Sony’s new sports headphones can withstand the elements and don’t skimp on tech

AirPods are great and all, but we’d always hesitate to take them on a run thanks to their lack of splash-proofing and all-plastic design. 

We’re unlikely to have the same issues with Sony’s upcoming lineup of sports-focussed headphones, which combine an IPX4 rating, as well as a fitness-focussed design that sees them use  a set of silicon tips to secure themselves firmly in your ears. 

You’ve got three models to choose from. The $179.99 (around £130, AU$230) WF-SP700N are the flagship true wireless pair, and feature noise-cancellation in addition to the range-wide splash-proofing (an industry first). Battery life is a somewhat limited three hours, but you do get two additional charges from the supplied carrying case. 

Hop down to the $149.99 (around £110, AU$190) WI-SP600N and you lose the true wireless form-factor (which, frankly we think makes more sense when there’s even the smallest chance of an earbud falling out of your ear) but noise-cancelling Is still included. 

Finally, the $79.99 WI-SP500N (around £60, AU$105) drop the noise-cancellation, but you’ll be happy to know you’ll still be spared the sheer indignity of having to plug them into your phone thanks to Bluetooth connectivity. Thank heavens. 

High-end hopes

If a feature list as long as your arm isn’t as interesting to you as raw unbridled sound quality, then Sony also has the MDR-1AM2. 

These headphones don’t give two hoots about modern conveniences like wireless connectivity and noise-cancellation, but instead focus on giving the discerning audiophile everything they could hope for, with a frequency response that goes as high as 100kHz (which we’re pretty sure even a dog would struggle to hear) and the option of using a 4.4mm balanced connection if your high-end music player supports it. 

Surprisingly the MDR-1AM2 will cost just $299.99 (around £220, AU$380), which frankly surprises us given its audiophile leanings. Let’s hope its 40mm drivers are capable of delivering on its lofty spec-sheet. 

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Gerald Lynch

Gerald is Editor-in-Chief of Previously he was the Executive Editor for TechRadar, taking care of the site's home cinema, gaming, smart home, entertainment and audio output. He loves gaming, but don't expect him to play with you unless your console is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. Before TechRadar, Gerald was Editor of Gizmodo UK. He is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press.