australia