It may not have as fancy a name as other fitness-specific true-wireless headphones on the market, but Sony’s WF-SP700N are a surprisingly solid pair for the running community. I have mentioned it a few times before, but I wear headphones/earbuds quite a lot during the day. From listening to my favorite east coast radio show as I get ready in the morning, to running in the afternoons and evenings, my utilization is pretty high. I have had the opportunity to try out a few options and generally have had positive experiences – and with each pair that comes out, there seems to be improvement and an upward trajectory in performance and features.
As far as true-wireless headphones go, Sony’s WF-SP700N are one of the more unique looking options I have come across. Instead of being circular nubs that fit in the ear, these are more bean-shaped. The actual hardware of the bud sits on the outside of the ear, as opposed to within, leading it to stick out a little further than others on the market. It’s not cumbersome, but there is definitely a visual difference.
I am wondering if some of the idea behind the shape is the ability to improve the quality of phone calls(?). One of the main issues I have had with other wireless running headphones is struggling with others being able to hear me without needing to significantly raise my voice volume. I don’t generally knock headphones for this, as the primary usage for my headphones is for running. And really, who talks on the phone anymore? I tested this feature out on the WF-SP700N with those people I do actually still talk to on the phone (hi mom and dad!), and they had no issues with hearing me – something that hasn’t been the case with others.
Even with the shape, they are still comfortable once finding the correct bud (they come with 4 sizing options) and silicon support “ear wing”. I have had no issues with the fit during runs and it’s clear that they are made for movement. They also have the IPX4 rating that most running headphones have, showcasing that it is protected from liquid – both from the sky and from the body – an important quality to runners in the PNW.
I had read some reviews on their site that the sound quality was not up to snuff. I am not an audiophile, but I can usually detect minor sound differences between “cheap” headphones and “good” headphones. Sound doesn’t necessarily deter my purchases (I don’t need concert quality during my runs), but it does help. As a result of these reviews I saw, I wasn’t expecting much from the audio side. However, I can honestly say I don’t really understand where all the hate was coming from. I found the sound quality to be quite high and made even better with the Headphones Connect app. I was able to adjust it with their preset equalizers and the bass really shines through (when I want it to) with their EXTRA BASS feature. Kendrick Lamar and Run the Jewels really showcase how well this is and I am a big fan. I do wish that there was a little bit more user-customization sound options within the app, but it’s not a dealbreaker. The app also allows ambient sound control options (to be able to listen to music and still hear your surroundings), as well as noise canceling mode. At the end of my experience, I would consider the sound quality and options right up there with what I need out of a pair of running headphones.
I never had any issues with connectivity through my test. Granted, my phone and headphones are generally within a torso’s distance from each other during runs – but I was never interrupted along the way. I also tried these out with Netflix and Amazon on my phone and didn’t experience any latency with videos.
Charging is also quite simple and nice. Fully charged, they get about 3 hours of continuous play – which should allow most of us to get at least a half marathon fully in. It comes with a palm sized case that’s a little bulkier than others out there (this makes sense considering the buds are a bit larger overall), but still quite compact. The charging case also holds about 2 full charges within it, so there’s about 9 hours of play available without needing to plug it in. I’m a little worried that the lid may have the ability to break off (it seems a little thin and utilizes a spinning opening mechanism as opposed to an up-and-down motion), but it help up during my time of test.
Sony touts that this is optimized for Google Assistant, which I’m sure is great, but I’m really not the one to speak on this, as I don’t utilize this feature.
The WF-SP700N comes in four colors:
Overall, I went in expecting average and these wireless headphones far exceeded my expectations.
Thank you to Sony for providing us with sample trial pair. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.