Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones WH1000XM3 Review

After Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones WH1000XM3 Review, we found them great headphones for commute and travel and a decent option for most use cases. They have a wonderful battery life, nice wireless vary, and one among the most effective noise canceling that we’ve measured up to now.

Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones WH1000XM3 Review also have a sleek new design that’s a bit more comfortable than the previous models. They isolate a bit more and leak less than the often compared Bose QuietComfort 35 II, and they have more customizable features. However, they’re not quite as comfortable as the Bose, and their default sound can be a bit too bass-heavy for some, but on the upside, you can EQ them via the app.








   Amazon Ratings… 4.5 out of 5 stars

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Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones WH1000XM3 Review
Conclusion These Earbuds are very good headphones for sports use. Bose’s SoundSport Wireless Earbuds are wireless and compact enough to carry around wherever you go. These earbuds have a stable and semi-open fit that allows runners to monitor their surroundings.

Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones WH1000XM3 Review Comfortable and premium looking design
Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones WH1000XM3 Review Great active features and app support
Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones WH1000XM3 Review Excellent noise cancellation
Sony wh 1000xm3 wireless Poor latency for watching videos
Sony wh 1000xm3 wireless Slightly bulky design

There are a few other cosmetic changes. The exterior finish on the ear cups, where you’ll find the touch controls, is smoother. And the carrying case is slightly different. It reserves a spot for the short USB-C cable as well as the included headphone cable — yes, you can use this as a wired headphone, great for the plane’s in-flight entertainment system — and it sounds great in wired mode.

Sony has updated the chips inside the headphone, upgrading the noise canceling and sound processing. It says its new HD Noise Canceling Processor QN1 offers four times the performance of its predecessor and works not only for noise canceling, “but also realizes stunning high quality sound.”


Has Stereo Speakers
Has An Over-the-ear Foam
Has A Detachable Cable
Sweat ResistantX
Travel Bag is Included

Sound Quality

Has Passive Noise Reduction
Has Active Noise Cancelling (Noise Control)
Has A Neodymium Magnet


Battery Life20h
Charge Time2.5h
Has A Rechargeable Battery
Has A Battery Level IndicatorX
Has A Removable BatteryX
Has USB Type-C


Bluetooth Version5
Can Be Used Wirelessly
Maximum Bluetooth Range10m
Has A 3.5mm Male ConnectorX
Supports Bluetooth Pairing Using NFCX


Can Be Used As A Headset
Control Panel Placed On A Device
Number Of Microphones8
Has An In-Line Control PanelX
Has A Noise Cancelling Microphone
Has Voice Prompts


The Sony WH 1000XM3 wireless are well-made over-ears with a sleek and premium look. They have a different headband design than the previous models in the series and look a bit more like a cross between the WH-1000XM2 and the Bose QuietComfort 35 II. This new headband gives them a slightly lower profile that better fits the contour of your head, although the dense ear cups are still fairly bulky and protrude, making them a bit unstable for running and working out. On the upside, they have a good touch-sensitive control scheme with a lot of functionality. They also have a sturdy build quality that looks premium and should be decently durable. As long as the yokes do not have any major defects like the original MDR-1000X, then the WH-1000XM3 are one of the better designed wireless over-ears we've tested.
The Sony WH 1000XM3 wireless have a slightly different headband design to the WH-1000XM2 and MDR-1000X, which makes them stand out and look somewhat similar to the Bose QC35 II. The headband has two-tone finish with a pleather coating over the pads that doesn't look quite as premium as the metal frame of the XM2 but has a much lower profile and makes the 1000XM3 look a less bulky on your head, which most will prefer. The ear cups, on the other hand, are fairly similar to the previous models but have cool accents around the vents and the Sony logo which looks great. They come in two color scheme. An understated black, like the one we've reviewed, or a more flashy white color scheme that some may prefer since it stands out a bit more. Overall, these headphones look premium, classy and more high-end than the QC35 II although not quite as well built as the Bowers and Wilkins PX.The Sony WH 1000XM3 wireless are a bit more comfortable than the WH-1000XM2. They have better, softer pads, a new headband design that better fits the contours of your head, and they're slightly lighter by about 0.05lbs (20g). This results in a more comfortable design that you can wear for a bit longer and is closer in comfort to the Bose QC 35II although the Bose are still a bit more comfortable overall. On the upside, the XM3 and the WH-XB900N are the most comfortable of the Sony wireless over-ears we've tested far so you can wear them for hours without feeling any fatigue or soreness as long as the breathability isn't an issue.
PortabilityBuild Quality
The Sony WH 1000XM3 wireless are about the same size as the WH-1000XM2. They have a slightly lower profile headband that does not take up as much space in your bag, but it's not a very significant difference since the headphones are fairly bulky overall. On the upside, they fold into a more compact format which makes them somewhat portable and they come with a pretty good and sturdy case.The Sony WH 1000XM3 wireless have a great build quality and a premium look and feel. The new headband design is sturdy and flexible, and the ear cups are dense and should easily withstand a couple of accidental drops. Unfortunately, the new headband is coated with pleather-like padding that won't fare as well over time as the metal frame of the WH-1000XM2. The 1000XM3 also has a similar yoke/hinge design to the XM2, which may be prone to cracking like the original MDR-1000X, so we will continue to monitor the discussion threads for any major defects with the headband that may warrant a score change. However, for now, they are one of the better designed wireless over-ear headphones we've tested and feel more premium and durable than the Bose QuietComfort 35 II, but they're not quite as well built as the Bowers and Wilkins PX or the Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT.
The Sony WH1000XM3/B are stable enough for a light jog but will not be the ideal headphones for working out and exercising. Their wireless design and slightly better fit than the XM2 make them a bit more stable. But since the ear cups are moderately heavy and stick out a bit like the WH-1000XM2, they will sway a lot depending on the intensity of your work out routine.The Sony 1000XM3 have the same touch-sensitive control scheme as the WH-1000XM2 but are a bit more responsive to swipe gestures. The controls are fairly easy to use; swiping up and down controls the volume level, left and right rewind and skips tracks respectively, and double tapping is the multi-function button for pausing, resuming as well as call management. Feedback is decent a bit less intrusive than on the previous model since the auditory beeps/cues are not as loud especially at high volumes. Also, like on the XM2, you can cover the touch-sensitive pad to temporarily mute your music, so you can pay attention to your surrounding. You can use the ambient button to activate the aware mode or switch it to trigger Google Assistant via the app, which is a plus. Overall, the touch-sensitive control scheme of the XM3 is good but not as great as that of the Microsoft Surface Headphones which blends touch and physical controls a lot better than the Sonys.
The Sony WH-1000XM3 is a decent sounding pair of closed-back over-ear headphones. They have a consistent, deep, powerful, and punchy bass, an even and excellently-balanced mid-range, and an above-average treble. However, their bass is a little bit overpowering and on the heavy side, and their treble lacks a bit of detail and is on the warm side. Overall, the sound of these headphones is bass-heavy and veiled, which fans of heavy bass may like (it is one of the best headphones for bass that we've tested), but they may not be the ideal choice for those who prefer clear and present vocals and a neutral sound profile like that of the Bose QuietComfort 35 II or the AKG N700NC. Compared to the older MDR-1000X and WH-1000XM2 models, the XM3 have a similar sound signature, but with a little bit more bass.
The bass is good. The LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 10Hz, which is excellent. Also, the response throughout the range is even and flat, but consistently overemphasized by about 4dB. This makes the bass of these headphones deep, and heavy, and punchy, but at the expense of overpowering the mid and treble ranges a bit and sounding a little muddy.The mid-range performance is excellent. The entire range shows a well-balanced and even response, which is important for the accurate reproduction of vocals and lead instruments. The slight broad dip around 1KHz won't be noticeable to most.
The Sony WH1000XM3 are one of the best noise isolating headphones that we've tested so far. Once you optimize the ANC feature for your environment, either by holding the NC/Ambient button or via the app, they cancel an astonishing amount of low-frequency noise, like the rumblings of an engine or the chatter on public transit, making them suitable for traveling and most commutes. Their noise cancellation has lower self-noise and is a bit better overall than the previous models and even the Bose QuietComfort 35 II. However, the QC35 II and the XM2 isolate so well that it's hard to tell the difference when compared to XM3 unless you test them side by side in the same environment. On the upside, the XM3 leak a little less thanks to the thicker pads that create a better seal around your ears so you can play your music a little louder, to further mask any ambient noise that might seep into your ear cups, without bothering those around you like the Bose or the XM2.
Noise IsolationOverall Leakage
The isolation performance is outstanding. These headphones have one of the best ANC (active noise cancelling) systems we have measured so far. Not only their provide excellent noise cancelling throughout the range, it is also possible to adjust their amount of ANC using their smartphone app. In the bass range, where the rumble of airplane and bus engines sit, they achieved 23dB of isolation, which is very good. In the mid-range, important for blocking out speech, they isolate by more than 27dB, which is great. In the treble range, occupied by sharp sounds like S and Ts, the reduce noise by almost 40dB, which is also very good. Compared to the older MDR-1000X and WH-1000XM2 models, the XM3 seems to have a nearly identical ANC system, but they perform noticeably better and more consistently due to their improved headband and earpads. Compared to the other great ANC headphone, the Bose 700 Headphones, the Sony perform slightly better, but their difference is ANC performance is smaller than their difference in other categories like sound quality and comfort.The Sony WH 1000XM3 wireless have a good leakage performance. The significant portion of their leakage is spread over the mid-range, resulting in a leakage that is fuller-sounding compared to that of in-ears and earbuds. The overall level of the leakage is relatively low though. With the music at 100dB SPL, the leakage at 1 foot away averages at 37dB SPL and peaks at 49dB SPL, which is about the same as the noise floor of an average office.
The Sony 1000XM3 have an average microphone. In quiet environments, speech recorded or transmitted with this mic sounds relatively thin and noticeably muffled and lacking in detail. In noisy situations, this microphone is able to separate speech from background noise in moderately loud places, like a busy street, but they may struggle in louder places. Compared to the MDR-1000X and WH-1000XM2 models, the XM3's microphone is noticeably improved.
The auto-off timer of these headphones only triggers when being disconnected from their source rather than when no content is playing. We don't consider this to be a feature that prolongs the battery life as you could put the headphones down on your desk and they could still be connected to your PC or phone that is near, and drain out. The review and text have been updated.
The Sony WH1000XM3 have an improved battery performance over the WH-1000XM2. They had about 27 hours of continuous playtime with ANC enabled. Unfortunately, they don't have a true smart auto-off timer. They would need to be disconnected from a source to automatically turn off, but you can at least set that timer in their app. The new improved battery makes them suitable for most use cases, commutes and travel since they will last more than a weekend of heavy use without running out of battery. On the upside thanks to the new USB-C connector they have excellent fast charge. They only take about 2.2 hours for a full charge and can deliver up to 5 hours of playtime from a quick 10-15 minutes charge which is very convenient if you forget to charge them overnight.
The Sony WH-1000XM3, like the WH-1000XM2, are Bluetooth headphones that can pair via NFC and come with a standard audio cable. Unfortunately, the audio cable has no in-line remote which means they will not have a microphone that's compatible with consoles but you can always use them wired for audio with your Xbox or PS4 controllers. Also, like most Bluetooth headphones they have a bit too much latency to be the best option for watching movies and gaming even with aptX enabled.
They do not have simultaneous multi-device pairing like the Bose QuietComfort 35 II. But on the upside, they do support NFC which makes pairing with smartphones a bit easier. They're one of the best Bluetooth earphones we've reviewed.These headphones come with an audio cable with no in-line remote or USB adapter. This means they do not have a mic that is compatible with consoles.
Wireless RangeBase/Dock
They have a slightly better range than the WH-1000XM2. They reached up to 53ft when obstructed by walls and up to 185ft in direct line of sight. They should have more than enough range for most use cases especially if you keep your device on you but they're also suitable to pair with fixed sources like your TV or PC.The Sony WH1000XM3 do not have a base/dock.


7 Responses

  1. Calator says:

    Sony WH 1000xm3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones –
    Great post.-

  2. Thanks for the terrific information for us.
    Best regards,
    Harrell Griffin

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