So I have had many different types of headphones over the years, and this is by far, the best set I have ever had. So many are "sound canceling," but these are sound eliminating completely. I compared my other sound canceling ‘over-the-ear’ headphones and a set of earbuds, to see what the main differences were, and the difference is completely shocking. I wore all 3, while mowing the lawn, and these were the only ones that I could use to drown out the sound of the mower, so much that I could have the headphones on a low volume. My other pairs, even though they are sound canceling, are more like muffling outside sounds. These Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Canceling Over-the-Ear Headphones with Google Assistant are so advanced, I can tell it what sounds to cancel out.
When it comes to the quality of the sound, it is super bass, and crisp clear sounds, and great high and mid ranges. There is NO DOWNSIDE to the sound quality at all. I have not heard a better sounding set of headphones, and I have had MANY different top name brands, and was able to directly compare them to this. This is industry leading bass, and noise cancelling. No others can compare to this, when it comes to sound cancelling.
The app is what makes them so powerful. Most apps are just a way to connect the Google Assist to the headphones, and maybe some equalizer content, but this is like an experience changer. I can make the sound go from all around, to hearing it in front, like I am at a concert. Now, to pair that fun thing to a sound equalizer to make it sound like I am at an outdoor concert, it changes things to fit the experience. It also has a “Sound Position Control” setting to move the sound to a certain direction. So if you wanted to pretend you were listening to an outdoor concert, and the stage is in front of you, rather than all around you, you can mock that with these headphones. It changed the experience from listening to an MP3 to being at an outdoor concert, but free.
“Surround (VPT)” settings allow you to change from Off/Arena/Club/Outdoor Stage/Concert Hall. You can also pair that with Equalizer settings: Off/Bright/Excited/Mellow/Relaxed/Vocal/Treble Boost/Bass Boost/Speech/Manual/Custom 1/Custom 2.
In the app, you can see the song playing, and adjust the following: pause/play/skip/rewind/volume
Connecting was super easy. If you have NFC, then tap the left earpiece, and it will activate, and connect to the Bluetooth. You can’t get any easier than that.
Smart Listening/Ambient Mode is something that detects what type of activity you are doing. So I can be sitting in an airplane, or walking down the street, or sitting at my house, and it detects the environment I am in, and uses the settings that best suit that activity. For example, there are 4 different common activities that it recognizes: staying (still), walking, running, bus. You can adjust the type of ambient sound cancellation, based on the activity. So if I am running, I don’t want ALL sounds gone, for safety. But if I am on the bus or airplane, I want it all gone. There is a slider to choose how much of what type of sounds to cancel out. It shows 2 people and a car. Based on the position of the slider, it shows the car fade out and eventually disappear and the people as well, depending on how much and what I want to cancel out. I thought that was super cool. A picture matching the number settings. There is also a checkmark to pick to "Focus on Voice" that allows the user to allow speaking to be uncanceled, so you can have a conversation still, but cancel out the car and other noises. I am quite amazed.
One of the most innovative technologies used here is the “Finger-touch operation.” If I am on a flight, and the airline attendant asks if I want something, I can place/cup my hand over the right ear, and it turns on a different setting, so that I can hear things, as if I had bionic hearing. I can hear the person talk, and even whisper across the room, in my house. When I do that, it lowers the volume of the music, and I can hear them speaking. I am AMAZED at this feature.
With the app, I can get it to analyze the atmospheric pressure and how my wearing-style is. So if I have a hat on, and it sits higher or differently, it will adjust to that wearing style and optimize the sound to the current situation. Basically, I think it is recalibrating. The app also shows the battery level of the headset, which is great. There is a DXEE HX: Auto setting that is not described anywhere, that I can find. I can’t tell a difference when it is on/off. But I’m sure it is something, so I left it on “AUTO.”
Battery life: Up to 30 hours. The nice thing is, after only 10 minutes of charge, it gives me an amazing 5 hours of play time. That is SUPER awesome, especially if I am going on an airplane or car trip. How many times do you get the headset or speakers out and you realized they were never charged. No worries. 10 minutes is all it needs.
There is also Google Assist integrated into the headphones. There is a button on the left ear piece that can be for either the Google Assistant or ambient sound control. I prefer to have that set for Google, since the ambient settings can be used/modified in the app. But if I want to use the Google Assistant, I want it right away, which the button would be beneficial in that aspect.
There is another button on the bottom of the left earpiece that is for on/off. It announces what it is doing, so I can tell exactly what happened. The right earpiece has no buttons, but instead it is like a touchpad, where you can skip to the ‘Next’ song, by swiping back to front (left/right). Then volume up/down by swiping up/down. Double tap to pause. Swipe left to replay or rewind. When my phone rings, I can double-tap the right ear, and it answers the call. There is an “Automatic Power Off” setting that you can adjust, so when it is disconnected from a Bluetooth device, it will shut off after 5 min/30 min/1 hour/3 hours.
I can tell that these are comfortable to wear. After a few hours, I noticed when I took them off, that there is a little more pressure on my ears, than my other set. I feel that after a while, the bend in the headset will be a little less pressure, as they are brand new, and eventually it will flex more after use.
The ONLY downside I could possibly find, was when I took them to work, I was only able to connect 1 device at a time to it. My other pair I had previously could connect to more than 1, so I could hear my email and computer sounds, but when I got a phone call, I could use the answer feature, and it would connect to the phone. This Sony pair, however, does not allow that. It is only able to connect to 1 device at a time. So if it is connected to my computer, it will not swap it out to my phone, without me disconnecting from the computer (turning Bluetooth off), then connecting to my phone. I could never do that in time to answer the phone call. I get that this specific scenario is not common, because most people would be connected to their phone only, but still, for me, it was a difference I noticed.
I would ABSOLUTELY recommend these headphones to anyone and everyone. In fact, I already got several coworkers interested, and bragged about how awesome they are. I let them try them, and they too, were amazed at the technology and sound quality.