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Sony's excellent wireless noise-cancelling headphones get upgrades

Sony's MDR-1000X was feature packed. The new WH-1000XM2 is even more loaded, has better battery life and a lower price tag.

David Carnoy Executive Editor / Reviews
Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Nook e-books and audiobooks.
Expertise Mobile accessories and portable audio, including headphones, earbuds and speakers Credentials
  • Maggie Award for Best Regularly Featured Web Column/Consumer
David Carnoy
2 min read

Sony's MDR-1000X is one of our favorite noise cancelling wireless headphones and this is the new enhanced version of it, the WH-1000XM2. Priced at $350 (£330, AU$499), it looks very similar to the original and also comes in beige or black, but the finish is slightly different and Sony's reduced the number of buttons on the headphone to help simplify things.

The real changes are on the inside as the headphone's already excellent noise cancelling has been upgraded with Atmospheric Pressure Optimizing, Ambient Sound Control, an Equalizer and Surround and Sound Position Control. The added features are supposed to help you better tailor the sound to your environment and the Atmospheric Pressure Optimizer, which is designed for plane use, is currently unique to this headphone. Sony's Headphones Connect app further allows you to tweak all those new features.  

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The headphone in black. Its finish has more texture to it but otherwise, the headphone looks very similar to its predecessor.

David Carnoy/CNET

Sound quality on the original MDR-1000X was top notch for this type of over-ear Bluetooth noise-cancelling headphone. In fact, some like its sound better than the Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones.

Sony didn't change or upgrade that sound, but battery life has improved. It's now up to 30 hours with wireless and noise cancelling on or up to 40 hours if you use a wired connection. There's also a Quick Charge feature that gives you up to 70 minutes of battery life from just 10 minutes of charging.

The long and short of it is Sony has made an already excellent sounding, feature-rich headphone even more feature rich and slightly reduced its price.

I'll have a full review of the headphones in the coming weeks.

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The headphones when folded flat.

David Carnoy/CNET