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Number 3. Sony WF-C500
Sony’s WF-C500 earbuds are all about compactness, with the earbuds themselves weighing only 5.46 grams and the charging case coming in at a mere 35g, making it the lightest case we tested. This is almost as light as the more expensive Elite Active 7 earbuds, but it’s worth noting that the lighter case results in a shorter battery life of only 20 hours. However, the earbuds themselves offer a longer battery life of up to 10 hours per bud, and Sony claims that just 10 minutes of charging can provide up to an hour’s worth of capacity.
Available in four colours, the WF-C500 earbuds are slightly larger than expected but comfortable to wear and easy to insert. Pairing with iOS devices can be a bit tricky, but Android users will appreciate Google Fast Pair support. When inserting the earbuds, a robotic voice will let you know the battery charge level, which can be disabled in Sony’s Headphones app if desired.
Despite lacking active noise cancellation, the earbuds provide adequate passive noise blocking, and the audio quality is impressive, thanks to Sony’s expertise in audio and home theatre equipment. The companion app allows for EQ adjustment, and the earbuds support Sony’s 360 Reality Audio format, similar to Apple’s spatial tech and Dolby Atmos.