Sony WH-1000XM2 Review: Noise Cancellation Has a New Definition
Sony WH-1000XM2
Sony WH-1000XM2(Photo: The Quint)

Sony WH-1000XM2 Review: Noise Cancellation Has a New Definition

There are only a few brands out there who seem to have mastered the art of noise cancellation. I am talking about the crème de la crème in the over-the-ear headphones segment. I think it's time to add another name to that list. FYI, It's a Sony!

Since I was done fishing around Sony’s mid-range portfolio with the SONY MDR-XB650, I wanted something more premium this time around.

Cometh the moment and cometh the product – the WH-1000XM2.

Although the headphones carry a hefty price tag, I was more intrigued about the tech that Sony had used in this device and whether it really justifies the same. So, here's my go at the WH-1000XM2 (I know it's a mouthful).

Snapshotclose

Pros

  • Excellent sound
  • Comfortable in the ear
  • Great battery life with Quick Charge
  • Noise cancellation is good

Cons

  • Touch panel not user-friendly
  • Would have liked voice-assistant
The WH-1000MX2 comes with active noise cancellation
The WH-1000MX2 comes with active noise cancellation
(Photo: The Quint)

What’s Good?

Sony might not be that adventurous when it comes to designing smartphones, but they sure to go the whole nine yards to make sure their headphones look WOW! The WH-1000XM2 brings a lot of freshness in terms of design and also looks and feels plush.

These headphones are tailor made for people who like listening to music for long hours. The company claims that it comes with 40 hours of playtime with the wire, and almost 30 hours wireless.

I used them for almost four-five hours, and they felt neither heavy nor uncomfortable, thanks to the cushioning on the frame as well as the earbuds.

The WH-1000MX2 is capable of delivering 30 hours of wireless music playback
The WH-1000MX2 is capable of delivering 30 hours of wireless music playback
(Photo: The Quint)

The WH-1000MX2 really re-defines noise cancellation. Just to garnish this recipe, the company added features like added atmospheric pressure optimising, an equaliser, and sound position control which makes the music experience even better.

It did a great job killing the noise of a plane’s engine (on-board the flight) so that a thumbs up from me!

To top it all off, the headphone also comes with app support and that really helped me move things along quite easily.

I even tried out its Quick Charge feature. Gave me about 50 minutes of usage after I had completely drained it.

App support for the headphone is a great feature
App support for the headphone is a great feature
(Photo: The Quint)

What I feel is the best feature of this device is the ability to muffle the music just by placing your hand on the right earphone. There are active microphones on the exterior that accentuate the ambient noise and channel it into the headphone so that you can hear very clearly what’s going on around you.

Basically, you don’t have to take your headphones off anymore if you want to talk to someone. Take your hand off and the music kicks in again.

Also, great way to eavesdrop on people coz they’ll just think you’re listening to music!

Also Read: New Sony Headphones Take Noise Cancellation Very Seriously

There's a lot of tech being thrown at you with this one. I was also able to customise the sound profiles in the headphone's app. But that was according to my preferences. You can obviously do the same.

The headphones come with an interactive touch panel to navigate
The headphones come with an interactive touch panel to navigate
(Photo: The Quint)

What’s Bad?

I hate to criticise innovative technology, but sometimes you don’t have a choice. Take for example the touch panel on the WH-1000XM2. Yes, it does give you the ease of simply swiping your fingers to change music and increase volume — but it is confusing to get the hang of it.

I struggled for the first few days to just pause and play the music. I was inadvertently triggering the noise cancellation deactivation. Also if somebody accidentally touches or even slightly brushes the panel, the song either changes or the volume fluctuates.

Hence, it’s prone to a lot of ghost touches.

The headphone charges via  USB 2.0
The headphone charges via USB 2.0
(Photo: The Quint)

Also, I didn’t like the fact that it doesn’t come with some kind of voice assistance. In this price segment, it would have made this one a very hot product.

It supports atmospheric pressure optimisation
It supports atmospheric pressure optimisation
(Photo: The Quint)

Final Verdict

The Sony WH-1000MX2 is a serious noise cancelling headphone. Features like app support, atmospheric pressure optimisation and superior battery life gives it that X-factor.

I liked the design, the quality and also the tech that’s inside this Sony gizmo, and I can say that at Rs 29,990, the WH-1000MX2 is a great piece of hardware.

The missing piece of the puzzle here is the in-built voice assistant which Bose generously added in its Bose QCC35 (in the sub-30k category).

Add the voice assistant feature and the WH-1000XM2 becomes one of the best in this price segment. But as of now — not there yet.

(The Quint is now on WhatsApp. To receive handpicked stories on topics you care about, subscribe to our WhatsApp services. Just go to TheQuint.com/WhatsApp and hit the Subscribe button.)

Follow our Tech Reviews section for more stories.

    Also Watch