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Headphones

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 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.   

Where to Buy

Sony WI-1000X (Black)

Visit manufacturer site for details.

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