It was the end of 2017 when Sony launched an array of headphones and audio devices, with much of the focus on the premium segment of the market. Many of their premium headphones (especially the WH-1000XM2) received a lot of praise for their functionality and sound quality.
With their new 2018 portfolio, Sony now looks to shift its focus to the mid-range market, and wants to make 2018 mostly about the budget centric audio gear.
Since Sony is betting big on its “Go Wireless with Sony” philosophy, it has launched three wireless headphones targeting people who like to mix fitness and music.
The most interesting and talked about of the three is the WF-SP700N, which Sony calls the “world’s first truly wireless noise-cancelling headphones with splash-proof design”. I got a few minutes with the headphones, and I must say it seems to be a promising gizmo.
Noise-cancellation works well and it sits snugly in the ears. These are an all-weather headphones so one can head out for a run even in the rain and not worry about them getting damaged. The company claims three-hours of battery life (plus nine-hours with the charging case).
The WI-SP600N and the WI-SP500 are two other headphones that were also launched in this series. These headphones come with Sony’s very own EXTRA BASS technology which teams up with the noise-cancellation feature to accentuate the whole aural experience.
Where the WF-SP700N comes in at Rs 12,990, the WI-SP600N will cost you around Rs 9,990. The third and the most economical offering in this series is the WI-SP500, which costs only Rs 4,990.
Amidst all this, there were some over-the-ear headphones that were also introduced primarily in the budget segment. The WH-CH400 and the WH-CH500 have been launched at Rs 3,790 and Rs 4,990 respectively. Smart pricing, we admit.
Speaking of smart, all of these headphones come bundled with Google’s voice assistant. The only thing that bugged me is that every time, I had to press a certain button on the gizmo to activate the Google Assistant. Why can’t I just say “Hey Google” or “Hey Siri” and be off? (Sony, are you listening?)
Sony also updated its wireless speaker series with the launch of three new bluetooth speakers, the SRS-XB41, 31 and 21.
The SRS-XB41 costs Rs 13,990, while the SRS-XB31 will be available for Rs 9,990. The SRS-XB21, which comes in four colour variants, has been priced at Rs 7,990.
There have been considerable upgrades from the previous series: The new speakers share an inter-connectivity feature which you can use to connect 100 speakers with each other.
Apart from IP67 water and dust resistance certification, the new speakers offer something Sony calls “Party Booster”, which basically transforms your speaker into a beatbox.
Tapping the gizmo in different areas makes different sounds, exactly like a beatbox! So now there’s something more to ‘play’ around with.
So there you have it - Sony’s 2018 portfolio for the audiophiles in the country. There is a lot of potential in the mid-range market for the Japanese brand and 2018 looks promising considering their latest offering.
Since there’s so much to look forward to. We’ll get you a closer look at some of the new Sony devices very soon in our review.
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