Sony WI-1000XM2 Neckband Headphones Show Best In-Ear Implementation for Noise Cancellation Technology

September 13 2019, 01:30
Neckband headphones, as a category, can be expected to gradually fade away as true wireless earbuds gain battery life and comparable features. But for now, neckbands are the form factor that allows any manufacturer to implement the features of flagship headphones, in a convenient, wireless, in-ear format that some users still favor for comfort, expanded battery life and better quality for voice calls. With the new WI-1000XM2 model, Sony show us how its leading noise cancellation technology and a neckband design are a perfect match.

Like the best-selling WH-1000XM3 headphones, and the new WF-1000XM3 true wireless, the new Sony WI-1000XM2 neckband model benefits from a dedicated processor - in this case, the newly-developed HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1. That’s the secret recipe for “the next level of silence,” as Sony promotes, allowed by the WI-1000XM2. This next generation neckband in the 1000X family, combines superior sound quality and all-day comfort, with the smarter listening features that a dedicated sound processor allow, including the possibility for users to customize their experiences.

But more importantly, the WI-1000XM2 design offers industry-leading Noise Cancellation technology on a neckband form-factor, which allows for longer listening hours, with the full benefits of all its built-in technology. User are able to immerse themselves in music and banish background noise, since the WI-1000XM2 cleverly prevents, catches and cancels ambient sound. 

The stable fitting structure with an angled earphone design helps prevent ambient noise from entering the ear while the Dual Noise Sensor technology catches any noise. Sony’s HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1 then cancels the sound, resulting in an improved noise suppression level. Even aircraft cabin ambient noise is effectively cancelled thanks to the innovative Atmospheric Pressure Optimizing function, allowing user to enjoy in-flight music with perfect clarity as the Noise Cancelling adapts to high altitudes.

And despite their compact size, the WI-1000XM2 neckband buds include a HD Hybrid Driver System which contains a 9mm dynamic driver and Balanced Armature driver. This reproduces a wider range of frequencies, simultaneously enhancing deep bass and delicate high tones. Since the built-in HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1 features 32-bit Audio Signal Processing, high quality Digital to Analogue conversion and a headphone amplifier, this ensures a high signal-to-noise ratio, with a low level of distortion for music playback. This also includes powering the Digital Sound Enhancement Engine HX (DSEE HX) technology that upscales compressed digital music files.

Physically, the new Sony WI-1000XM2 offers improved comfort with a silicone neckband for flexible fitting and a lighter weight, while the earbuds fit deeply in the ear thanks to the angled earphone design. And thanks to the neckband structure, the WI-1000XM2 also offers a great battery life of up to 10 hours with Bluetooth connected and noise cancelling on. And with Quick Charging capability, 10 minutes of charging offers up to 80 minutes play time.

The WI-1000XM2 has an intuitive operation thanks to its control unit and enables clearer hands-free calling due to a built-in dedicated microphone on the same control unit. When the user takes them off, the magnetic earbuds snap together neatly for a tidy stowaway, and can be folded away in the premium fabric carrying case. The case also stores an audio cable, USB cable and plug adapter for in-flight entertainment.

As if all these features weren’t enough, the Sony WI-1000XM2 features Adaptive Sound Control which allows users to personalize their sound by automatically changing the headphone sound settings depending on their activities. And of course the WI-1000XM2 supports voice assistants and is also compatible with the dedicated Sony Headphones Connect app so users can personalize their music preferences easily.

The WI-1000XM2 model will be priced at approximately $299 USD or €330 EUR and will be available from January 2020.
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