I rarely use wireless neckband headphones, preferring instead to go for a pair of wired earphones for audio fidelity or true wireless earbuds for convenience. So when I had the chance to try out the Sony WI-C600N, I wondered for a moment if there would ever be an occasion that would require me to use it.
For people who love to listen to music while running, these are a godsend. The neckband and earbuds are extremely light, and you most likely won’t even feel them even after prolonged periods of usage. There are standard silicon buds included, but Comply foam tips can fit too, for better sound isolation.
There’s three modes, Ambient noise turned on and off, as well as Active Noise Cancellation. While the ANC won’t be as good as a proper pair of headphones, I did find that the earbuds managed to drown out around 70% of the low hum from a car’s engine while riding in the back seat, with the radio and conversational chatter totally removed.
The audio quality was quite impressive with clear mids and a punchy bass. Treble was clear and non-fatiguing, but could also have been a little brighter.
Battery life is estimated at 6.5 hours, but I found that playing at 80% volume gave me only about 5 hours of battery life. I’m quite disappointed in this aspect, with most other wireless neckband headphones having a battery life of closer to the 10-hour mark. I suppose it’s not an issue for people who are using these for exercise; 5 hours would be plenty.
One feature I particularly liked is the inclusion of magnets in the back of the earbuds, so the wires won’t end up getting tangled when you throw the earphones into your bag. While not particularly strong, they’re good enough to ensure that the left and right buds won’t detach from each other on accident.
Microphonics is an issue though, with the wires prone to rubbing against the side of my face and neck. It could be just because the distance between my neck and ears are shorter so there’s an excess of wire length. I solved this quite easily by wearing the earphones over my ears like I do with my CIEMs or other IEMs.
With other true wireless earphones or even headphones, I don’t quite enjoy having to hold down a button to re-pair everytime I switch devices. The great part for these earphones is that I just have to turn them on, and connect directly from my device if it’s not already paired. While it would have been even better for the earphones to be able to remember a certain number of previously paired devices, I’m happy enough with not having to hold down a button.
The WI-C600N strikes the right balance between great sound, convenience and price. The best true wireless earpieces like the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless cost S$469, while this is retailing for S$199. While areas like the battery life can be improved, the sound quality that you’re getting for the price you pay is very decent.