Sony WH-1000XM2 review: OK Sony, you win |

Sony WH-1000XM2 review: OK Sony, you win

Posted:  February 22, 2018   By:    15 comments   


I have a problem. It’s an incredibly first-world problem, because it’s one where no amount of gear is ever “enough”. Literally the week after I ordered my brand new Audio Technica ATH-M40X, I was already scouring the internet for a brand new pair of wireless headphones with active noise cancellation (ANC).

And it’s not like I’m some big audiophile. My ears are decidedly plebian in the sense that I know what I like and I know what I don’t — there isn’t really a super deep spectrum. Nevertheless, that didn’t stop me from wanting to get the best ones there are.

After weeks of reading, listening and researching, I managed to narrow down the list to a few prime candidates. Sony’s original MDR-1000X headphones were not at the top of the list. Then, everything changed when I got a hold of the WH-1000XM2.

There were really only a handful of proper wireless ANC headphones in contention within my budget. Those were the Bose QuietComfort 35, the Sennheiser PXC 550, the JBL Everest Elite 750NC, Sony’s MDR-1000X and its successor, the WH-1000XM2.

In my weeks of trying to find the best pair of wireless ANC headphones, I went out and tried to get my ears on as many pairs as I could. Some of them, I got to test at launch events (Everest Elite 750). Others (QC35 and PXC 550), I went to various headphone stores — Jaben, for example, is great for testing headphones — and spent whatever free time I had listening to them.

For some reason, the MDR-1000X continued to elude me because they were always unavailable when I wanted to test them out. The only time I got to spend with them was brief (once during MWC2017, once during a Sony Bravia TV launch). Still, that was enough to form an opinion and up until I attended the launch of Sony’s successor WH-1000XM2 headphones, Bose was king of my list.

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But Sony got their lovely WH-1000XM2 on my head and over my ears and the subtle improvements they made to the version 2 was enough to pique my interest for a full review.

So I spent a little less than a month with these cans on my ears and if I weighed all the factors, there’s no arguing that Sony’s WH-1000XM2 is an absolute gem.

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15 Comments for Sony WH-1000XM2 review: OK Sony, you win


what's the cheapest headphones with active noise cancelling that is 90% as good as QC35 ? for block crying babies in flight ?

    Rory Lee

    I haven't personally tested them out so I can't attest to their quality, but I've seen quite a few recommend the Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC. Maybe you can check that out.


We are not first world, Malaysia at best is 2 1/2. So you cannot say your problem is first world!


    prove him wrong then. come, i wanna see where did u get your fact.

      For real

      To be fair, both parties also need to present their facts.

    Izzat Salleh

    Nooo. You’re not first world. Doesn’t mean the author isn’t.

    Just because we’re a developing world doesn’t mean we don’t have options to first world tech. Just because there’s a decent amount of people living in villages it doesn’t mean you can deny the fact that there’s still a large amount of people in KL/PJ living a pretty luxurious life.


      some idiots just want to find fault in everything.


    Read properly…. he said first world problem not saying Malaysia is a first world country


    hey bodoh first world problem means it' s a trivial problem laa

Black Kat

B&W PX not in the list? Didnt look deep enough into the market eh.


You can try edifier w800bt wireless headphone. Value for money and battery too.


No matter how great these wireless headphones are, the batteries are not replaceable. Do you just throw them away when the battery cannot hold charge?

    Tony Koh

    Basically, high quality lithium batteries can be recharge 1,000 times. Based on 30hrs per full charge and using the set…say 10hrs a day on average, will requires recharging once every 3 days or 10x a month…the battery should last 3 years. (but if the head set are used 5hrs a day then the battery shall last 6 years) but batteries rarely drop dead just like that, they detioriate slowly over time… Guesstimate, for average user, the battery should last 10/15 years and by then technology would renders this headset to the junk yard.

Melvyn Ong

You forgot to test these with the cable. That’s when the sound really opens up. I have these driven with a Mojo and recently with the Earstudio, the sound stage is wide and warm, and if you’re looking for crisp sounding highs with some rounded roll offs, you’ll definitely hear them with the cable attached.

That said, these are my go to headphones whenever I fly. The QC35s are mostly at home.