Take your playlist with you by using these noise-cancelling Sony headphones. Their 40mm drivers with liquid crystal polymer diaphragms fill your ears with booming audio to immerse you in songs, and they're ergonomically designed to provide comfort during extended listening sessions. These Sony headphones have a proprietary noise-cancelling processor, so you can immerse yourself in the music.
Industry Leading Noise Cancellation. *As of August 30, 2018. According to research by Sony Corporation measured using JEITA-compliant guidelines. In headband-style of wireless noise-canceling headphones market.
Smart listening by SENSE ENGINE
See how Adaptive Sound Control automatically detects your activity such as traveling, walking, and waiting, then adjusts ambient sound settings to you.
Activate your Google Assistant with a simple touch
Ask it questions. Tell it to do things. It's your own personal assistant, always ready to help. Simply press and hold the noise-canceling button and ask your phone's assistant something while pressing.*
Wireless freedom with Bluetooth technology and NFC
LDAC transmits approximately three times more data than conventional Bluetooth wireless audio, allowing you to enjoy High-Res Audio content in exceptional quality, as close as possible to that of a dedicated wired connection.
With a huge 30 hours of battery life, you'll have enough power even for long trips away.
HD noise-canceling processor QN1
See what happens when it's just you and your music, with noise canceling that cuts more outside sound than ever before.
Premium sound quality
Powerful 1.57" drivers with Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP) diaphragms make the headphones perfect for handling heavy beats and can reproduce a full range of frequencies up to 40 kHz.
Wear all day in total comfort
Soft, pressure-relieving earpads in foamed urethane evenly distribute pressure and increase ear pad contact for a stable fit. And with a lighter weight design, your music is the only thing you'll notice all day.
Clear hands-free calling
Everything is at your fingertips. Answer hands-free phone calls with a double tap - or change tracks, adjust the volume and make calls by touching or swiping the panel.
Quick Attention mode
With Quick Attention, you can communicate without removing your headphones - simply place your hand over the housing to turn the volume down for instant conversation.
* Update of firmware and Sony Headphones Connect app is needed. Available from September 2018 onward. Google Assistant app needs to be installed on your device. The Google Assistant is not available in all countries and languages. Requires pairing with eligible phone and Internet connection.
Audio cable for wired connection
Plug adapter for in-flight use
Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Over-the-Ear Headphones with Google Assistant
==== Summmary ====
Sony has hit it out of the park again with the new 1000XM3 ANC headphones. The new design is sturdier, more comfortable, better looking, and most importantly, the sound quality is fantastic~! With new hardware and software, the already great Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) technology has gotten even better compared to last year's model as well as the competition. Home run from Sony~!
-Superb sound quality.
-Fantastic ANC performance.
-Comfortable & durable design.
-Lighter than the previous model (0.56 lbs/254 grams).
-Touch-gesture volume and track controls work very well.
-30-hour battery life.
-USB Type C charging port is more future-proof & easier to plug in.
-Useful Sony hardware & software optimizations (Atmospheric Pressure Optimizing, Personal NC Optimizer).
==== Design & Comfort ====
Being an owner of the great Sony 1000XM2, I appreciate and approve the design changes made to the new 1000XM3. The plastic parts of the headphones feel softer and more premium to the touch. The leather padding with urethane foam inside the earbuds and the headrest are better cushioned, softer, and more comfortable.
The fantastic touch-gesture controls are back and they're just as easy to use and work very well (e.g., volume & track control, Quick Attention mode).
The new color scheme is nice too with bronze accents mixed in with the black. The headphones look sleek and modern.
A very welcome addition is the inclusion of the newer and more future-proof USB Type C charging port (Yes~!!). No more fumbling around with which direction to plug in the charging cable and the headphone works with other USB Type C chargers from other modern hardware such as smartphones.
10 out of 10~!!
==== Controls ====
The buttons are located at easy to reach places and work well. On the left earbud is the Power Button and the NC/Google Assistant Button. Also on the left earmuff is the NFC module which allows for quick pairing to your smartphone.
If you don't want to use NFC to make the pairing connection, you can initiate Bluetooth pairing by pressing and holding down on the Power Button then selecting the 1000XM3 on your PC's or smartphone's Bluetooth setting page.
Pressing the NC Button toggles between three modes - Ambient Sound (default level 20 with Focus on Voice set to Off), Ambient Sound Off, and Noise Cancellation. The Ambient Sound mode can be adjusted between Level 1 to Level 20 inside the Sony Headphone app. The higher you go on the scale between 1 to 20, the more ambient sound around you gets in such as traffic and people sounds. You can also check off on the "Focus on Voice" option to let in voices more easily.
For absolute isolation from the outside world, you would choose the "Noise Cancellation" option.
If one assigns the NC Button to use Google Assistant instead within the Sony app, then pressing the NC Button triggers Google Assistant who will then speak aloud notifications and tell you the time. In addition, you can hold down the Google Assistant button, speak a command, let go of the button, and the Google Assistant will respond to your query or command.
My FAVORITE control feature of the 1000XM3, however, is the touch-gesture controls located on the right earmuff. Swipe Up or Down for volume control, swipe Back or Forward for track control, Double-Tap to pause & resume music, and cup the earmuff with the palm of your hand to allow ambient noise to come through so you can hear and talk to people.
Sony continues its excellent ergonomic design with the 1000XM3. Another 10 out of 10.
==== Sound Quality ====
The Sony 1000XM3 sounds good - really good. It plays all types of audio excellently - hip-hop, pop, alternative, rock, vocals, instrumentals, bass-heavy songs. It is truly a jack of all trades and master of all.
Bass is GREAT and it delivers it in a deep, punchy, and visceral manner. Even the low rumbly bass is handled superbly.
The headphones also deliver a dynamic and wide soundstage with clear vocal separations, range, spatial distribution and balance.
In addition to listening to music, I also used the 1000XM3 when playing games on my PC. Sound quality during gaming was also fantastic.
Unlike last year's 1000XM2 which didn't sound that great out-of-the-box until I played around with some settings, the 1000XM3 comes out sounding great from first power-on.
I connected the 1000XM3 to my Samsung Galaxy S9+ and adjusted only one setting inside the Sony Headphones app - Noise Cancelling Optimizer. The Noise Cancelling Optimizer configures the 1000XM3 to your head physiology to make audio and noise cancelling more efficient and effective.
To be honest, I didn't notice much sound quality difference between the older 1000XM2 and this 1000XM3. But that's not a bad thing as the 1000XM2 was already great and the 1000XM3 just maintains the quality and fidelity.
10 out of 10~!
==== Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) ====
With Sony's new HD Noise Canceling QN1 Processor and multiple microphones, the ANC works very well and consistently.
All kinds of sounds were deftly cancelled out by the 1000XM3 - traffic noise, barking dogs, chirping birds, lawn mowers, all conversations inside a coffee shop, and background TV and radio noise.
With a 3-year-old around the house who might need my attention at any time, my preferred ANC mode was "Ambient Sound On" at Level 1 with "Focus on Voice" checked off. That way, if my daughter seeked my attention, I could hear and respond to her in a timely fashion.
When I'm by myself or in a place where I don't expect to interact with anyone else, I then set the ANC mode to "Noise Cancellation" for maximum isolation from the world.
I don't know if the performance of the ANC technology is really 4 times improved compared to the 1000XM2 (per Sony), but I do know that it is better and works very well.
As you guessed it, it's another 10 out of 10.
==== Conclusion ====
For the absolute best in sound quality and noise cancellation, I honestly don't think there is any other product on the market that is better than the Sony 1000XM3. Everything is just so well-balanced - sound quality, ANC performance, battery life, ergonomics, comfort, and app customization. Sony has created a tremendously well-executed and high-performing product.
Hi optimummind, Sony takes into consideration all feedback to improve the performance and quality of our products and services. We're always looking to make Sony better. We appreciate your time sharing this feedback. Regards, ^Ron
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
The Ultimate Headphones
Having owned the already-excellent WH-1000XM2 headphones for almost a year, I was curious to see just how Sony could improve what were arguably the best headphones on the market. Long story short: they took the minor shortcomings of last year's model and went above-and-beyond to fix them, making the WH-1000XM3 headphones lighter, sleeker, and even better at noise cancellation. These seemingly minor changes add up to a significant upgrade.
DESIGN AND COMFORT (5 Stars):
- The 1000XM3 look similar to the 1000XM2, but don't be fooled. On the 1000XM3, the profile is more subtle and the ear cups don't seem to protrude out from your head as far. The headband has a closer fit, reducing the gap between the headband and your head. All told, the design is sleeker and much more refined.
- The 1000XM3 are certainly more comfortable than last year's model, and they are much easier to wear for longer periods of time. This is due to adjustments in padding and weight. The padding around the ear cups and headband seems to be much more plush. Meanwhile, the weight of the 1000XM3 has dropped by 20 grams -- from 275 grams to 255 grams. It may seem small, but this weight difference is the first thing I noticed when putting on the 1000XM3 for the first time.
- On the black model, the addition of bronze accents around the microphones and Sony logos is a nice touch and adds to the premium look of the 1000XM3. The included carrying case has also been given a more premium look and a sturdy nylon finish.
- Summary: These are among the most comfortable and well-designed headphones I've used. I've worn them for hours on end over the past week and never once felt the need to remove them. The design is premium, sturdy, and utilitarian. Absolutely no complaints here.
NOISE CANCELLATION (5 Stars):
- Sony has added a new chip called the "HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1" to this year's model, claiming it has four times the signal processing power over the 1000XM2. This improvement is said to provide you more situational awareness when wearing these headphones in busy places.
- So far, I've used the headphones in two very different situations: on a plane and at my desk in a busy office. On the plane, I set the noise cancelling to maximum in Sony's Connect app for iPhone and turned off ambient sound. It worked brilliantly -- perhaps the best noise cancellation I've ever experienced on a plane. At my office, I turned on ambient sound and chose the option to "focus on voice." When co-workers approach my desk from behind me, I can hear their voice when they get within a few feet of me and they don't have to tap on my shoulder. It's an excellent feature and works better than I expected.
- The Sony Connect app also has a feature that can detect when you are walking, sitting still, running, or commuting. It then automatically adjusts the noise cancellation level to allow in certain sounds such as car horns or voices if necessary. If you wear your headphones around the city or while running, this could be an invaluable feature.
- Summary: The 1000XM3 offer by far the best noise cancellation I've ever experienced from any headphones. The amount of customization and control offered is astounding and brings noise cancellation to a whole new level.
FEATURES (5 Stars):
- Like previous models, the 1000XM3 have a feature called Quick Attention, which is probably my favorite part of these headphones. If someone starts talking to you and you want to hear what they're saying without pausing your music or taking the headphones off, you can simply cover the touch pad of the right ear cup. The headphones will automatically lower the volume, reduce noise cancellation, and allow you to hear the voices and sounds around you. I love it and it's great for being able to talk with a flight attendant or seatmate on the plane.
- The entire right ear cup is a touch pad that is intuitive and easy to use. You swipe up or down for volume control, left or right for track control, double-tap to play or pause, and a long press to activate Siri/Google Assistant.
- Sony has taken a step toward the future by including USB-C on the 1000XM3. The connector on the charging cable is more compact and is reversible, so it's easier to plug in.
- Battery life on the 1000XM3 remains at 30 hours, but the Quick Charging feature has been dramatically improved. Just 10 minutes of charging will give you five hours of playback. And it works as advertised -- I depleted the battery, charged it for 10 minutes, and then proceeded to use the headphones for almost an entire work day.
- Summary: The feature set of the 1000XM3 is largely similar to its predecessor, but small changes like USB-C and improved Quick Charging are very welcome.
SOUND QUALITY (5 Stars):
- On the QN1 chip, Sony has also included an analogue amplifier which supposedly results in less distortion during audio playback. I'm no expert on audio quality, but to me, the 1000XM3 sound excellent -- even better than the 1000XM2. Highs are present but not overbearing. Vocals and mid-range are crisp and clear. There's plenty of bass and it's not overpowering.
- There are some neat sound adjustments in the Sony Connect app, too: Sound Position Control lets you adjust the sense of sound field around you, as though you're listening to a band from the side or behind you.
- Summary: You'll want to feed the 1000XM3 some high-quality audio tracks. Out of the box, these are the best-sounding headphones I've ever used.
Sony has hit an absolute home run. Better design. More comfortable. Better noise cancellation. Better sound quality. I didn't think any of these things could get much better compared to last year's model, but I was wrong. If you want the best noise cancelling headphones on the market, stop looking. You're on the right page. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
I would recommend this to a friend
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Once you try these nothing else will compare!
The Sony WH-1000XM3 wireless noise canceling headphones are the most incredible headphones I have ever used! Not only are they supremely comfortable to wear, but the sound quality and active noise canceling are far superior to any other premium headsets that I have used.
Sound quality is a critical aspect for headphones, and fortunately they do not disappoint. The sound is very detailed and full range. If you have been using lesser headphones, you will really hear what you have been missing.
The bass is tight and defined which is perfect for my tastes, because I don’t like bass that is bloated and muddy
The active noise cancellation is phenomenal! When activated it seems like the whole outside world is turned off and that I was in a perfect bubble of silence.
I really like that the noise cancellation effect is adjustable so that you can chose to not use it, or partially use it depending on your circumstances. This is a very nice touch because there may be times when you can’t be sonically cut off from the outside world.
Another important feature is that it is compatible with high bit rate Bluetooth versions such as aptX HD and AAC. This is important because these standards provide a signal that will sound better because it is less compressed than the previous Bluetooth standard.
Design and Comfort
It is immediately apparent that these headphones are designed with an emphasis on visual appeal. They are a pleasure to hold and wear, with an attention to detail that showcases the premium design.
This is without a doubt the most comfortable headset that I have ever worn. It is so comfortable and lightweight that you can even forget you are even wearing it.
So not only do they feel good on your head, but you will love how you look wearing them.
I especially like the hard carrying case which is an included accessory. It matches the build quality of the headphones, which will be well protected will traveling.
Usage and Controls
The right ear pad is a cleverly designed touch pad that allows you to control the headphones intuitively without even looking. It makes raising/lowering the volume, skipping forward/back, answering/ending calls, as simple as flicking a finger.
You can also temporarily deactivate the noise canceling by holding your hand on the control panel, so you don’t have to take the headphones completely off to hear something. When you remove your hand the noise cancellation reengages. This is an amazing feature that I will be using frequently.
These headphones use a USB Type C connector for charging. USB C is the most recent USB standard, and it is the second device that I have owned that uses it. It is the latest USB standard and it is superior to the older version due to improved charging time and data transfer capability. In fact, a quick 10 minute charge can power these headphones for an incredible 5 hours.
If it were possible to give these outstanding headphones more than 5 stars I would. Yes, the price is high, but they are certainly worth it. If you want the best noise canceling wireless headphones on the market, then the Sony WH-1000XM3 are the ones to get. Once you use them, it will be very hard to use anything else. In fact, my wife loves them so much I am going to get another pair so we each have our own.
6 Stars - Best Headphones by far - Amazing Overall
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.
I would recommend this to a friend
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Marshmallow soft ear cups w/ Orchestra rich sound
Super lightweight and excellent sound from these Sony over the ear headphones. All day battery life and comfort. Ears stayed cool during full day use while connected to my windows 10 desktop.
-Finally usb-c charging (fast charges)
-Finish doesn’t show any finger smudges
-very lightweight and ear pads comfortable
-when I headband does not squeeze head
-Sound is excellent and equalizer can adjust sound to your satisfaction
-Phone call sounded clear
-Gears of war 4 sounded great
-For some reason my car charger wouldn’t charge the headphones and the cord in my car had bad fit to the charging port (fits my nexus 6p fine)
-Out of the box the sound was flat while streaming Pandora
-Earphone software update slow over Bluetooth
-Ear pads don’t look as well constructed as those found on Bose QC 35ii
-No wall power adapter included
Sony includes a carrying case, 3.5mm dual headphone jack splitter, usb-c cable, and some instructional paperwork.
The headphones are neatly secured in the case. Once removed from the carrying case I inspected the headphones and everything looked great. The sound however was initially flat while streaming Hip-Hop through Pandora. I immediately downloaded the Android app called “Sony Headphones Connect” and was greeted with a firmware update for the headphones. Update over Bluetooth took roughly 15 minutes.
I proceeded to connect the headphones via Bluetooth to my windows 10 desktop. Initially connected as unknown device then updated to the proper Sony name. Fired up Gears of War 4 and played a couple of rounds. The sound was amazing. To top it off, I could no longer hear the room ceiling fan whooshing sound above my head. I was immersed with just the sound of the game. The outside world sound cut off!
Switched over to the THX theme and these headphones just continued to amaze. Watched a couple of movie trailers by the good folks at Dolby and the voice reproduction was better than the theater sound experience.
After that I had some shopping to do so I took these with me to Costco and Sam’s Club. The noise cancelling was amazing. It was like watching a movie without the soundtrack on.
It was 106 degrees F outside and the pads did trap in some sweat while outside. Being I am in a low humidity area the sweat quickly evaporated once I adjusted the set. Ears did not feel hot while using them outside or inside.
At times I would forget I had these on. They are lightweight and the ear pad softness and comfort challenges the Bose QC 35ii. I would say the material is softer than and almost as comfortable as the Bose. I would give the Bose ear cups a slight win (like 0.000001% better).
On smaller heads (kids) these fit a little too loosely but the kids enjoyed the sound and the noise cancelling.
For 40mm drivers, these do a great job reproducing the sound with all the music I listened too. The better the quality of music, the better these sounded (of course).
Since I will be mainly using these with my phone, I tried a T-mobile to T-mobile call over WiFi (bad signal in my house). Other end caller said I came in clear and loud. That's good.
I also did some voice recording on the computer. I read a couple of paragraphs of text. The playback was crystal clear and the dual mics did a great job of not picking up the ceiling fan noise. I haven't tried using the mic as an in game mic.
Very easy to put away in the case for extra protection.
I would recommend this to a friend
Brand response from SonyListens
Hi sundevilchemist, Sony takes into consideration all feedback to improve the performance and quality of our products and services. We're always looking to make Sony better. We appreciate your time sharing this feedback. Regards, ^Ron
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
How do you improve perfect? Sony shows us how.
I'm not going to waste any time comparing the Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones to any other Noise Canceling (NC) headphone because it would be like a football linebacker getting into a fight with a middle schooler. I have the XM2 version of this headphone and now am the proud owner of the XM3 model. You can read my review of the XM2 from 10 months ago, it is usually towards the top of the review lists. Like I said there and I'll say again here... Sony makes the best NC headphones. Period. Full Stop.
I have used my XM2s in the office, at home, on trains, airplanes, on a cruise ship, and they have never let me down. I love them as much now, if not more, than I did when I wrote that previous review. The have held on to their awesome battery life, sound, and are still in perfect shape (I do baby them though). So how do you improve perfection? Well, this is the first time I have ever owned two generations of the same headphone, so I was able to A-B test them using my 92 track, 4 hour & 10 minute headphone testing playlist (no joke), and I have used them both extensively over the last week. I just wish I had them prior to my trip two weeks ago so I could have tested them in flight, my XM2s went though and did a beautiful job on the 11 hour flight to London I was on.
So what did I learn over the last week about improving perfection? I learned that it is all about the little things. To be fair though, I personally don't feel that all of the tweaks that were made were for the better but that is just my thought on it.
I'm going to start with this, if you are looking for the best NC headphone on the market, it is a no-brainer. Get the XM3s or the XM2s. Either way, you are going to be extremely happy with them. I'm going to list out the changes I've noticed and tell you what I think about that change. Here we go....
- The XM3 is much more comfortable than the XM2s and I thought the XM2s were great but the positioning of the ear cups, the extra curvature to the headband, and the extra cushioning make the XM3s incredibly easy to wear for long periods of time.
- The XM3s are lighter due to the removal of some of the metal elements from the XM2s. That helps with their comfort, and they don't seem any less solid so I don't have a problem with this.
- Really like the new case. I like that it is almost a denim fabric kind of feel and they listened to me and made a dedicated spot inside of the case for all the cords. The only thing I don't like about the new case is that it got rid of the snap closure for the loop so you can't secure it to anything, and they changed the outside pouch to a mesh instead of the XM2s neoprene. I really wish they would just get rid of the outer pouch especially now that there is room inside for the cables.
- Went to USB-C for charging cable. I have a ton of micro-USB cords so it was never hard for me to find one, but this is the wave of the future so I guess that's nice. It is a really short cable though, like really short. 6 inches at best.
- The wired connection cable is not as nice as the old one. Granted these are supposed to be used wirelessly most of the time but when you are on an airplane, you are going to need it. The XM2 cable was much thicker, had better plugs, and WAY better strain relief. I guess Sony had to cut costs somewhere to keep these at the same price point.
- The buttons to turn on the headphones and change the NC settings are much nicer on the XM3s. On the XM2s they are flush with the headphone with just a small raised area, the XM3 buttons are fully raised and much easier to use.
- The texture of the ear cups have changed from a rougher leather-like material to a satin-smooth finish. They have also made the touch control area on the ear cup slightly bigger. As for the texture change, I don't have much of an opinion either way. I will say though that I have had a lot of trouble using the touch controls on the new XM3s. I don't know if Sony changed the sensitivity or the active areas but where I could always reliably adjust the volume or change the tracks on my XM2s, it takes multiple tries to change the track on the XM3s. I'm always getting a volume change instead of a track change. I may just need to get use to them more.
- The noise cancelling on the XM3s is better in every area I tested them in. The XM2s were awesome at this but the improvement is there and it is noticeable.
- The bass is more pronounced on the XM3s. They are not bass heavy but it comes out when you play tracks with a nice bass groove. I'm actually not a huge fan of this change, because I thought the XM2s were just about perfect sonically.
- Finally, and this is super nit-picky, the presentation when opening the box isn't as nice as the XM2s. Again, gotta save some money somewhere, and the box is as good of place as any (and way better than taking it out of the headphones themselves).
So that's it. You can buy either and be a very happy person. I would only differentiate them in this way. If you are going to be using these in more of an office type setting where you might notice your music a little more and don't have to drown out as much noise, go for the XM2s. If you want these headphones primarily for travel and will be wearing them for long periods of time, go with the XM3s. That is how I'm going to use these. My XM2s are going to live at the office now, and the XM3s go in my carry-on bag for travel. I'm all set!
I would recommend this to a friend
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Top tier headphones
I listen quite a few genres of music so finding a pair of headphones that can play all music types well is sort of hard. Up until a year or so ago, I got a pair of Bose QC35's and thought my search was over for the perfect pair of headphones. However, having got these Sony headphones, it's time to rethink my Bose...and I'm a Bose fanboy.
My QC35 were pretty perfect in every way imaginable. They're light, great battery life, excellent sound and comfortable to wear for long periods of time. Pretty hard to beat that however these Sony WH-1000XM3, are giving my Bose a run for their money.
These Sony's combine all the great features of my Bose and add better noise canceling, touch controls and even better battery life.
Comfort, I still like the Bose. They sit well on my head and are super comfortable. However the Sony's are comfortable as well. They're very close to the Bose QC35 in terms of comfort but I still give the edge to the Bose in that respect. The Bose have a bit more room around the top portion of my head and just feel better. The comfort advantage is to the Bose but just by a little bit.
Sound: both the Sony's and QC35 are pretty comparable in terms of sound however I'll give the slight edge to the Sony. One of the biggest features I like about Sony headphones are their extra bass feature. Normally, this can be switched on/off as needed however there is no such feature on these Sony headphones. However, they provide ample, punchy bass notes which I like. Those who listen to rap/hip-hop, it probably won't be as great since that music tends to have booming bass. For my music tastes, works great.
Battery life. I would say both of these are pretty much the same. I believe the Sony's have a little more battery life than the Bose however I see no huge difference between them. One bonus is that these Sony headphones use USB-C so they'll charge a lot quicker and a nice upgrade from mini-USB connectors.
Noise canceling: I'll give the advantage to the Sony's again. Bose noise canceling is great and does a great job at blocking out a lot of external noises. It's quiet and I've never had an issue with them. The Sony's noise canceling is really fantastic. It blocks out a lot of external noises, dare I say, even better than the Bose. The feature on the Sony headphones allows you listen to the outside world briefly by covering the right hand cup. Sounds kind of stupid but works really well and a nice feature.
Touch controls: One of the things I wish the Bose had were touch controls. Initially I wasn't a big fan of these however, using the touch controls on the Sony, this feature is starting to grow on me. Simply swiping up/down/left/right on the right ear cup lets you control your music easily.
Overall, I'm really impressed with these Sony headphones and are giving the Bose QC35's a run for their money. Will be interesting to see what the QC45's will look like but, for me, these Sony headphones are it.
I would recommend this to a friend
Brand response from SonyListens
Hi LouRevue, Sony takes into consideration all feedback to improve the performance and quality of our products and services. We're always looking to make Sony better. We appreciate your time sharing this feedback. Regards, ^Ron
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Sony has done it, they've developed the BEST noise cancelling wireless headphones available! The WH-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Canceling Over-the-Ear Headphones are the newly released version from Sony and they are exactly what I've been looking for for the last few years.
The headphones ship with a great carrying case, a USB-C fast charging cable, an audio cable for wired connection and instructions/paperwork. The headphones fold up perfectly to fit in the case which is a good size for traveling. The came fully charged and ready to go, so all you need to do is (optional really, as they headphones will connect to your bluetooth device anyway) download the Sony Connect app and set up the earphones.
First let's talk about the Connect App - it's a great tool for taking advantage of the many settings these headphones provide like Adaptive Sound Control, Noise Canceling Optimizer, Surround, Equalizer, Sound Quality Mode, etc. Open the app, turn on the headphones and hold them close to connect and you're off and adjusting. Some of the functions are automatic like the Adaptive Sound Control - this will detect your surroundings and adjust the headphones accordingly. You can also select the Noise Canceling levels. Super easy to use and a great tool.
Onto the headphones, the first thing I noticed when putting them on was the plush feel of the ear pads and the headband. They are super comfortable and easy to adjust to your head size. I've been wearing them almost non-stop for the last couple of days and there are zero hotspots or uncomfortable rubbing. Hold the power button for a couple of seconds and then the magic starts, the noise canceling technology is fantastic, literally cutting out all the background noise as I walked around crowded streets.
I'm not an audiophile by any stretch, but the sound quality is the BEST I've ever heard from a BT headphone. The music is so rich and you can hear all the different levels from the bass lows up to the crips highs. The sound out of the box was pretty amazing, and I've also adjusted it using the Connect App. There are a number of preset equalizer settings for every type of music lover.
Not only do these headphones rock, they are loaded with super cool and totally useful Touch Features so you can adjust the music level, FF, Pause, answer phone calls, etc. just by touching the right ear cup. And if that isn't enough, if you place your palm over the entire ear cup, Sony's Quick Attention mode kicks in...the sound level is automatically turned down, along with the noise canceling level so you can hear the outside world and talk to someone or listen to a flight change announcement....all without having to take the headphones off! It really works!
As mentioned, they came fully charged and after multiple days of use, they are still at 90%...this absolutely crushes the battery performance of my other NC headphones.
- Fit and comfort is outstanding, even after hours of wearing them
- Noise Canceling and Sound Quality are second to none
- Nice Carry Case for traveling
- Touch Controls - control your music or call without ever touching your phone
- Sony Connect App is a great control app for individual setup
- Taking Phone Calls - crisp and clear even in a crowded store
- Haven't found any yet!!!
The Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Canceling Over-the-Ear Headphones are by far one of my new favorite devices and would 100% recommend them to anyone looking for the BEST noise canceling headphones available.
The analysis of all aggregated expert reviews shows that the reviewers are positive about soundstage, noise isolation, comfort and sound. Using an algorithm based on product age, reviewers ratings history, popularity, product category expertise and other factors, this product gets an alaTest Expert Rating of 90/100 = Excellent quality.
The VergeRating, 4.5 out of 54.5Chris Welch on July 29, 2020
The best noise-canceling headphones to buy right nowHeadphones do a better job than earbuds at muting distracting noise.
Tom's GuideRating, 4.5 out of 54.5Alex Bracetti on October 19, 2018
Sony WH-1000XM3 Review: Stellar Noise-Cancelling, Unbeatable SoundSony definitely upped its game with the WH-1000XM3. The improvements in audio fidelity alone place these headphones on a par with, if not above the QC35 II. They deliver a powerful low-end punch suited for their target demographic, bass lovers,
Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones ReviewThe target group for these headphones appears to be the traveling business person that spends lots of time in noisy environments and relies on the headphones to provide comfort and relaxation. Enjoying the luxury these headphones provide will cost
A:AnswerI experiance that the head set easily connected with my Samsung TV. But the sound is staccato like broken in blits of sound, silence, sound, silence and that is quite annoying. Works fine with my Apple pbone though.
A:AnswerA powered USB port is required to charge these headphones. A USB C cable is included. The reason your TV didn't charge the headphones is possibly because the USB port on some TV's are not powered, or not powered sufficiently to charge a device. I would try another USB port on your TV, if it has one. If not, in my experience virtually any powered USB port will charge these headphones.
A:AnswerThese are much better and worth the extra $50 or however much the difference is at the time of reading this. The sound quality is better, the ANC is 4 times better, and they are much more comfortable. Plus, they charge with USB-C and have quick charging that gives you 5 hours of playback for just 10 minutes of charging.