April 3, 2019

Review of the Sony WH-1000XM3

Sony WH-1000XM3

Although they do not present too many novelties with respect to the previous model. The Sony WH-1000XM3 are excellent wireless headphones, surely the best noise cancellation offer in the market. Sound quality and comfort are assured.

Those who already have the previous model will not need to purchase the Sony WH-1000XM3 since the Japanese company has only introduced small improvements that are not enough to pay the almost $ 400 that these wireless headphones cost.

On the other hand, for all others, there are no better helmets in the market. Sony has created a revolutionary noise cancellation technology that allows you to adapt the sound to your activity. They are also more portable and comfortable than ever.

Review of the Sony WH-1000XM3 :

Sony has outdone itself with its WH-1000XM3 headphones. If the WH-1000XM2 were already excellent helmets, now the small improvements introduced in the new ones easily convert them into the best in the market.

Sony WH-1000XM3

Certainly, these small changes compared to the previous model will not be enough for those who already have the WH-1000XM2 decide now to spend almost $ 400 for new ones.

Now, those who do will take home some wireless headphones with better noise cancellation. A USB Type-C port to charge the battery and improved comfort.

Do not miss our in-depth review where we detail our impressions on the technology used to cancel noise and other features such as adaptive sound or fast attention. We also talk about price and audio quality.

Sony WH-1000XM3 specifications

  • Typology: Circumaural or over-ear headphones
  • Battery life: 38 hours (with noise cancellation) or 30 hours (without noise cancellation)
  • Connections: stereo mini-connector / Bluetooth 4.2 / NFC
  • Frequency range: 4 Hz – 40 kHz
  • Sensitivity: Up to 104.5 dB / mW (1 kHz)
  • Noise Cancellation: Yes
  • Headset size: 40 mm
  • Weight: 255 g
  • Colors: Silver | Black


Sony WH-1000XM3


  • Outstanding noise cancelation
  • Fantastic sound quality
  • Quick Attention Mode
  • 30-hour battery life


  • Small tweaks from 1000XM2
  • Mediocre call quality

For many, the price is decisive when buying one device or another. In this case, if you doubt between the Sony WH-1000XM2 and the WH-1000XM3. You will not find any reason not to bet on the latter. Since they have the same price and are better.

If you already have the previous model. However. It may not be worthwhile to buy new headphones that are practically the same. We recommend waiting one or two years to see what else Sony surprises us with.

On this occasion, he has done so by introducing his new Noise Canceling HD QN1 processor that turns the WH-1000XM3 into the best wireless headphones. For those who want noise cancellation at all times and without compromising on audio quality.

We also celebrate the replacement of the micro USB port with a USB C. Increasingly present in more different devices, and also the small aesthetic improvements. Which makes them nicer and more comfortable helmets if possible.

Design and manufacturing

Although at first sight, they look the same. We value very positively the small changes introduced on the outside of the Sony WH-1000XM3 with respect to the previous model. Since this has made them lighter and better suited to the head.

Each headset is covered by a very soft pad that allows the ear to be completely covered. This helps both to make the headphones comfortable to use and the user is completely isolated from outside noise.

We found this same pad of urethane foam -which has a leather-like finish- in the part of the headband. Which reinforces the comfort you would expect from helmets designed to be worn for hours and hours.

We like the minimalist design for which Sony has bet again. They can be purchased in black or silver – instead of gold – and have risen gold or gold details respectively as the company logo or speaker outline that includes each handset.

It is also noteworthy the folding structure of the headphones and the fact that each is also rotating. They fold inward, which makes them fit perfectly inside the case they come from. To save them, you must fold the left earphone.

This case is very resistant and convinces us more than the one that included the WH-1000XM2. It has a compartment for the headphones, another smaller for the cables of load and AUX and another still smaller for the adapter of taking for use in airplanes.

Later we will talk about the functions to which each touch button corresponds, but for practical reasons. We may miss that they are not indicated on the outside of the right earphone. Aesthetically, yes, we prefer it in this way.

In addition to the touch functions, the right ear also includes the charging port, which is now a USB C. On the left, you will find the 3.5 mm jack, the power button, and the button to activate noise cancellation and the ambient sound.


Touch controlsSony WH-1000XM3

It will not cost you too much to start using the Sony WH-1000XM3. Especially if this is not the first time you use a Bluetooth headset. You should press the power button for about 7 seconds until it alerts you that Bluetooth is activated.

Then, you must go to the device to which you want to link the headphones. Make sure that the Bluetooth function is also activated and search for ‘WH-1000XM3’ from the list. Touch the power button again for a few seconds to unlink them.

As we have said before, the tactile functions are found in the right earpiece, clearly thinking of a mostly right-handed audience. In any case, it will not cost you too much to get the hang of it. In addition, the buttons respond very well to touch. Remember, yes, they only work with Bluetooth.

You can use the instructions to know which gestures correspond to each function. You must slide up or down to increase or decrease the volume. While to pass a song or return to the previous one. You must slide to the right or left.

It will be easy to know if the headphones have understood your gestures by a little noise that you will hear each time you use one of the tactile functions.

Fast attention

There is another control by gestures that consists of placing the palm of your hand on the headset, even pressing lightly. This will activate what Sony has called ‘Quick Attention’. That is nothing other than the momentary deactivation of noise cancellation.

You will also notice that the volume of the music decreases. Theoretically, this will allow you to be able to have a short conversation with someone without taking off your helmets, but we personally think that it is better to take them off directly, even if only for education.


You can also answer calls by tapping on the center of the right earpiece. We like this possibility of being able to answer calls without having to pick up the phone, although we are a little disappointed with the quality of the audio.

In this sense, the Sony WH-1000XM3 is ideal to answer a quick call when you are walking on the street or public transport, but perhaps not if you’re looking for helmets with which to make professional calls all day.

Noise CancellationSony WH-1000XM3

Let’s go to the most important thing. The noise cancellation of these wireless headphones is excellent and difficult to overcome by any other model currently on the market, and this is where we find the main difference with the WH-1000XM2.

On this occasion, Sony has included its 32-bit HD QN1 processor. Which supposedly cancels the noise four times better than the previous model. The more power, the more external noise will be prevented from entering through the headphones.

Later we will talk about the adaptive sound function, but it must be said that the noise cancellation works perfectly in any situation, either in environments with lower frequencies of hearing (public transport) or higher (bar).

In addition to getting total isolation from the noise around you, the impressive noise cancellation quality of these headphones will allow you to listen to music at a relatively low volume and thus not damage your hearing.

On the other hand, the improved quality of the processor used in these headphones also means that your sound experience will not be affected by the performance of this chip and so you can listen to your favorite songs without unwanted interruptions.

Headphones Connect App

Your experience with the Sony WH-1000XM3 can be customized as much as you want through the Sony application Headphones Connect. Which you can download for free on your Android and iPhone.

Once you have the app installed, you must register your headphones simply by following the instructions on the screen and linking them via Bluetooth. At the top, you will see the model of your helmets and the battery left.

You can control the adaptive sound. You must activate your location so that it can be determined alone or manually. So that, in effect, the sound you hear adapts to the situation you are in: sitting, walking, running or using public transport.Sony WH-1000XM3

Through the app, you can also optimize noise cancellation. This will analyze your hearing and atmospheric pressure, as well as the unique acoustic characteristics of each person. The size of your head, your hair and whether you wear glasses or not.Sony WH-1000XM3

You can also customize the position from which the sound comes (front, left front, right front, left rear, right rear) or the environment in which you are (concert, disco, concert abroad, auditorium).

You can also use the equalizer, which will allow you to choose the sound quality according to the type of music you are listening to at each moment. Softer, more relaxed, more exciting, more vibrant, more vocal, more acute, and more serious.

Other functions include a player that tells you the song or audio you are currently listening to, the option to activate or deactivate how long it will take the headphones to turn off when not being used or the possibility of choosing the language.

Fast charging and battery life

Those who want to enjoy the fast charge offered by these headphones should buy a 1.5A adapter separately. Although we have not been able to prove it. Sony says it is capable of charging 5 hours of battery in just 10 minutes.

However, yes we can corroborate the 3 hours of charging at a standard speed you need to recharge the entire battery. Which is not too much if we take into account that we will get 30 hours of continuous playback.

That means that the Sony WH-1000XM3 is ideal for a long trip as well as for several hours a day for a week. This is enough and more if we take into account that the battery will last 38 hours if you do not have activated the noise cancellation.

We have previously announced that there has been a change from the previous model in terms of the cargo port. Now, Sony uses a USB C port instead of the micro USB. Which makes it more practical especially for Android users.

Audio quality

The excellent noise cancellation of the Sony WH-1000XM3 makes the sound quality is also better than seen in other models of the company. The new processor makes less distortion and notes the quality jump of a codec like the aptX HD.

Sony has incorporated the Sense Engine technology so that the headphones are able to adapt your listening experience to the environment in which you find yourself. This is possible thanks to the new barometer capable of measuring atmospheric pressure.

Sony WH-1000XM3

The best thing about these helmets is that they adapt to the environment automatically. Although as we have seen you can also do it manually in the app. We must recognize, however, that it is a function that only audiophiles will fully appreciate.

There is little to object to an audio quality that is perfect. This is partly thanks to the Noise Canceling HD QN1 processor amplifier that improves the signal-to-noise ratio and reduces distortions to a minimum.

The unbeatable sound quality is also achieved with the 40mm drivers that include a liquid crystal polymer diaphragm. This makes them ideal for playing both bass and treble sounds, with a frequency range of 4 Hz to 40 kHz.

Finally, it is noteworthy that this audio quality does not change practically when headphones are used via Bluetooth. There is not much difference in this aspect with the WH-1000XM2, although the amplifier makes the sound clearer.

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