Sony WH-1000XM3 wireless headphones review
Sony WH-1000XM3: is it worth your purchase?
Those who already have the previous model will not need to buy the Sony WH-1000XM3, since the Japanese company has only introduced small improvements that are not enough to pay the almost € 400 that these wireless headphones cost.
Instead, for everyone else, there are no better helmets on the market. Sony has created a revolutionary noise cancellation technology that lets you tailor sound to your activity. They are also more portable and comfortable than ever.
Retail price (RRP)
Sony WH-1000XM3 wireless headphones review
Sony has outdone itself with its WH-1000XM3 headphones. If the WH-1000XM2 were already excellent helmets, now the small improvements introduced in the new ones easily make them the best on the market.
Certainly, these small changes from the previous model will not be enough for those who already have the WH-1000XM2 to decide now to spend almost € 400 for new ones.
Now, those who do will take home wireless headphones with better noise cancellation, a USB Type-C port to charge the battery and also improved comfort.
Do not miss our in-depth review where we detail our impressions on the technology used to cancel noise and other features such as adaptive sound or fast attention. We also talked about price and audio quality.
Price and availability
The Sony WH-1000XM3 can be purchased through the company’s website. In us, they cost $ 349; in Mexico , $ 9,999; and in Colombia , $ 1,699.90. At the moment they are not available online in any other Spanish-speaking country.
If you are in Spanish territory, you can also buy Sony headphones through websites such as Fnac , El Corte Inglés or Amazon , which currently offer better prices. They can also be purchased from Amazon Mexico .
Design and manufacturing
Although at first glance they look the same, we value very positively the small changes introduced in the exterior of the Sony WH-1000XM3 compared to the previous model, since this has made them lighter and better adapted to the head.
Each earphone is covered by a very soft ear pad that allows the ear to be completely covered, helping both to make the earphones comfortable to wear and to completely isolate the user from outside noise.
We find this same urethane foam pad -which has a leather-like finish- in the part of the headband, which reinforces that comfort that you would expect from helmets designed to be worn for hours and hours.
We like the minimalist design that Sony has opted for again. They can be purchased in black or silver -instead of gold- and have details in rose gold or gold respectively such as the company logo or the contour of the speaker that each earpiece includes.
It is also worth noting the folding structure of the headphones and the fact that each one is also rotatable. They fold inward, making them fit neatly inside the sleeve they come in. To save them, you’ll need to fold the left earpiece.
This case is very resistant and convinces us more than the one included in the WH-1000XM2. It has a compartment for headphones, a smaller one for charging cables and AUX and an even smaller one for the socket adapter for use on airplanes.
Later we will talk about the functions to which each touch button corresponds, but for practical reasons perhaps we miss that they are not indicated on the outside of the right earpiece. Aesthetically, yes, we prefer it this way.
In addition to touch functions, the right earbud also includes the charging port, which is now a USB C. On the left, you’ll find the 3.5mm jack port , power button, and button to activate noise cancellation and the ambient sound.
It won’t cost you too much to start using the Sony WH-1000XM3, especially if it is not the first time that you use a Bluetooth headset. You will have to press the power button for about 7 seconds until it alerts you that Bluetooth is activated.
Then, you will need to go to the device you want to pair the headphones to, make sure that the Bluetooth function is also activated and search for ‘WH-1000XM3’ from the list. Tap the power button again for a few seconds to unlink them.
As we have said previously, the tactile functions are in the right earpiece, clearly thinking of a majority-skilled audience. In any case, it won’t cost you too much to get the hang of it. In addition, the buttons respond very well to the touch. Remember, yes, they only work with Bluetooth.
You can help you with the instructions to know what gestures each function corresponds to. You will have to slide up or down to increase or decrease the volume, while to skip a song or go back to the previous one, you will have to slide to the right or left.
Simply tap the center of the earpiece to pause or resume music. It will be easy to know if the headphones have understood your gestures by a noise that you will hear every time you use one of the touch functions.
There is another gesture control that consists of placing the palm of your hand on the earpiece, even pressing lightly. That will activate what Sony has called ‘Quick Attention’, which is nothing more than the momentary deactivation of noise cancellation.
You will also notice that the volume of the music decreases. Theoretically this will allow you to have a short conversation with someone without removing your helmets, but personally we think it is better to take them off directly, even if it is only for education.
You can also answer calls by tapping on the center of the right earpiece. We like this possibility of being able to take calls without having to pick up the phone, although we are a little disappointed in the quality of the audio.
In this sense, the Sony WH-1000XM3 are ideal for answering a quick call when you are walking down the street or on public transport, but perhaps not if you are looking for helmets with which to make professional calls all day.
Let’s go to the most important thing. The noise cancellation of these wireless headphones is excellent and hardly surpassed by any other model currently on the market, and it is here where we find the main difference with the WH-1000XM2.
This time, Sony has included its 32-bit HD QN1 processor, which supposedly cancels noise four times better than the previous model. The more power, the more external noise will be prevented from entering the headphones.
Later we will talk about the adaptive sound function, but it must be said that noise cancellation works perfectly in any situation, be it in environments with lower auditory frequencies (public transport) or higher (bar).
In addition to achieving total isolation from the noise around you, the impressive noise canceling quality of these headphones will allow you to listen to music at a relatively low volume and thus not damage your hearing.
On the other hand, the improved quality of the processor used in these headphones also means that your sound experience will not be affected by the performance of this chip and so you can listen to your favorite songs without unwanted interruptions.
Headphones Connect App
Once you have installed the app, you must register your headphones simply by following the instructions that you will see on the screen and thus link them through Bluetooth. At the top you will see the model of your helmets and the battery that remains.
You will be able to control the adaptive sound. You must activate your location to determine it alone or do it manually so that, effectively, the sound you hear adapts to the situation you are in: sitting, walking, running or on public transport.
Through the app you can also optimize noise cancellation. Thus, your hearing and atmospheric pressure will be analyzed, as well as the unique acoustic characteristics of each person: the size of your head, your hair and the fact whether you wear glasses or not.
You can also customize the position from which the sound comes (front, front left, front right, rear left, rear right) or the environment you are in (concert, disco, concert outside, auditorium).
You can also use the equalizer, which will allow you to choose the sound quality according to the type of music you are listening to at all times: softer, more relaxed, more exciting, more vibrant, more vocal, more treble, more bass …
Other features include a player that tells you the song or audio you are currently listening to, the option to enable or disable how long it will take for the headphones to turn off when not in use, or the ability to choose the language.
Fast charge and battery life
Those who want to enjoy the fast charge offered by these headphones must purchase a 1.5 A adapter separately. Although we have not been able to prove it, Sony assures that it is capable of charging 5 hours of battery in just 10 minutes.
Instead, we can corroborate the 3 hours of charging at a standard speed that you need to recharge the entire battery, which is not too much if we consider that we will get 30 hours of continuous playback.
That means the Sony WH-1000XM3 is ideal for both a long trip and for multiple hours a day for a week. This is enough and more if we consider that the battery will last 38 hours if you do not have noise cancellation activated.
We have previously announced that there has been a change from the previous model regarding the port of loading. The Sony now uses a USB C port instead of the microUSB, making it more convenient especially for Android users.
The excellent noise cancellation of the Sony WH-1000XM3 makes the sound quality also better than that seen in other models of the company. The new processor causes less distortion and the quality leap in codecs like aptX HD is noticeable.
Sony has incorporated Sense Engine technology so that the headphones are able to adapt your listening experience to the environment in which you find yourself. This is possible thanks to the new barometer capable of measuring atmospheric pressure.
The best thing about these helmets is that they adapt to the environment automatically, although as we have seen you can also do it manually in the app. It must be recognized, however, that it is a function that only audiophiles will fully appreciate.
There is little to object to audio quality that is perfect. This is in part thanks to the Noise Canceling HD QN1 processor amplifier that improves the signal-to-noise ratio and reduces distortions almost to a minimum.
Unbeatable sound quality is also achieved with 40mm drivers that include a liquid crystal polymer diaphragm. That makes them ideal for reproducing both bass and treble sounds, with a frequency range of 4 Hz to 40 kHz.
Finally, it is noteworthy that this audio quality does not change practically when using the headphones via Bluetooth. There is not much difference in this regard with the WH-1000XM2, although the amplifier makes the sound clearer.
For many, the price is decisive when buying one device or another. In this case, if you doubt between the Sony WH-1000XM2 and the WH-1000XM3, you will not find any reason not to bet on the latter, since they have the same price and are better.
If you already have the previous model, on the other hand, it may not be worth it to buy new headphones that are practically the same. We recommend waiting a year or two to see what else Sony surprises us with.
This time, it has done so by introducing its new Noise Canceling HD QN1 processor that makes the WH-1000XM3 the best wireless headphones for those who want noise cancellation at all times and without compromising on audio quality.
We also celebrate the replacement of the microUSB port with a USB C, increasingly present in more different devices, and also the small aesthetic improvements, which make them more beautiful and comfortable helmets if possible still.
- Typology: Circumaural or over-ear headphones
- Battery life: 38 hours (with noise cancellation) or 30 hours (without noise cancellation)
- Connections: Stereo Mini Jack / Bluetooth 4.2 / NFC
- Frequency range: 4 Hz – 40 kHz
- Sensitivity: Up to 104.5 dB / mW (1 kHz)
- Noise canceling: Yes
- Headphone size: 40mm
- Weight: 255g
- Colors: Silver | Black