Sony has released its latest off-ear bluetooth sports headphone – Sony Float Run (Sony WIOE610/B). Sony seems to have a soft spot for open-ear headphones, and is trying to improve the experience of using open-ear headphones through a new design and open up more areas of use. Whether it is Xpera EarDuo or Sony LinkBuds, I am impressed.
Sony Float Run specs and features:
- Bluetooth 5.0 with SBC/AAC codec
- IPX4 waterproof rating
- 10 hours of playback
- 16mm dynamic driver
- $137 – Check latest price on Amazon US or other Amazon countries
Design and Comfort
Sony Float Run is classified as a type of open-ear headphones, which continue to be comfortable to wear around the clock and are also suitable for high-intensity sports scenes.
In appearance, Float Run provides a single color option in black and white, and adopts an integrated design similar to neck-mounted headphones. The whole is mainly composed of two parts, the two sides are the headphone cavity and the ear hook structure, and the two are connected by a flexible cable.
The headphone cavity is an open-ear suspension design, and the headphone is set in the ear hook, to the center of gravity of the earphone is transferred to the ear hook when wearing.
Three physical buttons are arranged on the right side, and there is also a USB-C charging port at the bottom. There is no change in the operation of the three buttons, which support playback control and volume control, and can also activate the phone’s voice assistant. The built-in microphone can also provide clearer, high-quality voice calls.
The hard and non-adjustable earhook design should be based on the need to maintain the suspended off-ear sound design. The white part is where the sounding unit is located, and the front end of the cavity will fit slightly against the tragus. The sound outlet at the rear can be suspended above the ear canal.
As far as the wearing feeling is concerned, when the weight of 33g falls on the ear to wear, it can indeed be described as no feeling. The contact point between the headphone and the skin is the round top of the earhook and the round contact marked L/R at the end, which will not put pressure on the back of the ear, so there is no foreign body sensation when wearing it.
After actual measurement, even wearing glasses, Sony Float Run can provide a stable and comfortable wearing experience (except for larger glasses legs). On the other hand, open-ear also means that it will not exert any pressure on the concha cavity or the ear canal, and it will not make the ears feel stuffy when worn for a long time. No matter whether you are exercising or not, it can maintain a comfortable wearing feeling of light suspension.
Of course, the wearing of the Float Run will still lead to some small problems. For example, after wearing it, I realized that the three buttons on the side can easily be partially covered by the ears, and it takes time to get used to it. If the side buttons are changed to the rear side of the charging interface, it should become easier to operate.
In addition to these two details, in general, I think Sony Float Run can indeed provide most people with a comfortable and non-sense wearing experience.
Sound Quality Serves for Functionality
The sounding principle of Sony Float Run is similar to that of previous flat-head earphones, but unlike most open-ear headphones, it has a built-in 16mm dynamic driver.
Thanks to this, Float Run delivers precise and natural stereo effects. After listening to it, I can feel its sound field and sense of space, and as an open-ear headphone – it retains more details. The mid-frequency human voice will be relatively prominent, and the sound is relatively clean. The sound effect filled in the ear canal and the off-ear design actually form a big contrast, and the sense of hearing is more inclined to the style of flat-head earphones.
When listening to Michel Legrand’s “Di-Gue-DIng-Ding”, you can feel the particularly wide sound field of Float Run, and the distance of the instruments can basically be distinguished.
Low frequency is an unavoidable problem for Float Run, which is also the traditional shortcoming of open-ear headphones. After all, they are still on a different track from in-ear earphones. Bass parts like bass can still provide active low-frequency flexibility, but the depth and quantity sense of jazz drums are somewhat lacking.
When listening to AURORA’s “Daydreamer”, although the ethereal prelude and vocal lines can still show a clear sense of openness and layering. But as the drum beats, the low frequency and high frequency will be in the back position, and the high female voice will be particularly prominent.
Therefore, music is sometimes the protagonist, and sometimes it is a supporting role. As a sports earphone, in the usage scenario of Float Run, it is obvious that a “supporting role” is needed here. In this consideration standard, this open-ear headphone does provide a nice and practical sound performance.
Sound Leakage, Connectivity and Battery Life
Sony Float Run has been optimized for the common “sound leakage” problem of open-ear headphones. The sound direction of the sound unit is very precise, basically the sound is aimed at the ear canal and then poured into it. This is also the one with the strongest audio directivity among the open-ear headphone I have used so far.
For example, adjust the sound to the normal volume range (iPhone volume 10~12 bars), and then in the quiet environment of the office, the people standing next to me have no way to judge whether I am playing music. Because he can’t hear the sound of the earphones, he can only hear it if he puts his face very close.
But if you turn the volume to 100%, others can still hear you listening to music, but your ears should not be able to stand such a loud volume.
The connection protocol is also a conventional configuration – Float Run supports Bluetooth 5.0 wireless connection and SBC/AAC codec.
In terms of battery life, the Sony Float Run can provide up to 10 hours of battery life after being fully charged, and the standby time can reach up to 200 hours. Support fast charging function – charge for 10 minutes, listen to music for 1 hour.