Sony WF-C500 Review: The younger brother of legendary WF-1000XM4

Sony WF-C500 Review
Sony WF-C500 Review

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In the circles of lovers of high-quality sound , Sony has recently been on everyone’s lips. This is not a simple coincidence, but a completely natural result of the work done and the products sold, which had a great impact on the entire industry.

Of the most distinguished devices, the WF-1000XM4 and WH-1000XM4 immediately come to mind , which have become the company’s flagship products. These models have set a huge bar for the quality of active noise cancellation and audio signal processing.

Sony WF-C500
Sony WF-C500

All these victories concerned a far from budget niche and finally Sony decided to conquer the segment of affordable audio and presented us with the WF-C500 model…. I am very interested in what the company’s engineers have sacrificed to achieve such a final price of the product, how all these changes will affect my impression and, of course, I want to share this with you.

Overall impression:

The headphones come in a miniature cardboard box. The package includes the device itself, a bunch of waste paper, a USB C charging cable and several pairs of interchangeable ear pads. The first thing that catches your eye is the miniature and lightness of the charging case. Its dimensions are only 75x30x25 mm, which allows you to easily carry it in the pocket of fitted trousers and not feel discomfort.

The size of the headphones themselves turned out to be an order of magnitude smaller than that of the WF-1000XM3. The latter protruded significantly from the auricle, had a decent weight and could be unstable in the ear, the new WF-C500 are devoid of these shortcomings.

Their size allows them to completely fit in the auricle, which gives them additional secure fixation. These factors determine the very comfortable fit of these headphones, it is comfortable to play sports in them, use it as a headset and just comfortably listen to music on the street, without fear of falling out. The IPX4 sweat and splash protection also opens the door to the sports world, making the device a true sports companion. The design of the case is quite interesting, the top cover is made of translucent matte plastic, through which the charging indicators are visible, you always understand whether the device is charged.

The cover of the case and the headphones themselves is rough-matte, this provides excellent protection against slipping and retains its appearance well even without a transport case. With a total weight of 45 g, I immediately had suspicions of insignificant autonomy, but in general, everything turned out to be not so bad. The battery life is 10 hours on a single charge and another 10 from the case. The numbers are not record high, but they will cover the needs of most people thanks to the fast charging technology.

Ergonomics

The controls for the headphones are analog (buttons) and I think this is a good example of a reasonable reduction in price. In terms of the comfort of use, they do not differ much from the touchscreen ones, and in some cases even surpass them, but they are cheaper.

There is no active noise cancellation in the device, additional chips for its operation apparently also significantly affected the final cost, but thanks to a good, ergonomic fit, passive noise cancellation is more than enough. The only thing that upset me was that there is no transparency mode either, this is a really convenient function that allows you to clearly hear the interlocutor without removing the headphones.

The device is equipped with Bluetooth version 5.0, which allows you to transmit a signal to both earbuds at once, which minimizes latency and allows you to watch videos in high definition.

Sound

The Sony WF-C500 supports 2 major codecs, AAC and SBC, which makes them compatible with all devices. Of the nice additions, there is support for Sony Headphones Connect, this is a proprietary application that has a convenient equalizer so that you can customize the sound for yourself. I was impressed by the implementation of DSEE technology, it restores the high-frequency details that are lost when compressing files, it sounds as natural and pleasant as possible. The headphones have a good, wide stage, and I can clearly hear the arrangement of the instruments on par with the premium models.

If you want to immerse yourself in surround sound even more, the WF-C500 supports 360 Reality Audio. It is qualitatively different from standard stereo, in which music plays in our head, and with 360 Reality Audio, it begins to envelop the listener, immersing him directly in front of the performer. In order to experience this trick, I downloaded the deezer app and was absolutely thrilled.

Sony WF-C500
Sony WF-C500

At the moment I found myself at a driving rock concert surrounded by guitars, drums, keyboards, the impressions are very pleasant. In general, I really liked the sound of the headphones, it is not inferior to many flagship models, allowing you to fully enjoy your favorite songs, podcasts, films.

Conclusion

You need to save wisely, it is this phrase that personifies my attitude to the Sony WF-C500 after the test. The headphones retain the main points for which they are worth buying: an ergonomic fit, comfortable autonomy, no delays, no sound loss, no disconnect. Adding excellent sound to the above, the presence of a proprietary application, 360 Reality Audio and DSEE technology puts this model in first place in this price category.