WF-1000XM3 Review – True Wireless NFC Noise-Canceling In-Ear Headphones

Sony WF-1000XM3 – full wireless in-ear earphones equipped with active noise reduction, operates on one charge, and can be used for up to 6 hours. Turning the “noise reduction” off allows for as long as 8 hours. Its elegant design, intuitive controls, pleasurable fit, and user-friendly appearance are equally as compelling.

Having earned in 2020 the CES Innovation Award Honoree title, these wireless noise-canceling headphones are a top-notch noise-canceling solution when it comes to in-ear headphones. These earphones’ output met every expectation and characteristic claimed by the producer. In its own unique way, the result was a high-quality model, a truly wireless product.

Sony WF-1000XM3 True Wireless Noise Cancelling Earphones Review

WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones | Source: Sony

Sony WF-1000XM3 Specifications

Type: True Wireless In-Ear Noise Canceling Headphones | Bluetooth: 5.0 | Latency: 240 ms (average) |Battery: 8 Hours (24 Hours Total) | Charging Time: 1.5 hours | Quick-Charge: 90 minutes in 10 mins | Drivers: Dynamic | Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20,000 Hz | Weight: 17 g (8.5 grams each)

Pros

  • Powerful Active Noise Reduction
  • Excellent audio reproduction
  • Crystal-clear microphone.
  • High autonomy

Cons

  • Doesn’t support aptX or aptX HD codec
  • Quite expensive

Sony WF-1000XM3 Overview

The headphones do a great job of providing comfort and performance. Numerous potential problems that interfere with rival products are removed with the help of trendy technologies in a fashionable design. The only caveat I have is the absence of a formal IP grading. Sony WF-1000XM3 accommodates popular music, hip-hop, and pure digital music; it is also suitable for sophisticated music genres, including classics.

Design & Ergonomy

Sony has been making major efforts in the design of their headphones ever since the first version of the WF-1000X was introduced. We would not dare to comment on the aesthetic beauty of the copper shade that covers the case, as this is primarily a question of personal taste. More importantly, however, the headphones’ shape has been significantly refined: they may still be somewhat large, although, in the originals, they had a tendency to protrude unsightly and markedly out of the ears.

The headphones and case finishes do look good, but one wonders about the choice of material covering the case, which tends to leave greasy fingerprints.

The feel is excellent as far as the comfort and fit of the headphones are concerned, which has been great for everyone who has been able to try them on – there is never any sign of excessive pressure on the soft cartilage of the ear. Also appreciated is the manufacturer’s generosity in terms of the number of ear tips provided. 4 different sizes of silicone tips and 3 sizes of foam tips – made of particularly soft material to the touch: everybody should find their ideal earplug for their ears.

The commands are located on two touch surfaces, one at the back of each earpiece. Such surfaces can be difficult to navigate: during the early stages, they are not easy to locate them naturally using your finger. Often enough, they activate unintentionally by inserting and removing the headphones. Over time, you get accustomed to it, but the mechanical controls’ convenience may never be fully realized.

Typically, while the right-earpiece touch surface is used to control music playback ( pausing/playing, navigation through tracks). With Dual-Noise Sensor Technology, the left-earpiece touch surface is responsible for active noise reduction – including the Quick Attention function that is typical of the 1000X series: by holding the finger over the surface, the music level will instantly be lowered while the ambient noise is amplified.

HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1e | Source: Sony

Bluetooth & Technology

The operating time declared for the headphones is 6 hours, with the case giving an additional 18 hours of operation, i.e., 3 more charges. Overall, a pretty good achievement for a truly wireless headphone. If the active noise reduction system is turned off, this increases the operating time to 8 hours. Plus, there’s a quick charge: 10 minutes of charging equals 90 minutes of playing time. A USB Type-C connector is on the case, so everything goes nicely with that. Moreover, Bluetooth 5.0 is used.

Oddly there is no support for LDAC – presumably, it was meant to conserve battery power. There is support for SBC and AAC codecs; however, the majority of wireless headphones do provide support for them, no surprise in that. The Digital Sound Enhancement Engine (DSEE HX) function is a familiar feature, particularly for streaming content from a wide variety of media sources.

Please try to choose the priority of sound quality in the program settings, then simply turn off the DSEE HX and enjoy music this way.

It’s interesting that in the advertising of the Sony WF-1000XM3, they started speaking of an optimized wireless system for the first time – which is really significant because there were no sound discontinuities while using it; you get a fast and smooth connection.

For the first time, a particular audio processor is mentioned, as stated: ” The multifunctional QN1e noise reduction HD processor combines digital noise reduction, 24-bit audio processing and a digital-to-analog converter with an amplifier”. These are the first headphones to feature a processor of this kind.

Microphone Quality

The WF-1000XM3 from Sony offers the ideal combination of a professional and general-purpose microphone. Your call partner would understand that you’re calling via earphones, instead of a phone, because of the weak echo. The headphones alone also are not very efficient at handling external sounds.

Your interlocutor could hear the sound of the wind, traffic, and people passing by during your conversation. But the main feature of the WF-1000XM3 is how the voices are conveyed through the two earpieces. There are many truly wireless alternatives which transmit them through one earpiece; however, these Sony True Wireless headphones are better than that.

Sound Quality

The low-end is potent, well emphasized, and doesn’t interfere with other frequencies. The mid-range is steady and relatively natural – high frequencies have no sharp peaks, but are nevertheless noticeable, which is already enjoyable.

Sony WF-1000XM3 accommodates popular music, hip-hop, and pure digital music; it is also suitable for sophisticated music genres, including classics. Live instruments have a relatively natural sound, dynamic range, and detail.

Despite the fact that WF-1000XM3 accepts only the two Bluetooth codecs: SBC and AAC, there is excellent audio quality and clearness. All this is further improved thanks to the DSEE HX technology and the Q1Ne processor chip, both of which also enhance energy consumption efficiency.

No matter the style of music, you can hear the instrumental separation perfectly, as well as the precise recreation of three-dimensional space. As with Sony’s leading headphones, they offer vastly improved bass-driven reproduction. Nonetheless, this is not at the expense of clarity, since the earphones also focus on the mid frequencies, albeit not as much as the bass.

The hearing sometimes is impeded because of the harmonic resonances of vocals, instruments, or guitars. It is particularly evident in instrumental-dense types of rock music. It is still possible for you to navigate through the Headphones Connect software and configure the sound signature to match your liking.

Conclusion

The headphones do a great job of providing comfort and performance. Numerous potential problems that interfere with rival products are removed with the help of trendy technologies in a fashionable design. The only caveat I have is the absence of a formal IP grading.

Without concern for water protection, we would be able to train in the gym without worrying about damaging them. Well, there are disadvantages to every gadget. For all its high cost, the WF-1000XM3 is well worth the price, and it is among the finest wireless headphones produced to date. If you can afford it, do not hesitate at all to buy the WF-1000XM3.

Pros

  • Powerful Active Noise Reduction
  • Excellent audio reproduction
  • Crystal-clear microphone.
  • High autonomy

Cons

  • Doesn’t support aptX or aptX HD codec
  • Quite expensive

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