The Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless Headphones
The Sony WH-1000XM3 wireless headphones are remarkably consistent with previous models such as the 1000XM2. To put it mildly, they are a formidable pair of noise-canceling headphones that can smash everything Bose has with both arms behind it.
That’s because, while Bose has done a tremendous job working out its noise cancellation algorithm over the years, Sony has spent that time perfecting audio playback while simultaneously creating an adaptability algorithm that doesn’t just create a single sterile sound barrier, but multiple kinds that can adapt to whatever situation you ‘re in.
Sony put a lot of hardware inside those headphones, not to mention the four microphones inside the headphone and on the earcups outside. Noise cancelation of this caliber often requires a lot of running software, meaning that the WH-1000XM2 has a processing chip inside which is running real-time calculations called the NC1. Add to that a touch-capacitive earcup that responds to your touch and it makes a bit of sense to start the price.
The biggest changes to the 1000X are probably found in the headphone design: they ‘re lighter than the previous model, and they’re also more form-fitting.
The headphones shed about 1 ounce (22 grams) off the chassis last year, weight-wise. That may not seem like a big deal, but considering you ‘re going to wear these for a long time, like, say, a transcontinental flight, every ounce helps.
The other change in design is the latest flush fit that swaps out the old bridge padding for something a little more cushiony. This makes the headphones more comfortable but also considerably less dorky when on your ear. Sony’s also deepened the earcup and instead changed the silver accents to a copper tone on the side of the headphones.
Finally, the last change made by Sony is to move the micro-USB port on the right earcup to a USB Type-C which could either minimize or increase the number of cables you need to bring with you depending on which other devices you carry in your pocket.
- Stark noise reduction
- Fast Focus Mode
- Provided by aptX and aptX HD
- Few variations in audio performance
- Integration with Google Assistant
- Better standard of call-still not great
Power on the battery
- Battery life: 30 hours
- Fast Loading Mode
- Auto-off mode via App
And how long does a charge last on those headphones? There are a lot of variables but we consider a decent benchmark after a few days of testing to be about 30 hours or so. They didn’t need to be recharged for a total of four days while the headphones were being checked (five hours a day x four days), ending the final night with about 30 percent remaining battery life.
Another year, another beautiful pair of Sony’s noise-canceling headphones. To put it mildly, the Sony WH-1000XM3 is exactly the headphones we’ve come to expect from the latest leader in noise-canceling headphones… and while they’re a little too similar to last year for comfort, they’re still the best headphones you can buy two years after they’ve been released.
Sony WF-1000XM3 True Wireless Earbuds
With the Sony WF-1000XM3, Sony hits another noise-canceling drug off the road. They are the true wireless variant of the company’s flagship ANC headphones, which feature impeccable low-frequency noise cancelation, making them a perfect choice for travelers with limited space in their pockets. The firmware can be updated via Sony’s free app, so these earbuds are a great long-term investment as far as completely wireless earbuds go.
For whom is this Sony WF-1000XM3?
- Such true wireless earbuds will be appreciated by listeners who are enticed by the Sony WH-1000XM3 noise-canceling capabilities but not by the cumbersome nature of over-ear headphones. Thanks to the ergonomic three-point fit and non-slip rubber nozzle, they ‘re as compact as ANC technology gets and stays comfortably.
- General customers who don’t mind paying a premium for anything. These handily outperform the AirPods (2019) and Apple AirPods Pro; plus, they are marginally cheaper than the latter.
- Not crowd sweaty. Such earbuds give zero sweat-resistance; they have not even a nano-coating away from wick mud.
What’s the Sony WF-1000XM3 like
Let’s start by judging a book by its cover: if you’re going for the silver or black edition, the elegance of these earbuds shines. The understated nature exudes the confidence Sony has in its new product. The pill-shaped earbuds have three contact points, designed to spread pressure comfortably around the outer ear. These are some of the most comfortable earbuds I’ve worn by far and away when combined with the regular ear tips.
New Touch Controls
Touch controls are available from both earbuds. By contrast, the left earbud double-tapping alternates between noise cancelation and ambient sound modes, while the right earbud double-tapping skips the songs. You can also access Google Assistant by saying, “Ok Google.” With Sony’s software, any of the touch panel controls can be reshuffled.
The earbuds use a dual-microphone array under the hood to reduce external noise. This updated system is far more powerful than the noise-canceling earbuds from the company’s WF-SP700N. I was shocked at how well an aircraft engine was blocked on my flight from Atlanta to Los Angeles. The WF-1000XM3 also comes with a new ANC processor, the QN1e. This enables the encoding of 24-bit audio signals when acting as DAC. Sony says that this also increases energy efficiency, which means you’ll enjoy longer listening times.
Much like his over-ear brother, at a moment’s notice, you can join a conversation without removing the earbuds. Keeping a finger over the left earbud reduces pressure and allows for passing ambient noise. It works but instead of just removing an earbud, I felt disrespectful to do so. The earbuds, after all, help automatic ear detection, which we’ve seen in the AirPods, Samsung Galaxy Buds, and Beats Powerbeats Pro. This helps the proximity sensor to detect insertion and removal in each earbud and thus to play and pause music accordingly
How long is that battery going to last?
The earbuds allow for 4.76 hours of continuous playback, with noise canceling on, according to our objective study. The earbuds support fast charging: 10 minutes offers 1.5 hours of playback, which came in handy when on the road. After the earbud batteries have been completely depleted, it takes 1.5 hours to complete a charging period and 3.5 hours to fully charge the case, which gives the ‘buds an additional three charges. As with the Sony WH-1000XM3, the WF-1000XM3 case uses a USB-C cable included for charging.
A perfect example of how far true wireless earbuds have come is the Sony WF-1000XM3. The noise-canceling of the earbuds runs laps around their few rivals while the sound quality, fit, and design are all stellar. The Sony WF-1000XM3 solves other user’s issues with true wireless earbuds. Link strength has never been a problem during testing and if you run into stutters, you can also opt to prioritize wireless reliability over sound quality. Although AAC output is not great for Android users, the processing of DSEE HX works out wonderfully.
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Martha studied Jazz and has a diploma as an audio engineer under her belt. In addition to her work in front of and behind the control room window, she works as a music journalist, among other things, tests around 90-100 wireless headphones a year. Quality is her credo!
Last update on 2021-12-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
- 1 The Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless Headphones
- 2 Hardware
- 3 New Design
- 4 USB Changes
- 5 Performance
- 6 Power on the battery
- 7 Full Decision
- 8 Sony WF-1000XM3 True Wireless Earbuds
- 9 For whom is this Sony WF-1000XM3?
- 10 What’s the Sony WF-1000XM3 like
- 11 New Touch Controls
- 12 Microphones
- 13 How long is that battery going to last?
- 14 Conclusion