Sony has now consistently offered solid audio products over the years, with the Sony WH-1000XM3 over-ear headphones and the Sony WF-1000XM3 True Wireless Earphones being the best of the class products that will please most users. Still, Sony’s products are the most glamorous, and so are the premium offers, while the company’s mid-range offers are usually far from the limelight. Nevertheless, Sony has a few star products, even in the mid-range segment. So, in this review we will evaluate a new mid-range competitor from Sony, WI-SP510 Wireless Neckband-style earphones. Priced at Rs 6,990 and available at Rs 4,990 on Amazon and Headphonezone, the Sony WI-SP510 is part of Sony’s ‘Sports’ lineup as well as its ‘XB’ – extra bus range of headphones. These earphones seem like a very lucrative purchase, at least on paper. So, let’s find out how the Sony WI-SP510 in-ear sports headphones worked in our review.
Construction and comfort
A familiar neckband-style design game, the Sony WI-SP510, stylistically, is extremely minimal. Available in blue and black color options, the design is a bit monotonous and flexible, especially the black color variant we got for review. The build is all plastic, but the quality doesn’t seem cheap at all. The earphones have two compact, round plastic modules with a semi-flexible plastic neckband.
Now, lend itself to making plastic-built earphones extremely lightweight and portable. Weighing in at just 30 grams, the earphones can easily be carried in a backpack or even a small handbag. The weight of these new-gener earphones has increased compared to the previous model – the WI-SP500, however, the battery has also increased considerably, giving the WI-SP510 15 hours of play time compared to the WI. The SP500 is now only 8 hours.
Earphones are perfect for those who are living an active life. Whether you go to the gym, run, cycle or jog, the earbuds fit snugly in the ears and the neckband itself is stuck to the neck due to the weight leaning forward towards the plastic modules. The snag fit of the earphones also lends itself to great passive isolation, making them suitable for use while traveling or even in noisy office environments.
The earphones come with silicone eartipes as well as different sized silicone wings – four pairs of silicone tips and three pairs of silicone wings. Although we did find a well-fitting pair of eartips and wings, the wings finally felt quite tired after an hour of wearing critics’ ears. This is partly because the reviewer’s ears are smaller than usual, so if you do, keep this in mind.
The earbuds are small and ergonomic, and the driver housings are magnetic, allowing them to cling together when lying idle around your neck. Unfortunately, though, there’s no automatic pause / play functionality with the magnetic housing like the OnePlus’s wireless in-ear headphones. In addition, the magnet is not as strong as we would like.
The controls are on the plastic module on the left and are extremely user-friendly. The buttons are large enough and they have a lot of tricks. You can pause / play music, skip tracks or go back to previous tracks, increase / decrease the volume level and even call your voice assistant with a command. Unlike the controls of many wireless earphones, the Sony WI-SP510 has simple and intuitive controls that just … work. Next to the controls, there’s also a USB-C port under a plastic flap
While the cream features like ANC, Adaptive Sound Control and Ambient Mode are set aside for more premium Sony offers, the WI-SP510 has a number of Nifty features that most users are looking for in 2020. First, since it’s a sports pair of in-ear headphones, it comes with an IPX5 water resistance rating which means you can use these earphones in the gym or in heavy rain (according to Sony) without having to worry about it. Sony even claims that these earphones can be washed off after an intense workout session!
In addition, earphones allow users to access their device’s voice assistant via onboard control. Just double-tapping the middle multi-function button will call Google Assistant or Siri. Users can make and receive handsfree calls and control music and media playback via onboard controls, as mentioned above.
Powered by Bluetooth 5.0, the Sony WI-SP510 has a company rating of about 33 feet wireless range. Due to the limited testing we can do with the Covid-19, we’ve found that earphones play quite a decent wireless range. We can move from one end of a 400 square foot house to the other, without cutting the range. However, if you place one or two walls between the earphones and the source device, the connection is lost. The earphones support the AAC codec in addition to the standard SBC, which can be used by Android users. However, unfortunately, it does not come with aptX support.
With the Sony WI-SP510, users get a longer battery life of about 15 hours, according to the company, which is higher for wireless earphones. In our experiments, at about 60-65 percent volume, the earphones lasted about 14 hours and 30 minutes, which is quite exceptional. Charging headphones is also a quick thing, with just 3 hours of charging, the earphones back up to a full charge from a zero battery.
Sporting a 12mm driver, the Sony WI-SP510 offers a relatively pleasing sound profile and good audio reproduction. However, these earphones have a serious chink in the armor. Noise floor (the amount of white noise produced by headphones) is inexplicably high, especially for headphones from brands like Sony. So, due to this unfortunate but big error, we should advise those who listen to lots of podcasts, audiobooks and quiet genre music to stay away from these headphones, as the relatively pale white noise can bother you (as it does) during our tests). .
Now, most headphones have a small amount of noise, but the amount of noise present in the WI-SP510 is much higher than most modern day wireless offers and must be different. Noise is most noticeable when you pause music / media and when you turn on the device. Basically, when nothing else is playing, however, it’s also noticeable during quiet music and movies, audiobooks and podcasts. However, if you listen to most loud songs, the sound will not be too noticeable.
Now, coming to the sound quality of Sony WI-SP510, we have quite enjoyed the warm and pleasing sound profile of the headphones. These are of course less and alloy-based, however, even have alley character and control. It’s not cloudy or cloudy in any way, which is what we like. Mids are well produced, such as with vocal-centric tracks Hello By Adele Or Save me By One republic Sounds dynamic and lively, while still maintaining detail.
The height is decent, but nothing to write home. On the track Hysteria By Muse, The clapping sounded strong but at high volume it was somewhat distorted. The imaging on these headphones is also great. Such as crowd tracks Selkis By BTBAM Featuring an array of instruments, you can still mean instruments in chaos and some space. However, there is a lack of sound stage.
The quality of the microphone is also quite good. When making a call, the voice sometimes sounds so cloudy, but it can be a network problem and not a microphone problem. We tried to record a paragraph voice and the speech comprehension through the microphone was also quite good, only a few words were eaten or picked up incorrectly.
The last row
Priced at Rs 6,990, and especially at a discount of Rs 4,990, the Sony WI-SP510 is definitely a good-sounding wireless mid-range earphone. However, the sound floor is much higher and users who use a lot of podcasts, audiobooks and soft music can find it quite annoying and even confusing. If this is not a problem for you, there are many choices about headphones. You get a pretty strong build, tough battery life, intuitive control, IPX5 rating and good sound quality.