Sony WF-SP800N vs WF-XB700 (2020): Comparing the New Sony Wireless Earbuds

Instead of the much-anticipated Sony WF-1000XM4s, global brand Sony unveiled the Sony WF-SP800N and the WF-XB700 wireless earbuds in the spring of 2020. These latest additions to its truly wireless earbuds line are designed with active users in mind. The WF-SP800Ns feature active noise-cancellation while the WF-XB700s carry a more affordable price tag, albeit with fewer bells and whistles. We deep dive into their features and specifications to determine which 2020 Sony wireless earbuds better suit your listening preferences

Sony WF-SP800N vs WF-XB700 Wireless Earbuds Comparison Chart

ModelSony WF-SP800NSony WF-XB700
 Sony WF-SP800N Truly Wireless Sports in-Ear Noise Canceling Headphones with mic for Phone Call, Blue  Sony WF-XB700 Extra BASS True Wireless Earbuds Headset/Headphones with mic for Phone Call Bluetooth...
PriceCheck Price on Amazon  Check Price on Amazon
TypeIn-EarIn-Ear
Special FeaturesActive Noise Cancellation, EXTRA BASSEXTRA BASS
ANC Levels3N/A
Customizable EQYesNo
Runtime

Up to 9 hours

Additional 9 hours more from the charging case with ANC on

Up to 26 hours with ANC off

Up to 9 hours

Additional 9 hours more from the charging case

Quick Charging10 minutes for up to 1 hour more10 minutes for up to 1 hour more
Water ResistanceIP55IPX4
BluetoothVersion 5.0Version 4.2
Ambient ModeYesYes
Auto-PauseYesNo
Audio CodecsSBC, AACSBC, AAC
Touch ControlsYesNo
Voice ControlsYesYes
App ControlSony Headphones ConnectN/A
NFC PairingYesYes

Color Options

Blue, Black, Orange, White (varies by region)Black, Blue

Release

20202020

Design and Build

The Sony WF-SP800Ns have ear hooks for a more secure fit while the WF-XB700s have a slightly smaller charging case

design and build quality
Both the WF-SP800N (left) and the WF-XB700 (right) look robust and sturdy

Designed with Sony’s Ergonomic Tri-hold structure, both the Sony WF-SP800N and the WF-XB700 earbuds promise comfort even when worn for extended periods. Both have a robust build, but a noticeable difference in their design is the WF-SP800Ns come with ear hooks that provide a more secure fit. While the XB700s fit snugly as well, the added wings on the SP800N earbuds ensure that they stay in place even when engaging in physical activities. 

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Their accompanying charging cases are both compact, but look slightly different. The Sony WF-SP800N’s is taller, bigger, and feels slightly more premium than the plastic case of the WF-XB700s. Another major difference in their design is the controls housed in their earbuds. The Sony WF-SP800N earbuds are touch-responsive while the WF-XB700s only have a multi-function button at the lower side of each earbud.

Noise Cancellation

The Sony WF-SP800Ns feature active noise-cancellation while the WF-XB700’s tight seal offers great passive noise cancellation

active noise cancelation
With active noise cancellation, the Sony WF-SP800N can cancel external noise well

Among the major differences between the Sony WF-SP800N and the WF-XB700 is their noise cancellation. The SP800Ns boast active digital noise cancellation, complete with Adaptive Sound Control, Ambient Sound Mode, and Quick Attention features. Even though the WF-XB700s don’t offer active noise cancellation, Sony makes up for it through their tight fit and seal that provide great passive noise cancellation. 

When it comes to calls, the WF-SP800N earbuds outperform the WF-XB700 because the latter cannot block out ambient noise.  The noise-canceling feature of the WF-SP800Ns makes them great earbuds not just for working out, but also for making calls in a busy environment. 

Audio Quality

Both Sony wireless earbuds deliver clean, punchy bass

audio quality
The Sony WF-SP800N (left) and the WF-XB700 (right) produce impressive audio quality

Sony’s EXTRA BASS is among the highlighted features of the WF-SP800N and the WF-XB700, and they live up to the name. Their bass, undoubtedly, is extra. They deliver deep, lively bottom-ends complemented with clear, undistorted highs. If you often listen to EDM, hip-hop, or pop, you’ll appreciate the bass boost these wireless earbuds provide.

On the other hand, if you feel the bass is too heavy, the Sony WF-SP800Ns allow EQ customization through the Sony Headphones Connect app. The app lets you adjust EQ settings or choose from the pre-installed EQ presets to create your preferred sound profile. Unlike the WF-SP800Ns, the WF-XB700s cannot be connected to the app. 

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Set up and Controls

Both the Sony WF-SP800Ns offer more control options, while the WF-XB700s only use voice and physical controls

setup and controls
Tapping the WF-SP800N’s (left) earbud activates the Quick Attention mode which lets ambient noise through

As mentioned in the previous section, the Sony WF-XB700s are not compatible with the Sony Headphones Connect app, thus they cannot be controlled or customized through the app as well. The XB700s can only be controlled through the multi-function button on each earbud or activating your smart voice assistant. Unlike the XB700s, the WF-SP800Ns allow full control through the app in addition to their voice and touch controls.  

Like most Sony wireless headphones, the WF-SP800N and the WF-XB700 have stable Bluetooth connection. The SP800Ns use Bluetooth 5.0 while the more affordable XB700s use an older Bluetooth version 4.2. With that said, both earbuds can be paired to an iOS or Android device in a breeze, thanks to their NFC connectivity. In addition, each earbud of the SP800N and the XB700 are connected simultaneously to your device, unlike most wireless headphones that have a master-slave connection. This ensures great latency performance even when watching videos.

Battery Life and Additional Features

Depending on your settings, the Sony WF-SP800N and the WF-XB700 can deliver up to 18 hours of runtime

battery life and additional features
The compact charging case of the WF-SP800N and the WF-XB700 pack up to 9 hours of extra juice

Both the Sony WF-SP800N and the WF-XB700 wireless earbuds promise up to 9 hours of playtime and their charging case gives an additional 9 hours more. You’ll get more battery life if you turn the ANC off on the SP800Ns and turn the extra bass to passive mode on the XB700. For instances where you’re in a rush, charging either wireless earbuds for 10 minutes can add up to an hour of usage.

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The Sony WF-SP800N and the WF-XB700 have IP55 and IPX4 rating, respectively. Both can be used safely during workouts or training as they are sweat-proof. With a higher IP rating, the WF-SP800Ns are not only water and sweat-resistant, but they can withstand dust or a quick wash in the sink as well. 

Verdict

The Sony WF-XB700s provide great value for your money, but the added features on the WF-SP800N make them worth the slightly higher price tag

If you’re on a budget, the new Sony WF-XB700s are solid entry-level earbuds as they come with Sony’s excellent audio and basic features. They are well-built, offer great passive cancellation, IPX4-rated, and are especially great if you like that bass boost that the XB700s deliver.

However, if you prefer a wider sound separation, the Sony WF-SP800N earbuds are the better fit for you. Their customizable equalizer alone makes them worth the upgrade if you like listening to a wider range of music genres. In addition, the WF-SP800Ns feature excellent noise-cancellation and better IP rating than the mid-tier WF-XB700s.

Last update on 2020-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Rhodaline Escala-Phelps
Rhodaline Escala-Phelps

Managing Editor and Team Leader at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about people, product comparisons, culture, and current events.