Sony WH-1000XM3 is the successor to its previous model Sony WH-1000XM2. It is not an enormous upgrade over its previous model. WH-1000XM2 was amazing, but the Sony WH-1000XM3 is even better because it is WH-1000XM2 with a lot of subtle tweaks. This headphone is the king of ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) headphones and also The Bose killer cause the Bose QC35ii was considered the best ANC headphone before its release. This headphone was released back in 2018’s last quarter. But still, this headphone is competing face to face and having edge over other competitive headphones at the same price.
However, all of these premium features come at a premium price and this headphone is priced $262 which is not cheap and not for everyone. This pair of headphones is for those people who want the best and are willing to pay a premium price for it. Now let’s talk about what this headphone is offering for its price.
The unboxing experience will not be very fancy, rather simple which might be a bit disappointing for people expecting something different. After opening the box, a carrying pouch will be noticed. In the carrying pouch, the headphone itself and other accessories like 3.5mm cable, USB-C cable can be found. The quality of the carrying pouch is pretty decent.
Build Quality and Features
The design is very similar to its ancestor WH-1000XM2. The only major difference is the change in the material of the headband. Plastic is used instead of metal. So, it feels less premium because plastic is supposed to feel that way. But if we look at the bright side, the headphone is much lighter which is very good for extended use and for using it outside. The cushion below the headband is much softer and you might even forget that you are wearing it because it feels very light, almost weightless. The ear cushions are wider and undoubtedly, this pair of headphones is one of the most comfortable headphones in the market right now.
Sony has moved to analog amplification. They worked on making a chip that is capable of handling analog amplification, ANC and a DAC which would be compact enough to fit in a pair of headphones. So, they made the QN1 chip which made it possible and equipped it in the WH-1000XM3.
The Active Noise Cancellation is the most highlighted feature of this headphone. It uses Sony’s new QN1 processor which improves its ANC performance and sound quality also. ANC feature comes in handy when the surrounding is very noisy like a subway station. This headphone handles active noise very well and its ANC performance is considered the best in the market till now.
The right earcup features a touch-sensitive panel. The headphone can be operated by different touch gestures which the touch panel can detect accordingly like forward-backward swipes to change tracks and up-down swipes to control volume. Holding a hand over the cup activates a ‘Quick Attention’ mode which turns down the music volume and amplifies the noises which are happening outside the headphone using its microphones. It comes in handy in making a short conversation while listening to music.
This headphone also offers virtual assistants like Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant. So, you can choose between any of them, whatever you are comfortable with. Siri is only available when the headphones are connected with an Apple device. And it works pretty fine.
The headphone can be further controlled and tweaked with the Sony Headphones Connect app which is available in the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store. It offers different ambient modes and you can play around with it to find your desired settings.
This headphone offers Bluetooth version 4.2 which was the latest back then. Pairing is not an issue. It can be connected through the traditional way via Bluetooth. Also, it has NFC for easy pairing. It offers a very smooth and seamless pairing with devices like Google Pixel 3xl which can be compared with the pairing process between ear pods and an iPhone.
The battery life is excellent. It can go up to 30 hours with a single charge. So, if you use it 5 hours a day, you won’t need to charge it before 6 days which is insane. If we compare it with its rival Bose QC35 which gives 20 hours of battery life. So, the battery performance of the WH-1000XM3 is outstanding and also the best within its budget.
It also offers a quick-charging battery. Especially, it goes from 0% to 100% within three hours, while a ten-minute charge can give it five hours of playtime. It uses a USB-C port to charge.
How Does it Sound?
The sound quality is what anyone would expect out of a headphone in this price range, very good. It creates an open spacious field that highlights every detail of a song. Lows, mids, highs, everything is maintained perfectly. The bass is powerful and deep but not overpowering. The bass is detailed, the presence of sub-bass can be felt clearly. Because of the wide soundstage, every instrument can be differentiated from one another and can be pinpointed exactly where it is played from. It will deliver you an immerse feeling that you are in the room with the band. The sound is so detailed that you can hear the sliding noise of changing a chord in an acoustic guitar while listening to an acoustic guitar song. Or you can feel the variant pressure applied on piano keys while listening to something like the 5th symphony by Beethoven. Overall, the sound quality is top-notch and lives up to its expectations.
Combining its build, comfort, active noise cancellation, super battery life, sound quality, and other things, this is the perfect pair of headphones. There might be other headphones or rivals in the market which might beat it in separate sectors but won’t be able to provide an all-round performance like the Sony WH-1000XM3. So, if you are looking for a good looking, premium and all about sound headphone this headphone will leave you more than satisfied.