Sony WH-1000MX2 Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones with Google Assistant
Category: Audio > Headphones

Sony WH-1000XM2 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones Review

The Swift Summary

Pros

Cons

  • Clean minimal design
  • Superb audio performance and noise cancelling
  • 30hr battery life
  • Audio customisation (via app)
  • Optimised for travelling on planes
  • Gesture controls not for everybody

Features list for the Sony WH-1000XM2 headphones

  • Superb high resolution sound
  • Wireless connectivity (via Bluetooth or NFC)
  • Foldable design
  • Over-ear cup design
  • 30 hour battery life
  • Rechargeable battery via USB
  • Remote audio control via touch interface (gesture control)
  • Integrated microphone
  • Detachable mini jack audio cable for wired use
  • Integrated Google assistant
  • Available in two colours: black or gold (as shown below)
  • Adjustable padded head strap
  • LED status indicator
  • 1 year manufacturers’ warranty

Swift Thoughts

Design

The Sony WH-1000XM2’s have a clean, modern, minimalist design. I’m not sure they look particularly high-end, but the features built in certainly make up for this. I especially love the touch controls for audio playback and taking calls. A really neat feature that helps eliminate visual clutter around the ear cup. They’re not what you’d call ‘ear candy’ and wearing them you’re certainly not making any brand statements. If you’re looking for more subtle sophistication than a trendy statement – these are the headphones for you.

Audio Performance

The Sony WH-1000XM2 noise cancelling headphones offer an excellent all-round audio experience that are ideal for those who love listening to more bass-favouring tracks. The noise cancelling feature is exceptional and really eliminates intrusive ambient noise.

The headphones use an Adaptive Sound Control system that automatically adjusts the ambient noise depending upon your situation. Whilst you’re WALKING the noise cancellation is on its lowest setting and the ambient noise is most noticeable. Presumably this is a safety feature so you can hear cars and the people around you. Whilst you’re WAITING the ambient noise reduces to a middle setting, so the ambient bustle of an airport or train station is reduced, but you can hear the all important announcements. Then thirdly, whilst you’re TRAVELLING, the noise cancellation really kicks in and you get the full immersive audio experience.

You can manually adjust the ambient sound setting as well using the Sony Headphones Connect app.

Comfort

As with a lot of headphone designs the Sony WH-1000XM2’s can feel a little tight when you first use them. But once you’ve worn them a few times and you’ve correctly adjusted the headstrap they are a really comfortable set of headphones.

Build Quality

I have no complaints about the WH-1000XM2 in terms of build quality. If you look after them well they’ll last a long time.

Functionality

The touch controls can be a little fiddly, but once you get used to them they’re very satisfying to use. You simply double-tap the centre of your right ear cup for play/pause and taking calls. Swiping up and down over your right ear cup changes the volume and swiping left and right changes the track.

Noise cancellation and ambient sound adjustment can be switched on or off by cycling through the second (NC/Ambient) button around the left ear cup.

Battery Life

With a whopping 30 hours of claimed battery life you won’t be recharging them often.


Swift Scores

Design
85%
Audio Performance
95%
Comfort
90%
Build Quality
95%
Functionality
85%
Battery Life
95%

FAQs

Q: Does the WH-1000XM2 come with an adapter so I can use them with aeroplane headphone ports?
A: Yes, they come with a standard 2-pin adapter plug for flying.

Q: How long is the wire for connected use?
A: Approx 150cm (1.5 metres)

Q: Do they come with a case?
A: Yes.

Q: Are they suitable for use whilst running?
A: Yes they work fine. Once the headphone band is adjusted properly, they clamp over your ears with enough force to not move about.

Q: Can you completely turn off Active Noise Cancelling (ANC)?
A: Yes.

Q: Do they come with a case?
A: Yes.

Q: Do I need to download the Sony Headphones Connect app to use the headphones?
A: No. The app is just an additional nicety. It provides an alternative way to manage your connected devices as well as some audio customisation options. For example you can manually set the Adaptive Sound Control setting, pick a virtual surround sound effect and use an EQ tool where you have sliders to boost the bass, mid, treble to the exact levels you prefer.


What’s in the box?

  • Sony WH-1000XM2 headphones
  • Detachable audio cable
  • Micro USB charging cable
  • Semi rigid carrying case
  • 2-pin aeroplane adapter plug

Tech Talk

What is aptX HD?

The Sony WH-1000XM2’s are aptX HD compatible! But what’s aptX and why is it important? Well, essentially aptX HD is a modern audio codec that transmits data at higher bit rates than standard Bluetooth or the original aptX codec. The result is better quality wireless audio.

What’s a codec? A codec is a type of digital algorithmic program. It compresses and encodes data going out then decompresses and decodes the data at the other end. The main purpose is to allow for quick and efficient data transmission.

Although with aptX HD the data is still compressed, Qualcomm, the aptX creator and developer, say it is capable of transmitting 24bit high definition audio that is ‘better than CD quality’.


Sony WH-1000XM2 – Colour Options

The Sony WH-1000XM2 noise cancelling headphones are available in two colours – black or gold.

Sony WH-1000XM2 Black Headphones
Sony WH-1000XM2 Black Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones
Sony WH-1000MX2 Gold Headphones
Sony WH-1000XM2 Gold Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones

Download the manual

If you’re interested you can download the Sony WH-1000XM2 Manual.

Alternative headphones

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II wireless noise cancelling headphones are a good alternative and often compared with the 1000MX range from Sony.

Recommended accessories

Avantree Priva III Bluetooth Audio Transmitter. This neat little gadget gives your TV or PC Bluetooth capabilities so you use it with your wireless Bluetooth headphones.

AKG Y50BT Yellow Wireless Headphones
Category: Audio > Headphones

AKG Y50BT Wireless Headphones Review

AKG are renowned for producing high quality, award winning audio products and the Y50BT wireless headphones are no exception. Great sound, comfortable to wear, super build quality and they’ll connect to your Bluetooth device with one click of a button.

The Swift Summary

Pros

Cons

  • Industry leading audio performance
  • Very comfortable
  • Unique compact folding design
  • Six colours to choose from
  • Flawless connectivity and ease-of-use
  • Branding not so subtle
  • 20hr battery life could be better

Features of the AKG Y50BT headphones

  • Superb AKG quality sound with enriched bass performance
  • Wireless connectivity (via Bluetooth)
  • Bi-directional folding design
  • On-ear cup design
  • 20 hour battery life
  • Rechargeable battery via USB
  • Integrated remote playback controls
  • Integrated microphone
  • Included soft pouch for storage and transportation
  • Available in several colours: black, silver, red, blue, teal and yellow (as shown below)
  • Detachable mini jack audio cable for wired use
  • Adjustable padded head strap
  • LED status indicator
  • 1 year manufacturers’ warranty

Swift Thoughts

Design

Personally I love the design of the AKG Y50BT’s. I’m a huge fan of the punchy colour options. The Blue versions I own have a beautifully speckled metallic paint finish that isn’t easy to see from the manufacturers’ photographs. The thin chrome trim around the ear cups is also a neat touch.

Audio Performance

As with all AKG products I’ve tested, the audio quality of the AKG Y50BT’s is second to none. They offer a full-spectrum audio experience with a superb balance that feels just right.

Comfort

Comfort is really good. They didn’t clamp onto my head unlike other firm fitting designs. This makes them ideal for extended periods of usage. You may initially think that the joints between ear cups and headband are a little loose. But after wearing them a few times you’ll realise that this actually makes them supremely comfortable without fatigue issues.

Build Quality

I’ve owned my pair of Y50BT’s for over a year and not noticed any build quality issues. If you look after them well they should last a long time.

Functionality

The headphones are really easy to use and the overall functionality is great. The button placement is good and the labelling is minimal for a clean unfussy look. My only tiny gripe would be that when using them wired to an iPad for watching videos, the cable awkwardly crosses from my right ear over the left bottom edge of the iPad. :/

Battery Life

The battery has a 20 hour life cycle which is more than enough for most casual users. It’s not class leading but certainly not a deal breaker.


FAQs

Q: Are the AKG Y50BT’s noise cancelling headphones?
A: Technically no, but they do block out a lot of ambient noise.

Q: How big in diameter are the ear cups?
A: Approx 7cm (2.8 inches)

Q: How long is the wire for connected use?
A: Approx 120cm (1.2 metres)

Q: Will they fit larger heads?
A: Yes. They don’t clamp onto you head unlike some other brands which makes them really comfortable when using them for long periods. The only downside is that jogging or exercising with them is a big nope.

Q: Is there an audible hiss during quiet moments?
A: No.

Q: Do they come with a hard carry case?
A: No, just a soft neoprene draw-string pouch. Take a look below in our recommended accessories section.

Q: Are the Y50BT’s suitable for use whilst running?
A: No, probably not. Earphones/earbuds would be best.

Q: Do they leak sound?
A: Nope.

Q: What’s the battery life like over time?
A: Great. I’ve had mine for over a year and not noticed any diminishing of battery life.

Q: Are these headphones suitable for people who wear glasses?
A: Yes. I’ve experienced no problems.

Q: Will they work with my iPad, iPhone, iPod etc…?
A: Yes, as long as they have Bluetooth connectivity.

Q: Will the AKG Y50BT headphones work with a PS4?
A: Yes, absolutely. Just connect them via wire to the controller and update your PS4 audio settings to send all audio through your controller.


What’s in the box?

  • AKG Y50BT wireless headphones
  • Detachable cable
  • Micro USB charging cable
  • Soft neoprene carry pouch

Award winning headphones

The AKG Y50BT won the ‘What Hi-Fi? Best wireless on-ear headphones under £250’ category in 2015. The non-wireless versions of these headphones, the AKG Y50, also won the What Hi-Fi ? Sound And Vision 2014 headphone product of the Year Award! Now that’s mighty impressive and just goes to show how good AKG are at producing superb quality audio products that punch well above their weight for the price you’ll pay!

Whilst the term ‘award-winning’ can be a phrase used a lot when it comes to marketing speak, the fact that the product had two consecutive wins from a highly respected authority in the field made my purchasing decision easy.


AKG Y50BT – Colour Options

The AKG Y50BT headphones are available in six colours.

AKG Y50BT Black Headphones
AKG Y50BT Black Wireless Headphones
AKG Y50BT Teal Headphones
AKG Y50BT Silver Wireless Headphones
AKG Y50BT Blue Headphones
AKG Y50BT Blue Wireless Headphones
AKG Y50BT Red Headphones
AKG Y50BT Red Wireless Headphones
AKG Y50BT Yellow Headphones
AKG Y50BT Yellow Wireless Headphones
AKG Y50BT Teal Headphones
AKG Y50BT Teal Wireless Headphones

How to connect your AKG Y50BT headphones to a Bluetooth device

First make sure your device has Bluetooth connectivity switched on. Then switch the headphones on by clicking a button on your right ear cup. You should hear a double beep as confirmation. When you’re syncing for the first time, you’ll need to select AKG Y50BT on your device’s Bluetooth connection page. To confirm the two devices are connected you’ll hear another higher pitch beep. Job done.

Once set up with your favourite device all you should need to do is switch the headphones on and connection will happen automatically. Once you hear the third beep, you’re good to go!

Download the manual

If you’re interested you can download the AKG Y50BT Manual. It’s a quick start guide in PDF format.

Alternative headphones

The Audio-Technica ATH-AR3BT are a great alternative for on-ear wireless headphones. They will clamp over your ears a little firmer making running or exercising a possibility. The only downside is that they may be less suitable for larger heads.

The Lindy BNX-60 are also a great alternative if you want noise cancelling headphones. Audiophiles may notice a small compromise on sound richness and quality though.

If you need noise cancelling headphones without compromising on sound quality then we recommend taking a look at the AKG N60NC headphones. Just expect to pay a little more for them.

Recommended accessories

Geekria EJB29 UltraShell is a well designed hard shell case suitable for your ATH-AR3BT headphones. Unlike cheap softer cases you might be recommended, this one will give your headphones better protection whilst travelling. It comes in eight different colour/material options and features an internal mesh pocket for accessories. It’s definitely worth investing in a case if you plan to travel with your headphones!

Avantree Priva III Bluetooth Audio Transmitter. This neat little gadget gives your TV or PC Bluetooth capabilities so you use it with your wireless Bluetooth headphones.