Sony WI-C100 review: All about sounding good

    The Sony WI-C100 offers good sound quality, long battery life, and app support under Rs. 2,000. But does it stand out in its segment? Find out here.
    By: DIVYA
    | Updated on: Aug 04 2022, 15:56 IST
    The Sony WI C100 are priced at Rs. 1,699. Know what it offers at this price. 
    The Sony WI C100 are priced at Rs. 1,699. Know what it offers at this price.  (Divya / HT Tech)
    The Sony WI C100 are priced at Rs. 1,699. Know what it offers at this price. 
    The Sony WI C100 are priced at Rs. 1,699. Know what it offers at this price.  (Divya / HT Tech)

    These days, the audio wearables segment is mainly dominated by true wireless earbuds to offer smart features along with a decent sound quality at an affordable price. In this regard, wired earphones or neckbands took a back seat for many! However, to keep themselves active in the competition, these audio neckbands are stepping into the market with much-hyped features including active noise cancellation (ANC), transparency mode, auto play/pause, and much more. The new Sony WI-C100 neckband misses out on all these but still, there is something that has managed to make them my go-to option over other budget earbuds in the last few weeks. Wonder why? Find out here.

    Sony WI-C100 Design

    Simple and lightweight! That's how I can define the new neckband from Sony. Unlike its rivals in this price segment, Sony WI-C100 took a wire-like avatar for its neckband, offering more flexibility and comfort for long hours of usage. Moreover, you can easily carry them in your pockets, in case you don't want to hang them around your neck. So portable!

    Sony WI C100
    Sony WI C100 (Divya / HT Tech)
    Sony WI C100
    Sony WI C100 (Divya / HT Tech)

    Even the body design goes simple – no frills, no experiment – just button controls at one pod and the other one houses the battery. Sony WI-C100 is definitely not about fancy looks, but comfort, which it continues to deliver with its silicon-headed earbuds. I seldom faced issues with its fitting, though, providing different-sized ear hooks can help to adapt them. The rest is fine, but it would have been better if Sony had offered magnetic connected buds!

    Sony WI-C100 audio performance

    The budget audio wearable often compromises on good audio performance in lieu of smart features. On the contrary, Sony WI-C100 is all about the audio. After weeks of experience, this Sony neckband left me impressed with its sound quality. Though it may not sound as perfect as premium-range audio wearables, but it manages to deal with all sorts of music without any disturbance in sound. -- you get a bass oriented sound signature. Whether it is pop, Indian classical or Bollywood, I enjoyed all genres, more with its customisable equalizer that you can control via the app.

    Sony WI C100
    Sony WI C100 (Divya / HT Tech)
    Sony WI C100
    Sony WI C100 (Divya / HT Tech)

    Even at the maximum level of volume, Sony managed to keep the quality intact with the WI-C100, which most budget neckbands struggle to offer. Mids also work fine, though it doesn't sound crisp and good enough at low volume. Having said that, the overall experience would have been better with the Active Noise Cancellation feature! For calling, it works without any complaints. I haven't found any issues while taking calls indoors as well as outdoors.

    Sony WI-C100 smart features

    It is the app support which allows you to play with the sound output. You can connect it with the Sony Headphone Connect app and adjust the sound based on the music with available presets such as Excited, Mellow, Relaxed, Bass Boost and more. Besides that, you can alter the equaliser to make your own customised mode.

    Sony WI C100
    Sony WI C100 (Divya / HT Tech)
    Sony WI C100
    Sony WI C100 (Divya / HT Tech)

    Sony WI-C100 relies on Bluetooth 5.0, which ensures quick connectivity with your device once you have paired it earlier. Though, it requires you to manually switch on the power button via controls which feels a little outdated in the era when a lot of brands have offered auto play/pause or auto-connect features. Moreover, button controls are restricted with existing basic features for volume, play/pause, and access to your voice assistant. Alas! There is no option to tweak the controls! The good part, it is rated with IPX4 for sweat and water resistance, so you can carry them for your gym or jogging sessions.

    Sony WI-C100 battery

    Sony promises to offer up to 25 hours of continuous playback time of music and it almost achieved the same in real-life usage too.

    Sony WI C100
    Sony WI C100 (Divya / HT Tech)
    Sony WI C100
    Sony WI C100 (Divya / HT Tech)

    On a full charge, it could easily last for 2-3 days with an average use of 7-8 hours per day. This includes music listening, short YouTube sessions and around an hour of calling while keeping the volume level around 70-90. Even a quick 10 minutes charge can offer 1-2 hours of music listening. Although, charging will require you to wait almost 2.5-3 hours to juice it up from 0-100 percent via a wired USB-C charger.

    Verdict

    Sony WI-C100
    Sony WI-C100 (Divya / HT Tech)
    Sony WI-C100
    Sony WI-C100 (Divya / HT Tech)

    The Sony WI-C100 is purely an audio bliss embedded into a simple design! At an introductory price of Rs. 1,699, the WI-C100 offers great audio performance that can be further enhanced by its app support to customize the sound output based on your taste in music. Further, long hours of battery life and its lightweight design help to make it more reliable. Quick connectivity, IPX4 water resistance, and voice assistant support are some other bonuses to enrich the experience.

    But nothing is perfect! And Sony WI-C100 has its limitations too. The slow charging and absence of ANC or features such as auto/play pause or customisable controls don't make them stand out in its segment which is packed with several options from Boat, Realme's Dizo, JBL, and many other brands. Xiaomi's Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphone Pro at Rs. 1,799 offers ANC and low latency audio.

    But if you do not care for a fancy feature-laden neckband and all you need is a good sound quality at a reasonable price along with in-app support, then Sony WI-C100 makes for a good option at Rs. 1,699. Note, this price is for a limited time and will soon cost Rs. 2,790.

    Rating
    4 out of 5
    Price
    INR 2,790/-
    Product Name
    Sony WI-C100
    Brand Name
    Sony
    Pros
    • Good Sound
    • Decent Battery
    • Light-weight
    Cons
    • No ANC
    • Slow charging
    • No magnet connecting earbuds
    Specifications
    • Bluetooth
      5.0
    • Drivers
      9mm
    • Charging
      USB Type-C
    • Waterproof
      IPX4
    • App support
      Headphones Connect app

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    First Published Date: 04 Aug, 15:56 IST
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