SONY WF-1000XM3

Design & Construction

The Sony WF-1000XM3 is the Sony's update to the two year old true wireless noise-cancelling in-ear headphone, the WF-1000X. And just to clear up any confusion, there wasn't a model named WF-1000XM2 before the launch of this unit so just keep that in mind. Moving on with the earbuds themselves. In terms of design, the WF-1000XM3 do stick out a bit more than I would have liked. I much prefer the rounded earbuds design of the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless and Galaxy Buds but in all case, the buds are still fairly low profile when looked from the front. On the earbuds face, we have single touchpad that controls all the functions. Controlling the playback functions is possible via the touchpad on the right earbud. Tap once to play/pause, tap twice to skip forward and tap thrice to go back to previous track and tap and hold to bring up Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. On the left side, tap once to cycle through the different noise-cancelling modes and tap and hold to activate quick attention. The earbuds automatically power on when they are removed out from the case and go into pairing mode. If they don't do so, you can hold down the touchpads on both earbuds for 7 seconds to enable it. For convenience sake, just tap the NFC tag on the case itself to get it paired. The LED on the earbuds will light up in red when it is docked in its case to charge. It takes about 3.5 hours to charge both the case with the earbuds and if you are in a rush, a 10 minute charge gets you up to 90 minutes of playback. A Blue LED light up once in 3 seconds during wireless usage when no music is playing, which can be really annoying and flashy if you are using it in a dark place. Both earbuds bear the Sony logo and have LED light built-in to the antenna at the front of the earbuds. The earbuds also comes with different size eartips, foam and silicone, to ensure a tight seal and secure fit. The ergonomic tri-hold and rubber surface coating do help the earbuds stay in place securely and snugly without the need for earwings. The touchpads do a great job of resisting fingerprints smudges even though it has a gloss finish. Moving on to the case, the case is rounded and slim although it can be a little too bulky for my liking. The USB-C port can be found on the rear bottom of the case. The cover is matte gold colour with a magnetised closure to the body and seems to do great in day to day use. The earbuds do give a nice click sound when they are magnetically docked into the case.

Sound Quality

The 6mm drivers may seem small but they do get pretty loud, producing a crisp sound signature. Based on my experience, the noise-cancelling is the fantastic. I could not hear my surroundings when there was no music on. Sony revolutionised the noise-cancelling abilities of the headphone by adding a HD Noise-Cancelling processor QN1e to gain the ability of stronger noise-cancelling with less power consumption and users can tune the noise-cancelling abilities through its Headphones Connect App available on the App Store and Play Store. In the app, you will find functions such as Adaptive Noise-Cancelling, Ambient Sound Control, DSEE HX and an equalizer. Definitely a whole lot of features to satisfy all your needs. Adaptive Sound Control allows for toggling of different noise-cancelling modes like Walking, Staying, Transport and Running. Each has different levels of noise-cancelling and ambient sound modes. These are all automatically detected by the headphone itself through its smart Sense Engine technology built in. Of course, users can toggle the amount of ambient sound let in, focus on voice only or just turn it off completely. There is also a quick attention mode which allows users strike up a quick conversation with someone without removing the earbuds from their ears. It is also good to know that the app has an internal equalizer to enable the best output of music. With a large category ranging from Bright, Excited, Mellow to Bass Boost, Treble Boost and Speech etc. You can also choose to customize your own too! This makes the headphones great for all genres of music ranging from soothing jazz to fast-paced EDM tracks. Highs are bright and forward, mids come off as clean and crisp but bass sits a little farther back which doesn't give you a nice kick in your ear. If you do boost the bass, it will stand out more especially for genres like techno or house. Soundstage was decent as instruments, vocals, bass and treble do not have much depth and detail like those of the WH-10000XM3. And call quality was okay though, the caller on the other hand managed to hear me but the mics still picked up surrounding noises. It is also great to know that when taking calls, sound came through both earbuds.  

Connectivity & Portability

The earbuds supports the basic AAC and SBC codecs together with Bluetooth Version 5.0.  In the app, you can configure the functions of the app to allow the user to stop music from playing when one earbud is removed from either ear. The battery life peaks at 6 hours per use and 3 additional charges from the case; a total of 24 hours. The package also comes with a USB Type-C cable for charging. The headphones' connectivity to the app is perfect as I never experienced it being unable to detect my in-ear headphones. If you are planning to watch videos or movies with these, I am glad to report that they do not suffer from any latency. Should you also wish to only use one earbud at one time, either earbud is available to do so.

PROS

  • Bluetooth 5.0 & NFC

  • Controls For Music Play & Calls

  • Adaptive Sound Control

  • Ambient Sound Control

  • In-App Equalizer

  • Great Noise-Cancelling

  • Quick Attention

  • Quick Charging

  • Long Battery Life

CONS

  • Lack Of Volume Controls 

  • Not Water-Resistant

  • No Wireless Charging

  • Bulky Case

 

The Bottom Line

The Sony WF-1000XM3 is certainly a step-up and improvement t5o the original WF-1000X. With features like a battery life of up to 24 hours and customisable noise-cancelling and quick charging, the WF-1000XM3 is the ultimate urbanite grab-and-go companion. It is highly recommended for daily commutes and long flights.

WE RATE IT!

9.5/10

Other Notable Competitors

BEOPLAY E8 2.0
MASTER & DYNAMIC MW07
SENNHEISER MOMENTUM TRUE WIRELESS
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