Sony has unveiled the latest headphones in its immensely popular wireless neckband range, the Sony WI-1000XM2, at IFA 2019.
The new earphones come with a newly-developed noise-cancelling processor, which means that they'll block out more environment sound than ever before – no more listening to your noisy neighbors or the rumbling of your busy commuter train.
- Read our Sony WF-1000XM3 true wireless earbuds
- The best noise-canceling headphones
- The best wireless headphones of 2019
Sony's HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1, which is also found within the industry-leading WH-1000XM3 over-ear headphones, is capable of omitting even the most pervasive sounds, like the ambient noise within an aircraft cabin.
This is thanks to an Atmospheric Pressure Optimizing function, which Sony says allows the headphones to "adapt to high altitudes" and cancel out noise accordingly.
Nearly Hi-Res Audio
It's not just about the active noise cancelation – it's important that any pair of headphones have a good fit to ensure that environmental noise cannot physically reach the ear canal.
Sony says that the WI-1000XM2's angled earphone design ensures a great seal against the ear canal, and means the earbuds sit "deeply within the ear".
In terms of sound quality, these wireless headphones are packing a hybrid driver system, comprising a 9mm dynamic driver and a balanced armature driver, to create wide range frequencies and clear playback,
As well as enabling the noise cancelation feature, that processor chip also features "32-bit audio signal processing, high quality digital to analogue conversion, and headphone amplifier", all built-in.
There's also a Digital Sound Enhancement Engine, which upscales your compressed MP3 files – and while that won't get you perfect lossless audio, Sony says it does bring you closer to the quality of High Resolution Audio.
- Read about the ones that came before – Sony WI-1000X review
A lot to live up to
Battery life comes in at 10 hours, and a quick charging features means that you can get 80 minutes of playback from a 10-minute charge,
On the side of the neckband you'll find a number of buttons to control your music playback, as well as inbuilt microphones to enable voice calls and the noise cancelation feature.
The WI-1000XM2 wireless headphones are compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, so you can make voice commands totally hands-free – weirdly, Sony make no mention of Siri compatibility, which could be an issue for iPhone users.
These headphones won't be available until January 2020, but we know that they'll cost £300, which works out at around $370 / AU$540. That's not cheap for neckband earbuds, but if they're as good as the Sony WF-1000XM3 true wireless earbuds, they could be well worth the money.