Sony 1000xm3 Review

Wf-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones

Advanced noise cancellation and great sound in a compact, stylish and fully wireless design.

Noise canceling technology in the WF-1000XM3 headphones is the industry’s leading fully wireless headphones thanks to our QN1e HD Noise Canceling Processor. Now you can completely dissolve into music.

Wf-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones

Internal microphone

Two microphones, external and internal, allow you to catch a maximum of extraneous noise from the surrounding space: from the noise in the plane to the hum of the office and city streets.

When the headphones pick up external sound, the dedicated HD Noise Canceling Processor QN1e is triggered. It not only filters out more noise at almost all frequencies, but also uses less power.

With advanced audio technology, the WF-1000XM3 Noise Canceling Earbuds not only filter out unwanted noise, but also deliver immersive sound quality.

The headphones are equipped with a tiny yet powerful 6mm driver for deep, clear and surround sound.

The multi-functional HD Noise Canceling Processor QN1e combines digital noise cancellation, 24-bit audio processing and a digital-to-analog converter with amplifier. Result? Great sound with minimal distortion.

Digital Sound Enhancement Technology (DSEE HX™) upscales compressed digital music files to sound closer to high-resolution audio.

Wf-1000XM3 Noise Canceling Headphones Give True Freedom From Wires With Bluetooth Wireless Technology® and ergonomic design that makes them comfortable to wear during the day.

New Bluetooth chip® and optimized antenna design provide a stable connection for hours of quality wireless streaming.

Watching content on your smartphone or tablet? Enhanced wireless connectivity accurately syncs the screen with audio on the WF-1000XM3 for a more enjoyable viewing experience.

(A) Redirecting from left to right ear on WF-1000X headphones.
(B) Simultaneous transmission to the left / right ear in the WF-1000XM3 headphones

Thanks to the Bluetooth chip, sound is transmitted to the left and right ears, and the improved antenna design ensures a stable connection for uninterrupted listening. Low latency for high quality viewing.

Location and shape of built-in Bluetooth® antennas have been optimized to maintain the clearest possible signal and maintain a seamless connection to the sound source.

The earbuds have been specially designed to touch three points in your ear, thus providing a stable and comfortable fit.

Rubberized surface allows the earbuds to fit snugly in your ear and prevents the earbuds from accidentally falling out.

Just enjoy your music without worrying about the headphone charge.

Fully charged earbuds last up to 6 hours with noise canceling on, and a convenient charging case lets you recharge them three extra times on the go throughout the day, giving you up to 24 hours of listening time. With noise canceling deactivated, the earbuds last even longer than 8 hours on a full charge, with the option to recharge the earbuds three times using the charging case for up to 32 hours of music playback.

Sometimes music is necessary, and fast. In such a situation, if the headphones are discharged, after a 10-minute quick charge in the case, you can listen to your favorite music for another 90 minutes.

Review of Sony WH-1000XM3 3rd version of wireless headphones

Wireless Bluetooth headphones Sony WH-1000XM3 3rd revision of the headset, 2018. The update turned out to be a minor one and no major changes appeared. Nevertheless, the little things in the amount give a significant advantage over the Sony WH-1000XM2 version (comparison just below) and the main competitor, in the face of the Bose QuietComfort 35 II.

Interesting articles on the topic:

Sony 1000xm3 Review

The main differences between Sony WH-1000XM3 VS Sony WH-1000XM2:

New 32-bit noise reduction processor. Shumodav became better and this is noticeable;

  • The design has been slightly updated. The colors remain the same: beige and black. Sony logo and acoustic holes on the earcups are now in a different color.
  • The headphones are 20 grams lighter. 255 g vs. 275 in XM2.
  • Dynamic drivers have been updated. What exactly was updated, the manufacturer does not say. In fact, the tops are more legible and the lows are balanced.
  • Finally, it’s Tipe C, instead of the old MicroUsb for charging.
  • The battery has become more capacious. With noise canceling and BT on, 30 hours. Noise canceling or BT off, up to 36 hours.
  • Sony WH-1000XM3 Bluetooth Headphone Review

    Brief review of Sony WH-1000XM3 in Russian:

    A more complete review of the Sony WH-1000XM3, in English:

    5.2 Adaptive noise reduction and app

    Noise reduction has become more powerful and smarter. The updated HD Noise-Canceling Processor QN1 is responsible for noise reduction. It adjusts to the environment and works differently if you are: sitting, walking, running or walking around the city. All of this is conveniently tracked and adjusted in a dedicated application for Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones.

    The app includes a ton of settings:

    • Equalizer adjustment;
    • Sound source (back, left, right, etc.);
    • Inclusion of LDAC and other codecs;
    • Personal sound optimization;
    • Automatic optimization when atmospheric pressure changes (aircraft);
    • Etc.

    5. Management and functionality of Sony WH-1000XM3

    Frankly, the controls in the Sony WH-1000XM3 are not the most convenient. Touch control in any headphones, while less convenient than push-button (where there are almost no erroneous operations). Fortunately, the touch controls are fine-tuned and you get used to it quickly.

    Left cup side controls:

    • Noise canceling button on / off;
    • On / off button;

    The right bowl is responsible for the main control:

    • Track forward / backward;
    • Louder / quieter;
    • Play / pause / answer a call / mutate the microphone;
    • Conversation mode, you just put your hand to the right ear cup and perfectly hear the interlocutor through the microphone;
    • Support for the voice assistant Google Assistant or Siri;
    • Bluetooth 4.2
    • Sbc, AAC, aptX, aptX HD and LDAC support;

    Design, comfort and reliability:

    The design has undergone minimal changes:

    The surface of the bowls is now without a gradient, smooth and even. I like Sony WH-1000XM3 more than Sony WH-1000XM2.

  • The model name is simply printed on the headband in text, in the previous version it is physically highlighted.
  • The padded part on the headband has become larger in size.
  • Sony logo and earcups in gold-tone steel.
  • The headphones have become more comfortable:

    The weight has decreased by 20 grams. 255 g vs. 275 in XM2.

  • The headband is now softer and more comfortable.
  • Comfortable ear cushions.
    • It is convenient to stay in headphones for hours on a flight. But it will be hot in summer because of the leather ear pads.
    • Headphones still fold as compactly as in the previous model.

    Verdict

    Jack of all trades in every sense of the word, the Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones are great in every way.

    • Natural sounding excellent in all respects
    • Best noise cancellation system
    • Incredibly comfortable

    Against

    • Transparency reveals all the flaws of the recording
    • Touch controls are not easy to get used to

    Considering that Sony WH-1000XM3 monitor headphones are some of the best wireless headphones we’ve ever heard, it’s hard to imagine that until the summer of 2016 there was not a single model of this type in the Sony catalog. Then, out of nowhere, the WH-1000X appeared, challenged the king of the Bose noisy category and took one of our precious Awards with them.

    The following year, the second-generation model, the WH-1000XM2, received some minor tweaks that solidified Sony‘s newly established reputation for noise canceling headphones. However, increased competition, mainly from the Bowers Wilkins PX, has left it unchallenged.

    However, at the time of the release of the second generation headphones, the development process for the third was already underway. The Sony WH-1000XM3’s long gestation period is the result of a switch to analog amplification, which Sony claims has significantly improved their sound quality.

    Equipment

    The company has improved the quality and quantity of microphones for voice communication, so that your contacts will hear you more clearly. If you’re more interested in getting out of the way, you’ll be glad to know that Sony’s already excellent noise canceling system has just gotten better. Now this function can be kept constantly on, even if you are not listening to anything at that moment, for example, to drown out all extraneous sounds and take a nap.

    For those who fly frequently, the familiar Barometric Pressure Optimization feature will come in handy, which adjusts the frequency response of the headphones and the sensitivity of the microphones to enhance sound quality at high altitudes. Just remember to disable this feature by stepping on solid ground.

    Additional controls and settings are available in the Headphones Connect app for Android and iOS. Not that you can’t do without them, but if you want to change the noise canceling level when performing certain actions or refuse the automatic shutdown function, you can do it here.

    Much more useful is the ability to quickly charge the battery. From empty to full, the XM3 takes three hours to charge (the XM2 took four), and ten minutes to charge is enough for five hours of use (the previous model had 70 minutes); This growth is in part due to the replacement of the Micro USB connector with USB-C. Total battery life unchanged at 30 hours.

    But the main advantage of the new model is the already mentioned analog sound reinforcement. Sony has worked hard to develop a chip that combines noise cancellation, DAC, and analog amplifier while being light and small enough for headphone use. The QN1 chip that powers the WH-1000XM3 meets all these requirements.

    Sony’s efforts were not in vain: the WH-1000XM3 are noticeably superior in sound quality to their predecessors so much that next to them, the M2, which we liked so much at one time, seem squeezed and uninteresting.

    The open and spacious sound gives every instrument, effect and voice a place to breathe. It remains the same straightforward, vocals are still precisely focused and clear, but the instruments around it now play as if the listener is in the same room with the performers.

    Combining this spaciousness with increased detail and dynamic sophistication, raw analog recordings such as The Road by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis sound incredibly soulful and immersive, the difference in pressing each piano key is clearly audible; the sad melody is complemented by the deep sadness of the strings, which builds up to the song’s heartbreaking climax.

    The sound is enhanced with a luxurious deep bass that allows the WH-1000XM3 to pay tribute to the ripple of Trials Of The Past by SBTRKT. Increasing the bass volume does not degrade the overall balance, but makes the sound even more weighty and rich in the most natural manner, emphasizing its analogy.

    Voice control

    The decoration of the headphones has also changed slightly. The black pair has got copper accents, which we love, and last year’s golden champagne was replaced by platinum silver with brass details.

    The mottled texture of last year’s cups is also a thing of the past, giving way to a smooth matte finish. On the right cup, instead of physical buttons, there is a touch panel. By double-clicking on it, you can turn the music on and off, or answer the call, move your finger up or down to change the volume, switch the song to the right or left.

    Placing your hand over the cup will enable Quick Attention mode; in it, the music becomes much quieter, allowing you to hear external sounds. This function is useful if someone starts talking to you, but we are not sure that any interlocutor will perceive the headphones on the head as a signal for my full attention, even if the hand is pressed against the cup.

    The same gesture allows you to contact the selected voice assistant. Siri is already available when connected to an iPhone, and Google Assistant will appear before the end of the year with the next firmware update. Amazon Alexa is not yet confirmed.

    The controls work accurately, but they take time to get used to. In the early days, you will often change the volume instead of switching to the next song.

    Noise suppression

    In fact, we have no serious complaints about this model. Due to the high clarity and detail of the sound, any shortcomings of the original recording will be visible, but this can hardly be reproached with Sony. Crisp and crumbly tops fully compensate for this flaw.

    The company has further optimized noise cancellation technologies, which were among the best at the time of the M2’s release. According to Sony, improvements have been made in all frequency sub-bands, but most noticeable in the mid-to-high frequency range.

    Now headphones are noticeably more effective at blocking office noise, which is one of the most difficult tasks. Constant homogeneous hum, for example, from aircraft engines, works well for most models with noise cancellation, but in this area the M3 proved to be more successful than its predecessors.

    They neutralize the sounds of the outside world better than all competitors and replace them with music of the highest class in this price category.

    Sony WH-1000XM3 sound quality

    I tested the headphones wirelessly with a Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S smartphone using the LDAC codec and in wired mode with an ASUS Essence One MKII Muses Edition external DAC. The sound quality left mixed feelings. On the one hand, there is a lot of bass here, the sound is powerful, driving and great for genres with a powerful beat, but without much detail, like hip-hop, rap.

    On the other hand, there is a noticeable lack of high frequencies and overall sound detail. This is especially evident in rock when sounding guitar distortion. At such moments, you want a better study of such moments, but you can’t fix it with an equalizer. The album Metallica with the SM Symphony Orchestra was very indicative in this case, and in a number of compositions (Enter Sandman, Master of Puppets) it was clearly noticeable how vocals, strings and cymbals were lost behind low frequencies. Replacing the maximum quality of Google Music with the same album in FLAC did not make a difference.

    I can’t call the sound quality bad, no. Unfortunately, there is no balanced and suitable for any genre either. Therefore, if you love rock, high-quality vocals, then these headphones are not for you. In more “percussion” genres WH-1000XM3 can be called a good choice. But, I repeat, at such a cost of headphones, I want a sound to which there will be a minimum of complaints

    Noise reduction system

    In fact, there are two noise canceling systems in headphones: active and passive. The passive role is played by the dense body of the bowls, which insulates you well from the surrounding noise. When the active system is turned on, almost all ambient sound is cut off. “Nearly”, because in the office, high-frequency sounds of a female voice or the sound of mechanical keyboard switches are still audible, but noticeably quieter than with it off “shumodav”. On the street, along a noisy road, the situation is similar. With the music turned off, the noise cancellation system perfectly cuts out noise from the road, with the exception of sharp, short-term high-pitched sounds, such as a horn signal. There is also a background noise enhancement mode, which turns off the noise reduction system and amplifies ambient sounds, leveling out passive noise isolation. Two microphones on both cups are responsible for this function.

    By the way, the Sony WH-1000XM3 has an interesting feature. For example, if someone addresses you, then in order to hear the interlocutor it is not at all necessary to take off the headphones. It is enough to rest your palm against the right bowl, the sound of music in it will be automatically muted, and the background noise is amplified.

    How comfortable are they?

    These are really very comfortable headphones, in which you can easily sit for 3 hours. Provided that it is not very hot around you, because even in an office at a temperature of about 23 degrees there is a feeling of warmth in your ears. In summer it will most likely be hot in them. But if you do not take this moment into account, then the headphones turned out to be very comfortable for the convenience of the fit on the head. The headband is not rigid, the ear cushions themselves do not press on the head.

    The latter are made of leatherette, inside they are soft filler. The headphones can be folded down for easy portability thanks to additional headband loops and swivel ear cushions.

    There are only two controls on the left cup, the button for switching on and switching modes of noise reduction.

    For switching tracks, adjusting the volume and pause, the touch panel on the right earcup is responsible. To my surprise, it turned out to be quite comfortable to work with, with a minimum of false presses. Nfc technology is provided for quick connection.

    Microphone Sony WH-1000XM3

    The voice quality of the headphones was a little upset. Even when talking in silence, the interlocutors periodically complained about echoes, disconnections and not the highest voice clarity. In a noisy place, the situation is worse. The microphone in the headphones is mediocre and the speech quality is not their strong point.

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    Not everyone and always may have enough passive capabilities of headphones to isolate you from ambient noise, for example, on an airplane or public transport. For these purposes, headphones with an active noise canceling system are a good choice. This is exactly what the updated third-generation flagship model from Sony is well-equipped and has good autonomy. But what about sound and convenience??