Sony's latest true wireless earbuds offer ANC and adaptive sound for $200

Billy Steele
Senior News Editor
Sony WF-SP800N

If Sony’s new WF-XB700 doesn’t seem like your cup of tea, the company has another set of true wireless earbuds making their debut this spring. Today, Sony announced the WF-SP800N ($200): a long overdue update to it’s sports-focused earbuds that debuted in 2018. While the recently announced WF-XB700 is the company’s most affordable true wireless option at $130, the WF-SP800N is now the mid-range model. And thankfully, the latest Sony has to offer carries a lot of the powerful features from its stellar WF-1000XM3 flagship earbuds.

The WF-SP800N have a similar design to the WF-1000XM3. The two main differences are the shape of the touchpad on the outside and the addition of “arc supporter” wings for a more secure fit. Those wings are a staple for Sony’s sports-focused earbuds, so it’s no surprise they’re back here. And if you don’t like them, or don’t want to wear them all the time, they’re removable just like the ear tips. Once you take those pieces off, the resemblance to the WF-1000XM3 is more apparent. Unlike the WF-SP700N, these don’t look like sports earbuds, which means you won’t feel awkward wearing a bright yellow pair in the office.

To bridge the gap between the high-end and more affordable models, the WF-SP800N features some of the best elements of both of those sets of earbuds. It has Extra Bass audio tech and Adaptive Sound Control that automatically adjusts the ambient sound settings to fit your environment. The WF-SP800N also packs in active noise cancellation (ANC), on-board touch controls, IP55 water resistance and nine hours of battery life (13 hours with ANC off). And yes, there’s a quick-charge feature that will give you an hour of listening time in 10 minutes. The WF-SP800N will also pause automatically when you remove an earbud and overs one-touch access to your voice assistant of choice.

Speaking of ANC, Sony is updating its noise cancellation to automatically change settings based on your location. Through its Headphones app, the company already offers a basic version of this. However, it’s no where near as powerful. Currently, the WF-1000XM3 and other Sony headphones will select the Adaptive Sound Control preset you’ve configured for Waiting, Walking, Running or Traveling when it senses the appropriate movement. Of course, you can manually change it if needed. With today’s update, you’ll be able to assign those settings to specific locations. So when you get to the office or return home, the headphones will automatically switch to your preferred levels for that spot. While this update is debuting alongside the WF-SP800N, it will also be available on all models that support Adaptive Sound Control — like the WF-1000XM3.

Like the WF-1000XM3, you can also use the Headphones app to configure the on-board controls. By default, there’s no volume control on the earbuds, but you can swap some of the other options out to add it. It’s not great that you have to sacrifice handy features to do this basic thing, but it’s better than not having the ability to change volume without reaching for your phone.

Even though Sony has been preaching the gospel of 360 Reality Audio for well over a year, it’s still not readily available across a ton of devices. The company says the WF-SP800N is compatible with the immersive audio technology, though you’ll need a subscription with a streaming service that offers it.

The WF-SP800N is available today from Amazon and Best Buy for $200 is either black or blue.

Sony WF-SP800N true wireless earbuds