Sony WF-SP800N Review: Are They Great Wireless Earbuds?

Sony WF-SP800N review: performance

Solid noise cancellation, powerful audio performance, and a water-resistant build make the Sony WF-SP800N a strong contender in the market. In this post, we will give you a detailed Sony WF-SP800N review to learn more.

Sony WF-SP800N Review

1. Price

The Sony WF-SP800N was unveiled and released on May 7, 2020, in four colors (black, blue, red, and white) for $199 (AU$449, around £160).

2. Design

Sony WF-SP800N review: design


Available in black or blue (with orange and white models in the works), the chunky earpieces feel like they actually have some weight to them, but they come equipped with ear fins to help stabilize the fit. The in-ear fit is comfortable and secure, ideal for the gym or jogging. We’ve seen higher IP ratings for water resistance, but the WF-SP800N’s IP55 rating is strong enough to protect against dust and water projected from any direction, so rain and sweat won’t be an issue. Sony includes four pairs of silicone ear tips, two pairs of ear fins, and a USB-C-to-USB-A charging cable.

A single tap on the touch-sensitive surface of the left ear’s outer panel cycles through ANC modes. The right ear’s panel handles playback, track navigation, and call management, depending on how many times you tap. There’s no volume control on the earpieces. Tapping and holding on the right ear will default to summoning Siri on iOS devices, but the earphones can be programmed to work with Alexa or Google Assistant. Setting them up is easy, and then a simple left ear tap summons Alexa, for instance—but this replaces the cycling through of ANC functions. You can restore those to the right ear, but then you lose playback controls, so there’s a bit of sacrifice to adding Alexa or Google Assistant control.

The Sony Headphones Connect app offers plenty of superfluous features like 360 Reality Audio, but it also brings a number of genuinely useful functions.

The app’s approach to ANC (labeled Ambient Sound Control) is also useful. When it’s on, there’s only a single slider: far left is full ANC mode, while far-right is full monitor mode, and you can blend the two by setting the slider anywhere in between. For audio, the earphones connect via Bluetooth 5.0, and support AAC and SBC codecs, but not AptX.

The charging case is quite large compared with the competition. It has a flip-top lid and a front-facing status LED. And surprisingly, it only delivers a single extra full charge, which at first seems like a bummer until you realize the earphones themselves have the best battery life we’ve seen in this category so far. Sony estimates battery life to be roughly 9 hours with ANC on, or a truly impressive 13 hours with it off, which is around double what most wire-free in-ears claim. Keep in mind that these numbers will also vary based on your volume levels.

3. Performance

Sony WF-SP800N review: performance


The three headline features you need to know about in terms of performance are that the WF-SP800N are both noise-canceling and feature Sony’s Extra Bass EQ tuning that gives them a lot of power in the low end. They’re also one of the few earbuds to feature Sony’s 360 Reality Audio format for spatial audio support through Deezer and Tidal – which you’ll need to subscribe to if you want to use the format.

Starting first with the noise cancellation, what the WF-SP800N offers is a more basic version of the more powerful QN1e HD Noise-Cancelling Processor found in the Sony WF-1000XM3. The result is that the noise-cancellation isn’t as powerful as you’d expect and can’t drown out things like background conversation or plane noise, but certainly does reduce those noises to a dull roar.

So how do they sound?  It’s robust and full-on, with a wider soundstage than you’d expect from a pair of true wireless earbuds. They can get relatively loud, which really adds an extra layer of passive noise cancellation, and definitely have enough bass to make most EDM and rap fans really happy.

The only downside we’ve noticed so far is that the bass can override the mids and highs, which hurts their overall clarity. Turning up the volume restores some of those levels but can obviously be more fatiguing, so it’s a double-edged sword.

4. Sound



One of the benefits of using Sony’s wireless headphones and true wireless earbuds is the company’s Headphones Connect app, which lets you tweak a variety of settings including EQ.

If you like your workouts to be accompanied by a driving, bass-forward beat, you will love the SP800N.

Right out of the box, the SP800N sounds amazing. Tones are warm and rich, and the lows, midrange, and highs are well-defined, letting vocals stay crisp and clear. The soundstage is both wide and deep, something that lesser earbuds simply can’t reproduce. And then there’s the bass. It’s deeply resonant and provides an impressive level of immersion for bass-heavy tracks, yet it stops just shy of being overpowering. If you like your workouts to be accompanied by a driving, bass-forward beat, you will love the SP800N.

If big bass is not to your liking, you can adjust EQ inside the Headphones Connect app, but I wasn’t able to test this.

In conclusion, this is the full Sony WF-SP800N review to help you answer that these earbuds are good enough to buy.


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