Sony's WI-1000XM2 wireless headphones will block out your noisy neighbors

Sony headphones
(Image credit: Sony)

Sony has unveiled the latest headphones in its immensely popular wireless neckband range, the Sony WI-1000XM2, at IFA 2019

The new earphones come with a newly-developed noise-cancelling processor, which means that they'll block out more environment sound than ever before – no more listening to your noisy neighbors or the rumbling of your busy commuter train.

Sony's HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1, which is also found within the industry-leading WH-1000XM3 over-ear headphones, is capable of omitting even the most pervasive sounds, like the ambient noise within an aircraft cabin. 

This is thanks to an Atmospheric Pressure Optimizing function, which Sony says allows the headphones to "adapt to high altitudes" and cancel out noise accordingly.

Nearly Hi-Res Audio

It's not just about the active noise cancelation – it's important that any pair of headphones have a good fit to ensure that environmental noise cannot physically reach the ear canal.

Sony says that the WI-1000XM2's angled earphone design ensures a great seal against the ear canal, and means the earbuds sit "deeply within the ear". 

In terms of sound quality, these wireless headphones are packing a hybrid driver system, comprising a 9mm dynamic driver and a balanced armature driver, to create wide range frequencies and clear playback,

As well as enabling the noise cancelation feature, that processor chip also features "32-bit audio signal processing, high quality digital to analogue conversion, and headphone amplifier", all built-in. 

There's also a Digital Sound Enhancement Engine, which upscales your compressed MP3 files – and while that won't get you perfect lossless audio, Sony says it does bring you closer to the quality of High Resolution Audio. 

The new earbuds were announced at IFA 2019 in Berlin.

The new earbuds were announced at IFA 2019 in Berlin. (Image credit: Sony)

A lot to live up to

Battery life comes in at 10 hours, and a quick charging features means that you can get 80 minutes of playback from a 10-minute charge,

On the side of the neckband you'll find a number of buttons to control your music playback, as well as inbuilt microphones to enable voice calls and the noise cancelation feature. 

The WI-1000XM2 wireless headphones are compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, so you can make voice commands totally hands-free – weirdly, Sony make no mention of Siri compatibility, which could be an issue for iPhone users.

These headphones won't be available until January 2020, but we know that they'll cost £300, which works out at around $370 / AU$540. That's not cheap for neckband earbuds, but if they're as good as the Sony WF-1000XM3 true wireless earbuds, they could be well worth the money.

IFA 2019 is Europe's biggest tech show, and the TechRadar team is in Berlin to bring you all the breaking news and hands-on first impressions of new TVs, wearables and other devices as they're announced.

Olivia Tambini

Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.