Sony has headphones for everyone. Seriously, they have neckbuds, earbuds, and over-the-ear headphones. The company is debuting three new models in the 1000X family at IFA in Berlin today to follow up on the success and positive reception of its noise-canceling 1000X headphones. It's introducing the similarly named wireless WF-1000X, the behind-the-neck WI-1000X, and the WH-1000XM2 headphones. All of these models feature noise cancellation, but that's most appealing to me on the wireless WF-1000X, which are basically Sony’s take on AirPods and “truly wireless” earpods.
The earbuds get around three hours of battery life, according to Sony, although their charging case can hold an additional two charges, meaning you'll have nine hours of use. A full charge takes an hour and a half with the case relying on a Micro USB for charging. While Apple's AirPods can be tracked, Sony says that isn't the case with its product. You'll have to buy a whole new set or case if you lose them. The earbuds each have a button, one to enable ambient sound and the other to take phone calls.
I questioned Sony's decision to release both wireless earbuds and neckbuds. The industry is trending toward wireless with AirPods and other smart earbuds from companies like Bragi and Here One, so why neckbuds? Sony tells me it wants to give consumers choice, but also ultimately, neckbuds hold a longer charge than earbuds, so if you're on a long flight, they might be the better choice. (The WI-1000X should get 14 hours of life.)
All the headphone models go on sale in September. The WF-1000X will cost $199.99; the WI-1000X will cost $299.99; and the WH-1000XM2 will cost $349.99. They all can be controlled through Sony's new Headphones Connect app.