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Sony's new wireless neckband-style headphone is a rare breed

The pricey around-the-neck WI-1000X wireless noise-cancelling headphone is set to take on Bose's QuietComfort 30.

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The feature-packed WI-1000X ships in September and includes a protective carrying pouch.

David Carnoy/CNET

Sony's new around-the-neck style wireless headphone, the WI-1000X, costs a whopping $300 (£300, AU$449). Why so much? Well, it's one of the few in-ear wireless headphones with active noise cancelling and also packs in several other features, including Atmospheric Pressure Optimizing that's supposed to help optimize noise-cancelling performance on planes. 

Designed to compete with Bose's QuietControl 30 neckband wireless headphone, this has something that model doesn't: an option to use a wired cable to tap into in-flight entertainment systems. You get 14 hours of battery life with noise cancelling in wired mode and up to 10 hours in wireless mode.

The headphone ($90 at Walmart) basically packs in the same features found in Sony's around-the-ear WH-1000XM2 and links to the Sony Headphones Connect app to access those advanced noise-cancelling options as well as customize your sound.

The headphone also comes in black.

David Carnoy/CNET

Sony says a hybrid driver unit combining balanced armature and a 9mm dynamic driver delivers premium sound quality along with a multitude of other sound features such as high-resolution audio, LDAC, DSEE HX and S-Master HX.

I had a brief listening session at a press demo in New York and thought the sound was very good, but it's worth noting that this is one of heavier neckband-style headphones I've tried. While it seems quite sturdy, you will notice when you're wearing it, which probably isn't a good thing.

It is worth noting that the WI-1000X's design includes "zip-style cable management" (the cable tucks into a ridge in the neckband) and the headphone vibrates when a call comes.

I'll have a full assessment of its sound quality -- both for music and making calls -- and its noise cancelling in my full review as soon as I get a final shipping unit.   

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