Sony’s anticipated flagship noise cancelling headphones aren’t here yet, but next on the list are new earphones and headphones, it seems.
It’s been some time since Sony updated its flagship noise cancelling headphones, but that doesn’t mean the company doesn’t have noise cancelling headphones on the way. In fact, its next assortment appears to be focused on bringing Sony’s noise cancelling approach to at least one more variety, while another goes without.
Two portable sound options have been announced this week, though Australian pricing and availability on the models seems unclear, to say the least. We’re expecting lower prices than the flagship WH headphones and WF in-earphones, but Sony has yet to confirm.
The new headphones include a pair of large over-ear headphones and a pair that goes in-ear, and they appear to be a little different, with the latter going without noise cancelling entirely.
For instance, in the WF-XB700 in-earphones, it looks as though Sony is bringing something like the extra-bass capability from last year’s XB900N to a wire-free in-ear variant, but without noise cancelling altogether.
Sony says the WF-XB700 are built for a large amount of bass, something the “XB” typically signifies in Sony’s range, with battery life the other main focus. As such, the XB700 aims to offer up to nine hours of battery life per charge, with an extra nine hours in the portable case, plus an IPX4 sweat resistant rating.
Granted, there’s no noise cancelling capability here, not like the WF-1000XM3 wireless in-earphones last year, but that is coming in a new pair of Sony headphones.
A slightly different pair, Sony’s WH-CH710N is a pair of noise cancelling headphones, and one that offers a slightly different style than previous Sony noise cancelling headphones.
More interesting is what Sony says powers the noise cancelling, with Artificial Intelligence Noise Cancellation or “AINC”, a variation of noise cancellation that automatically analyses ambient sound outside and determines the best noise cancelling mode for where you are. Similar to the premise of adaptive active noise cancellation, Sony’s noise cancelling in the WH-CH710N sounds a little like the technology Jabra used in the Elite 85h, whereby the mode is changed based on specific sounds.
We’ve asked Sony to find out whether any of the technology in the WH-CH710N is shared with Sony’s flagship WH-1000XM3, though this approach appears to be different from the app-based approach of adaptive cancellation Sony uses on its flagship headphones.
At least the battery isn’t too far off the mark, with up to 35 hours of sound from these wireless headphones, though it’s clear this style of headphones is a little lower end: the buttons are more of an old school physical button variety, compared to the more premium touch variety found on the flagship 1000XM3.
As for where Sony’s follow-up to that pair of headphones is, there’s still no word from Sony, though our guess is the middle of the year is most likely. And that could be close to when we expect to see these two new Sony headphone models, too, with Sony Australia saying the pricing and availability on the WF-XB700 wireless in-earphones and WH-CH710N noise cancelling headphones is to be confirmed.