Rivals to the Apple AirPods, Sony’s WF-1000X are wireless earphones. They look modern and discreet and come with silicone and sponge-type ear tips for different ear sizes. There are two sizes of wing tips too, for extra stability. But if you feel that the WF-1000X will remain safely tucked into your ears, you are wrong—the slightest shake of the head tends to dislodge them.

Then there is the small matter of the charging case. Unlike the AirPods’ charging case, the WF-1000X gets a rather bulky and not very nice-looking charging case.

There are a lot of useful features though, like the Sense Engine feature that adapts to the ambient noise and alters the noise-cancellation levels. Noise cancellation, we must say, is fantastic. These also detect atmospheric pressure changes, such as in an aircraft. All these options are available in the Sony Headphones Connect app (free on Android and iOS).

What you get is powerful sound that works well across a wide genre of music. Clarity of dialogue is good too, if you want to use them for watching shows and movies.

However, we did notice that the connection in the right earpiece would sometimes drop momentarily. There was, more often than not, also an audio-video sync issue when watching something on YouTube and Netflix on an iPad or iPhone—something that was not the case with any other wireless headphones or the AirPods. We toggled the connection priority between sound quality or stability (available in the app), but neither setting helped.

The WF-1000X will last up to 3 hours of music listening, and up to 9 hours with carry-case battery top-ups along the way. This is significantly less than the AirPods’ 24-hour combined backup time.

The Sony WF-1000X looks cool, but it’s hard to ignore the connection stability and audio lag issues. At the moment, these aren’t perfectly tuned to rival the Apple AirPods.

Sony WF-1000X price: Rs14,990