Sony WF-C700N Earbuds Review: Improved In Every Way

The Sony WF-C500 introduced app support to the budget earbuds lineup last year. With the WF-C700N, Sony has added noise cancellation (NC), enhanced battery life and sound quality, and retained the physical button controls. Initially, there were some omissions, such as multipoint connectivity and volume control (with the other two sets of controls), but both of these features have been added through a software update. As a result, these earbuds now stand as one of the best options in the segment.

The Sony WF-C700N case features a slim cylindrical design. I’ve grown to prefer it over the Nothing Ear (2)-like flat square cases because this fits better in my pocket alongside my wallet or phone. It is available in four color options of white, black, green, and lavender. I’ve been using the white one, which hasn’t gotten dirty over the past month. It gets my vote of confidence.

The WF-C700N case doesn’t feel premium but is sturdy and gets the job done well. I’ve been using these earbuds for four weeks now, and the case’s hinge has remained intact without any signs of wear and tear. I like the textured feel of the case. You get an LED on the front that serves as a battery indicator, and there’s a USB-C port and a physical button for Bluetooth pairing.

The earbuds themselves weigh 4.5 grams each. They are IPX4-rated for sweat resistance, so you can wear them on your morning walks or jogs. The fit is comfortable, and they haven’t fallen out of my ears even once.

Each earpiece is equipped with physical controls, which I prefer over gesture inputs but these have their own quirks. For instance, I tend to wear earbuds before sleep because music helps me sleep better. But as a side sleeper, whenever I lie on my side, I accidentally press the button against my pillow which triggers one thing on the other depending on the earbud.

One of the most irritating aspects of the Sony WF-C700N at launch was the absence of volume control if I had NC on the left earbud and playback controls on the right earbud (you can choose them as sets). However, Sony added volume controls with four presses on either earbud with an update on July 25. You can also trigger the voice assistant on your phone with a long press. The full suite of controls over NC, playback, and volume makes it stand out from the competition.

The Sony WF-C700N earbuds feature 5mm drivers with a frequency response range of 20-20,000Hz and Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity. You don’t get support for advanced Bluetooth codecs like LHDC or LDAC since these support only SBC (Android) and AAC (iPhone).

You can set up the WF-C700N with Bluetooth on both iOS and Android but to access all the features you need to download the Sony Headphones Connect app. It’s easy to use, shows key indicators like battery life on the earbuds and case on the home screen, and allows you to customize the equalizer, change controls, and toggle Sony-exclusive features like toggling DSEE and analyze ear shape for a more immersive experience.

I used these earbuds with my iPhone 14 Pro Max and Galaxy Z Flip 5 primarily for music and calls. Ae Ajnabi (from Dil Se) sounded better on the Nothing Ear (2) in terms of details in lower frequency. The tabla was more prominent. But that’s only when the Ear (2) are connected to the Phone (2), in my experience. The iPhone tops out with AAC, so Apple users need not worry about the lack of LDAC.

Sony’s WF-C700N focuses on delivering rich sound. It’s a good upgrade over the C500. But don’t expect the sound quality to be similar to Sony’s more premium offerings like the LinkBuds S. The vocals sound good but the treble feels a bit flat and isn’t as bright as the Oppo Enco X2 (INR 9,999). The Oppo earbuds cost a bit more but sound better overall, in my opinion.

The WF-C700N offers noise cancellation that’s a bit better than the Nothing Ear (2). And that’s because of the passive noise cancellation due to the snug fit. For reference, these earbuds don’t the the same chip for noise cancellation as the WF1000XM4 or LinkBuds S. As a result, NC is weaker but still enough to cancel the traffic noise to some extent. If you are at 60% volume or more with NC on, you are unlikely to hear anything from outside. The transparency mode feels artificial but gets the job done. The mic quality is average.

I like the battery life of these Sony earbuds. I could easily get up to 7 hours of music playback at 60% volume with NC on, which is double than what I get on the Nothing Ear (2). However, the case can provide just one additional charge cycle. The WF-C700N offers a total battery life of up to 15 hours with the case, which is less than the Nothing buds, OnePlus Buds Pro 2 and Oppo Enco X2.

That being said, I didn’t have battery anxiety, and I like the fact that these can last up to 7 hours on the trot. Plus, you can get 1 hour of playback with 10 minutes of charge on the Sony earbuds. There’s no wireless charging on these earbuds.

If you are an iPhone user, the Sony WF-C700N is an easy recommendation. But if you are on Android, I recommend you spend INR 1,000 more and go for the Oppo Enco X2 for better noise cancellation, sound, and battery life.

If you are on a tight budget, at $98 / INR 8,990, the Sony WF-C700N is a solid offering. You get a slim but sturdy case, good performance, multipoint connectivity, a full suite of controls, a comfortable fit, and good battery life. The Sony WF-C700N earbuds are the epitome of a product getting better with updates over its life cycle.

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