Sony WH1000XM3 Wireless headphones: A Complete Review

Sony WH1000XM3 Wireless headphones: A Complete Review

$348.00

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8.8/10 (Expert Score)
Product is rated as #4 in category Wired Headphones
Headphones Sony WH-1000XM3 is not by chance and for good reason are considered one of the best at the moment with an effective active noise reduction system. They sit comfortably on their heads, you can easily spend several hours in them and never even fix them. Noise reduction is very effective and will brighten up any trip, adding to it comfort and a bit of silence. Sony WH-1000XM3 sounds nice, soft and unobtrusive, if you like Sony's corporate identity, then you can buy them without first listening, just make a discount on the fact that, although they use the LDAC codec, it's still Bluetooth and above their heads you will jump. But to listen to music in a way of more, probably, it is not necessary. In a word, if you are looking for comfortable full-size headphones for trips and walks that would need to be charged once a week and could be carried in a small bag without hassle, then pay attention to the Sony WH-1000XM3.
Design
9
Sound
9
Price
8
Battery
9.1
Connectivity
9
PROS:
  • The efficient noise reduction system
  • Good corporate sound from Sony
  • Convenience
  • Folding bowls
  • USB Type-C Charging
  • Wired connectivity
  • Good touch control (excluding freezing temperatures)
  • Convenient and functional branded application for the phone
CONS:
  • The touchpad has false positives in the cold
  • High price
  • Poor sound quality with wired power off

Packaging

The Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones come in a large cardboard box enclosed in a dust jacket. The overall design looks modest, but tasteful, and rightly so, because those who make good headphones do not need to make unthinkable marketing somersaults, just let the person listen to them.

Getting to the headphones is simple, just push the inside out to the side and you will immediately see a hard case with a fabric cover, inside which the headphones are located.

Equipment

The standard package includes:

  1. Headphones
  2. 3.5 mm cable for wired connection
  3. Case
  4. Adapter for connecting to the aircraft audio system
  5. USB Type-C Charging Cable
  6. Instruction manual
  7. Warranty Card

Design

Sony WH-1000XM3 is a full-size headphones made according to the standard layout, I did not notice anything outstanding in terms of design

The headband has a soft upholstery, extends in a fairly wide range, so that the headphones are suitable for any person.

The bowls are folded inward for easy transportation and have three degrees of freedom. On the outside of the bowls are touch panels to control certain headphone functions.

During testing, I did not notice any extraneous creaks or other sounds when listening, although the headphones are mainly made of plastic.

Consider every detail of the Sony WH-1000XM3 more closely.

Headband

The headband consists of a strong and resilient metal plate, which is generously framed by a soft filler on the inside and decorative on the outside. Inside, judging by my personal impressions, there is foam rubber.

The edges of the headband move apart in order to adapt to any size of the head. The extension takes place over a wide range, so that the headphones, even on my rather solid head, fit perfectly, which does not happen as often as I would like.

Sliding occurs with soft elastic resistance, with clear, well-fixed clicks.

Due to the fact that there is only a metal plate inside and nothing more, the headband can be considered very strong and durable, because there is simply nothing to break apart from the simple sliding mechanism.

Headphone bowls

The headphone bowls are made of matte plastic. It has very specific properties that you feel when touched, as if it is very slightly elastic, in some ways similar to how if the silicone was made solid.

It’s nice that the outer part looks simple, but stylish. There are no elaborate patterns or other decorative ornaments that would give the headphones a controversial look. The bowls look nice, simple, concise and finished.

The sensor is located on the right bowl from the outside, it is designed to control several functions of the headphones:

  1. Double touch starts and stops music playback
  2. Double-tap on an incoming voice call picks up the phone, you can also end the conversation
  3. Swipe forward / back to switch music
  4. Swipe up / down to adjust the volume
  5. If, while listening to music, put your palm to the right bowl, the music volume will decrease significantly, active noise reduction will turn off and talk mode will turn on, because external microphones will work not to suppress, but to enhance the sound that surrounds you. Thus, if someone asks you for something, with your palm in the bowl, you will instantly hear the person you are talking to and can exchange a couple of phrases with him. Of course, talking for a long time will be uncomfortable, because the palm will have to be held by the earphone. As soon as you take your hand away, the headphones will return to normal operation.

On the left side is the NFC sensor, which is designed to instantly connect to a new device. Also here are the usual control buttons:

  1. Power on / off
  2. Enable / Disable Active Squelch System
  3. 3.5 mm audio cable jack

On each bowl from the outside there is a microphone built in, which are responsible for the operation of the noise reduction system. They are well decorated and look appropriate.

I also noticed that on the left bowl, along the edge of the flange, there are 3 small holes on three sides, forward, down and back. These are probably additional microphones, but they are certainly not designed for the driver to work and are not related to sound, as there are none on the right bowl.

On the inside of the cups is a protective cloth with a thin soft backing that prevents dust and other foreign objects from getting into the headphones and disrupting their functionality.

In my case, while listening, my ears slightly touch the protective fabric, but due to the fact that it is very soft, it did not cause any irritation even when listening to music for several hours.

It’s amazing how Sony headphones, having a very modest internal volume for the ear inside the cup and ear cups, make the ears absolutely comfortable. This applies to both the WH-1000XM3 and Sony MDR-1AM2, which recently visited my test.

The bowls have three degrees of freedom and rotate in any conceivable direction, so no one should have problems landing on their heads. As I mentioned above, the cups fold in and turn to the side, which makes the transportation of the headphones very convenient.

Ear pads

The ear pads are made of high-quality artificial leather very pleasant to the touch, inside the filler is made of foam. The peculiarity of the filler is that it is soft, elastic and slightly changes its structure under the influence of heat from the body, making it softer in the places closest to the skin, which allows it not to press the entire area onto the head like foam rubber, but to take the shape of the head. Due to this property, a few minutes after using the headphones, you will notice that they become absolutely comfortable and almost cease to be felt on the head.

The thickness of the ear cushions is average, however, due to the general good level of ergonomics this is not noticed, and you can listen to headphones for many hours in a row, their ears do not get tired.

Although the ear pads do not seem very capacious, for the vast majority of people they will be sufficient for the auricle to fully fit into the internal volume.

Microphone

The microphone in the headphones works well, the voice is transmitted accurately, without distortion. Perhaps the main advantage is that the interlocutor hears you in the same way as if you were talking on the phone without headphones, there is no feeling of remoteness or excessive sharpness in the voice.

Based on the results of several voice calls to friends and based on their feedback, I can say that the WH-1000XM3 microphone is great even for long phone calls.

Convenience

I spent many hours with Sony WH-1000XM3, I listened to music, played computer games and watched a couple of films. I listened to them both in wired and wireless mode.

The first thing you pay attention to when listening is that the headphones do not press anywhere, they do not want to be constantly adjusted on the head or somehow changed the landing. It is enough to adjust the length of the headband extension by putting on the headphones for the first time, and they sit very comfortably on the head and ears.

The weight of the headphones is small, and therefore, even after several hours of listening, the headphones do not interfere and do not feel foreign on the head.

The touch panel works well, in my case, the fidelity of recognition was about 90-95%. On the other hand, there are no tricky or complex gestures, and therefore it is difficult to complain about the sensor.

And now a little fly in the ointment, because there are no ideal products, right?

Before starting to write a review, I decided to see the reviews of people who bought the WH-1000XM3 for themselves and use them every day. The main dissatisfaction was caused by the fact that in people the touch panel began to glitch and give the headphones a signal to do this or that action on their own, that is, without touching it at all, this happens only with a strong temperature difference. I decided to check it, and, unfortunately, my WH-1000XM3 sample is also subjected to this scourge.

On the day I checked the effects of frost on the touch panel, it was -22 degrees outside. I got dressed and went outside without a hat, so I could walk around the house for 5-7 minutes and wait for the headphones to react. After about two minutes of my stay in the cold, the sensor for the first time gave a false signal and stopped playing music. I made a double touch, and the music began to play again, that is, the sensor still remained operational. After another minute, the sensor activated the talk mode (ambient sound), this is when the music volume is minimized, the active noise reduction is turned off, and you begin to hear everything that is happening around you using the built-in microphones. I tried to turn off this mode, but the touchpad stopped responding to touch. This happened after about 4 minutes in the cold. I had to completely turn off the headphones,

It’s funny, but the sensor starts to fail even if you enter a warm room from the cold.

Of course, Sony is aware of this lack of headphones and, in response to complaints, is pleased to quote an extract from the instructions for the headphones, which is included in the kit, which indicates that the WH-1000XM3 can be used at ambient temperatures from 5 to 35 degrees. True, in the manual this temperature is indicated as “Charging temperature” and not “Operation temperature”, but nevertheless, it really is there. Yes, by the way, if the hands are in gloves, the sensor also does not work.

On the other hand, it does not seem realistic to listen to full-size headphones in the street for a long time in the winter, because you can’t put on a warm hat under it, and in a thin autumn hat it will be, firstly, uncomfortable, and secondly, cold. Therefore, although I confirmed the fact of a false sensor operation in the cold on my own copy, I do not consider this a serious drawback, because personally, I would prefer to keep my head warm in winter rather than listen to music.

Otherwise, in terms of the convenience of using headphones, I have no complaints, they sit comfortably on the head, their ears do not get tired, and the sensor, within the permissible temperatures, makes mistakes very rarely, and therefore controlling the music does not cause negative emotions.

Active noise reduction

Active noise cancellation is what Sony WH-1000XM3 is worth buying for, especially if you often ride the subway or other noisy form of transport.

During testing, I made several trips on the bus and, indeed, noise reduction works efficiently, the volume level of the engine and the bus as a whole is significantly reduced, although it does not disappear completely. People’s conversations are barely audible only if you do not listen to music at all, but if you turn it on, the voice of people is not heard at all.

But noise reduction, like any other technology, has its own limitations. It copes very effectively with low frequencies, but high frequencies are not so good at removal, although their volume is noticeably reduced. The sounds around you do not disappear at all, but become much less noticeable and annoying.

But if usually the noise reduction in the headphones works in only two modes: on and off, then the Sony WH-1000XM3 has an additional mode that works the other way around and is called ambient sound. In this mode, microphones that pick up all external noise help not to dampen them, but to slightly amplify them, so you can hear everything that happens around you without removing your headphones. Sometimes this mode becomes very useful, especially if you need to talk with someone or not to miss an announcement about boarding a train or about starting check-in for a flight.

But that’s not all, when using the proprietary Sony Headphones Connect application, you get additional noise reduction settings.

The first thing that becomes available to you is the fine tuning of the noise reduction intensity, you can choose one of twenty levels.

You can also choose a special mode when the noise reduction will work at full strength, but the processor built into the headphones will try to identify human speech from the general cacophony of sounds and allow you to hear it without muting. Of course, this does not always work perfectly, however, it will be useful when you wait for something to be said or announced to you, but you don’t know when it will happen. In this case, a similar regime will be useful, for example, at the airport.

Another useful feature is noise reduction optimization. In this mode, the headphones measure atmospheric pressure and the level of passive noise isolation, which depends on how tightly the headphones sit on you.

After that, the most effective noise reduction mode is automatically adjusted. This function is especially useful for those who fly on an airplane, because during the flight inside the fuselage the pressure is maintained not equal to what it was at ground level, but slightly lower, and for the effective operation of noise reduction this must be taken into account. Therefore, as soon as the aircraft reaches the desired height, you can start the automatic re-adjustment and you will notice that the drone from the engines will decrease even more.

I have one small observation related to comparing noise reduction in the Bose QC 35 and Sony WH-1000XM3. You can talk about efficiency for a long time and argue about it, but what everyone notices, including myself, is that the feeling of pressure on the ears in the Bose headphones is noticeably higher than in Sony, and the overall performance is about the same. Therefore, if not only the result is important to you, but also comfort, then Sony wins in this regard. And some people can’t listen to Bose for a long time because of what they feel is excessive pressure on their ears from the noise reduction system. Pay attention to this point if you are comparing several models of headphones before buying.

In general, noise reduction in the Sony WH-1000XM3, even without additional functions, is one of the most effective in modern headphones, so if it is important to you, pay attention to these headphones.

Wireless connection

Sony WH-1000XM3 is connected wirelessly using the Bluetooth 4.2 module, which supports all modern music transfer codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX HD, LDAC.

In the application, you can select several operating modes, with an emphasis on the stability of the connection, or on sound quality. If you choose stability, then the headphones will begin to work through the SBC codec, if the quality, then LDAC or aptX.

In normal use, when the sound source is no further than two meters from the headphones, I did not find any problems with the stability of the signal.

The first interference using the LDAC codec occurred to me at a distance of 11 meters, at a distance of about 19 meters, the connection was completely interrupted. Measurements I spent in the apartment. Thus, we can conclude that the headphones have no problems with signal stability; they work stably and as expected.

Battery life

The battery life of the headphones is announced about 30 hours with active noise reduction. In my case, it turned out to be slightly less – 26 hours, however, at the same time I set the volume level to about 75% of the maximum, and, of course, the noise reduction was turned on at full power. If the volume is reduced to a normal level, I think the time will reach 28 hours.

In any case, this is a very good result, which, I am sure, will suit even the most demanding listener.

It takes about 3 hours to fully charge the battery.

Phone companion app

In order to get maximum headphone functions, you need to install the proprietary Sony Headphones Connect application on your phone.

It will make it possible to update the firmware of the headphones and fine-tune them.

In the case of the Sony WH-1000XM3, you get access to the following functions:

  1. Headphone firmware update
  2. Information on the currently used codec
  3. Accurate Headphone Battery Level Information
  4. Adaptive Sound Control
  5. Adjust noise reduction efficiency
  6. Optimization of noise reduction taking into account atmospheric pressure
  7. Sound control
  8. Turn on / off surround sound
  9. Equalizer
  10. Sound quality mode selection
  11. Enable / Disable DSEE HX Function
  12. Reassign NC / Ambient Button Function
  13. Auto power off setting
  14. Enabling / Disabling voice guidance of executed commands and choosing the notification language (Russian is)

Now I will describe each function separately.

Headphone firmware update

This feature is important, because Sony quite often releases a new version of the software that controls the operation of the headphones. The update takes place in one click, you just need to click on the “Update” button and wait a bit. Be careful, before upgrading, check the battery level of the headphones and the phone, because the update will take several minutes, and if during this time one of the devices turns off, the headphones may become unusable. At the time of writing, firmware version 4.1.1 was installed

Codec Information

Not all Android phones display the currently used codec for transmitting music via Bluetooth. This is important information, because the sound quality depends on the codec, and it is very interesting to know what mode the transmission is currently in. This feature is also useful for comparing the sound of multiple headphones.

Battery Information

The application displays the exact battery level. Also, the charge level can be approximately found in the notification bar of the phone, but there it is displayed very approximately, much less accurately than in the application.

Adaptive Sound Control

Activating this feature will allow the headphones to independently change the level of sound insulation efficiency depending on what you are doing and where you are. For example, when you descend into the subway, noise reduction will start to work with maximum force, and if you are at the airport, then the headphones will turn on the mode in which you will need to hear human speech.

The function is useful, however, it does not always work correctly, sometimes making significant mistakes. In addition, when this function is activated, the application will begin to consume more power in the phone, and it will discharge faster. Therefore, if you do not have a special need for it, I recommend turning it off.

Adjust noise reduction efficiency

Through the application, you can flexibly adjust the noise reduction efficiency. You will have access to 20 levels of efficiency, depending on the situation, you can choose the one that is most suitable. Personally, I did not use this, but I am sure that for many it will be very useful.

Noise reduction optimization

The headphone has a built-in atmospheric pressure sensor, which works quite accurately. When this function is launched, the headphones check the pressure, as well as the level of density of the headphones, i.e. how well passive noise isolation works, and depending on this, the noise reduction mode of operation is determined.

Among other things, this setting affects the feeling of pressure on the ears from noise reduction. If it seems to you that it is excessively strong, calibrate again and the pressure should decrease.

Sound control

With this setting, you can select the point from which you will hear sound in the headphones. This is a virtual point located around you.

Honestly, I still did not understand the meaning of this function, in my opinion, it is here simply because they could implement it, no more. You can indulge a couple of times, be surprised and then forget about her forever.

Be careful, turning this feature on will force the headphones to use the SBC codec.

Surround Setting

This function allows you to apply a specific filter to music, which will simulate your being in different rooms by controlling the level of reverb.

For example, you can select the “club” mode, and the music will begin to sound very similar to the way we hear it in a night club. There are 4 modes in total.

Be careful, turning this feature on will force the headphones to use the SBC codec.

Equalizer

The equalizer has 8 preset settings and 2 empty presets that can be done independently and stored in memory. In general, the equalizer works efficiently and cleanly, but, unfortunately, activating the equalizer leads to forced switching of the headphones to work through the SBC codec. Therefore, I conducted all sound quality tests with the equalizer turned off and the active LDAC codec.

Sound quality selection

This function is responsible for the codec that will be used by the headphones. In stable connection mode, the simplest SBC codec will be used, and in high quality music transfer mode, LDAC or aptX codec, depending on the capabilities of your phone. In my case, the LDAC codec was used.

When you turn on any additional audio processing functions, the headphones are always forced to switch to work with the SBC codec.

DSEE HX

DSEE HX (Digital Sound Enhancement Engine) is a software technology that allows you to restore the sound quality of music stored in compressed form, for example, in mp3 or aac formats, to the level of sound quality of a CD.

This is the official statement by Sony. In practice, I almost did not notice the difference between music with an active function and disabled. Yes, a little bit the sound becomes different, maybe a little cleaner or sharper, but this difference is very subtle.

An even more doubtful point is the fact that when this function is turned on, the headphones are forced to switch to the SBC codec. So, I listen to mp3, I want to make it a little better, but instead they switch me from the LDAC codec to SBC and then, after double compression, it is additionally passed through DSEE HX algorithms to make it seem to be better?

I don’t know, in my opinion this is very doubtful, besides, in practice, I never heard the promised magical transformation of music. Yes, there is a little difference, but it is not worth it to change the LDAC codec to SBC.

Reassign NC / Ambient Button Function

Headphones on the left side have the usual NC / Ambient button, which turns noise reduction on or off. But if you want, she can be reassigned, and she can either call the voice assistant Google Assistant, or Amazon Alexa at your request.

Auto power off setting

Using this setting, you can set the time in minutes, after which, if the headphones are not in use, they will automatically turn off to save battery power.

Turn on / off voice guidance

When you turn on noise reduction, turn it off, call a digital assistant or turn off the power, the headphones comment on these commands in a voice so that you understand what is happening. You can enable or disable voice comments, you can also choose the language in which you will be informed about these events.

I chose Russian and a pleasant female voice informed me that I turned off the power to the headphones. I want to note that the voice sounds natural, this is not a synthetically generated speech of the robot, but simply recorded phrases of a living person.

Sound in computer games

I love computer games and play them often and for a long time. From the point of view of sound, games grow very fast, every year it becomes more detailed, voluminous and spectacular. Now I’m talking about high-budget games, such as, for example, Dead Redemption 2 or the Battlefield series of games.

Work on the sound does not stop and is ongoing. It is for this reason that I try to test headphones not only in music, but also in games, because this will give a better idea of what the headphones are capable of.

Here you need to make a small digression and clarify that in games I tested headphones with a wired connection. The peculiarity lies in the fact that for an incomprehensible reason, the Sony WH-1000XM3, when connected by a wire, significantly lose sound quality, although it should be the other way around.

But here there is a nuance. Quality deteriorates significantly when you connect the headphones with a wire and turn off their power. In this case, they will work, but the quality will be as if you are listening to mp3 quality 96 kb / s, regardless of what source they are connected to and what material they play. But it’s worth turning on the power of the headphones, as the sound quality transmitted through the wire is noticeably improving. Miracles and nothing more.

Testing took place in the following games:

  • Alien isolation
  • Battlefield 4
  • Apex legends

Alien isolation

Alien Isolation is one of the few games that use sound with full dynamic range. What is dynamic range? In short, this is the difference between the quietest and loudest section of the musical path. For the reason that so many people use mediocre devices to play sounds in games, sound engineers have to compromise between sound quality and its information content. The main tool is compression. It allows you to compress the dynamic range so that the difference between the quietest and loudest moment of the sound path is small. So simple devices easier to reproduce. For example, if you connect the game console to the TV and use it as speakers or connect unpretentious multimedia speakers to your computer, you won’t get a good sound. For all these devices, the sound needs to be compressed so that it does not turn into a mess. This is done in most games, but not in Alien Isolation.

More precisely, in the game settings there is a separate item that allows you to select the sound mode, and if you have good headphones or speakers, then you need to select its value as “Sound with full dynamic range”. In this case, it will sound as it should, impressively real.

Headphones Sony WH-1000XM3 sounded very convincing and effective, and slightly accentuated low frequencies did not interfere, but, on the contrary, improved the impression of the game, helped to immerse in it and unconditionally believe in what was happening on the screen.

The peculiarity of Alien Isolation is that you have to rely heavily on the sound in the game, as the main enemy – an alien, must be calculated by sound, because when you see it, it will be too late. Therefore, the ability of the headphones to clearly and unambiguously position a specific sound source in space is very important, and the Sony WH-1000XM3 did it well. I have never had a situation where I could not understand where the sound came from, creak, click or a suspicious rustle.

And this despite the fact that the headphones are tuned for soft, warm and even slightly viscous sound. Usually, with this setting, the headphones do not do very well with positioning, but Sony succeeded.

It was very pleasant to play, by the way, also because powerful sounds with very deep bass are not rare in the game, which I have never heard in any other game. Sony WH-1000XM3 when playing this sound began to vibrate so that my head began to feel close sensations to what the character felt on the screen. And this is without any vibromotors and other nonsense, only due to sound. Of course, the volume level was slightly higher than usual, but don’t think that I turned the volume to the maximum and, contrary to common sense, put my hearing in danger. The fact of the matter is that even at a very normal volume, the sound in Alien Isolation, provided that you have good headphones, is a way to present such amazing sensations.

Battlefield 4

This game was released back in 2013, but still has not lost its relevance, especially in terms of sound design.

The sound features of Battlefield 4 lie in the very great variability of the combination of very loud and powerful special effects. The simultaneous sound of the roar of the tank engine, shots, explosions and people screaming – that’s what I check when I test these or those headphones. Not all models are able to maintain a clear sound picture and at the same time not lubricate the detail of each of the sounds.

Headphones Sony WH-1000XM3 passed this test well, at some moments when there was especially a lot of sound, they slightly began to lose detail, but not very much, and if you don’t listen and play on purpose, this is not noticeable.

Shots and explosions were reproduced with power, energy and sufficient detail to give a good mark. Yes, the emphasis on low frequencies and the general warm nature of the presentation somewhat overshadowed the impression, however, I understand that most of the listeners love just such a sound and consider it to be almost standard, so I just note that there are headphones that can cope with the sound in this game is better, but the Sony WH-1000XM3 is very good.

It was easy to navigate the sound, as in Alien Isolation, which means that the player should not have problems with positioning and instant reaction to the threat that arose.

Apex legends

This is a new game from the creators of the famous franchise Titanfall is a multiplayer shooter in the royal battle genre.

We in the game are primarily interested in sound, and it is implemented here at a good technical level.

Of course, first of all I paid attention to positioning, because in this game the character has only one life, which is not desirable to lose, then you need to hear everything that is happening around. In the few hours that I spent in the game, I was convinced that the Sony WH-1000XM3 did a good job of this, I instantly understood how they fired at me only by sound, not seeing the enemy. And how will you see him, if he is constantly hiding and arranging ambushes.

The headphones also did a good job of reproducing special effects, although I personally think that the softness and accuracy inherent in the WH-1000XM3 in delivery is good in music, but in games it slightly lubricates the sense of volume.

Nevertheless, summarizing my experience in playing with these headphones, I can safely recommend them for purchase not only to music lovers, but also to avid players. You will not be disappointed. Just remember that even when connected to a computer, the headphone power must be turned on, otherwise the sound quality will be very mediocre. Or it is possible to connect the headphones using Bluetooth, but then you need to make sure that the aptX or LDAC codec will be used, in this case the sound quality will be good and there will be no delays, no desync with the picture, which sometimes happens when using the SBC codec.

Sound quality when playing music

I tested the quality of music playback with the help of a telephone, the connection with which was carried out using the LDAC codec, which was notified to me by the Sony proprietary application.

Sony headphones have always been recognizable by their sound, at least the ones I heard. The sound was always soft, insinuating, neat, with a slight emphasis on low frequencies, even if this was not indicated on the box.

Sony WH-1000XM3 also behave the same way, their sound is soft, but powerful and assertive. Darkish, when listening, especially at first, sometimes I want to slightly accentuate the mid frequencies so that the sound seems more contrast. But after a couple of hours this desire disappears, because you understand that they sound and are tuned so that you can listen to them for a long time without feeling tired of hearing. You can listen to these headphones for many hours in a row, and you will still like the sound, you get very tired of it, unlike many competing models, which although make a brighter first impression, but after a couple of days you want to put them aside and relax.

Yes, of course, I mainly listened to Sony WH-1000XM3 with active noise reduction, otherwise what is the use of these headphones? Their price and specialization suggest that they were created to listen to music on the go and for those who rarely go home.

The main scenario of the intended use should always be kept in mind, since the bass of the Sony WH-1000XM3 is moderately accented for loudness. After all, when you are on the street or in transport, the first thing that suffers is low frequencies, they are the first to be drowned out by the buzz of the city surrounding you. And although active noise reduction works, the engineers decided to slightly increase the bass so that it was better heard and did not disappear during a long flight on an airplane. And in this sense, they turned out to be absolutely right. If the bass sounds amplified in a quiet apartment, then it’s worth going outside, and now it already sounds exactly as it should, everything falls into place.

Well, in games such low frequencies, on the contrary, are welcome, because they give more emotions and give a more vivid impression, but only if they are strengthened in moderation.

Probably, these headphones will not be the best for listening to a recording of a live orchestra or a musical group using mostly live instruments. The sound will be a little muffled, softened. But for any modern electronic, popular and similar music Sony WH-1000XM3 will be just right, it’s better not to come up with.

Headphones advertise a lot about how great they are for streaming music services because of the DSEE HX (Digital Sound Enhancement Engine) technology, which supposedly restores compressed sound to its original state. But I did not notice a big difference, and when you consider that the DSEE HX only works in conjunction with the SBC codec, its effectiveness becomes suspicious and doubtful.

But with all the softness, the headphones retain good detail, especially if you use the LDAC codec. The sound is not as bright as you expect, perhaps its character and expression of presentation are slightly hiding, but the details are preserved well, especially for the wireless model, and therefore it is pleasant to listen to music.

Do not expect a miracle from the Sony WH-1000XM3, this is not a breakthrough and not a sensation, but these are pleasant headphones in all respects that are comfortable, work for a long time, and whose sound pleases, it has no bright advantages, but also major disadvantages, too. In a word – we must listen to ourselves.

Low frequencies

The low frequencies are accented, but this is done in moderation, without the craziness that I heard in the Sony MDR-XB950N1. At the same time, the low frequencies are deep, assertive, they feel texture, details, and not just a thump and a hoot. Of course, due to wireless transmission, the details cannot be compared with a wired connection, but for Bluetooth they are very, very pleasant.

Mid frequencies

Midrange sounds smooth, no sharp peaks, spikes or unexpected accents. However, they are slightly veiled, they do not have the brightness of sonority, they, like a graduate of the Institute of Noble Maidens, have passion in their hearts, but outwardly calm, orderly and educated. Human vocals sound natural, albeit slightly tinted at low frequencies. Nevertheless, the detail has been kept good, you can listen to your favorite music for a long time and every time you hear new things that so elude attention.

High frequencies

I did not notice any sibilants or other noticeable distortions, but where should they be if high frequencies are relegated to the background? They are, they are heard, while there is no doubt about their purity, but they do not sound transparently bright, but somehow a little dulled or even scared. And, of course, they are also characterized by softness and some viscosity, which is saturated with the whole sound of Sony WH-1000XM3.

Conclusion

Headphones Sony WH-1000XM3 is not by chance and for good reason are considered one of the best at the moment with an effective active noise reduction system. They sit comfortably on their heads, you can easily spend several hours in them and never even fix them. Noise reduction is very effective and will brighten up any trip, adding to it comfort and a bit of silence.

Sony WH-1000XM3 sounds nice, soft and unobtrusive, if you like Sony’s corporate identity, then you can buy them without first listening, just make a discount on the fact that, although they use the LDAC codec, it’s still Bluetooth and above their heads you will jump. But to listen to music in a way of more, probably, it is not necessary.

In a word, if you are looking for comfortable full-size headphones for trips and walks that would need to be charged once a week and could be carried in a small bag without hassle, then pay attention to the Sony WH-1000XM3.

Specification: Sony WH1000XM3 Wireless headphones: A Complete Review

Brand

Play Time Range

Price Range

Rating Range

Product Dimensions

7.3 x 2.9 x 10.4 inches

Item Weight

9 ounces

Shipping Weight

1.68 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)

Batteries

1 Lithium-ion batteries required. (included)

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Sony WH1000XM3 Wireless headphones: A Complete Review
Sony WH1000XM3 Wireless headphones: A Complete Review
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