Like it or not, wireless earphones are here to stay. With more and more smartphones dropping the iconic 3.5mm headphone jack, wireless earphones are slowly becoming ubiquitous. Not to be left behind, Sony recently refreshed its entire portable audio line-up to better reflect this trend. The company recently introduced four new wireless earphones and we have the cheapest amongst the lot in for review.
The Sony WI-C300 Bluetooth earphones feature 9mm drivers, a built-in microphone, up to 8 hours of battery life, and a lightweight design. The earphones retail for Rs. 3,390 but can be found for less than Rs. 3,000 on e-commerce websites such as Amazon India.
Are Sony's cheapest Bluetooth earphones worth buying? Let's find out in our full review.
The earphones weigh next to nothing and are built predominantly out of plastic. Whilst the earphones are built reasonably well, the cable quality is a bit of a letdown. The 7-inch cord that connects the two earpieces is extremely thin and feels quite flimsy.
The Sony WI-C300 is available in four colours in India, Blue, White, Black, and Red. We reviewed the Blue variant which definitely looks quite sporty and snazzy. The box contains the bare minimum - a user's guide, a short micro-USB cable, and two extra pair of silicone ear tips (small and large). Foam tips and a case of any kind are conspicuous by their absence, but that's excusable given the price of the WI-C300.
The earphones have a slightly odd, asymmetrical design with a module next to the left earpiece and another one in between the two earpieces. The module next to the left earpiece houses the Micro-USB port for charging and buttons for playback control.
The arrangement of the buttons is a bit odd as the volume down button is sandwiched between the volume up and the multi-function buttons. In most earphones, the multi-function button is found in between the volume controls, which we believe is more ergonomic.
Thanks to the lightweight design and compact housings, the earphones are extremely comfortable. We could listen to music for hours at a time without facing any major discomfort. The petite housings make make them ideal for listening to music at night whilst lying on your side. The noise isolation is pretty mediocre though. We were able to hear ambient noise and people talking around us even at roughly 60 percent volume.
These affordable wireless earphones deliver a surprisingly crisp and clear sound. The sound signature is definitely V shaped with the mids taking a slight backseat to the rest of the frequencies. That said, the mids are better represented than most affordable wireless earphones. Fans of vocal-heavy genres like Blues should look at wired options in this price range such as the 1More Dual Driver In-Ear headphones.
We were really surprised with the quality of the bass on offer. The low-end is tight and controlled and never overshadows the rest of the frequencies. Unlike many wireless earphones out there, the treble is crisp and energetic yet never sharp or sibilant. This makes listening to genres such as Jazz and Metal a fatigue free experience.
The soundstage is pretty closed off but image spacing is decent and instrument separation is surprisingly good. The clarity and detail on offer is also great for this price range. We could distinguish between the array of guitars being played in tracks like John Mayer's Slow Dancing in a Burning Room (Live) and Radiohead's Paranoid Android.
All in all, the Sony WI-C300 punches above its weight when it comes to the quality of sound on offer. The earphones are not as detailed and coherent as more expensive competitors but manage to provide a pleasant listening experience with good clarity, punchy bass, and decently crisp highs at a competitive price.
In our experience, the earphones lasted around 7 hours on a single charge with music playing at 80 percent volume. With moderate volume levels, it will be easy to achieve the 8 hours figure promised by Sony. The built-in noise cancelling microphone is of high quality and we experienced no issues while on calls during our test period.
The Sony WI-C300 makes for a great buy. The sound on offer is crisp and detailed and the sound signature is fairly balanced, with all frequencies represented well in the sound mix. The battery life is above average and the earphones are extremely comfortable to boot. The flimsy cable and shallow soundstage is not enough to take away from the sheer value for money on offer here. The Sony WI-C300 raise the bar for budget wireless headphones and offer a great blend of comfort, sound quality, and convenience.
Price: Rs. 3,390 (MRP)
Ratings (out of 5):