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News18 » Tech
5-min read

Sony WI-C600N Wireless Earphones Review: Impeccable Quality And Noise Cancellation, But Pricey

The new wireless earphones from Sony come with noise cancellation as well as support for Google Assistant, but are they worth it?

Kunal Khullar | News18.com

Updated:March 30, 2019, 12:10 PM IST
Sony WI-C600N Wireless Earphones Review: Impeccable Quality And Noise Cancellation, But Pricey
The new wireless earphones from Sony come with noise cancellation as well as support for Google Assistant, but are they worth it?

Sony has risen to become one of the pioneers when it comes to noise cancellation headphones. It’s WH-1000MX3 is undoubtedly the best headphone that you can put your money on, which edges out the Bose QC35 II in my opinion. But, apart from its premium range, Sony has a wide array of products under the personal audio department. The company recently launched the WI-C600N wireless earphones that come with noise cancellation and support for Google Assistant. The Sony WI-C600N wireless earphones are priced at Rs 10,990. Now while I was a little skeptical about how efficient these earphones would be at blocking noise, boy was I in for a surprise.

Now, these are neckband-based wireless earphones having a mix of silicon and plastic finish. The neckband sits nicely around your neck, although you might have issues if you are wearing a collared shirt or any sort of jacket or hoodie. These are not true-wireless headphones as the earbuds basically dangle from wires connected to the neckband.

Speaking of which, the earbuds, which feature 6mm drivers, are compact yet feel very solid. The silicon tips fit very well in the ears and you get different sized tips bundled in the box to suit your needs. Like most wireless in-ear earphones, the buds have magnets so you can snap them together when not in use. But unlike most, snapping the buds together doesn’t pause the music. Also the wires connecting the buds with the neckband don’t feel very assuring.

The controls are on either sides of the neckband. On the left you get the power button which is also used to turn on the pairing mode, volume control and a single button to pause, play and receive calls. There’s also a USB Type-C port hidden under a flap. On the other side there is a single button to control the Ambient Sound or trigger Google Assistant. Oh, and if you are using an Apple device, Siri works just fine. Overall, the headphones probably don’t have the best design implementation, but feels functional.

As for the features, Sony offers DSEE or Digital Sound Enhancement Engine (DSEE) which is said to restore high-frequency elements that are usually lost when the original music source is compressed. In simpler terms, you get better details and richness with high-quality sound that's closer to the original recording.There’s digital noise cancellation as I mentioned before, which works really well. Along with that there is the Ambient Mode which can fine-tune your listening to your surroundings. It has two settings-Voice for conversations, and Normal to pick up other essential sounds, so you stay aware. I honestly couldn’t tell a whole lot of difference, as I could faintly hear people talk, but didn’t understand what were they saying.

Pairing the headphones is easy as you get NFC apart from Bluetooth. As soon as the device connects, Google Assistant automatically detects the support and lets you customise some of the settings. Also, Sony’s dedicated Headphones app is a must, as it lets you control various sound features, including the option to change the dedicated Google Assistant button into triggering the Ambient Mode.

The audio performance is quite excellent. I was thoroughly impressed by the mids and the lower frequencies were just about enough for my liking. It isn’t very heavy on bass, but that is exactly why I love the sound profile on these headphones. Vocals sound crystal clear and overall the headphones just sound very balanced, which is any day better than being jarring. The crunchy guitar tones on Periphery’s new track Blood Eagle sounds phenomenal, even the bass on Weekend’s Starboy felt really good to me.

Coming down to noise cancellation, the headphones come with an Active Noise Cancellation mode, which pretty much blocks all noise. Heck, the passive noise cancellation seems to do a great job on its own. When the Active Noise Cancellation is switched on, the headphones successfully blocks out all environmental sounds as well as people talking around you. Going into the Headphones app you can toggle between modes. The first one entirely blocks external noise, the second allows the user to listen to only people talking, and the third mode is to allow all ambient noises. As I said before, I couldn’t make out a big difference between the three, but they bring a small difference when you are using the headphones outdoors.

I also tried the built-in Google Assistant feature which was kind of a mixed bag for me. Just hitting the dedicated button triggers the assistant to alert you about smartphone notifications. The feature also lets you reply back to messages on certain supported app using your voice. I usually pop-out my phone to check notifications so I barely used this feature, but this feature could be useful for some, especially for people on the move.

The battery life on the headphone is just average. I managed to get about 5.5 hours of juice on continuous music playback and there were days where I got a total of 6 hours.

The WI-C600N is one of the best wireless earphone from Sony when it comes to sound quality. I wasn’t too impressed with the Ambient Sound mode as it barely made a huge difference, although the noise cancellation is quite impressive. The addition of triggering Google Assistant right from the neckband is pretty neat, though I personally didn’t use it al that much.

Having said that, at Rs 10,990 these earphones are a tad-bit expensive. There’s nothing out of the ordinary that is being offered here, and that’s what also seemed like a deal breaker to me. Sure, the audio quality is easily one best in its class, but that just doesn’t seem to justify the cost for me. There are a whole lot of products in the market that are equally good from brands like RHA and Sennheiser, or you could go for cheaper options from Sony itself.

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