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Sony brings new TWS earbuds to take on AirPods, focuses on audio quality supremely

The recently announced Sony TWS earbuds series aim to grab a major share of the premium earbuds segment with Sony's usual advantages.

twitter-logoAmritanshu Mukherjee | June 24, 2020 | Updated 16:57 IST
Sony WF-XB700

Highlights

  • Sony has announced two new wireless earbuds in India.
  • The WF-XB700 starts at Rs 9,990 and is aimed at masses.
  • The Sony WF-SP800N costs Rs 18,990 and rivals the AirPods Pro.

The market is getting flooded with truly wireless earbuds and Sony is the latest one to join the party. The company has announced two new additions to its TWS category at different price points, both falling in the premium segment. The first one is WF-XB700 that costs Rs 9,990 whereas the second one is the WF-SP800N that costs Rs 18,990. The former brings Sony's Extra Bass to the masses whereas the latter is aimed at sportspersons.

The WF-XB700 is aimed at the masses and it brings Sony's signature Extra Bass, which in turn enhances the low-end of the audio spectrum. These earbuds are IPX4 rated and Sony promises a total of 18 hours of battery life with the case included. The WF-SP800N features active noise cancellation and 9 hours of battery life on the earbuds alone. This one also gains support for IP55 water and dust resistance. Both the earbuds have support for SBC and AAC audio codecs.

With these earbuds, Sony is venturing into the true wireless category for the first time. Hence, India Today Tech reached out to Mani Balan, Product Manager, Personal Audio, Sony India, to learn about Sony's plans and future products.

Question: In a market floating with so many TWS earbuds, how is Sony willing to make a place for itself?

Sony has a strong foothold in personal audio market and thanks to products like WH-1000XM3, WH-XB900N and WI-1000XM2, customers especially resonate with Sony in the premium headphone segment. With the launch of Truly wireless headphones, we are focusing on the mid and premium segment, which is a sizeable market in India. We strongly believe that our products WF-XB700 and WF-SP800N with latest technology such as noise cancellation, quick attention mode, touch sensors, long battery life and sense engine will be the preferred choice of our customers.

Question: Recently, there have been a lot of new low-priced TWS earbuds. How do the new Sony models compare?

Our products are a complete package for the customers delivering powerful sound, long battery life, secure & comfortable fit, Noise cancellation, waterproof, stable Bluetooth connection, Voice assistants, latest Bluetooth version and low latency. Considering all such features inside one product, we believe we are very competitive and offer great value-for-money.

Question: Battery is one major area of concern with TWS earphones. Is Sony going for big batteries or clever technologies?

We have a combination of both. Our products deliver one of the longest battery life in the similar price segment. The WF-SP800N offers 26 hours of battery life, while WF-XB700 offers 18 hours. Another useful feature is that the earbuds itself hold much longer battery life, WF-SP800N earbuds have 13 hours and WF-XB700 earbuds have 9 hours, so the customer don't have to put it back frequently into the carrying case to charge it.

Question: Wear comfort is something that only a few OEMs have managed to get it. How important is comfort for Sony? Are there any specific developments on this?

Yes, our product planning team carried out extensive research to understand people's ear sizes and dimensions to perfectly design the latest Truly Wireless headphones. The ergonomic tri-hold structure helps to fit the headphones as per the ear shape and fix the earbuds' position with three points namely, Tragus, Antitragus and Antihelix. It also supports to make space between earbuds and crus of helix. In addition, we provide different sizes of ear tips to fit every person's ear.

Question: With in-ear designs (non-AirPods clones), voice reception in calls is usually poor. Do the new Sony TWS earbuds aim to tackle this issue, given the loud Indian ambience?

Yes, all our Truly wireless models have good quality built-in microphone which delivers clear audio during calls. The headphones deliver extremely clear voice quality for hands-free calling and one can take calls using either or both of the earbuds.

Question: Does Sony have plans to compete in the TWS earbuds segment under Rs 5,000, given that there's a demand for affordable earphones?

The Truly wireless market in India is evolving and we are continuously studying and analyzing the market in every price segment and will take further decisions of entering a new price band based on the market size and feasibility of making a product without compromising on the customer expectation from Sony and the brand's premium quality standards.

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