Geek

We Pitted Sony's New Wireless Headphones Against The Most Annoying Noises We Could Think Of

As someone who wears earphones 99.9% of the time, I’d say there’s nothing I appreciate more than being able to enjoy my music playlists with no distractions.

But then I get moments where friends and family would be literally yelling at me and I wouldn’t hear a thing (not advised btw).

However, Sony sent along their latest wireless headset, the WI-1000X that apparently offers a way around my problem.

It’s got a noise-cancelling feature that’s optimised according to atmospheric pressures around you.

Guess that’s why they’re branding it as a must-have on planes.

There’s also a mode known as Ambient Sound Mode which imports ambient sounds and mixes them with the music being played on your device.

To put these fancy features to the test, we gathered some annoying sounds we could think of and pitted them against the headphones.

For our little experiment, we used portable speakers to amplify the annoying sounds and made sure the volume was set at maximum level (Apologies to my long-suffering colleagues).

Test Subject #1: A crying baby.mp3

Image Credit: huffingtonpost.com

How much could I hear:

  • Music set at 80% volume

Despite how piercing a baby’s crying voice can be, I heard absolutely nothing and could bop my head to the music just fine.

  • Music set at 50% volume

Same results as the case above.

Verdict: Guess those long flights with a bunch of children on-board is not going to be an issue. You’d be getting a good night’s sleep with these babies (no pun intended) on.

Test subject #2: Cars stuck in traffic jams.mp3

Image Credit: freemalaysiatoday.com

How much could I hear:

  • Music set at 80% volume

Surprisingly, I would’ve expected to hear something as car horns are designed to be exceptionally jarring to your ears but everything was blocked out just nicely and I could listen to my song with no problem.

  • Music set at 50% volume

I could faintly hear cars honking in the background but it wasn’t loud enough for me to decipher it as horns. It was more like a buzzing noise.

Verdict: Walking through bad traffic wouldn’t be so bad if you’ve got these on.

Test Subject #3: Heavy construction.mp3

Image Credit: videoblocks.com

How much could I hear:

  • Music set at 80% volume

I immediately got up from my seat and cringed at how I could hear the sound compared to the others. Not a pleasant experience.

  • Music set at 50% volume

If I could already hear it at 80%, this level did not help my ears from the pain.

Verdict: If you’re unfortunately stuck with construction all around you, this is going to lessen the pain by a little bit but the drilling will most likely overpower most of your music choices. Good luck.

Test Subject #4: Fire truck sirens.mp3

Apocalypse scenario.

How much could I hear:

  • Music set at 80% volume

Let’s just say that even if people were screaming and the building collapsed, I wouldn’t have been aware.

  • Music set at 50% volume

Nada.

Verdict: If the world was ending then and there, you’d be too caught up into your music to even notice.

Test Subject #5: Snoring people.mp3

Image Credit: bajiroo.com

How much could I hear:

  • Music set at 80% volume

Enjoyed my music just fine with no snores to be heard.

  • Music set at 50% volume

I could pick up what first sounded like groaning so it didn’t bother me at first but the consistent noise did make my music listening experience less pleasant.

Verdict: If you’re stuck next to a snoring sleeper, your best bet is to crank your music a little higher to drown it out.

We also pit the headset against obnoxious laughter (because we all have that one friend) and cats yowling (especially late at night) and found out that I couldn’t hear any of it with my music played at the usual two levels.

Okay, we did also put it to the test with REAL sounds.

To make this a fair test, we brought it out to the wild (a.k.a around our office area) and were pleasantly happy with the result. Getting lunch at the hawker stalls, crossing streets, and working late hours in the office was nice as the headset blocked off all distractions so I could enjoy my music.

Since the Adaptive Sound Control feature automatically adjusts ambient sound to what I was doing, I didn’t have the issue of needing to take out my earphones every 5 seconds to make sure I could hear my boss calling out my name.

For the ambient mode, we noticed that the other person would need to speak in a louder tone (a little bit softer than yelling) for us to really hear what they were saying while the music was playing.

I give extra points to how light the headset is compared to typical headphones. It sat nicely on my neck and was convenient to carry around.

Real-life testing during our company trip to Phuket.

We even tried it on an actual plane and could binge-watch our Netflix shows with no problem. Both people who tested it agreed that it made flying on the plane a much more pleasant experience.

Different options for different people.

If small earphones are not your thing, Sony had also launched their wireless headphones known as the WH-1000XM2. It has similar features as the WI-1000X, including their Adaptive sound control feature which helps to control the ambient sound.

To use this though, you can download the app for this on Android and iOS here.

Oh, and you don’t even need to take the headphones off to turn the volume down, all you need to is place your hand over the housing which is pretty cool.

Overall, for the WI-1000X’s selling price of RM1499, it’s quite worth it considering it comes with 2 different modes which self-adjust according to where you are so you’re getting the best of your music and are able to hear the other person if you’d want to.

Just be aware of your surroundings; it’s very easy to get absorbed into the music and bump into lamp posts. Trust me on this.

This article was written in collaboration with Sony.

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