You may be wondering what the next-generation over-ear wireless headphones from Sony sound like, and how they will be different from their predecessor, the MDR-1000X. Make no mistake, the Sony WH-1000XM2 are a pair of excellent over-ear noise-cancellation headphones. The second-generation headphones are a little better than the original one, and that’s worth appreciating. And they compete against the Bose QuietComfort 35 II. I have used the Sony WH-1000XM2 for a week, and here is my verdict. Looks-wise, the second-generation headphones are almost identical to the MDR-1000X. Sony’s logo, which is clearly visible on the earcups, has been painted in white instead of black. Our review unit had a gunmetal grey colour, but the WH-1000xM2 also comes in beige-gold. Though the WH-1000XM2 sports a plastic exterior, these headphones feel premium in nature. They completely enclose the entire ear, thanks to soft leather padding. The headphones also offer a good fit, due to the strong and adjustable band.
On the bottom of the left earcup is a 3.5-mm input jack, along with power and ambient audio adjustment buttons. The latter lets you turn noise canceling on and off, and holding it for two seconds will launch an audio optimisation feature to customise the sound. The bottom of the right earphone features a micro-USB charging port. The control interface on the WH-1000XM2 takes advantage of touch controls on the right-hand exterior surface. The touch controls work only when the headphones are in wireless mode. At a long press into the right-hand ear cup, the default voice assistant is activated—whether that’s Siri, or the Google Assistant. However, unlike the Bose QuietComfort 35 II, there’s no dedicated button for the Google Assistant on the WH-1000XM2. What you get is incredible details, crisp sound and decent mids and rather crisp highs. Interestingly, Sony has added a mode called Quick Attention Mode. It reduces the volume level when you cover the top of the right earpiece.
Pairing the headphones with the smartphone is simple. Install the Sony Headphones Connect app from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store and follow the onscreen instructions. Press and hold the power button until you hear a voice that tells the headphones are in pairing mode, and then connect them with the smartphone or tablet of your choice. The headphones also support NFC for quick pairing with compatible smartphones. I tested the Sony WH-1000XM2 with an iPhone 5c and Asus ZenFone 3 and had no connection issues at all. However, I faced problems when connecting to the Lenovo Vibe Shot. Speaking of the Sony Headphones Connect app, when paired with the Sony WH-1000XM2, it offers a lot many features. For instance, you can control adaptive sound, change the equaliser to better suit your preferences , and even change the balance of sound positioning.
The WH-1000X M2 support Sony’s LDAC hi-res audio codec (works only with premium Sony smartphones, including the XZ Premium), high-end Walkmans, Sony Bravia TV, AV receivers, and its wireless speakers. The headphones also supports aptX, aptX HD, and AAC codecs. The WH-1000xM2 promises 30 hours of battery life, around 10 hours more than the MDR-1000X. The headphones also have a quick-charge feature that allows you to get 70 minutes of play time from a 10-minute recharge. The WH-1000XM2, are much better than the MDR-1000X. The top-tier noise cancelling wireless headphones are attractive, comfy, and sound great. But there is the price. At Rs 29,990, Sony WH-1000XM2 does not come cheap. That said, you are paying the price for the sound quality and the brand name attached to them.
• Estimated street price: Rs 29,990