sony ws1 speaker review

Sony SRS-WS1 Wearable Neck Speaker: Hands-On Review

With the SRS-WS1 Immersive Wearable Speaker, Sony promises users can enjoy a personalized listening experience while still being aware of your surroundings. The uniquely designed device rests on your shoulders and “immerses you in full, clear sound and reactive vibrations”.

Sound waves travel up the slots on both sides of the speaker, “intensifying as they reflect off the hard interior surfaces. You’ll hear not only the direct sound, but also the reverberations, leading to a more immersive audio experience”.

Sony SRS-WS1 Speaker Features:

According to the company, the wearable speaker offers a number of features, including:

  • Immersive Sound: Sony’s unique design features speaker slots which, combined with digital sound processing, “create a sound field that surrounds you. Thanks to the slotted design, the sound reverberates between the left and right speakers, while the sloped diffuser provides an intense, three-dimensional experience that totally immerses you in sound. The ducts on the lower part of the speaker reduce excess resonance to keep sound quality even clearer.”
  • Sound Intensity That you Can Feel: Equipped with a passive radiator vibration plate, low frequencies are “detected and translated into natural-feeling vibrations, like what you would experience at a live music venue, to provide an intense immersive experience. You can set this function to high or low sensitivity, or turn it off entirely”.
  • Powerful Regardless of Your Surroundings: In situations or locations where you may need to keep the noise down for neighbors, roommates, or family members, the speaker still delivers great, high-quality sound even at low volumes. The unique design provides a personal sound experience that can also benefit those that have a difficult time hearing at noninvasive sound levels.
  • Wireless RF Technology for Minimal Audio Lag: To prevent lag and potential interference with other wireless devices in your home, the WS1 employs RF frequencies to ensure that what you see on screen is exactly what you hear, with no audio delay
  • Easy Charging: Simply place the device on the charging stand to charge it. One charge takes approximately 3 hours and provides a maximum continuous usage time of up to 7 hours.
  • Connect two devices simultaneously: You can connect up to two SRS-WS1 speakers to one transmitter, so you can enjoy with family and friends.

First Impressions

The speaker arrived neatly tucked into its box, along with the small charging base, transmitter and accompanying audio/power cables.

While initially thinking the speaker was a rigid form, after removing from the box, the device itself was found to be rather flexible and moveable. The fabric lining on the inside of the device helps ensure comfort while wearing on the shoulders, particularly if its touching against skin.

Along the interior of the speaker, you can find the controls — with up/down volume functionality on one side, and the power button and vibration control on the opposite side.

Power and vibration control (Left); volume control (center); speaker slot close-up view (right)

The speaker was a bit heavier than anticipated, but after wearing on your shoulders for a just a couple of minutes it’s easy to forget that its there and even after an extended period of usage, was found to be quite comfortable to wear.

Untethered Sound

 

Connecting to both a TV and computer was found to be a simple process. After a brief period of familiarization with the volume and vibration controls, adjusting the sound was easy.

Taking the speaker on/off the neck, their was no discernable delay between the audio from the TV and that which was coming out of the speaker itself. The wireless range of the device, when walking in and out of rooms, was impressive and no connectivity issues were noted, even when 2 rooms away from the transmitter and television at a distance of nearly 40 feet.

The vibration control feature is unique and somewhat unusual to experience at first, but adds a bass enhancement effect that would likely be enjoyable for watching action movies and for gamers to feel more immersed in their games.

 

The open quality of the speaker means others in close range will be able to audibly hear the sound, but so long as you’re watching the same program it wouldn’t be a problem.

Verdict

The open quality of the speaker makes the WS1-SRS a particularly attractive option for people wanting to remain more aware of their surroundings, and may allow those with hearing aids to keep them on their ears, rather than remove them as most wireless TV headsets would require.

For individuals looking for complete sound isolation, the open quality of the speaker would probably make the WS1-SRS a less attractive option.

Overall the WS1-SRS offers individuals an impressive wireless range and powerful sound, and could be a great alternative for those that don’t want to wear traditional wireless headphones while watching TV at their preferred volume level. 

For those interested to learn more about the WS1 can read more about it on Sony’s website here.

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