Sony’s new cheap noise-cancelling earbuds boast tech to rival AirPods Pro 2

Sony WF-C700N earbuds in lavender on fabric
(Image credit: Sony)

Sony has announced a new pair of noise-cancelling earbuds, called the Sony WF-C700N. They feature most of the same tech you'll find in the class-leading Sony WF-1000XM4 wireless earbuds – which we still rate as the best wireless earbuds on the planet years after their release – but they're much smaller, much lighter, and much cheaper.

The Sony WF-C700N cost £99 / AU$199.95 (about $120), and will go on sale during April 2023, though Sony hasn't confirmed an exact date yet.

Despite a suite of tech (which we'll come to shortly) that rivals premium buds such as Apple's AirPods Pro 2 on paper, a lot of the focus in the Sony C700N is on comfort and style.

These earbuds are 37% lighter and 38% smaller than the Sony WF-1000XM4, for example, so they'll be less bulbous, will suit smaller ears better, and will likely feel more secure thanks to being lighter. In addition, a new coating on the buds that Sony says will hold onto your ear better to ensure the buds keep in place solidly.

Being smaller should also help with wind noise reduction in the active noise cancellation, and Sony says there's a new kind of mesh on the external mics to help avoid wind interference even further.

And when it comes to style, you get that discreet look, a nice textured case, and a choice of four colors: black, white, lavender and sage green. We've got the green version, and our Senior Audio Writer Becky Scarrott says that it's "more like mint ice cream".

Sony WF-C700N earbuds in black on white background

(Image credit: Sony)

Packed with tech

When it comes to tech features, you've got adaptive active noise cancellation, Bluetooth multi-point pairing for connecting to two devices simultaneously, Sony's DSEE upscaling tech to make average-quality music sound better, support for 360 Realty Audio music with spatial sound, and it works with the Sony Headphones app to tweak the EQ and noise-cancellation settings.

Sony's app makes it easy to set different levels of ANC for different environments (ie, 'at work' versus 'on the train'), and it can switch between them automatically, and you can even set your own – not something you see on devices this cheap usually.

The sound is supplied by a 5mm driver in each ear – this is the same size as the impressive Sony LinkBuds S, and is smaller than the Sony WF-1000XM4. 

Battery life is the less exciting point here. 7.5 hours from each charge rivals the best noise-cancelling earbuds, but Sony says you only get one charge from the case, so the total battery life is 15 hours. That's pretty weak, though with ANC off, it goes up to 20 hours.

The earbuds are also IPX4 rated for waterproofing, so will be okay for light exercise.

They look like they could be a huge hit, assuming the battery life is good enough. Sony can always be relied on to deliver good-quality audio for the price, as with the recently cheap Sony WH-CH520 headphones, and the excellent Sony WF-C500 earbuds (which these sit above in the range).

Really, our only complaint with this announcement is that it isn't the Sony WF-1000XM5, which we expect soon – but for now, and for those on a budget, we're excited to give these a full review.

Matt Bolton
Managing Editor, Entertainment

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Entertainment, meaning he's in charge of persuading our team of writers and reviewers to watch the latest TV shows and movies on gorgeous TVs and listen to fantastic speakers and headphones. It's a tough task, as you can imagine. Matt has over a decade of experience in tech publishing, and previously ran the TV & audio coverage for our colleagues at, and before that he edited T3 magazine. During his career, he's also contributed to places as varied as Creative Bloq, PC Gamer, PetsRadar, MacLife, and Edge. TV and movie nerdism is his speciality, and he goes to the cinema three times a week. He's always happy to explain the virtues of Dolby Vision over a drink, but he might need to use props, like he's explaining the offside rule.