Sony WF-C700N Lightning Review: Not Great, Not Terrible Either

The Sony WF-C700N was launched just a couple of months ago but unlike its premium brethren, the WF-1000XM4, these earbuds weren’t made to blow your ears out of the water, figuratively speaking of course. Cost-effective as these look, though, their performance is actually half-decent.

What Am I Looking At?

Well, the WF-C700N are the latest TWS earbuds from Sony, and most probably the halfway point before the Japanese brand’s possible reveal of the next-generation of its high-end 1000X series earbuds. Like all earbuds, they come with a charging case and in this case, a long, oval-shaped casing that stores an additional charge for the earbuds.

Speaking of earbuds, the ones that define the CF-700N are reminiscent of the design of the LinkBuds S that launched last year, an in quick succession to the first LinkBuds, which in my opinion, introduced a concept the world isn’t quite ready for just yet.

What’s Good About It?

Like the LinkBuds S, the WF-C700N actually comes with the all-important creature comfort that is Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). Mind you, it’s not the strongest form of ANC I am accustomed to and there is a considerable amount of sound leakage that occurs, particularly with my right ear.

Moving on, as my title indicates, the WF-C700N doesn’t provide the best audio experience, but it is far from the worse. All three pitches – the highs, mids, and lows – actually sound pretty well balanced. The lows, in particular, do have that little extra oomph in them, but not enough to generate that back-of-the-skull rattling that I look for personal audio products.

At best, the listening experience of the WF-C700N feels just that little bit hollow, almost as if I am listening to it through a souped-up transistor radio. On a related note, one good thing that I can say about the earbuds is that they do no produce any signs of breaking at the highs and mids, nor is there any distortion in the lows, even at higher volumes.

Battery life is also decent, with the WF-C700N lasting its advertised 7.5 hours with the ANC turned on, and closer to 10 hours with it turned off.

What’s the Catch?

For starters, the WF-C700N doesn’t support Qualcomm’s AptX codec but to be fair, Sony hasn’t supported it since the advent of the WH-1000XM3, which is honestly a crying shame, especially since other audio products in its range do.

Another downside to the WF-C700N is its battery size. Unlike most charging cases that carry at least three to four charges worth for the earbuds, this one only carries one additional charge. For an asking price of RM549, you would think that Sony would be a little more generous but alas, such is the price for keeping the minimalist and compact philosophy.

For another matter, I don’t like that, by default, the earbuds of the WF-C700N do not come preset with the option to turn off the ambient sound passthrough or ANC directly out of the box. Like the WH-CH720N, I need to enter the Sony Headphones app to manually set it as such.

Should I Get This?

At RM549, the Sony WF-C700N earbuds clearly aren’t going to break your piggy bank but again, at that price, I was hoping that the brand would provide a little more than just ANC and honestly, more than just one extra charge in the casing.

And while these aren’t a game changer, the WF-C700N are still decent enough for the average consumer that are in the market for a decent pair of earbuds from a reputable brand, and honestly, given its experience in the market, it’s not a stretch to say that you can do worse than Sony.

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