Sony WI-C600N review: noise-canceling headset

It's been a long time since the editorial officeggI haven’t seen new headsets in a very interesting and convenient form factor that doesn’t have

some well-established name among us, but onin English it is called “behind the neck”. I remember that the leaders in this direction several years ago (the first appearance of the form factor in my memory was recorded in 2009) were Korean companies - we have reviews of LG Tone+ HBS-500, LG Tone Infinim (HBS-900) and Samsung Gear Circle. Therefore, it was interesting to look at a modern Sony headset model with a similar design. Moreover, it has something that was not there before: NFC, noise reduction and support for a smartphone application.


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What is it and what is interesting

Sony WI-C600N - wireless Bluetooth headsetwith a not very common design - the main part of the flexible (which is important) body is placed on the user’s neck, like a collar. Headphones on a short wire are attached to the body, which, on the one hand, turns it into a kind of hybrid of a “wired” wireless headset. On the other hand, in my experience, this is the most convenient option for wearing a wireless headset, in which the headphones cannot be lost, and if they suddenly fall out, nothing will happen. Specifically, the Sony WI-C600N is interesting with its support for NFC, aptX and is equipped with a noise reduction system, as well as (less significantly) an ambient-sound mode, in which the user can theoretically hear what is happening next to him. And all this is configured using a proprietary application. It also charges with a progressive USB-C connector, which is definitely a nice little touch that will delight a geek's heart.


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What is in the box


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Manual includeduser (English, French, Spanish), visual instructions (no text, with diagrams like in IKEA furniture) for those who do not speak languages, a short charging cable 20 centimeters long with a USB-C connector and three additional sets of silicone ear pads of different sizes ( By the way, the standard one suited me perfectly)

Appearance and management

The most important controls are located onleft side of the collar. In appearance, everything is simple and clear - a power button, a rocker key to control the volume and a universal button that is used to answer a call, play music, pause and rewind (double press - the next song, triple - the previous one). Surprisingly, it was the controls that irritated me. Despite the fact that the buttons are all convex and, in theory, should be easy to feel in order to work “blindly,” in practice, finding the power button at night when you decided to watch a couple of new episodes on your laptop in bed was a non-trivial task. Everything worked out only the third time, reminiscent of the well-known joke about connecting a USB flash drive with the “correct” side the third time. As a result, it was better to turn on the headset in advance, and only then put it on the neck. There were no such problems with the volume and switching songs - the rocker is easier to find, it is larger, and the call answer button is located at the edge of the case. But pressing the button three times to repeat a song is still not the best solution. Although those who never use rewind should not have problems.


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There is a button on the right side of the bodynoise reduction controls. It also activates the ambient-sound mode (I first came across this function in the Here One headphone model, released on Kickstarter in 2015, and today it is already available in almost every second model of good headphones). All three modes work in a circle: ambient-sound, off and ambient-sound, noise reduction. As a rule, the user selects one sound mode that suits him and does not return to this button.


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The USB-C connector is located at the bottom of the left “collar” (you can always get into it the first time even blindly), it is covered with a plug on the leg.


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The headphone wires go inside the case, but are not wound up, like, for example, the LG Tone Infinim:


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The headphones look decent, made to last,A nice bonus is that they can be worn like the Samsung Gear Circle - thanks to the magnets, you can attach them with their backs to each other, and wear them around your neck when you’re not listening to music.


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What you can expect from the sound of the Sony WI-C600N

The sound of the Sony WI-C600N is frankly not muchdiffers from similar headphones in the same class. With good bass, moderately deep (as far as these headphone sizes allow) sound, which can be adjusted with equalizer settings. The noise reduction system didn’t impress me much; it’s there, but you don’t really notice it thanks to the dense silicone (vacuum) ear pads, which have long since defeated their foam ancestors. The ambient sound is completely difficult to evaluate (perhaps due to the fact that vacuum headphones are perfectly noise-insulated), no matter how hard I tried to switch the settings, I could not feel the difference.

What the application can do

The same thing is used to control the headphones.Sony Headphones Connect app (available for Android and iOS). After the superb flagship closed-back headphones Sony WH-1000XM3, which cannot be praised enough, the range of app features in the Sony WI-C600N seems meager. You can select preset equalizer options (there are two custom modes) and enable/disable noise reduction, and even choose one of three ambient mode options (this, as I said, did not help me). Formally, you can control the player’s playback from the application, but it’s unlikely that anyone will listen to music via Sony Headphones Connect.


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How long do Sony WI-C600N last?

After MPOW T5 TWS headphones pleasantly surprisedIn terms of sound quality and operating time, I would like to count on something more than the stated 6.5 hours of music playback with noise reduction turned on (after all, the Sony WI-C600N is larger in size, there is room to place the battery), but in practice I was not able to I can squeeze more than 5 hours out of them, however, I listen to music at maximum volume, which somehow justifies the manufacturer’s calculations. Before going to bed, of course, the fast charging mode saves the day - 15 minutes of charging while you go to bed and brush your teeth, and now the charge is enough to watch one or two episodes of the series. By the way, you cannot use modern powerful chargers of flagship smartphones for charging - the headset refused to charge from the Huawei P30 Pro, but easily tolerated charging from the USB port of a laptop or an old charger.

Price and competitive environment

At a price of 5,000 hryvnia, Sony WI-C600N has no directcompetitors - the rare form factor has not taken root in the market; now I could find only one Samsung U Flex model, which costs 1500 hryvnia and is a direct competitor to the Sony WI-C400N (same price and same capabilities, without noise reduction). In fact, if you want to buy modern noise-canceling headphones in this particular form factor, then there are simply no alternatives to the Sony WI-C600N right now.

Line neighbors

Sony WI-C600N occupy an intermediate position inline between the simpler Sony WI-C400N headset (outwardly it looks very similar, but due to the lack of noise reduction and ambient mode it can work up to 20 hours, and costs 1500 hryvnia instead of 5000) and the flagship headset for its form factor WI-1000XM2, which was introduced this fall and should be available soon (we hope to get a closer look at them). Somewhere nearby, a little to the side, there is a model of Sony WI-SP600N wireless headphones, which are positioned as sports (they have IPX4 protection, noise reduction and approximately the same operating time), and cost 3,000 hryvnia.

In the dry residue

Sony WI-C600N headphones look good and sound goodgood and leave a good impression (if you don’t take into account the inconvenient power-on for me) until you start looking at the price tag. And although there are no other alternatives in this form factor and with such capabilities, there are many of them in other classes of wireless headphones, including the most popular miniature TWS models with charging cases. And if noise reduction still plays some role when purchasing, then the ambient sound function, which, in theory, should make it possible to hear something on the street, looks ineffective in this model. Which makes, for example, an interesting purchase of the Sony WI-C400N model if you are not very picky about sound quality. The short battery life (even with noise reduction turned off) does not really improve the overall picture - today 6 hours of work does not seem to be the limit of buyers’ desires.

3 reasons to buy Sony WI-C600N headphones:

  • the most convenient form factor for wearing wireless headphones;
  • noise reduction system;
  • nice little things (USB-C connector, fast charging, NFC and aptX).

2 reasons not to buy Sony WI-C600N headphones:

  • Sony WI-C400N and Sony WI-SP600N are significantly cheaper;
  • Not the biggest battery life.

Key Specifications of the Sony WI-C600N Headphone

Dimensions and weight
206x183x48 mm, 34 g

Speakers
6 mm

Frequency range
20 – 20000 Hz (44.1 kHz sampling rate)

Sensitivity
106±3 dB

Wireless
NFC, Bluetooth 4.2 A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP

Functions
noise reduction, ambient (listening to ambient sounds), Sony Headphones Connect app

Declared battery life
up to 8.5 hours of music playback (up to 1 hour after 15 minutes of fast charging)

Contents of delivery
USD-C charging cable (20 cm), four sets of silicone ear pads

Sony WI-C600N

Comfortable noise-canceling headset

State-of-the-art wireless headsetbehind-the-neck (worn like a collar). Its benefits include a noise reduction system, fast charging, USB-C connector, NFC support, aptX and application control. But the buyer will have to put up with not the highest battery life.

buy at M.Video

conscious choice

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