The Sony WF-SP800N is one of the latest truly wireless earphones from the house of Sony. These new Bluetooth earphones boast of Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and IP55 rating. And the battery life is not bad either. Another pair of wireless earphones that have hogged the limelight since the beginning of this year is the Jabra Elite 75t. These earphones are lauded for their sound quality and ease of pairing them with other devices.
So, which earphones should you buy? Should you trust the old player in the game — Sony? Would you rather go with the new player?
That's what we are going to explore in this post today, as we pit the Sony WF-SP800N against the Jabra Elite 75t, and see which Bluetooth earphones sound better.
Over the years, Bluetooth earphones have evolved to be both stylish and compact. Take the case of the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus or the Jaybird Vista for that matter. However, Sony's SP800N seemed to have missed this brief by miles.
The SP800N is the opposite of small and portable. The pair is bulky and the outer housing sticks out of the ear and ends up giving a goofy look. Thankfully, the fit is spot-on and comfortable, thanks to the wingtip and the angled silicone ear tips.
On the upside, they do have a premium look. Like many earphones, Sony ships two extra wingtips and three silicone ear tips with the case, and you will have to test them all to get the optimum fit.
The good part is that once you find the proper fit, they fit as tight like a glove and refuse to budge even when you run, jog or do any intensive workout. The wingtips help them stay put no matter what.
Owing to the large footprint, the buds are also easy to put on. You get a larger surface area to hold on to. Hold them and twist them to adjust the fit. We have tested these buds on various workout routines, and we haven't had a single bad experience yet. One of the most commendable things is that they stay put even when the ears are all sweaty (yikes, I know).
It's further accentuated by the IP55 rating, which ensures that you can wear the earphones out in light rain or drizzle without essentially damaging them. Sony claims that you can rinse them under running water after workouts. Now, that's something.
The SP800N bundles touch-sensitive buttons, and you can control various aspects of the earphones with these. Right from summoning Google Assistant or Siri to activating ANC on the fly, these let you do a lot. The touchpads are responsive and respond to the smallest of flicks and it's a huge plus. Tap on the touchpads to seal the sound completely (ANC) or let in the ambient noise (Ambient Sound Control).
The responsiveness can be a boon or a bane. A boon because you won't have the buds pressing against your ear canals when you change tracks or tweak the volume. But if you have long hair and frequently tuck your hair behind your ears, a slight touch will result in a song skip.
As opposed to Sony's earphones, the Jabra Elite 75t is small and stylish. We received the Titanium Black variant, and the dual-color tone enhanced the overall looks by many folds. They easily fit into the ear canal with the outer body hugging the ear cavity.
The fit is snug, and we loved that the most. The earbuds hug your ear canal and stay put regardless of how much you move. The best part is that you can wear them a long time without any visible discomfort or irritation. However, during intense exercise, the sweat buildup inside the buds causes the buds to loosen up.
Unlike the SP800N, the Elite 75t bundle physical buttons. Thankfully, they are flexible and do not jam into the ear canal when pressed. The buttons are customizable and the actions can be assigned as per your preference.
Another big plus is the noise isolation. When enabled, you won't find ambient noise creeping in. All you need to do is to find the right size of ear tips. For the record, Jabra ships three sets of tips.
Like its counterparts above, Jabra's buds carry IP55 ratings and can bear the occasional splashes of water and sweat.
One of the first things that you will notice about the Sony WF-SP800N is the size of the charging case. It's tall and wide, and this trait makes it difficult to carry it in your hands or pockets, especially when running or jogging as it tends to jut out of pockets oddly.
Interestingly, the magnets on the case are strong, and the case snaps shut securely. The matte material means no dirty and oily fingerprint smudges.
As you may have guessed by now, the Elite 75t are bundled in a compact charging case. The build is solid, and the magnets are on the stronger side. You can buy one of the protective cases if you want to loop the charging case in your belt loops or wrists.
Oddly enough, it's super easy to snap the buds into place in both the cases.
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Battery Life and Connectivity
The Jabra earphones will get you around 7 hours, and the case will provide an additional 2.2 cycles. That puts the cumulative battery life of the Elite 75t at around 28 hours. And yeah, these buds live up to the expectations.
The USB-C charging port brings home another cool feature—Fast charging. A mere 15 minutes of charging time will buy you playback time of around an hour. Cool, I must say.
The connection is seamless and we didn't encounter any stutters or lags with these. The pairing is simple and easy. And that's not the end of the story. The Elite 75t supports Bluetooth multipoint and can be paired with two devices at the same time.
Last but not least, resetting the Jabra Elite 75t is easy. You sneed to press and hold the button on both the left and right earbud for about three seconds. Simple, see.
On the other hand, the SP800N will get you around 9 hours on battery with ANC, with the case providing an additional cycle. That puts the total battery life at around 18 hours, which is around 10 hours less than its counterpart above. On the bright side, you will get a few more hours on the battery if you switch off the ANC.
Oddly, these Sony earphones do not support Bluetooth multipoint. At the same time, pushing the earphones to the pairing mode is tricky. You will need to hold both the touchpads for about 10 seconds. It's tricky, and I have failed more than I would have liked.
The Sony Headphones app offers features such as EQ controls, button assignments, and Sony’s spatial 360 Audio. The EQ contains an interesting mixture of presets, and you can pick the one which suits your taste the most. Plus, you can also choose to turn on/off the active noise canceling.
Interestingly, the app can automatically tweak the sound isolation and noise cancellation settings based on your location. Known as Adaptive Sound Control, this feature requires access to your location to function. Once given. it will tweak the settings as per your location. The app is simple and straightforward, and after the initial setup, it's a breeze to use.
When it comes to features, the Jabra Sound+ isn't far behind. It offers an EQ feature along with Soundscapes and HearThrough features. There are six presets and you can also save your custom equalizer as well. One of the most prominent features in the app is HearThrough. While the buttons on the buds let you switch this feature off and on, the app gives you granular control over them by letting you adjust the degree of sound transparency.
You can play with the button assignment actions as well and tweak them as per your need. One of the underrated features is Soundscapes. The Jabra app bundles a bunch of cool nature-inspired sounds like Pink Noise and Waterfall that you can play while working to help you focus better. Plus, they also mask the noise around you.
All the above features go for a toss if an audio accessory fails in the sound department. Thankfully, here both the Elite 75t and the SP800N don't disappoint.
The Elite 75t delivers a deep thumping bass, which proves to be apt for casual listening and high-intensive workouts. The sound is clear, crisp, and is pleasing to the ears. And the excellent noise isolation is the cherry on top. Unless you want to be disturbed, you can simply turn off the Sound Transparency features and get going.
The Active Noise Cancellation feature of the Sony earphones manages to get rid of distraction or any unwanted noise. Once enabled, you get to enjoy your favorite music without much background noises. However, the ANC on this Sony pair isn't an exception, especially compared to its predecessors.
The WF-SP800N delivers a clear sound with pronounced bass and the basshead in you will love them. As noted earlier, you can play around with the output. If you want a pumping bass, just switch over to Extra Bass, and that's it.
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Verdict: The Compact Earphones
Though the Sony WF-SP800N manages to deliver a full-bodied sound experience and a feature-rich app, the big case and the bulky earbuds failed to impress me. Yes, they do a better job staying in your ears during workouts, but the portability gets in the way.
If you can compromise with the above, you'll be satisfied with the overall sound output and the ANC experience.
On the other hand, the Jabra Elite 75t manages to tick all the right boxes, be it the sound department or the size and design. They produce an overall better sound, and the excellent noise isolation plugs all the holes.
So, should you spend $20 more on the Elite 75t? We say you should.
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