The Sony WF1000XM3 True Wireless headphones has a lot to live up too. They were launched as part of the brand’s highly acclaimed 1000X family of noise cancelling headphones , which also includes the award-winning Sony. It is expected that these true Wireless earbuds will provide superior noise suppression and a great deal of style.
Release Date and Price
The firmware update was released by Sony in November 2019. It brings several improvements to the WF-1000XM3 headphones, including Amazon Alexa control, volume control via the headset, and an indicator of the battery level in the Sony Headphones Connect App.
Although you can get slightly more performance by upgrading to the Sony WF1000XM4, TechRadar’s top choice in wireless headphones, we believe you will still love the WF1000XM3 even though it is a few years older.
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Sony WF-1000XM3 price and release date
The Sony WF1000XM3 is priced at PS220 /EUR250 (Ireland), $230 & AU$399. They are available at a much lower price these days and will be on sale in the BlackFriday deals in November.
They are available in regular black and stylish champagne silver. They are also priced competitively against other wireless earbuds, such as the $299 Bose QuietControl30 which also offers active noise cancellation.
Sony WF-1000XM3: design
- Attractive design
- Comfortable to Wear
- Choose from a variety of eartips
The WF-1000XM3 would win all marbles if earbuds were judged solely on their design. They lack the bulky Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless and the unapologetic dorkiness Apple AirPods. They are lightweight at 8.5g and look great.
The smart, rechargeable case features a trendy copper lid and magnets to keep the headphones in place. If you are in need of a quick recharge, the case can double as a battery pack.
These are the late successors to WF-1000X and offer a variety of improvements in sound quality and noise cancelling. These include a dual-sensor system inside each bud and an esentially identical QN1 noise cancelling processor found in the WF-1000XM3 overears.
The Sony WF1000XM3 looks stunning and is comfortable to wear. (Image credit: Steve May)
The WF-1000XM3 is comfortable and inspires confidence in terms of comfort. They fit snugly and comfortably by cleverly twisting in place and being secured by your ear structure. They don’t feel like they might fall out while you walk down the street. These headphones are very easy to use – simply keep the charging case in your pocket, and you’re good.
There are many options for non-slip rubber and foam covers, so you can experiment to find the right fit.
Sony WF-1000XM3: features
- Google Assistant support
- Sony Headphones Connect app
Specification is not lacking: There’s Bluetooth NFC pairing and Google Assistant support. Also, familiar Sony audio processing refinements such as DSEE HX are available to restore subjective details to lossy streams. You can also use hands-free voice calls.
The partnering Sony Headphones Connect App allows you to make EQ adjustments if necessary (we never considered it necessary), which is something that not all headphones have these days. The app can be used to prioritize Bluetooth connectivity over sound quality. But why sacrifice?
Similar to their larger counterparts, there are a variety of physical controls available, but the smaller headphone space makes it a little more difficult to use them.
The Powerbeats Pro, and other high-end wireless earbuds with true wireless technology, have a proximity sensor that detects when the earbuds are in use. You can take one out, and the music will pause. The music will resume when you put it back in. Tap the touch panel to pause or play your tunes.
Sony’s LDAC Bluetooth extension with high headroom is not supported. (Image credit: Steve May)
The right-hand earbud also has a Quick Attention mode. This was an over-ear WH1000X staple that allows you to touch the earbuds to hear ambient sounds. The app cannot control the volume of the earbuds.
Another bad news is: The other bad news? WF-1000XM3 uses a 24-bit audio processor instead of the 32-bit silicon in the WH1000XM3. Audiophiles will have to purchase the full-size cans to get the most features.
Sony WF-1000XM3: performance
- Large soundstage
- Silky midrange
- Appreciable bass
These tiny 6mm drivers radiate clarity and rhythm. They are amazing little music makers that create a large soundstage with incredible spatial detail.
The mid-range is smooth if podcasts are your vice while you commute. They can rock out if you prefer. Guitars have edge and drums are hard. Dance and pop mixes are equally delicious.
Acoustic design: Closed
Frequency Response: 20-20,000Hz
Battery life: 6 hours for earbuds, 18 hours for charging case
The bass is not as deep as you would expect, but there’s no boom. Over-ears will give you a stronger thump.
The WF-1000XM3’s noise cancellation abilities are the real test. We took them on a noisy commute and then to a touristy sightseeing trip. Then we flew them in the air. These were some surprising results.
Although the WF-1000MX3 has the same noise cancelling engine as its bigger brother, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are directly comparable. Sony said that the QN1e HD noise cancellation processor used here in the WF-1000MX3 over-ears gives a similar performance to the second-gen, WH-1000XM2 model.
These Sony noise-cancelling headphones really shined in the daily commute by bus, tram, or train. The noise suppression is excellent. Due to the dual noise sensors within each bud, the headphones can effectively eliminate chatter from nearby
It was almost impossible to have a conversation with Active Noise Controlling – which is good when you want to keep outside conversations to a minimum on a train, flight or day at work.
The tiny buds were unable to cope with the cabin noise from airplanes. The WF-1000XM3 was able to reduce aircraft drone in flight but not with the same efficiency as the WH-1000XM3. While they are easily accessible for everyday travel, we would not turn to them for long-haul flights.
The Bluetooth stability was consistently excellent. The Bluetooth antenna is located in the tip of the headphones. Sony uses a new L/R simultaneous transmission method which reduces latency. This is useful if you are watching TV on your phone. You can connect one earbud, if necessary, to improve signal stability and power consumption.
Sony WF-1000XM3 battery life
- Six hours of audio playback with the earbuds
- Quick Charge Mode
The WF-1000XM3 beats rivals such as the Apple AirPods (5 hour) and Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless (4 hour) in terms of battery life. It has around 6 hours per charge. You can get another few hours of battery life if you turn off noise cancellation. But where’s the fun?
Quick charge mode is available on the charging case. The charging case can be plugged in for just ten minutes, and then you will get an additional 90 minutes of juice. This is great if you are in need of a quick boost prior to a flight.
Even though there are some minor issues, we think Sony has done a great job with the WF1000XM3. This is why they are one of our top choices for best wireless earbuds.
These are the most beautiful true wireless headphones. They combine noise cancelling technology with high-pitched musicality. They are a convincing alternative to full-size cans if you don’t want to carry them around.
The battery life is excellent and the charging case is very compact. We would have liked to see on-ear volume controls like the PowerBeats Pro, but that’s not really a deal-breaker for us.