Sony announces new 1000X-series of wireless, noise-cancelling headphones

Sony has announced a new three-strong range of wireless noise-cancelling headphones. The new 1000X range is designed to build on the runaway success of Sony's Award-winning MDR-1000X over-ears.

The obvious place to start is with the upgrade to Sony's surrent Award-winners. Called the WH-1000XM2, this over-ear design features noise-cancelling and wireless Bluetooth connectivity - and is certified hi-res capable too. Finishes are limited to black or the sort of sandy/champagne colour shown in the image above.

Battery life is improved over the outgoing model, with the XM2s claimed to last 38 hours from a single charge (or 30 if noise-cancellation is switched on). Wireless sound is given an upgrade, too - the XM2s are aptX HD ready.

These ’phones are Google Now and Siri voice-command-compatible as well, and can also be controlled via the touch-sensitive right earcup. The left earcup features a sensor for Atmospheric Pressure Optimising technology - acoustic and mic response is automatically adjusted in lower atmospheric pressure conditions. This, apparently, is a world-first for headphones of this type.

And on the subject of world firsts, the Adaptive Sound Control setting on the Headphones Connect companion app allows the headphones to automatically tune the amount of noise-cancellation the headphones deliver depending on the wearer's activity. And we can all agree that more noise-cancellation on a flight is as good a thing as less is when you're trying to negotiate a busy road-junction on foot.

Sound is delivered by a pair of 40mm aluminium-coated liquid-crystal polymer full-range drivers.

MORE: Sony WH-1000XM2 review

The WF-1000Xs are an in-ear design, yet incorporate some of the technology of their far bigger WH-1000XM2 siblings - the Adaptive Sound Control feature, for example.

They're a truly wireless design, each earbud fitted with a full-range 6mm driver. They can be charged in their carrying case, and are good for nine hours of wireless noise-cancelling performance from a single charge. At less than 7g per earbud they're lightweight too, and can be paired via NFC.

Finally there are the WI-1000Xs. These are a neckband-style configuration, with 9mm drivers and a claimed 10 hours of wireless noise-cancelling battery life from a single charge (14 hours if using a wired connection but still enjoying noise-cancellation).

Like the WH-1000XM2s, the WI-1000Xs are hi-res audio certified and have Atmospheric Pressure Optimising technology integrated.

All three pairs of headphones are on sale from next month. The WH-1000XM2 will cost approximately £330 per pair, the WF-1000X £200 per pair and the WI-1000X around £300 per pair.


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Simon Lucas is a freelance technology journalist and consultant, with particular emphasis on the audio/video aspects of home entertainment. Before embracing the carefree life of the freelancer, he was editor of What Hi-Fi? – since then, he's written for titles such as GQ, Metro, The Guardian and Stuff, among many others.