If there is anyone who knows how to do wireless headphones well, it is Sony. The Japanese manufacturer was a forerunner in noise cancellation technology and also has some of the best TWS headphones on the market, such as the Sony WF-1000XM4 that we had the opportunity to test at its launch.
However, despite having so much experience in this segment, Sony had never made the leap to mid-range products. Most of the manufacturer’s headphones are priced pretty high, but that has changed with the release of The Sony WF-C500. These audio devices cost 99 euros, the same as the Nothing Ear (1) and considerably less than the Galaxy Buds 2 or the Airpods 2.
The question is, given Sony had to downgrade a lot of features on its new headphones to adjust the price, are they worth it? Can they stand up to the competition? Let’s see it.
While Sony’s TWS headphones have impeccable sound quality, we must admit that they are not always the most comfortable to use. The WF-1000XM3 for me are too big and heavy and although the Sony WF-1000XM4 are not the smallest that we find in the market, they have a much smaller volume than the previous model. In the case of the C500, both for its size and its weight, I have no complaints about it. They fit the ear perfectly and are so light that I hardly feel like I’m wearing them.
Where we are going to notice the cut in benefits is in the finish of the materials, but it is not something too exaggerated. The box is also smaller than previous models so it is easier to transport, but it does not offer wireless charging.
On the other hand, the WF-C500 have large physical buttons instead of the ordinary touch controls of other models. The good thing about these buttons is that we hardly have to force to press them.
Unlike the touch controls, we cannot modify what the buttons control, but with one or more clicks we can play and pause, skip tracks, answer or end the call, raise and lower the volume or activate the voice assistant. What we miss is that it has an automatic pause when we take them off, because the music continues to play.
One of the things that I like the most about Sony headphones is that the bass sounds completely clean and without distorting the whole, something that also happens with the Sony WF-C500 despite being cheaper. The sound quality is very good for its price, full of details and good differentiation between frequencies. In addition, we can adjust the equalizer from the Sony Headphones app as with the 1000XM4.
Where is the cutout? Well, in that we do not have noise cancellation, although I must say that they fit the ear so well that I have not missed it too much in not too noisy situations. As there is no active noise cancellation there is no transparency mode, so if we use them for running or when we cross streets we must be alert.
The sound quality in calls is very good in places without too much external noise, although the microphone has difficulties when we are in very noisy or windy environments.
At this point I have mixed feelings as these devices have an excellent battery life of more than 10 hours without having to put it in the charging case, but the case only offers us two extra charge cycles (compared to the usual three or four ), so we could have achieved 30 to 40 hours of autonomy on a single charge instead of 20 hours in total.
The good thing is that with only 10 minutes of charging we can get a full hour of autonomy, which can help us in more than one trouble.
The experience with these headphones has been very positive. It is true that they lack some aspects such as wireless charging, active noise cancellation or transparency mode, but their sound quality for the 99 euros they cost and their autonomy of up to 10 hours of continuous playback make them highly recommended devices. .
Other headphones like the Nothing Ear (1) cost the same and have more features, but personally I find that the sound quality of these devices is unmatched by others of similar price.