When buying a pair of headphones, there a couple of top brands to choose from. One of which is Sony. They’ve recently released an updated version of the top-of-the-line noise-cancelling wireless headphones, the WH-1000XM3.
Even though the name might be a mouthful, the headphones are one of the best out there, even going up against the likes of the Bose QuietComfort 35 II.
Design & Hardware
The Sony WH-1000XM3 is made from plastic with some metal accents. The earcups on the headphones are super comfortable and are great for listening to music for hours.
The headphones sound great, that’s thanks to the 40mm liquid crystal polymer drivers. The sound quality was easily on-part if not better than my Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones.
One thing I did notice was quite a lot of creaking noises when putting on the headphones, see the video below for more.
You should expect some creaking since the headphones are made from plastic but compared to my Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones, which also features a plastic build, there isn’t any creaking and they cost the same as the WH-1000XM3.
While other wireless headphones are using microUSB to charge them, Sony has opted to USB-C. By doing this, it’s future proofing the headphones for users who switch to a phone with a USB-C port (which is most Android smartphones these days). That also means that you can also quick charge the headphones. You can get about 5 hours of playback in just 10 minutes of charging.
The side of the right ear cup is where you control media playback with gestures such as play/pause, next/previous and volume up/down. Another cool feature of the WH-1000XM3 is something called Quick Attention mode, where you place your hand over the right ear cup and your music will pause so you can talk to those around you. The left ear cup has an NFC chip in it to easily pair the WH-1000XM3 to your phone, as well as power, and Noise-Cancellation/Ambient button and 3.5mm audio jack. The Noise-Cancellation button allows you to cycle through different levels from full Noise-Cancellation, to Ambient to completely off.
One helpful tip is that if you press the power button mode once while the headphones are on, it’ll tell you how much battery is remaining. Sony says the WH-1000XM3 offers 30 hours of playback and in my testing, I did that find that to be true. I never had any issue with the headphones running out of battery life. And even if when they do, I can use Quick Charge to charge them fast.
The WH-1000XM3 also have microphones built-in, which can be used talk to the Google Assistant or Siri depending on your phone. You can activate your voice assistant by holding down the Noise-Cancellation/Ambient button and you can change these settings in the Sony Headphones Connect app.
To make any sort of changes or connect to the headphones, you’ll need to download the Sony Headphones Connect app on your Android or iOS device. Once you do, you’ll be prompted to pair your headphones to your phone, after that, you’ll then be able to use the app.
The app has a lot of function such as being able to see battery life, adjust Ambient Sound Control, use the Noise Cancelling Optimizer, Equalizer and more. This is also where you’ll be able to install firmware updates for the headphones to improve functionality.
Overall, the Sony WH-1000XM3 are a great pair of headphones that offer long battery life, USB-C, good noise-cancelling and a mostly premium design. If I was deciding between the Bose QuietComfort 35 II and the WH-1000XM3, I would go with the WH-1000XM3 just because of the USB-C with quick charge functionality and useful features like Quick Attention mode.
- Comfortable to wear for long periods of time
- Multiple noise cancellation & ambient sound options
- Has USB-C with quick charge
- Great battery life (30 hours+)
- The touchpad is easy to use
- Quick Attention mode works well
- On the expensive side
- Slight issues with build quality