Sony Float Run review: Open-ear headphones crafted for those on the move | Wearables Reviews

Sony Float Run review: Open-ear headphones crafted for those on the move

Sony Float Run review: Do the new sports headphones meet the requirements of the niche markets? Check out our review of Sony Float Run headphones.

By: AISHWARYA PANDA
| Updated on: Feb 19 2024, 11:59 IST
Sony Float Run
The Sony Float Run is priced at 10990. (Aishwarya Panda/HT Tech)
Sony Float Run
The Sony Float Run is priced at 10990. (Aishwarya Panda/HT Tech)

Sony Float Run review: Have you ever walked on a road with true wireless earbuds blaring rock music in your ears and suddenly a car or bike whizzes past uncomfortably close to you? As you stand still in fear and relief at fortunately evading a serious accident, you also analyze what just happened. In such situations, forget music, nothing else matters other than being attentive to what is happening on the road. In fact, headphones with Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) can make things worse for pedestrians as they can even remove all ambient noise. However, wearing headphones in a crowded and busy location can be risky as you separate yourself from the real world. Well, there is a solution. Nowadays, technology has ensured that you get your cake and eat it too. And this is where the Sony Float Run headphones come in as they make users well aware of what is happening in their surroundings to ensure they stay vigilant at all times.

When I first came across the concept of open-ear headphones, I was sceptical about how they would function if they did not really fit into your ears. While the initial purpose of Sony's new innovative device wasn't immediately clear to me, using it for quite some time has helped me to understand its intended purpose and target audience. Sony Float Run is specifically designed for runners and athletes who want to keep the music buzzing while also staying connected with the near environment and being mindful on what is happening on the road to avoid any nasty surprises. So, here is my personal experience with the new Sony Float Run.

Sony Float Run review: Design

Sony Float Run review
The Sony Float Run are open-ear headphones with a silicon neckband. (Aishwarya Panda/HT Tech)
The Sony Float Run are open-ear headphones with a silicon neckband. (Aishwarya Panda/HT Tech)

The Sony Float Run open-ear headphones consist of a silicon neckband that comfortably sits on your neck. When I had my first look at the headphones, I found it quite confusing to figure out how they would actually fit in the ear, but with a little bit of trial and error and after thoroughly reading the manual, I got a hang of it soon enough. The headphones actually come with ear hooks that have a matte finish. On the right side, you'll find the power button along with the sound buttons.

While wearing the Sony headphones, it reminded me of the cochlear implant (a hearing device for the auditory challenged) due to the shape of the ear hook which might affect users' need to own aesthetic-looking devices. In my opinion, they do not look very pleasing to the eyes, but then, beauty is in the eye of the beholder! In terms of comfort and stability, they are awesome. The gadget sits quite comfortably on your neck and ear due to its light weight and it does not budge at all. Additionally, it is IPX4 splashproof, and therefore resistant to sweat and light rain.

Having said that, after wearing it for long periods of time, I experienced some pain at the back of my ears. I guess it will take a longer period of time to get used to this nifty gadget.

Now, let's clearly understand the concept of open-ear headphones. The Sony Float Run is a quiet unique device in the market as it does not go inside your ears but stays right beside them. Yes, you read that right! This is done to make users aware of the surroundings when the music is on, therefore, note that the headphones will attract ambient noise if you are in a crowded place. You will clearly hear people talking, the sound of traffic, etc, making it a niche device for people who like to run or exercise outdoors. They may even appeal to those people who hate to shove anything into their ears and like to keep some air between them and their devices. Niche audience? Keep right on reading.

Sony Float Run review: Audio quality

Sony Float Run review
Sony Float Run features a 16mm driver (Aishwarya Panda/HT Tech)
Sony Float Run features a 16mm driver (Aishwarya Panda/HT Tech)

Now, this is the most important part of the entire gadget. Amazingly, the Sony Float Run features a 16mm driver which provides exceptional sound quality! If you are in a quiet area, you will definitely enjoy the quality of music it provides. However, while using the Float Run headphones for walking and commuting on the metro, I found it difficult to concentrate on my music due to constant environmental noise such as people talking on the phone, wind, metro announcements, passing vehicles etc. The volume of the headphones was also confusing for me as when it was kept between 80-90 percent, the sound leaked outside which was enough for even others to hear the music. Also, sometimes when I kept the volume at about 50 percent, it felt quite inadequate for some unfathomable reason. Notably, anything above 70 percent felt really loud, which is not bad if you are into rock, metal and other forms of booming music. Another thing you should consider, if you have not figured it out by now, is that the Float Run does not support ANC or ENC so, you will not find any kind of noise cancelling feature.

Having said all that, the Sony Float Run does not compromise on the audio quality at all. It has been designed for sports and running purposes and the device will not pose any audio quality problems.

Also, Sony Float Run also packs microphones on each side and in a quiet place, the voice will be crisp and crystal clear. But again, if you are outdoors, the person at the other end will hear ambient noise around you.

Sony Float Run review: Battery life

Sony Float Run
Sony Float Run takes two hours to recharge fully. (Aishwarya Panda/HT Tech)
Sony Float Run takes two hours to recharge fully. (Aishwarya Panda/HT Tech)

In terms of battery life, the Sony Float Run could go on for days with a single charge. It takes about two hours to recharge fully from 10 to 15 percent which is also decent. Therefore, you can use the device without worrying about the battery running out on you.

I used the device for calling purposes and even watched movies and serials on OTT platforms and the battery did not drain in any noticeable manner.

Sony Float Run review: Verdict

Sony Float Run is crafted for sports and fitness enthusiasts, making it a niche product in the sports headphone market. From that point of view, it works exceptionally well. What I did miss were some smart features. So, instead of providing manual button controls, I was expecting touch control or any supported app to make things easier to control. Keeping the ear hook in mind, as far as the design is concerned, we can definitely say that it looks different and eye-ball-grabbing! Comfort? The Float Run provides a comfortable and budge-free fit, making it a great choice for workouts and everyday outdoor use.

For gym freaks and runners, Sony Float Run is a perfect alternative to in-ear headphones as it will keep them aware of their surroundings. Those who dislike environmental noise can keep away. For the rest, Sony Float Run gives a chance to get a really unique experience - on the run, or walk! Unless of course, the price point bites. Ergo, if you are the perfectionist type who prefers to pick horses-for-course gadgets, jump right in.

 

Rating
3.5 out of 5
Price
INR 10,990/-
Product Name
Sony
Brand Name
Float Run
Pros
  • Audio quality
  • Lasting battery
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Not for long-duration usage
  • Audio leak
Specifications
  • DRIVER UNIT
    16mm
  • BATTERY LIFE
    10 hours
  • WATERPROOF
    IPX4
  • BLUETOOTH VERSION
    5.0

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First Published Date: 19 Feb, 11:59 IST
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