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A closer look at Sony’s wireless earbuds vs. Apple’s AirPods

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Sony’s truly wireless earbuds
Photo by Tom Warren / The Verge

Wireless earbuds are the future, if you believe Apple or Bragi. Today at IFA in Germany, Sony is experimenting with the future with its own truly wireless earbuds. I personally own the AirPods and I think they make you look stupid, so I naturally had to compare the two immediately. Dubbed WF-1000X, the earbuds should last around 3 hours per charge, which is less than Apple’s 5 hours which is usually a pretty accurate estimate.

Sony’s charging case, which is a lot bigger than Apple’s, will only provide an additional two charges (that’s 9 hours total vs. 24 hours with the AirPods). These obvious differences aside, Sony’s wireless earbuds also include noise cancellation, which is a great feature if you’re commuting or in a noisy environment. I tried out Sony’s earbuds and they fit comfortably enough, but feel like they’re sticking straight out of your ears like a Bluetooth headset.

I tested out the noise cancellation and I was impressed, even in the noisy and busy area at Sony’s booth at IFA in Germany. You can pick between straight noise cancellation, which blocked out most of the sounds and people around me talking, or you can pick ambient sound which lets you hear some sounds around you while you’re listening to music. That’s a useful option to pick from Sony’s app if you’re walking in a city and want to hear potential hazards around you.

Sony is using microUSB for charging, which seems like an odd move considering the company’s new XZ1 handsets both use USB-C. Meanwhile, Apple’s AirPods use the company’s Lightning connector so you only have to carry around one cable to charge your phone and wireless headphones. Sony is also releasing its truly wireless earbuds in September priced at $199.99, which is $30 more than Apple’s AirPods but around the same time as you can currently buy Bragi Dash earbuds.