- Much Bigger and Bold than the NB10
- X-Balanced Driver on this is amazing
- Excels in entertainment very well
- 360 Spatial Audio is one trippy Experience
- Comfortable and not too inconvenient
- RM 1,299 is a lot of money for many
The Sony NB10 is a practical neckband speaker which gives the right kind of balance for all kinds of tasks and connect you to the real world and the virtual world. But I did say that it did lack some features for someone who enjoys audio a lot more and Sony has answer for that, in fact it goes beyond than what the NB10 does. This is the Sony NS7 Wireless Neckband Speaker Review.
Look and Feel
The Sony NS7 Wireless Neckband Speaker is bigger, thicker and looks like an absolute unit as compared to its petite looking brethren, the Sony NB10 which we also reviewed. Rather than having just a single specific spot on the neckband with a teeny speaker, the Sony NS7 has – once again a unit of a speaker. But we will talk about that in the specification. In terms of looks, yes, this looks like a mini travel neck pillow with speakers, only thing is that it’s made out of plastic and rubber parts for the back for better flexibility and comfort. To be honest, I did not feel any sort of discomfort and I love that.
As I move my neck side by side, curved design is very beautifully and thoughtfully crafted that you don’t feel the NS7 being out of place. The first time I wore, it did feel a bit out of place as there’s this weird thing around my neck resonating to audio but after getting used to it, it was alright, although sometimes I feel ticklish, haha. The build is well put together with no flimsiness whatsoever.
Flexibility is its strongest trait, and it can most definitely fit any kind of neck and sits well on the shoulder.
It’s no surprise that the Sony NS7 Wireless Neckband Speaker ups the ante for the Neckband speaker with some next level specification which is what a proper audio enthusiast would want from such device:
- Full Range 32x33mm X-Balanced Drivers on both sides
- 5 Band Custom EQ and support for Preset EQ
- DSEE (Digital Sound Enhancement Engine)
- Supports SBC, AAC and LDAC with Support for Profiles including Multi-Point
- 12 Hours of Battery Life
Unlike the Sony NB10 which has a rather simple setup and experience, the NS7 is on a whole another level. Let’s go one at a time. For starters, the Sony NS7 Wireless Neckband Speaker works with two applications: Headphones Connect and 360 Spatial Sound Personalizer. Just like how the WH1000XM3s pair and work, the NS7 works the same way – offering controls like music, EQ, 360 Spatial Setup and some other miscellaneous stuff. The 360 Spatial Sound Personalizer creates the right profile based on your ears to give the most immersive experience possible.
Not just that, the Sony NS7 is the only Neckband Speaker that connects to your Sony Bravia XR TV with the included Wireless Transmitter to immerse you in Dolby Atmos. As much as I wanted to try this, unfortunately we don’t have a Bravia XR TV to try it on. But this is one of its main feature that makes the NS7 immediately different from the barebones NB10 neckband speaker.
The sound experience on the Sony NS7 Wireless Neckband Speaker is just like I love it – the upward facing full range drivers are perfect for music and it captures most of the ranges very well and keeps the music clear. It has a passive radiator that gives a clear bass which is more prominent, and you can feel the bass hit your shoulders giving this more immersive feeling – like we listened to HAIM’s Women in Music Pt III which really took us back to a time when Covid wasn’t a thing. The speakers are clear, crisp, you can’t really tell it lacks anything. In fact, the sound is loud that it drowns the sound on the outside very well – people around me called me and I didn’t even flinch. But it is soft around the people, creating an audio illusion.
But it isn’t just music where it excels. It’s in movies, TV Shows where it truly shines. We watched Formula 1: Drive to Survive where it made us feel like we were sitting smack right in the cockpit of the F1 cars and as they fly through the tracks of Spa, it was just mind blowing. The bass resonating onto the shoulders, brings everything to life. Even watching movies where we hear guns blazing, for this we re-watched Shaft, and seeing Samuel L. Jackson do his magic with the guns and hearing the bullets fly rapidly across both the ears through those drivers are insanely good.
For the most part, this was on my neck the whole time as I was working and watching some of my favorite shows, listening to music. Made me realize that it was a lot more convenient and keeps things lower as compared to my speakers which can be louder and cause a bit of a nuisance. Other than these features that makes the NS7 stand apart, it carries forward all the feature the NB10 has: such as Hands-free Calling with good microphone, Multi-point connection and IPX4 Rating.
Only thing where the NS7 falls short is the battery life, due to its more powerful everything, you get only about 12 hours tops but I think that’s still long enough to last the whole day and when you hit the hay, you could connect it to the charger, pickup the next day and continue using it.
Sony knew what they were doing with the NB10, because not everyone needs such high-tier hardware to go along with their day-to-day life connecting both their worlds. But they also knew, there will be a niche group that wants it to extend beyond work and more into the entertainment aspect of things and that’s where the Sony NS7 Wireless Neckband Speaker shines like a diamond. With support for Dolby Atmos, 360 Spatial Audio and the ability to pair with your existing 7.1ch Sound system and Bravia XR TV, it definitely takes the immersive experience seriously and does it right.
While we may not have experienced how it really does on the Bravia XR, the experience we had with our existing device is already a proof that the Sony NS7 is not one to be messed with and it is a good soundbar around your neck with the ability to bring you into the movies as a character. At RM1,299, it’s a very niche product and it’s for those who take their entertainment, personally and seriously.
Special thanks to Sony Malaysia for sending us the NS7 for making this review happen.