Oh boy, there is so much to say about this pair of Sony WH-1000XM3. Where do I even start?

While it comes as no shocker that a $349.99 (going for $278 right now) pair of headphones- Sony WH-1000XM3, would sound rich and clear with a large range and deep bass that doesn’t get in your face, cough Beats cough, there might be a few things you might have missed.

Unboxing

Sony WH-1000XM3 Box Contents
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So first off, what you got out of the box with Sony WH-1000XM3?

  • A hard-case for your headphones
  • A 3.5mm audio jack cable for the wired experience (and yes, it’s mainly wireless)
  • An airline adapter
  • A type-c charging cord
  • some paperwork
  • and a lollipop (just kidding about the last one)

Pretty standard with what you get, the airline adapter is just an extra accessory since airplanes do provide it, but it is a nice touch.

The Frame

Sony WH-1000XM3 Features
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The overall build quality is nothing to scoff at. It’s an over-ear design with leather cushions on the earcups and padding all around the headband. I imagine the leather would cause heating around the ears after long periods of use, so it’s not particularly suitable for gaming sessions.

The headband itself is pretty flexible to fit all sizes, but it tends to get a bit tight, and various people have various takes on it. Still, I could say I’m pretty used to the press since it’s also probably like that for the better noise-canceling performance.

The headphones are lighter than most at about 255 grams, which gives it a sort of cheaper feel but all in all, it reduces the strain on your head, so nothing to complain about there. Also, the earcups fold for better storage, which is… cool… I guess? Well, Whaddaya expect? They’re marketed as travel headphones.

Sony’s been smart enough to add a type- c port for charging rather than micro-USB in Sony WH-1000XM3. It’s an obvious feature to have by now, but many brands are yet to conform to it. These pairs also support fast-charging thanks to that nifty port and claim 30hrs of battery life with 10 mins for half a charge.

Feature Set

Sony WH-1000XM3 Options
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There’re two microphones on top of both the earcups, which manage the Ambient Sound Profiling for answering calls, but as for the latter, you’re better off answering the phone without the headphones since it’s not an especially pleasurable experience listening through them. Again, this is a shame given the price, but I suppose the former makes up for it.

Not to mention, hehe, you have voice assistant integration Sony WH-1000XM3, another step towards IoT and the singularity.

As for the controls, other than the power and ambient mode switch, they’re touch controls to control volume, play/pause, and answering calls, which feels a bit sticky, but you get used to it rather quickly.

And another one of those cool features which feel gimmicky but are not is one of Ambient Sound Control, which when someone’s trying to talk to you, you can cup your hand on the ear cup and voila, the volume’s turned down, and the mic transmits their voice into your ear as if you aren’t wearing any headphones.

Connectivity-wise, Sony WH-1000XM3 is NFC compatible, making it easy to connect with just a tap of your device, and the VA automatically recognizes the device on Bluetooth. I don’t want to nitpick, but I would’ve liked to see multi-device support at this price.

It just feels like a wasted opportunity not to have this. Its a quality of life improvement and cool to have just to be connected to your PC listening to your music and wipe out your phone, which you’re already connected to. Then play some podcasts, and the headphones seamlessly switch between the two.

The noise-cancellation on the Sony WH-1000XM3 blew me away with how good it is. Its got an adaptive mode that varies the intensity depending on your surroundings like whether you’re sitting, walking, in a pretty bustling environment like in a flight, guessing through the noise in the environment through the microphones.

Now, of course, the ANC doesn’t really cancel everything, that would be a bit idealistic, but it’s enough to give you the isolation to cancel off noises in your trip.

Misc

Sony WH-1000XM3
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The app that comes with Sony WH-1000XM3 is pretty neat, with the aforementioned Adaptive Sound Control and a noise-canceling optimizer. It gets regular software updates. Not much to say about but really cool indeed.

And how’s the experience when you’re wired, in cases where your set’s drained? You ask. Well, the performance isn’t exceptional and not bad by any means, but it does seem that the max volume is a bit tuned down, and the audio feels less punchy. The Adaptive Sound Control is totally nonexistent since, perhaps, it relies on the internal power to work.

A fair warning before buying the Sony WH-1000XM3, the headphones seem to register false touches in extremely cold weather, pausing, skipping tracks, and making calls.

Sony has attempted to address the situation by adding a switch in the app to turn off the touch controls. It doesn’t really solve the issue, but I suppose most won’t encounter the problem since it happens in really cold temps.

Conclusion

Overall, the Sony WH-1000XM3 is just short of studio-grade headphones with a few minor misgivings. Great enough to give Bose a run for its money and possibly bring more competition in the market.

Do you use a headphone? Does it have noise cancellation? How do you think your headphone compares with Sony WH-1000XM3?

Please let me know in the comments below.