Almost every pair of noise cancelling headphones isn’t really made for sweat or running, but Sony’s latest is focused on that, and helping you stay focused.
Even though noise cancellation was originally focused on quelling noise from aircraft, the concept has expanded greatly over the years. It still doesn’t deal with “all noise” as an overall sound, but the concept of cancelling out noise can be applied to more than just the sound during flight, as numerous environments have background noise that can be silenced.
For instance, you can wear noise cancelling headphones on a bus or train, and have the background sound from the motor and outside noise dulled significantly. Even in restaurants or the office, you might find the background noise isn’t easy to deal with, and so noise cancelling headphones can cut some of it out. And you can use noise cancellation when you’re out and about to lessen the noise of humans speaking collectively, all so you can focus on whatever it is you’re doing.
However if what you’re doing is exercise or fitness, there’s a good chance that a pair of noise cancelling headphones or earphones aren’t built to deal with the sort of stress you might be throwing their way. It’s not that noise cancellation technologies have issues with running or jumping in general, but typically aren’t made for sweat.
Specifically, they’re typically not water resistant, and so if you sweat a lot in them, or go for a run in the rain, you might not want to expect your headphones to last as long as you might hope.
Noise cancellation earphones can’t always be found in a fitness variety, either. They exist, but typically in small amounts, though Sony looks to be adding one to what’s on offer in Australia in the coming months, even if its exact release date isn’t something Sony’s local arm is ready to pin down.
The new model on the way is the WF-SP800N, a pair of truly wireless earphones that does away with the cord connecting the individual earphones, and brings nine hours of charge to the design, with an extra two charges (18 hours) in the rechargeable case.
While battery life is important in these wireless earphones, the SP800N looks to leverage some of the same technology used in Sony’s other highly talked about earphones, including one of our favourites, last year’s WF-1000XM3. They’re not exactly the same, but Sony is using the same Bluetooth chip from the 1000XM3 in the SP800N, though the audio will likely be a little different, with “Extra Bass” a part of features amidst the support of noise cancellation.
In fact, if you use the “Sony Headphones Connect” app, you should find adaptive sound control like Sony’s flagship earphones and headphones, changing the environment settings to match your situation as you run and walk.
You can also control the music simply by touching the earphones and turn down the noise cancellation to let you hear the outside world with a “quick attention” shortcut, handy if someone’s talking to you.
Much of this is consistent in wireless noise cancelling earphones, but what may not be is water resistance, with Sony clocking in with an IP55 rating. That might be a bit of jargon for you, but IP55 stands for an Ingress Protection rating of 55, which means the SP800N is dust protected (the first 5), while also being resistant to water (the second 5, tester with water jets).
Or in layfolk’s terms, it means Sony’s WF-SP800N is water resistant for sweat and deciding to go running in the rain. You won’t want to go swimming with the SP800N, but they should survive more water than most wireless noise cancelling earphones are rated for.
“These headphones help any athlete stay focused on their goals as they offer the perfect combination of noise cancelling and sweat resistance,” said Abel Makhraz, Deputy General Manager for Consumer Sales and Marketing at Sony Australia.
“Whether you’re working out at home or hitting the running trails, WF-SP800N takes your motivation to the next level,” he said.
If they sound like an interesting addition to your life, the bad news is you might be waiting a few months, with Sony eyeing a release date later in the year, past July. Despite that, you can expect the Sony WF-SP800N to hit retail in Australia later this year for a recommended retail price of $449.95.