Naturally, the WF-C500 aren’t the most lavishly specified of Sony’s extensive range of headphones – but in terms of the essentials, there’s very little to complain about. The WF-C500 connects wirelessly via Bluetooth 5.0 and is compatible with SBC and AAC codecs. Once your digital audio data is on board, a pair of 5.8mm neodymium full-range dynamic drivers deliver it to your ears. The WF-C500 has a ten-hour battery life in the earbuds themselves, which isn’t bad at all. The charging case holds another full charge, for a best-case total of 20 hours – a perfectly reasonable figure. It’s certainly dwarfed by the 45 hours or so that the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus will last between power outages. Plug in the Sonys for just 10 minutes – a USB-C to USB-A cable is included in the fully recyclable packaging – and the WF-C500 should be good for another hour or so. Naturally, there is no wireless charging capability. The WF-C500 can be controlled in a variety of ways. Sony’s consummate ‘Headphones Connect’ app is as impressive here as it is in every other application, and it has a lot of secondary functionality in addition to the broad strokes of performance. Here, for example, you can turn on or off Sony’s proprietary ‘DSEE’ circuitry, which claims to be capable of upscale standard audio files to something resembling ‘hi-res’ quality. Fortunately, you can conduct your own comparisons to determine its efficacy. Nobody in their right mind gets carried away with the design of in-ear headphones – and the Sony WF-C500 are reassuringly ordinary lookers (unless you choose the lively green or orange finishes rather than the black or white options). As is customary, the company has chosen the ‘lozenge/bean’ shape over the ‘dangly stem’ option. At 5.4g per earbud, the WF-C500 aren’t heavy to wear – and thanks to the included selection of eartips and the compact nature of their design, the Sonys are simple to get into position and will stay comfortable for hours once there. The charging case, like the earbuds, is unremarkable in appearance and feel. It is, however, perfectly well made and feels built to last, just like the earbuds themselves.

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