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Sony WH-1000XM2 Review

In the ongoing race for quality sound and performance in headphones, Sony may not be at the top, but they’re one of the notable brands in front, and if you’ve seen what they did with the WH-1000X, you’d know that they’re tipped to lead the race in a short while. However, they might have just leapfrogged all the way to the front with the WH-1000XM2. If you’re looking for wireless headphones with an amazing noise cancellation feature, the Sony WH-1000XM2 might be that “opportunity of a lifetime”. Sony really doubled down in their production of this sequel to the mindboggling WH-1000X, and it paid off. They soared so well above all the benchmarks it feels like heaven. Now, they have one more reason to remain in the sights of audiophiles.

This review aims to lay it all out under the naked eye, but before that, let’s have a look at the specifications.

Specifications of the Sony WH-1000XM2

Colors: Gold, Black

Weight: 275 g

Cord Type: One-sided/Detachable

Cord Length: 1.5 m

Frequency Response: 4Hz – 40,000 Hz

Impedance: 46 ohms (when using the cable with the headphone on), 14 ohms (when using the cable with the headphone off)

Driver Unit: 40 mm

Sensitivity: 103 dB (when using the cable with the headphones on), 98 dB (when using the cable with the headphones off)

NFC: Yes

Bluetooth Version: 4.1

Bluetooth Range: 10 m

Frequency Range: 2.4 GHz band

Volume Control: Touch Sensor

Battery Life (Continuous Playback Time): 30 hrs (NC on), 38 hrs (NC off)

Battery Life (Waiting Time): 40 hrs (NC on), 200 hrs (NC off)

Charging Time: 4 hrs

Charging Method: USB

AI Noise Cancelling: Yes

Noise Cancelling Switch: Yes

Now, to the review proper.

Who It’s For

If you want a balanced strike between cost and premium noise cancellation in one package, then you mustn’t miss out on the Sony WH-1000XM2. It’s a bit under the price range when you compare it to the top noise-cancelling headphones like the Bose QC35 II, but what the WH-1000XM2 will not let down on is quality, and it’s a better package than more expensive headphones.

Design

For starters, the Sony WH-1000XM2 flaunts an exquisite plastic build, and you’d be severely mistaken if you think that’s an antic to cut down cost. At first glance, you just know that it’s not your ordinary kind of plastic build. Sony spared no expense on the external build of the WH-1000XM2, using semi-reflective plastic for the majority of the headphones and a grainy finish for the earcups. Even before you feel the 1000XM2 in your hands, you’re assured of its strength and durability. That’s the kind of confidence it exudes. And for a headphone that promises such amazing qualities as the 1000XM2, that’s a good start.

There’s an easy-to-use touch console at the right earcup that gives you control over your music, as well as the USB charging port. While the NFC logo, 3.5 mm audio jack, power button and noise-cancelling button are at the left earcup.

Comfort

The soft leatherette padding on the earcups and the headband are comfy enough to allow you to listen to music for prolonged hours, and it is an absolute treat. However, the earcups can build up heat if you have the headphones on while working in the gym, jogging, or engaging in some other activity. The hinges around the headband and the earcups make the WH-1000XM2 an adjustable fit for any head size.

Portability

Thanks to the hinges close to both earcups and around the curves of the headband, you can fold up the WH-1000XM2 until it’s almost flat. People who like to travel or commute a lot will absolutely love the WH-1000XM2 because it’s not just foldable but also comes in a small case, which offers added protection, and helps manage space.

It’s also perfect if you want to hang it around your neck. It may not be the king of lightweights, but it won’t drag you to the bottom of the river either.

Performance

Of course, one of the primary functions of a headphone is its sound output, but you can’t take out the noise cancellation feature from the WH-1000XM2. It’s one of its major highlights and one of the reasons you may cop one after this.

The Sony WH-1000XM2 is undoubtedly one of the crème-de-la-crème of headphones when it comes to noise cancellation. It really plays well on the notion of music being a totally immersive experience capable of catapulting you into another world. To achieve this level of noise cancellation, Sony had to put extra focus on their sound isolation, and given the effect, I can say it worked wonders. The WH-1000XM2 is able to keep out low and mid-range noises, giving you an uninterrupted experience when listening to music, gaming or watching a movie. Most notably, the WH-1000XM2’s ability to block out noise is unparalleled. There aren’t that many headphones out there offering this level of noise cancellation. Yeah, the WH-1000XM2 is that bad.

The noise cancellation button gives you control over the feature in case you decide to cut yourself off from the world around you or reconnect with it.

When it comes to sound quality, the Sony WH-1000XM2 is no slouch. It keeps up to par with the rest of the features we’ve seen so far. By default, the WH-1000XM2 is geared to pick out bass sounds over other midrange sounds. Yet, you don’t get that grainy quality that you tend to get from other ‘bassy’ headphones. The sound quality in the WH-1000XM2 remains crisp and clear as crystal. However, the emphasis on bass means that you could lose the singer’s voice in songs with low vocals. Still, this isn’t a problem if you’re using a wireless connection. You can tweak the sounds on the EQ or in the companion app to get the desired effect. The good thing about this is that any genre is playable on the WH-1000XM2.

Battery

Long battery life is one of the trademark qualities of Sony headphones, and the WH-1000XM2 continues the trend. It’s got an astonishing 30-hour battery life, meaning you can listen to music for more than a day with the noise cancellation feature on. If it’s off, you get an additional 8 hours bringing the total tally to 38 hours.

When there’s no music playing, the Sony WH-1000XM2 can stay on for up to 40 hours with the noise cancellation feature on, and when it’s off, you’ll get an additional 160 hours. Crazy, right?

Well, not as crazy as getting all these hours of playback or waiting time for just 4 hours of charging. It also has a quick charge feature that gives you 75 minutes of playback with 10 minutes of charging. A very handy feature if you need to go for a run after the headphone’s run down.

Connectivity

With its version 4.1 Bluetooth feature, the WH-1000XM2 ensures that the listening experience is as smooth as it can get. If there’s an interruption in your listening experience, it’s definitely not going to be because of the connectivity. The Bluetooth connection is strong enough to maintain play over a distance of up to 10 meters. The WH-100XM2 supports audio codecs like aptX, aptX HD, AAC, and LDAC (though this only works with Sony and other Android versions 8+ phones).

In case you don’t want to use Bluetooth, you can use NFC or the audio jack.

Not having a unique app is one of the downsides of the Sony WH-1000XM2, but that’s not much of an issue. And you can easily go around it with Sony’s trademark headphone app.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Noise Cancellation
  • Clear Sound
  • Sturdy Build
  • Comfortable
  • Portable
  • Durable
  • Battery Life
  • Quick Charge

Cons

  • LDAC compatibility
  • Fragile-looking Hinges
  • Doesn’t have a personalized app

Final Verdict

Sony took the market by storm with its WH-1000X, and they have come back to deliver twice the punch with the WH-1000XM2. The price might be a bit on the high side, but if you get a taste of the sound and noise cancellation quality the WH-1000XM2 offers, you’d definitely do anything to get your hands on it. It’s not just worth the price. It’s an absolute ‘must have’ for any audiophile.

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