"We are proud to deliver Sony's latest audio innovations, created with our great customers in mind," says Mike Fasulo, president and chief operating officer of Sony Electronics North America. "These new models offer more ways to enjoy Sony's Extra Bass and best-in-class noise cancelation, which can help users reduce the distractions of loud ambient noise, both in their homes and outdoors."
Details about the two new products are scarce. Sony just says that the drivers used in the WF-XB700 feature "Extra Bass technology," while maintaining vocal clarity. There's no ANC, but the updated Bluetooth technology allows for a reliable connection with a radio chip "that transmits sound to left and right ears simultaneously, coupled with optimized antenna design, with low audio latency." But basically that's what all the 2020 TWS products enable, more or less. Most notable is the fact that for the WF-XB700 earbuds Sony adopted the same form factor as most current TWS models - after experimenting multiple approaches in other models. Sony calls the new design an "Ergonomic Tri-hold structure," and states that the design "creates a comfortable fit for both earbuds."
Other specifications include up to 9 hours of listening time on a single charge, while the charging case will hold power for up to 18 hours. Just 10 minutes of quick charging provides 60 minutes of music playback. A simple button press connects the user to the smartphone’s voice assistant. Additionally, the earbuds are IPX4 rated, offering protection against splashes and sweat so users can wear them in the rain or at the gym.
Regarding the circumaural model, the noise canceling WH-CH710N headphones, Sony says they use "Artificial Intelligence Noise Cancelation (AINC)" that "constantly analyses environmental ambient sound components, and automatically selects the most effective noise canceling mode for users' surroundings. Sounds like the Sony marketing team had too many energy drinks. From actual specs we only learn that the WH-CH710N uses dual microphones with feed forward and backwards and are able to "catch more ambient sounds than ever before." Translated, this means hybrid ANC with adaptive environment pass-through, or transparent mode.
The WH-CH710N headphones also use NFC and feature a built-in Li-ion battery supporting up to 35 hours of audio on a single charge, plus quick charging like the new true wireless model. The WH-CH710N design is not evocative of the best-selling WH-1000XM3 model and the earcup shapes are actually closer to a Bose design. But then again, Sony has so many headphone designs in every category, including circumaural and over-ear with and without Active Noise Cancelling, that it doesn't really matter. One needs to check the logo to know it's a Sony. Currently, Sony offers six models with ANC.
The TWS WF-XB700 model has a suggested retail price of $129.99 MSRP and will be available in April 2020 for pre-sale in black and blue. The circumaural WH-CH710N model has a suggested retail price of $199.99 MSRP and will be available in April 2020 for pre-sale in black. audioXpress will (probably) follow-up with more details when full specifications are revealed.