Sony WH-1000XM2 Review
Sony wh-1000xm2 review – ITS NAME MIGHT SOUND LIKE THE BOTTOM END OF A BARCODE, BUT SONY’S LATEST WIRELESS HEADPHONES ARE TAKING NOISE-CANCELLING TO NEW HEIGHTS.
THE ADDITION OF A BAROMETRIC PRESSURE SENSOR THAT CAN DETERMINE THE SURROUNDING AIR DENSITY IN ORDER TO OPTIMIZE ACTIVE NOISE CANCELLING IN AN AEROPLANE CABIN OR AT HIGH ALTITUDES IS A SMALL BUT USEFUL ADDITION.
THERE’S NO SHORTAGE of competition in the premium over-ear wireless active noise cancelling (ANC) headphone category, but Sony’s MDR-1000X from 2016 managed to stand out from the crowd with an exceptional balance of audio quality, noise-cancelling and ease of use. The WH-1000XM2 are their just-released successors, and build some novel noise-cancelling features onto the existing setup to create the most user-friendly ANC control scheme we’ve yet tested.
The addition of a barometric pressure sensor that can determine the surrounding air density in order to optimize active noise-cancelling in an aeroplane cabin or at high altitudes is a small but useful addition. There’s the return of legacy features like a physical noise-cancelling button and the touch to communicate interface that allows you to cycle through ANC, audio passthrough and off modes quickly or immediately reduce audio volume and maximize ambient sounds from your surroundings. Sony has even attempted to bring the features of ANC into the everyday by adding a novel ‘Adaptive Sound’ setting that uses an accelerometer to detect when you are stationary, walking, running or on public transport and allows you to customize particular noise-cancelling profiles for each.
These features are backed up by class-leading ANC signal processing that can be customized to your head size, hair style and and even spectacles profile for optimum performance.
While headphones in this category are primarily concerned with noise cancelling, Sony has actually done a decent job in bringing high-quality audio to the table as well.
In addition to the broadly available AptX high-bitrate Bluetooth Audio protocol, Sony has included compatibility with its new 24-bit LDAC Bluetooth protocol that will come standard on all Android Oreo devices and opens up lossless audio to the WH-1000XM2s. Sony has also included its Digital Sound Enhancement Engine (DSEE HX) which upscales compressed sound to approximate high-resolution audio from CD-quality files.
Despite the impressive high-resolution wireless codecs, you should be aware that these headphones won’t offer the same quality as Sony’s audio focused h.Ear headphone range. It’s close, but not quite on par.
Sony has clearly tuned these headphones for Android, offering a slightly bassier than flat profile with warmth through the mid range and clarity across higher frequencies. The 40mm full-range drivers and Liquid Crystal Polymer diaphragms do a good job in reproducing everything from full bassy notes to crisp frequencies up to 40kHz.
Sony wh-1000xm2 battery life
Battery life on the WH-1000XM2s is 30hrs when noise cancelling is on, allowing you to get through a week of workday listening without having to recharge and you can extend this by another 10 hours if you use a wired connection or switch off the noise cancelling.
Coming in a minimalist black or rose gold, these solid 275g headphones are supported by a tensioned adjustable headband that evenly distributes weight and works alongside its soft leather cushions to keep the set comfortable during extended sessions. While much of what the M2s excel at are features you would expect from premium ANC sets, the intuitive control scheme, audio quality and a comfortable headband are hard-to-find components.
This, plus the price, all combines to make what is our favourite premium noise cancelling cans of the year (so far). [joel burgess]
Sony wh-1000xm2 specs
40mm Neodymium driver (4-40,oooHz frequency range); LDAC and AptX HD high-res audio; Bluetooth 4.1; capacitive touch controls, physical on/off/Bluetooth and noise canceling buttons; 275g