Sony WH-1000XM2 review: The premium mobile audio experience!

Rating:
5 out of 5 stars

Sony WH-1000XM2 is a popular wireless headset with adaptive noise canceling, and many interesting features like touch controls, quick charging, and high-quality sound. We love the way they look, and we are impressed by their hardware specifications, so we decided to test them for two weeks. If you want to know what kind of user experience they have to offer, read our review for Sony WH-1000XM2:

Sony WH-1000XM2: Who is it good for?

The Sony WH-1000XM2 wireless headset is an excellent choice for:

  • Users who want a high-quality mobile audio experience
  • People who want a durable headset, with premium materials
  • Users who appreciate an elegant design, and can afford it

Pros and cons

The main pros of buying the Sony WH-1000XM2 wireless headset, are the following:

  • Excellent sound quality
  • Effective noise cancellation
  • Solid build quality
  • Elegant design
  • Good battery life
  • It can be used both as a wired and wireless headset
  • The packaging bundles useful accessories

There are also some negatives to consider:

  • You must use the Sony Headphones Connect mobile app to access the best features
  • There is no app available for Windows or Mac OS X. Without one, Sony WH-1000XM2 sounds more like a mid-range headset, not a premium one
  • The microphone does not do a great job of isolating your voice from ambient sounds
Product Rated
5/5

Verdict

The Sony WH-1000XM2 wireless headset with adaptive noise cancelling is a premium device, with outstanding sound quality. Its focus on mobile audio experiences is emphasized by the fact that it needs you to install and configure a mobile app for Android or iOS, to unlock its true potential. It looks great, it is sturdy, its adaptive noise canceling is efficient, and the sound quality you get is one of the best on the market. If you want a premium wireless headset, Sony WH-1000XM2 must be on your shortlist.

Unboxing the Sony WH-1000XM2 wireless headset with noise cancelling

The Sony WH-1000XM2 wireless headset comes in a beautiful white box. First, you see a picture of the headset, its model name, and some of its most important features.

On the sides, there is further information about what is inside the box, and links to the mobile app that accompanies this headset. When you open the box, you find out that there is another black box inside, with the Sony logo on it.

The black box opens like a book. Inside, you see a carrying case, made of textile materials, as well as a few cables.

After you open the carrying pouch and everything inside the black box, you find the following items: the headset, a headphone cable, a micro-USB cable, the warranty, and the quick setup guide.

One surprising accessory is an airplane adapter plug, hidden inside the carrying case. If you fly a lot, you will appreciate having it in the standard packaging of this headset.

The unboxing experience offered by Sony WH-1000XM2 is worthy of a premium device. The packaging is rich in accessories that can serve you in all kinds of situations.

Hardware specifications

Sony WH-1000XM2 is a headset that uses Bluetooth 4.1 for wireless connections, and the following Bluetooth profiles: Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP), Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP), Hands-Free Profile (HFP), Headset Profile (HSP), Leadership Development and Advisory Council (LDAC). It also supports one-touch pairing through NFC, and can also be used as wired, with the help of its 3.5mm audio cable. Their wireless range is approximately 30 feet or 10 meters, and they weigh 9.7 oz or 275 grams.

Sony WH-1000XM2 are circumaural, meaning that they cover your entire ear, and use sizeable 1.57-inch driver units. Theoretically, the larger the drivers, the better the sound. They have a frequency response of 4 Hz-40,000 Hz and an impedance that can vary between 14 and 46 ohms, depending on how they are used.

Their body is mostly made of plastic, with polished metal in the headband and synthetic leather to cover the ears. The headband and the ear pads are made of polyurethane foam. This headset is sold in two color versions: black and gold (or beige). We tested the gold version.

On the right headphone, you have a tactile surface that senses your touch gestures. You can use it to turn the volume up or down, answer calls, or skip songs when listening to music. On it, you also have the micro USB port for charging the headset. On the left headphone, there is the audio jack, the Power button, and the button for turning on and off the noise cancellation feature.

The Sony WH-1000XM2 headset promises high-resolution audio, using all kinds of tools and features, like an equalizer, a Digital Sound Enhancement Engine HX (DSEE HXTM), ambient sound control, digital noise cancellation and virtual surround sound.

The autonomy is up to 30 hours with noise cancellation turned on, and of 38 hours with it turned off. The battery charging time is relatively lengthy: up to four hours. However, there is a quick charging feature available that gives you 70 minutes of play, after just 10 minutes of charging.

If you want to read more about the hardware specs and all the features of these wireless headphones, visit this webpage: Sony WH-1000XM2 - Full Specifications and Features.

Using the Sony WH-1000XM2 wireless noise-canceling headset

We first used the Sony WH-1000XM2 headset on a desktop PC, with the help of the cable that's bundled with it. Since there is no software for Windows or Mac OS X, there was nothing we could configure about the way they work. In this situation, we noticed that the bass tends to be more pronounced than on other headsets. This makes Sony WH-1000XM2 great for listening to music genres which emphasize the bass. However, when you want clean vocals, or you listen to classical music or metal, the experience is a bit underwhelming. We also played a few computer games, and we enjoyed the sound experience. Thanks to the more pronounced bass, firing guns sound especially satisfying.

The noise canceling feature works very well. Too well in some situations. If you are at home, at the office, or traveling in a car, or train, you will be satisfied with the way ambient sounds are canceled or diminished. This feature makes for an immersive audio experience. A neat little trick is that you can let the outside world in by holding your hand over the right ear cup.

We do not recommend using the noise cancellation in traffic, or while walking through busy streets. We did, once, and we almost got ourselves into an accident, because we did not hear what went on around us. To keep yourself safe, you should disable noise cancellation in such situations, or use the Sony Headphones Connect mobile app for Android and iOS, to personalize it. Speaking of this app, you MUST install it on your mobile devices, if you want the best possible experience from your Sony WH-1000XM2 headset.

All the essential features are personalized only from Sony Headphones Connect. You should start with turning on adaptive sound control, and running the noise canceling optimizer, so that you get the best possible experience, without putting yourself in danger. You should also play around with the equalizer, the sound quality mode, and the DSEE HX feature.

After we personalized everything we wanted, we enjoyed a much better sound experience. It felt like we were using a premium headset with high-quality sound. The sound was more dynamic. We enjoyed clear vocals, and an excellent audio experience when listening to musical genres like progressive rock, classical music, or post-rock. Watching movies was also a treat.

Another feature of the Sony WH-1000XM2 headset are the touch controls on the right ear cup. We used them a couple of times, and learned that pausing and resuming music, worked well each time. So was the gesture for answering phone calls. Other gestures like turning the volume up or down, did not always deliver the expected result, and we ended up pausing the music, instead of increasing the volume.

We used the Sony WH-1000XM2 headset also for taking calls, and while we heard the person we talked to well, the other person also heard the ambient noises around us, making the conversation a bit unpleasant. The isolation of ambient sounds should be improved for the microphone(s) used on this headset.

Wearing the Sony WH-1000XM2 headset is generally a pleasant experience, even after a couple of hours of use. They also look good, and it is evident to people around you, that you are not wearing your average headset. However, if you are wearing them on a hot sunny day, it is impossible not to sweat quite fast. When you want to take these headphones with you, a positive feature is that their ear cups are foldable and can swivel. Although they are large, they are easily arranged, to take away with you.

Sony WH-1000XM2 is an excellent wireless headset, with adaptive noise cancelling, that works very well, as long as you install, and configure the Sony Headphones Connect mobile app for Android and iOS. Unfortunately, PC users do not benefit from an app, and their experience is not as great.

What is your opinion about the Sony WH-1000XM2 wireless headset?

After reading our review, you know our opinion about the Sony WH-1000XM2 wireless headset. We are curious to know what is your opinion about this product. If you already own it, share your experience with us, in a comment below.