Sony WF-C500 review | Laptop Mag

Today’s greatest Sony WF-C500 offersThe Sony WF-C500 is the corporate’s newest try at creating entry-level buds with flagship sound. It comes engineered with a number of Sony high-end sound options, together with 360 Reality Audio, Digital Sound Enhancement Engine (DSEE), and Equalizer through the companion app. Not to say a few of the longest battery life (on a single cost) within the class. However, its largest spotlight is affordability – $100 is a candy deal. Control and luxury points apart, these buds obtain the sound efficiency that funds audiophiles need from a low-price Sony mannequin.Read our full Sony WF-C500 to see why it’s thought-about among the finest low cost wi-fi earbuds round.Sony WF-C500 (White) at Amazon for $98Sony WF-C500 review: Availability and valueThe Sony WF-C500 bought for $100 at launch, however you will get it for as little as $68 on Amazon, Best Buy or instantly from Sony. It is available in three colours: Black, White, and Green (Best Buy unique). In the field comes a charging case, USB-C charging cable, 4 units of different-sized suggestions, a person information, and a guaranty.This is a fraction of what the flagship Sony WF-1000XM4 ($279) wi-fi earbuds promote for. The increased price ticket will get you energetic noise cancellation and a plethora of different options. You can even snag a pair for lower than mid-range gems just like the $120 Beats Studio Buds and prime sellers just like the $179 AirPods 3 and $249 AirPods Pro.Be certain to bookmark our headphone offers web page for the most recent gross sales.Sony WF-C500 review: Design and luxurySony thought outdoors of the field when designing the horny WF-1000XM4 and ultramodern HyperlinkBuds. About 1 / 4 of that ingenuity was utilized to the WF-C500. Let’s begin with the buds, which have what appears like a inventory design that does little to face out from the gang. The all-plastic building with IPX4 sweat and water resistance retains them properly protected, however that’s about it. It’s simply too bland for my liking.(Image credit score: Regan Coule/Future)The charging case is the one artistic element of the WF-C500. Pill-shaped instances aren’t something new, however integrating a semi-translucent lid is a enjoyable, distinctive contact that calls again to the old-school JVC Gumy earbuds packaging. The brilliant orange LEDs look cool throughout charging. It gained’t overwhelm your pockets both at 1.24 ounces.(Image credit score: Regan Coule/Future)Fit-wise, these buds mould exactly to your ears and the silicone ear suggestions create a good seal to maintain them locked in. Sony’s inclusion of various sized ear suggestions ought to accommodate listeners with greater ear canals.(Image credit score: Regan Coule/Future)Comfort is a special story. Fatigue units in after two hours of use. I seen the buds making use of strain across the concha. Pressing the multifunctional button solely exacerbates the discomfort; pushing the buds additional into your ears can damage after a number of presses.Sony WF-C500 review: Controls and digital assistantThe management scheme is proscribed. Only with the ability to use the left bud to regulate quantity appears peculiar. Playback and digital help are reserved for the correct ear. Call administration is the one operate programmed on each buds. You can’t assign or customise the only/multi-press and long-hold. In addition, button tactility is horrible, requiring customers to faucet two to 3 instances earlier than the buds register supposed instructions.(Image credit score: Regan Coule/Future)Alexa voice command didn’t make the minimize, however the WF-C500 nonetheless permits you to hearth up your machine’s native assistant – Siri, Google Assistant or Bixby – to execute duties hands-free. Results have been principally constructive with all three AI bots understanding and finishing fundamental instructions with ease. Very seldom did the mics misread phrases or long-winded inquiries.Some of Sony’s newer voice-activated options would have been vastly appreciated. There are not any movement sensors to auto-pause when taking off the buds. A characteristic like Speak-to-Chat might have slot in completely because it does the identical factor when listening to the person’s voice.Sony WF-C500 review: Audio high qualityThe WF-C500 has an exceptionally balanced sound profile for the worth. There’s some good frequency vary to take pleasure in impactful lows, detailed mids, and crisp highs. And sure, Sony bass is current. It gained’t rattle your eardrums like on the WF-1000XM4, however it’s satisfyingly punchy.Pulling up LL Cool J’s “Going Back to Cali” was a nostalgic journey that jogged my memory simply how monstrous the subwoofer bassline is on this monitor. To hear the WF-C500 deal with it with delicacy and never bloat up the soundstage was spectacular. More so, Mr. Smith’s laidback and softened vocals have been pronounced and rode easily over the scratch inserts and wailing trumpet.(Image credit score: Regan Coule/Future)From there it was onto extra upbeat jams like Michael Jackson’s “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin,’” the place the interweaving drum-machine patterns and scatty hi-hats have been layered beautifully. Switching to Latin Jazz was much more rewarding. The percussion results from the timbales on Eddie Palmieri’s “Vamanos Pa’l Monte” sounded implausible, together with the melodic organs and vibrant horn part. Sound could be personalised within the companion app utilizing the Equalizer. You can manually alter the frequencies and save the outcomes or select from one in all 9 well-engineered presets: Bass Boost, Bright, Excited, Manual, Mellow, Relaxed, Speech, Treble Boost, and Vocal. Each is efficient when paired with the correct content material; Bass Boost and Treble Boost emphasize the low finish on hip-hop tracks, whereas Vocal is good for dialogue-centric content material. (Image credit score: Regan Coule/Future)DSEE upscales low-fi recordings a smidge to listen to vocals clearer and cut back background static. 360 Reality Audio can also be accessible for 3D listening, although the know-how isn’t as efficient on these buds as on costlier Sony earbuds. I received a really feel for viewers suggestions when watching dwell performances, however nothing that wowed me off the sofa.Noise isolation isn’t that nice. There have been instances when household conversations and my toddler’s whining pulled me away from what was taking part in. Raising the quantity helped barely, however I needed to be aware of how loud these buds get at max degree.Sony WF-C500 review: App and particular optionsThe Sony Headphones Connect app was solely out there for Sony’s premium headphones and earbuds, however the firm has expanded compatibility to lower-priced fashions. Owning the WF-C500 gained’t earn you Sony’s full suite of options, however it comes with the necessities, together with the aforementioned 360 Reality Audio, DSEE, and Equalizer.(Image credit score: Regan Coule/Future)There isn’t a lot else to discover. The homescreen greets you with battery degree indicators for every bud and a music participant with a quantity slider. You’ll discover a Bluetooth Connection Quality setting to prioritize secure connectivity or sound high quality. An exercise tracker that information how you employ the buds, firmware updates, a visible information, and toggle controls for a number of features spherical out the app. As for what’s lacking, that might be energetic noise cancellation, adjustable ambient sound, LDAC, Speak-to-Chat, and Quick Attention.Sony WF-C500 review: Battery life and charging caseAccording to Sony, a full cost nets you 10 hours of listening time, although it’s actually 9 hours when factoring in excessive quantity and particular options. This is a implausible quantity of playtime to have at your disposal and double what the AirPods Pro will get you with ANC on (4.5 hours). I used to be pleased with the 4 days of average use (2 hours day by day) these buds supplied.(Image credit score: Regan Coule/Future)If solely the charging case held extra juice, a max of 20 hours isn’t a lot. A ten-minute fast cost does generate 1 hour of listening time. Wireless charging doesn’t come as a part of the bundle.Sony WF-C500 review: Call high quality and connectivityCall high quality on most Sony wi-fi earbuds isn’t good, and the WF-C500 gained’t change your thoughts. It’s OK for indoor calls, although callers typically advised me that my voice sounded muffled. This elevated at any time when talking outside, because the mics picked up plenty of ambient noise and hindered readability.(Image credit score: Regan Coule/Future)At least Bluetooth 5.2 lives as much as its billing. Getting as much as 80 toes of wi-fi vary is one thing you don’t get from many sub-$100 wi-fi earbuds; shifting backwards and forwards from the entrance room to the yard gazebo led to stutter-free streaming. The WF-C500 pairs to new and acknowledged units rapidly. One-touch Google Fast Pair expedites the method on Android smartphones.I’m not irritated over the shortage of multipoint know-how (pairing to 2 units concurrently), however not having NFC for tap-to-pair performance stings, particularly since it’s such a Sony staple.Sony WF-C500 review: VerdictIf sound is what you prioritize most and need it in top quality for an unbeatable value, then there’s no cause why you shouldn’t buy the Sony WF-C500. Powerful bass stays on the sonic forefront, and frequencies are balanced properly for a extra rounded listening expertise. 360 Reality Audio and DSEE are candy additions that Sony didn’t have to incorporate, however they did. Battery life (per cost) is one other hallmark of those buds, and although the charging case is without doubt one of the weakest on the market, it appears fairly cool.For $100, shortcomings are anticipated. The poorly designed push buttons and ugly consolation could be annoying. I additionally imagine Sony might have accomplished extra to make these buds extra eye-catching. Not having wonderful name high quality isn’t an excessive amount of of a bummer contemplating Sony’s monitor document.Ultimately, the WF-C500 overachieves on the audio finish and makes a powerful case for the best-sounding wi-fi earbuds beneath $100.

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