Sony is taking Apple’s Powerbeats Pro headphones head-on with its new workout-friendly wireless earbuds, the Sony WF-SP800N, that sport an 18-hour battery life (9 on board and 9 in the case) and an IP55 rating that make them water-resistant.
That’s pretty much right on par with the Powerbeats Pro, but in addition to sharing some similarities with Apple’s sport earbuds Sony is taking things one step further by offering some basic active noise cancellation tech and support for 360 Reality Audio, the company’s proprietary spatial audio format.
That last bit is pretty exciting because there aren’t a ton of wireless headphones that support it – making these one of the first to hit the market.
Sony says the new true wireless workout buds will cost $199 (AU$449, around £160) in four colors (Black, Blue, Red and White) first in the US starting today and around the world later this year.
Another pair of true wireless earbuds?!
If you feel like you just read about a new pair of Sony true wireless earbuds, it was more than likely the Sony WF-XB700 that were announced in April and come in at $129 (£130, around AU$200).
While the WF-XB700 are a bit cheaper, the SP800N have a slightly better IPX-rating for more serious athletes and basic active noise cancellation. The SP800N look a bit more sleek, too, and support 360 Reality Audio.
If you want a simpler analogy, the WF-XB700 is to the Apple AirPods as the Sony WF-SP800N is to the Powerbeats Pro.
We won’t know how the Sony WF-SP800N stack up against the Powerbeats until we get them in our ears, but on paper at least, Sony’s latest true wireless earbuds could pose a serious threat to Beats’ longtime locker room dominance.