There's news on the audio market. Sony has introduced new true-wireless in-ear and over-ear headphones that are considered affordable in the Japanese company's portfolio. The true-wireless WF-XB700 earbuds offer "Extra Bass", a quick-charge charging case, but no ANC. They are also comparatively cheap. Sony's WH-CH710N closes the gap between its entry-level and high-end over-ear headphones.
The new true-wireless headphones from Sony are comparatively inexpensive. The WF-XB700 are reported to launch at around $130. They will go on sale in the USA in April. The "XB" in the name stands for "Extra Bass". These earbuds said to deliver a particularly "powerful, punchy low-end sound", as Sony advertises on the product page. The in-ear headphones offer nine hours of music playback from a single charge. In combination with a wired charging case, they should run for a total of 18 hours. The quick charge capability of the case is interesting. In ten minutes, enough power can be charged for up to 60 minutes of playback time.
Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) is not available on the true-wireless in-ear headphones. On the other hand, the WF-XB700 are protected against water and dust in accordance with an official IPX4 rating, and thanks to their "tri-hold structure" - i.e. three contact points in the ear - they are designed to provide secure wearing comfort. With a price of around $130, the new Sonys could be a real alternative to other mid-range in-ears, such as Apple's AirPods 2. Whether and when the headphones will come to Europe is still unclear.
Sony WH-CH710N: over-ear headphones with ANC
The same applies to the new over-ear headphones from Sony. The $200 WH-CH710N look quite similar to the WH-1000XM3 from Sony, but you can still recognize clear differences. This is natural, as the over-ear headphones are the successor of the middle-class headphones WH-CH700N, and have been technically improved considerably. These include dual-noise sensor technology for detecting ambient noise and an ambient sound mode for fading it in or out.
The battery life is an impressive 35 hours according to the spec sheet. Quick Charge is also on board here. According to Sony, ten minutes of charging will deliver up to 60 minutes of playback time. The heart of the unit is a 30 mm driver for sound conversion. Sony is silent about the exact driver type on its website. The more expensive flagship pairs of Sony headphones feature 40 mm drivers. The new WH-CH710N also offer active noise cancellation (ANC). Here, too, we don't know yet which chip will be used and whether Sony will install the dedicated HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1 from the meanwhile well-aged high-end segment. According to the product spec sheet, the technical information should follow "shortly".
Prices for the European market and a delivery date for both new headphones are not yet available (as of April 2), but we assume that the new headphones will be available in more regions in the near future.