Sony WF-SP800N | True Wireless ANC Headphones for Sportsmen | Review

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Pau Monfort
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Sony seems to have no intention of adopting a less encyclopedic nomenclature for its headphones, as evidenced by the WF-SP800N, a pair of True Wireless (WF) headphones dedicated to sports (SP).

This involves a degree ofimpermeability (IP55 in this case), and also a function of active noise cancellation (ANC). Let's find out how they are made and how they behaved during our test.

How they are made 

The SP800Ns are not particularly compact, such as the Jabra Elite 75t, which tend to take advantage of the space inside the ear. But the neck of the in-ear headphone fits into the ear while the body of the headphone develops outwards, following the lines of the WF-1000XM3, currently the best True Wireless headphones in terms of audio quality.



This sporty model is slightly bulkier, with a part of the external touch-sensitive surface, and an optical sensor that allows it to recognize when you wear them or take them off your ear.

The rubber cap (three different sizes in the pack) is combined with a rubber flap which improves ear grip, useful during training sessions.

The case is definitely bulky, among the largest tested in recent months. It is made of plastic, of good quality, with a mechanical opening that locks the lid when opened, and a magnetic closure. A front LED, between body and lid, indicates if the case is charging the earbuds.

A USB-C port on the back allows you to recharge the battery of the case.

Experience of use 

As soon as the two earphones are removed from the case, they will enter pairing mode. There is no NFC, then you will have to proceed with the classic pairing by searching for them in the list of BT devices. If you want to pair them with another smartphone, you will have to keep your fingers pressed on the touch-sensitive areas of both earphones for about 7 seconds.



Bluetooth is in version 5.0, but they do not support multiple simultaneous connectivity to two devices.

Even these earphones, like the recently reviewed WF-XB700s, are characterized by the locking system in the ear which involves inserting the earphone into the ear canal and then rotating them until they lock. The rubber flap does not seem to bring particular benefits and there is not even the feeling of a strong grip, unlike what happens with the XB700. In reality it will not be a problem, because used during multiple running sessions they never crashed, but passive isolation is not the best. As a result, the ANC system for active noise cancellation does not work as well as we expected. We also tried the larger headphones, without getting the desired result.

We want to be careful with the judgment in this respect, since there is always a personal variable linked to the shape of the ear; in our case we were not able to obtain the maximum isolation, but we do not exclude that with ears of other shapes the result could be better.

The touch-sensitive surface is very responsive and precise, even if the response of the inputs is not very fast. This means that there will be a small amount of time, just under a second, between the touch and the sending of the command. By clicking on the right earphone you can start or pause audio playback, as well as select the next track. The left earphone, on the other hand, allows you to switch from normal mode to “Ambient sound” which activates the microphones to reduce the isolation from the environment, to Noise Canceling mode. Interesting is the possibility of keeping the fingertip on the surface of the left earpiece to decrease the volume by 90% and activate the microphones, so as to allow you to communicate with someone without pausing music playback. The same action on the right earphone activates the voice assistant (it is compatible with any voice assistant).



They are not among the most comfortable earphones we have tried. If you are very sensitive you will feel the need to take them off often enough to make your ears “rest”. You will probably endure them during a workout, where your body will be stressed by physical activities, but if your goal is to relax in the chair, these are not the earphones we recommend.

Application

The Sony application allows you to check audio playback, earphones and case battery status, as well as customize surface touch controls and update firmware.

It also enables an "adaptive sound", that is, allowing the app to access the geolocation and movement data, the headphones will change their status independently, for example by activating the ANC while you are in stationary situations or it will disable it, or even enable it the ambient sound when you move.

There is also a five-band equalizer with a dozen presets and the ability to act manually.

Also from the application it is possible to activate theaudio 360 Reality. After photographing your ears, a specific equalization will be created for your person and the parameters passed to the applications that today offer 360 Reality support (Tidal and Deezer). The result will be an audio rendering with a much wider soundstage than the same track in classic format. The result is truly engaging. Even if I am not a lover of these "tricks" made to deceive the brain, since I believe that the track thus reproduced distances itself from the one conceived by the artist, I must say that the result is really very engaging.


Audio quality

We evaluated the audio quality with the classic tracks and without the intervention of the equalizer integrated in the App. The rendering is linear for most of the spectrum, while we notice an emphasis in the lower frequencies and a slight lack in the mid-high / high. The result is however very pleasant; even for a headset designed for sport we would not have disdained a less linear reproduction and an imbalance in the lower part of the spectrum. However, this result can be obtained by acting on the equalizer and the “extra bass” voice which, in fact, emphasizes the bass.


We expect nothing more from a headset of this kind, which is passed with flying colors in terms of quality. Too bad about the lack of LDAC support.

Autonomy

Sony talks about an autonomy of nine hours, a very real figure. It is even possible to go a little further if you don't always keep the volume at maximum 

Verdict

The SP800Ns shine in some respects, while they could have been better in others. Let's start with the good news: they never fall out during a busy workout, the audio performance is good and with the intervention of the equalization it is possible to emphasize the bass for a powerful performance during workouts. They are waterproof so you won't fear rain or sweat. The battery life on a single charge of at least nine hours allows you to use them even if you are a professional athlete and train for the whole day. The application offers maximum control over all features.

Too bad for the sound insulation and the non-optimal ANC, as well as the possibility for the case to recharge them once, especially considering the generous dimensions.

The price of 200 euros puts them in direct competition with many other models, first of all with the Jabra Elite 75t, which do not have ANC, but are more comfortable to use.

Take this Sony model if you don't have particularly sensitive ears and want to use them even during daily activities, where the ANC, although not the best, is comfortable. And especially if you like Audio 360 Reality, something very special.

Sony WF-SP800N

The Sony WF-SP800N are a pair of true wireless headphones dedicated to sportsmen, with active noise cancellation, Audio 360 Reality technology and an autonomy of nine hours.

BUY ONE Amazon.it »

 

Verdict

The Sony WH-SP800Ns offer over nine hours of battery life on a single charge, good quality audio and are waterproof. They are perfect for those who want a pair of headphones with which to train for many consecutive hours.

For

+ Application
+ Autonomy per single charge
+ Audio 360 Reality
+ Audio quality
+ Presence sensor

 

Cons

- The case allows you to charge the headset only once
- Passive isolation and only sufficient ANC
- They do not support LDAC

Sony WF-SP800N

The Sony WF-SP800N are a pair of true wireless headphones dedicated to sportsmen, with active noise cancellation, Audio 360 Reality technology and an autonomy of nine hours.

BUY ONE Amazon.it »

 

Verdict

The Sony WH-SP800Ns offer over nine hours of battery life on a single charge, good quality audio and are waterproof. They are perfect for those who want a pair of headphones with which to train for many consecutive hours.

For

+ Application
+ Autonomy per single charge
+ Audio 360 Reality
+ Audio quality
+ Presence sensor

 

Cons

- The case allows you to charge the headset only once
- Passive isolation and only sufficient ANC
- They do not support LDAC


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