Sony WF-C500 Review: SOLID audio on a budget
With great sound quality and customised equalizer Sony targets audiophiles. But with the price tag of Rs. 5,990, does it make a good deal? Know here.
Sony is expanding its truly wireless earbuds segment while condensing its price range! Recently, the company has launched its most economical TWS earbuds -- Sony WF-C500 in India at the price of Rs. 8,990, but right now can be found at a cheaper price of Rs. 5,990. Despite having the lowest price in Sony's earbud segment, the WF-C500 enters the competition with other TWS options in the sub-Rs.10,000 range which serves feature-packed audio performances. While holding a great battery life, app support Equalizer controller, IPX4 water-resistant, and sleeker design than its predecessor WF-XB700, Sony's latest earbuds can compete with most other TWS earbuds on paper. But does that make it a great deal in this price range? To find out, I have used the Sony WF-C500 for 10 days, and here's our full review.
Sony WF-C500 Design
Sony hasn't made major changes to WF-C500's design in comparison to the previous generation earbuds, however, minor improvement to its lid is what gives it a whole new look.
Basically, the case has a mini capsule-like shape and comes with a translucent lid featuring a textured matte finish on the top. This allows you to peek inside the case carrying three LEDs - two for the earbuds and another for the case, to indicate the charging levels. Additionally, it gives you a smudge-free and fingerprint-resistant surface. The earbuds are more compact than the previous Sony TWS which fit in without any difficulty, but I had a hard time keeping it in place while moving or walking around. This made a sudden fall on the ground very frequent (Yes, that says a lot about its build quality!).
Sony WF-C500 Audio Performance
Sony WF-C500 perfectly deals with all sorts of music genres. For me, these earbuds are all about the sound quality that it delivers at this price.
More precisely, it comes with the customised equalizer which can be controlled via the Headphones Connect App easily, providing 8+ sound equalizer options to adjust the sound according to your taste and music. Considering the price, bass has been decent to my ears for Pop and Bollywood music. Even at high volume, the Sony WF-C500 delivers good overall sound without any distortion. The mid-range worked fine for me as well, though, at a lower frequency, the sound went a bit flat.
When it comes to calling, it delivers clear and crisp sound without any significant disturbance. A major feature missing for me with Sony WF-C500 is the Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), despite the fact that rival companies provide the same in this price range.
Sony WF-C500 Features
The Sony WF-C500 relies on Bluetooth 5.0 which occasionally struggles to connect for the first time while pairing, but subsequently, takes no time once you have paired the device.
You will get the one earbud working option with these pairs, which is fine. However, Sony omits Transparency as well as ANC mode here, which at this price seems like a missed opportunity. Not just that, I missed the basic auto-play/pause option in earbuds. It features physical buttons in both the earbuds, which I prefer more over touch controls -- easy way to get rid of those annoying accidental touches! But it leaves some room open for improvement here as well, as pressing the buttons makes it thrust into the ear. Additionally, despite having app support, it does not have any button customisation option.
Sony WF-C500 Battery
Battery life is a plus point of these Sony's earbuds. Once it is fully charged you can have a long ride of music without any worries.
I used the earbuds for straight 10-11 hours in one go with 1-2 hours of calling and non-stop music at the volume level of 60-70. The only drawback is that the charging case only holds one extra refill, which means in total you can only get around 20-22 hours of battery life with the charging case. It could easily go on for 3-4 days on a single charge with an average daily use of 4-5 hours. Even a 10-minute quick charge can give you an hour of playback. The case takes around 2 hours to fully charge via the USB-C port.
The Sony WF-C500 is a good deal for audiophiles who are looking for great sound coupled with a decent battery backup at Rs. 6,000. However, these TWS earbuds are not as feature-packed as some of its rivals that are loaded to the teeth. For those seeking ANC and Transparency mode, you may want to consider the Nothing ear (1) earbuds that not only look dashing but have a good audio signature, and a customisable app. The Realme Buds Air 2 is also another nice option with good battery life as well as ANC.
However, it is the Sony WF-C500 that cares more about the audio performance and music lovers should definitely consider this.
- Great sound
- Decent battery life
- Customised EQ
- Absence of ANC
- Hard Button controls
- No button control customisation
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