Sony WF-SP800N vs. AirPods Pro: Which should you buy?

AirPods Pro in case with lid open
AirPods Pro in case with lid open (Image credit: Daniel Bader / Android Central)

Sony WF-SP800N

Sony WF SP800N Earbuds

The WF-SP800N trade great ANC performance for much longer battery life and IP55 dust and water resistance, making them a great workout companion for Android users.

Sony WF-SP800N

Battery life for days

Long battery life
IP55 dust and water resistance
Great, customizable sound
Superb comfort
USB-C for charging
Lacks wireless charging case
Case is bigger
Only decent ANC performance

AirPods Pro

AirPods Pro

The AirPods Pro feature class-leading ANC performance, superb comfort, and an excellent microphone, but mainly only for Apple users.

AirPods Pro

Can't hear you

Wireless charging case
Great battery life
Class-leading ANC performance
Great comfort
Lightning for wired charging
IPX4 water resistance
No customization on Android
Lacks any sort of EQ

The AirPods Pro are more convenient to carry thanks to their much smaller charging case and more convenient with wireless charging. They also have much better ANC performance but the buds don't last as long as the WF-SP800N.

The WF-SP800N feature worse ANC performance when compared to the AirPods Pro but feature much better bud battery life. They're also much more customizable and are IP55 dust and water resistant, versus IPX4 with the AirPods Pro.

Don't let size fool you

Sony WF-SP800N Earbuds

Source: Sony (Image credit: Source: Sony)

If you're looking at both the WF-SP800N and AirPods Pro, you'll probably want to know how well the ANC works on each set of earbuds. Fortunately, the AirPods Pro perform exceptionally well when it comes to ANC. The AirPods Pro compare favorably against the top ANC earbuds such as the Sony WF-1000XM3 and the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2. The WF-SP800N are decent and block out a decent amount of noise but they aren't as great as the AirPods Pro in this regard.

However, the WF-SP800N make up for that with extra battery life, nearly doubling the battery life of the AirPods Pro on the buds side. The WF-SP800N net you nine hours of juice on the buds side, while the AirPods Pro only give you 4.5 hours. However, the roles are reversed when it comes to their charging cases as the AirPods Pro net you an additional 19.5 hours of juice while the WF-SP800N offer only nine hours.

In terms of their actual charging cases, the AirPods Pro have a substantially smaller footprint. Don't let the case fool you as the AirPods Pro case also offers wireless charging. The case charges via Apple's proprietary Lightning port for wired charging. The larger WF-SP800N case doesn't feature wireless charging of any sort but they do offer USB-C for wired charging, which is always welcome.

Comfort is quite excellent on both sets of earbuds, even after long periods of time. Both sets come with multiple ear tip sizes in the box to help with fit. However, the WF-SP800N use standard ear tips while the AirPods Pro use a proprietary locking ear tip. This means that you'll be able to hot swap the WF-SP800N's ear tips with ones from other vendors if you'd like. You'll have a much tougher time finding alternative ear tips for the AirPods Pro.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Sony WF-SP800NAirPods Pro
Battery life (buds)9 hours4.5 hours
Battery life (case)9 hours19.5 hours
Water resistanceIP55IPX4
Extra bassYesNo
Wireless charging caseNoYes

AirPods Pro

Source: Daniel Bader / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Bader / Android Central)

Sound quality is where things get interesting. The AirPods Pro sound good with a slightly mid-heavy sound. For the most part, this means that the sound will sound closer to you. They lack bit on the bass side as well. The WF-SP800N are on the complete opposite end of that spectrum thanks to their extra bass tech. Naturally, they are bass-heavy with deep yet detailed bass. The mids and high notes take a backseat here but remain fairly detailed overall.

The WF-SP800N are great for those who want to be able to customize how the buds sound and want more control.

However, the WF-SP800N's sound can be customized through their smartphone companion app. The app has a built-in five-band EQ that gives you a pretty easy way to adjust their sound. The AirPods Pro do not feature EQ of any sort, so what you hear is what you get. Of course, you can always use a third-party app to tweak their sound but that's never as good as simply applying it on the earbuds themself.

When it comes to dust and water resistance, the WF-SP800N edges out the AirPods Pro with an IP55 rating vs. IPX4. The addition of dust resistance on the WF-SP800N and higher water resistance rating means that you'll be able to use the earbuds in more scenarios. However, the AirPods Pro's IPX4 isn't something to write off since it's more than good enough for most workouts (sans swimming and full submersion workouts). You just won't get any dust resistance.

In the end, you'll have a decision to make. The AirPods Pro are great for those who don't need a ton of customizability and want things to work out of the box. The buds last a decent amount of time but their charging case gives you plenty of juice if you find yourself needing more listening time. They also have great comfort and a pretty decent out of the box sound. The case also supports wireless charging, which makes them even more convenient when on the go.

But, the WF-SP800N feature much greater battery life on the buds side and a bass heavy sound. Their ANC isn't as good as the AirPods Pro but are still pretty good. The WF-SP800N are great for those who want to be able to customize how the buds sound and want more control over their earbuds. They don't feature wireless charging but do offer USB-C for wired charging.

Peter Cao