Neck-mounted wireless noise-canceling headphones now seem to be a marginalized product.
Extremely different from head-mounted and true wireless, neck-mounted wireless noise-canceling headphones are now more placed in the entry market and become a common low-budget entry option.
However, there are still labels that insist on updating the flagship neck-mounted noise-canceling headphones.
Then, it’s still Sony.
As early as December 10th, Sony officially launched a new generation of wireless earphones WI-1000XM2. Regardless of function, specification support or configuration, the WI-1000XM2 has reached the standards of the Sony 1000X series family 3 generations. Compared with the previous generation, WI-1000XM2 also has many design optimizations. Just looking at the book performance, it is indeed the strongest neck-mounted wireless noise reduction currently configured.
In this experience, we not only have to see what kind of user experience the WI-1000XM2 can achieve in this configuration but also take the Sony 1000X family as an example to discuss but do also we need a flagship neckband? Wireless noise-canceling headphones.
Soft structure, lightweight
Regardless of the packaging or the main body of the headset, the first impression that WI-1000XM2 gives me after getting started is-small and light.
Compared with WI-1000X’s old-fashioned packaging, the WI-1000XM2’s box is really much less. In addition to a small storage box of the same color, there are only six sets of replacement earplugs and different rubber plugs for the memory foam box Three groups. The charging cable for the headset, the dual 3.5mm aircraft adapter, and the 3.5mm audio cable are all stored in the carton under the rubber plug.
As mentioned in the previous release report, the WI-1000XM2 switched to a soft collar similar to the WI-C600N, which can be folded and put into this small storage box when the user stores it. There is also a piece of cardboard with instructions in the box. Users can put other accessories according to the instructions so that they are not afraid of being lost or forgotten when they are used.
▲ Inside WI-1000XM2, outside WI-1000X
Compared with the original WI-1000X, the soft structure WI-1000XM2 can be deformed when pressed by external forces, reducing the chance of damage to the fuselage. In addition, the soft structure can also fit the neck and clothes through deformation when worn, reducing the foreign body sensation when worn.
▲ Inside WI-1000XM2, outside WI-1000X
With the weight reduced from 71g to 58g, the comfort of the WI-1000XM2 has also been significantly improved.
Although the soft collar can improve the wearing, there is still a lot of room for improvement in the overall experience.
First of all, the WI-1000XM2 headphone cable is still relatively short, just enough to maintain normal wearing. However, because the wire is maintained in a state that is just long enough, the wire has no extra length to be fixed around the ear, and the excessive shaking of the wire will cause a more obvious stethoscope effect during use.
▲ Actually, it ’s okay to go back forcibly and bring stability, but it ’s just weird.
In addition, this time Sony moved the buttons for collar playback and noise reduction control to the headset line.
With the addition of the ‘by-wire’ structure, the effect of the stethoscope effect caused by the wire shake will be even greater. Especially in the pure noise-reduction state without music, the effect will be more obvious. If you are used to the experience of wearing true wireless noise-canceling headphones, this ‘disadvantage’ of WI-1000XM2 may make you crazy.
Compared with the collar, the shape design of the headset has not changed much, mainly the details.
Although the new headphones use Sony ’s dual-microphone noise reduction design commonly used in third-generation products, the size of the headphones has not changed much but is more compact than the old ones. Thanks to the changes in materials, the WI-1000XM2 headphones are also a lot lighter. With the newly added inclined earphone design, the wearing stability of the WI-1000XM2 headphones has also been improved.
But many times because of the length of the wire, the advantages of the slanted design and lightweight headset body have been offset. If Sony can lengthen the cable, or go crazy, an MMCX wireless module can create an ear-hook structure, which can reduce the impact of the stethoscope effect and improve stability. It is also a very convenient solution.
Except for the name, the rest are all three-generation configurations
Ai Farner has emphasized in previous reports that the WI-1000XM2 is equipped with the third generation configuration of the 1000X family. The core of the family’s third-generation configuration change is from this QN1.
When the WH-1000XM3 was released, Sony introduced the HD noise reduction processor QN1. QN1 replaces the ‘S-MASTER HX + Noise Reduction Control Chip’ solution used on WH-1000XM2 and WI-1000X. One chip is directly responsible for the two tasks of noise reduction and audio processing. When the chip was released, Sony also said:
With the WH-1000XM3 after QN1, the noise reduction effect is increased by 4 times. In addition, the audio processing capability has also been improved. Now it can handle 32-bit lossless audio, whether it is sound or noise reduction, it has made greater progress than the original.
Later, Sony also introduced QN1e on the true wireless noise-canceling headphones WF-1000XM3. QN1e can be understood as a QN1 specially developed for low power consumption requirements, with the same noise reduction and improvement effect, but the upper limit of audio processing will be reduced from 32bit lossless to 24bit lossless. But this effect is not large, and it is actually enough for WF-1000XM3 that does not need LDAC.
Originally, we thought QN1e would be launched on WI-1000XM2. However, Sony this time frantically plugged the QN1 directly onto the WI-1000XM2, giving it the same flagship configuration as the WH-1000XM3.
Thanks to the investment of QN1 and LDAC encoding support, WI-1000XM2 can also support Hi-Res Audio playback in wireless mode. Sony also changed the WI-1000XM2 wired audio output port to a 3.5mm interface this time. When the headset is restored to the wired mode, the sound does not need to be processed by the headset, and the AUX cable of the 3.5mm interface also has a lot of options, even if the cable is lost, it is easy to make up.
In addition to the core QN1, the WI-1000XM2 is also equipped with SENSE ENGINE technology and air pressure adjustment function, which can adjust the noise reduction effect by detecting changes in the current environment through a mobile phone. With Sony ’s Headphones Connect app, 20 levels of noise reduction can be adjusted. With the support of air pressure adjustment, users can reduce the effect of air pressure by using noise-canceling headphones on the aircraft.
In terms of audio technology, WI-1000XM2 also uses DSEE HX digital audio. Even in the case of smart devices that do not support high-specification codings such as LDAC or aptX HD, users can open DSEE HX in Headphone Connect to compensate for the sound. Although it doesn’t work for everyone and every song, sometimes the compensation is good.
In terms of battery life, the WI-1000XM2, like the WI-1000X, supports 10 hours of battery life. This time, the WI-1000XM2 also supports the fast charge mode of ‘charging for 10 minutes and playing for 80 minutes’. This performance result is also enough for daily use, but if you encounter long-distance flights, the pressure is still a bit high. If QN1e is replaced in the WI-1000XM2 and LDAC is also supported, you can also eat Hi-Res Audio in wireless mode, which can also reduce power consumption and improve battery life.
Now, it’s more like Sony made a trade-off for performance and specifications.
But anyway, WI-1000XM2 is now the most powerful Sony neck-mounted headset available. Whether it is noise reduction or audio processing, it is also on top of Sony’s own. If you are particularly sensitive to the specifications and configuration of the cable, then WI-1000XM2 will still make you feel value for money.
If the name can keep up, that’s even better.
Noise reduction is more natural
After the configuration is improved, the WI-1000XM2 has also improved in terms of noise reduction and hearing.
In addition to the technical blessing of QN1, this time Sony also added a dual feedback microphone structure similar to WF-1000XM3 to the WI-1000XM2. In addition to receiving external noise information, it can also receive feedback sounds in the ear, which can improve noise reduction. The amount of information received by the chip, thereby improving the noise reduction effect.
In fact, the noise reduction of the WI-1000XM2 is stronger than that of the WI-1000X. The presence of noise reduction effect is stronger, and the noise floor control will be better than WI-1000X. These are perceptual improvements.
In addition, the output of the ‘Ambient Sound’ mode of the WI-1000XM2 will be more natural than that of the WI-1000X. The ‘digital taste’ brought by the expansion of the human voice is reduced. While amplifying the surrounding environment, the microphone’s radio reception The effect is less obvious. Here, you can feel the efforts of Sony in processing algorithms.
In addition, I also briefly compared AirPods Pro in the experience. When both are fully worn, the presence of the WI-1000XM2 noise reduction mode will also be slightly stronger than that of the AirPods Pro. However, it is still a bit of a hassle to make the WI-1000XM2 completely suitable for wearing, and many adjustments need to be made when wearing it.
If possible, I still hope it can use the same length of wire as the first generation, and then pull the buttons back into the collar, so that it will be more stable when worn.
WI-1000XM2’s noise reduction has indeed improved, you can feel these improvements. But compared with the difference between WH-1000XM2 to WH-1000XM3, the evolution of WI-1000XM2 is actually not so obvious.
However, some users who have already experienced WI-1000XM2 said that the noise reduction effect of WI-1000XM2 is actually close to WH-1000XM3, but from our experience, WI-1000XM2 does not seem to have such an effect.
This may also be related to the earliest ‘Engineering Edition’ we got. Earlier versions did not make adjustments to the software, the performance may not be at its original level, and the experience may be different. Or Sony will also improve the noise reduction performance at this stage through firmware updates.
Sound quality is more prominent?
In terms of headset configuration, the WI-1000XM2 uses a combination of one circle and one iron, and the parameter specifications are the same as the WI-1000X.
But unlike the WI-1000X, the WI-1000XM2 places the WI-1000X on the moving iron unit below the moving coil and moves it to the front of the moving coil. Sony has such a treatment, it is estimated that it is also related to the design of the headset. The volume of the WI-1000XM2 is smaller than that of the WI-1000X. It is also normal to adjust the internal structure of the headset.
However, the sound performance of the WI-1000XM2 has also changed a lot after the sound guiding structure of the headphones has changed. Coupled with the changes in the sound processing capabilities of QN1, the sound of WI-1000XM2 is indeed more prominent than that of WI-1000X:
▲ (Artist: Ayasa | Album: “ANISONG COVER NIGHT Vol.2” | Connection and equipment: NW-ZX300A (LDAC) | Specifications: 24bit 96kHz Hi-Res | Noise reduction mode: Noise reduction on)
▲ (Singer: Chen Jian’an | Album: “Original” | Connection and Equipment: NW-ZX300A (LDAC) | Specifications: 24bit 96kHz Hi-Res | Noise Reduction Mode: Noise Reduction On)
The first feeling of WI-1000XM2 just getting started is that the low frequency is much more prominent than before. The drumbeat has improved a lot, and the fullness of the sound has also increased. The overall vocal feel will be thicker than the WI-1000X, and the adaptability to pop music will be stronger than the WI-1000X.
The performance of the vocals is also good. Although there is a little bit forward, the overall sound does not matter. The stability of the human voice is also good, and users can still clearly sing in a fixed position, and there will be no obvious looseness. These are actually Sony’s advantages, and the WI-1000XM2 can also inherit this advantage.
The processing of the details is actually good, and some parts of the restoration will be better than the WI-1000X. However, the overall sound of this WI-1000XM2 in our hands will still be a bit rough, and the resolution will not be brought out, and the sound will still sound a little muddy.
This is believed to be an individual problem. The previous WI-1000X will not have this problem after long-term use. It is estimated that the engineering version of the firmware has not been adjusted.
Still the strongest, but do we really need it?
Overall, the WI-1000XM2 is also a neck-mounted wireless noise-canceling headset with very good configuration and experience.
After using the same configuration as the WH-1000XM3, the WI-1000XM2 has achieved a comprehensive improvement in noise reduction and audio performance. The body is also lighter than before and storage is simpler. For:
I don’t want to hang my headphones often
Afraid that true wireless is easy to lose
I want better connectivity, sound quality, and configuration standards, but I do n’t want to wear a headset
For users with these needs, WI-1000XM2 is an option worth considering.
In addition, Sony will adjust the price after the distribution of goods and sales are stable. The price of 2499 yuan is the same as the previous generation. If you encounter the price reductions of various shopping festivals in 2020, there is still a possibility that you can shout out the real fragrance.
Yes, the WI-1000XM2 is really strong, but do we really need it?
Those who pursue specifications and the ultimate noise reduction effect may more often choose a wireless noise reduction headset. The head-mounted type has more space and can accommodate larger size units and batteries. There are fewer trade-offs and restrictions on power consumption and performance than the neck-mounted type, and the endurance performance can be better than the thin-necked body.
If the pursuit of convenience, the advantages of true wireless will be more obvious than the neck-hanging type. Without the restrictions of wires and collars, there will be fewer restrictions on the wearing of truly wireless earphones, and the wearing experience will be better than the neck-hanging type that may have a “stethoscope effect”.
Although there is still some instability in transmission, as the chip manufacturers continue to optimize their solutions, the stability of true wireless headphones is stable. If you want to buy used iPhones, there are used iPhone 6s plus, used iPhone 7, used iPhone 8 plus on sale in Energyitshop!
Neck-mounted wireless noise-canceling headphones now seem to be a marginalized product.