Due out on 6th December, these wireless earbuds are designed to dovetail with Sony’s new-gen console, but can be used as regular Bluetooth headphones, too. In a hands-on review, CNET describes them as a “revolution”, and notes that while they’re unsurprisingly excellent for gaming, they’re also exceptional for general music listening.
The write-up stresses that in terms of audio quality, they compete with the Japanese giant’s tentpole WF-1000XM5 earbuds, which retail for around $300. Considering the platform holder is flogging the Pulse Explore Earbuds for about $200, this is a surprising result.
The review exclaims: “I found that they sound clearer and more articulate than Sony's flagship WF-1000XM5 earbuds, with tight, powerful bass. That doesn't necessarily mean they sound better than XM5s, which sound a little fuller. But I wasn't expecting them to compete at all with the XM5s for music listening.”
The appraisal goes on to explain why they sound so good, and it’s due to the use of planar magnetic drivers, which are generally used in high-end studio over-the-ear headphones. “Planar magnetic drivers are prized for their sonic accuracy and being less prone to distortion,” the review points out. “They're typically larger than standard dynamic drivers found in the majority of headphones and harder to drive.”
While it does note that the earbuds are a little bulky to compensate for this technology, it points out that they’re comfortable to wear. The write-up does stress that this is a fairly barebones accessory in general – there’s no noise cancelling, for example, and they can’t detect when you remove the earbuds from your ears – but overall it sounds like the excellent audio quality makes up for the shortcomings.
And when you consider that a couple of years ago a pair of earbuds with planar magnetic drivers retailed for over $1,000, it sounds like Sony has done an exceptional job bringing down the price of this product. Are you planning to pick up a pair? Sound off in the comments section below.