One Posting Everyday

Sony WH-1000XM3

12 min read


Previous however not out of date, the WH-1000XM3 provide unbelievable worth for his or her value with a music efficiency and noise cancellation that’s nearly as good as you will get round its value level.


  • Wonderful sound high quality
  • Quick cost characteristic is nice
  • Comfy match
  • Responsive controls


  • May do with a contact extra element within the treble


  • UKRRP: £329
  • USARRP: $349
  • EuropeRRP: €379
  • CanadaRRP: CA$499
  • AustraliaRRP: AU$499

  • Fast cost5 hours playback from a ten minute cost

  • Wi-fi audioHelps LDAC for greater high quality audio over Bluetooth


There was a time when Bose was the model to go for when it got here to a noise cancelling headphone, after which Sony with its 1000X collection upset the apple cart.

Every iteration of the 1000X has improved on what got here earlier than, however Sony hit gold mud with the WH-1000XM3 combining wonderful sound and noise cancellation right into a formidable headphone.

They changed the already wonderful WH-1000XM3 in August 2018, and since then they’ve been ushered out by the WH-1000XM4, which themselves have been changed by WH-1000XM5.

As you’ll be able to inform, Sony hasn’t rested on its laurels, however regardless of being put out to their figurative pasture, they’re nonetheless accessible and have had a number of value drops. On the Sony web site yow will discover them for £179.

The Sony WH-1000XM3 had been one of many most interesting noise-cancelling headphones round once they first launched, and heading in 2023 they nonetheless provide a superb efficiency at a terrific value.


  • Improved match over WH-1000XM2
  • Subtler profile avoids ‘Mickey Mouse’ impact
  • Re-designed journey case

The general form and look of the Sony WH-1000XM3 clearly mirror the WH-1000XM2 and the 1000X earlier than them. Any why not? The unique was a chic but ergonomic design that regarded and felt good. However there are a large number of tweaks that you just’ll miss at a look.

The black model is slightly darker, whereas the ‘Champagne Gold’ of the 1000XM2 is now known as ‘Platinum Silver’. The Sony branding and the trim across the noise cancelling (NC) microphones have been colored in, with the black model getting tasteful bronze accents, whereas the silver model is extra bling-bling with brass highlights.

Sony WH-1000XM3 hinge design detail
Picture Credit score (Trusted Evaluations)

Additionally they have a extra refined profile. The scarf bends extra acutely and suits nearer to the top. That’s to scale back the what Sony calls ‘the Mickey Mouse impact’, the place the hole between head and headband makes you appear like you have got large, protruding ears.

The Sony WH-1000XM3 are extra snug to put on than their predecessors, too. I took them onto a two-hour flight and didn’t as soon as really feel the necessity to take away them. At one level I even fell asleep sporting them; the final time that occurred, I used to be sporting the Bose QuietComfort 35 II.

This improved consolation comes from changes to padding and weight. The padding is thicker and the general earcup footprint has been elevated by 20% enhance. The area in your ears is bigger and deeper.

Sony WH-1000XM3 earpad cushion
Picture Credit score (Trusted Evaluations)

The load has been shaved from 275g to 255g. That will not sound rather a lot however give it a number of hours and your neck will thanks. The chassis stays primarily plastic. It’s a properly completed and never cheesy. There’s additionally a smoother and quieter hinge, and the buttons (energy/pairing and NC) are extra strong.

The Sony WH-1000XM3 has fake leather-based on the scarf and ear cushions. The textured plastic on the again of the ear cups has been swapped a smoother one with a rubbery end – I’m informed that’s to create much less noise once they’re used.

That is the one design tweak I’m not so certain about. A textured end is much less prone to present gentle scratches and fingerprints, particularly when you think about these surfaces are interactive (extra on that beneath). Nonetheless, deal with your headphones properly they usually’ll keep fairly – I’ve used these for a few week, going to and from work with them on my head or round my neck, they usually look fantastic.

Should you’re going to fling the headphones right into a bag for travelling, I’d recommend utilizing the provided case. This has additionally undergone enhancements: the surface has a more durable nylon end and the within lastly has a compartment for cables.

Sony WH-1000XM3 carry case
Picture Credit score (Trusted Evaluations)


  • Help for LDAC and aptX-HD audio codecs
  • Improved fast charging
  • 30 hours of battery life
  • Wonderful noise cancellation, with wind noise mitigated

The Sony WH-1000XM3 are among the many most feature-packed headphones I’ve examined. Effectively, the 1000XM2 had been – and the 1000XM3 construct on high of an already complete providing.

I’ll begin with essentially the most vital change: improved noise-cancelling and audio efficiency. There’s a brand new chip, snappily named the HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1, and it boasts 4 instances the sign processing efficiency than the outdated chip.

Sony WH-1000XM3 logo on arm
Picture Credit score (Trusted Evaluations)

Most noise-cancelling headphones are constructed to sort out low-frequency sounds resembling aircraft or automobile engines. The QN1 chip intends to be higher at dealing with mid to excessive, which implies the Sony WH-1000XM3 theoretically do a greater job of tackling voices and non-vehicular sounds.

The QN1 chip additionally advantages audio efficiency. It will possibly deal with 32-bit audio sign processing, and features a DAC and analogue amplifier on the chip. Sony tells me this results in the next signal-to-noise ratio and decrease distortion. All the higher to benefit from greater high quality audio codecs, resembling LDAC and aptX HD.

I’d undoubtedly suggest making use of the Sony WH-1000XM3’s capability for LDAC and aptX HD codecs. In case your (Android) system is appropriate, these codecs provide the next information switch fee, and the distinction could be very noticeable.

On an Android smartphone, the Bluetooth menu and the Headphones Join app let me prioritise sound high quality or connection stability. The previous despatched music to the headphones by LDAC, the latter by AAC – which sounds much less detailed, much less dynamic and extra closed in.

Sony WH-1000XM3 close up of buttons and inputs
Picture Credit score (Trusted Evaluations)

The WH-1000XM3 additionally includes a new charging system. The outdated micro-USB charging port has gone, changed with the brand new USB-C commonplace. That’s an excellent choice, primarily as adopters of Android smartphones can now pull double responsibility with only one charging cable. Though USB-C is a welcome addition, it seems that is only for charging – I couldn’t discover a means to make use of it for music as you’ll be able to on B&W headphones.

The Fast Cost characteristic has been drastically improved, too. 10 minutes yields 5 hours of battery life, versus 70 minutes. A full cost from flat takes three hours, down from 4. Battery life stays at 30 hours with wi-fi and NC turned on.

The automated power-off characteristic to save lots of battery when no audio sign is detected, can now be adjusted. Sony’s Headphones Join app permits you extend the period of time you have got earlier than the facility cuts off. Those that simply need the NC with out listening to music can flip the auto-off timer off altogether. I can verify that is nice for napping on planes.

Lastly for the brand new options, the left earcup has three additional microphones inside. These are devoted to capturing your voice (for calls) and are separate from the microphones which might be used for NC. Name high quality is superb, voices captured properly, and out of doors noises expertly dismissed. Because the particular person on the opposite finish of the top commented, the efficiency was “fairly faultless”.

Sony WH-1000XM3 earcup design
Picture Credit score (Trusted Evaluations)

There are some options that observe over from the 1000XM2 and the unique 1000X. These proceed for use as a result of they’re simply nice concepts – and properly carried out too.

The again of the left ear cup has an NFC chip for fast Bluetooth pairing; with Bluetooth 4.2 nonetheless the principle wi-fi profile. The suitable ear cup has a touch-sensitive management pad so you’ll be able to swipe left and proper to vary tracks: up and down to vary quantity, and double-tap to play or pause. The contact pad is extra responsive than on earlier generations.

Maintain your palm over the pad and also you’ll activate the Fast Consideration mode, the place your music is turned down and the sounds of the surface world are let in. That’s excellent for a fast chat with the flight attendant or listening to a prepare announcement with out taking them off.

By default the NC is turned as much as most, however you’ll be able to tweak this within the app. Even higher, the headphones work with the movement sensors in your cellphone, and might provide totally different ranges of NC relying on whether or not you’re sitting nonetheless, strolling, operating or commuting.

Sony WH-1000XM3 Headphones app

I’ve set the ‘strolling’ choice to 50% NC so I can have some situational consciousness whereas going round city on foot (and never threat being run over). I need the complete NC therapy on noisy trains, nonetheless. The automation works: quickly after getting on a prepare, I hear the headphones go ‘ping’ and ramp up the silence.

There’s additionally a useful Private NC Optimizer operate, which analyses the form of your head and detects in the event you’re sporting glasses or you probably have large hair. The headphones cater the noise cancellation to you by taking part in a collection of take a look at tones and figuring out what’s taking place round your ears.

I put on glasses half the time, which implies the headphones’ cushions don’t type an ideal seal round my ears. To my ears, the Optimizer makes a distinction in bettering the standard of noise cancellation.

The Optimizer can be stated to consider atmospheric strain, however I’m not so certain. Apparently adjustments in strain can influence the effectiveness of noise cancellation.

Sony WH-1000XM3 headband design
Picture Credit score (Trusted Evaluations)

I attempted the Optimizer on the bottom and the Headphones Join app gave me a studying of 1.0 atm (commonplace environment). Once I tried it once more at 35,000ft within the air, the studying dropped all the way down to 0.8 atm. Clearly the headphones thought there was a distinction, however I didn’t hear the NC behave any otherwise.

The WH-1000XM3’s noise cancellation is so good it feels slightly supernatural. No matter magic Sony has put into the QN1 chip, it completely works. There is no such thing as a exaggeration in Sony’s claims of improved mid to excessive frequency dealing with.

I first tried the 1000XM3 on a busy commerce present conference ground filled with journalists and engineers nattering away, and I in contrast them to the 1000XM2. The outdated ones had been no slouch, however the WH-1000XM3 are a transparent enchancment. The discount within the quantity of voices was outstanding.

That was largely background noise, nonetheless, since I didn’t have anyone yapping away proper subsequent to me. The actual take a look at was after I took them onto a flight. With the headphones on, I might inform there have been a few excited teenage ladies speed-talking proper behind me, however the NC tremendously diminished their presence and made it a lot tougher to pick particular person phrases.

The roaring aircraft engines in all probability helped with that, however I can’t make certain, since I couldn’t hear them both. Fairly good, I assumed, till we landed and I stood as much as discover weren’t simply two ladies behind me – there was a complete class of them on a college journey. Mainly, the Sony WH-1000XM3 managed to scale back about 20 noisy teenagers to 2.

Sony WH-1000XM3 flat on table
Picture Credit score (Trusted Evaluations)

I took the take a look at into the workplace to face a special set of audio challenges: the collective keyboard clattering and the HR-worthy feedback my colleagues fling at each other. With the 1000XM3 on, I didn’t hear a phrase of it.

Lastly, I placed on the Sony WH-1000XM3 and stood by a busy roundabout, teeming with noisy London buses and taxis. Not one car managed to interrupt my music, which I didn’t even should set to loud. Oh, and wind noise – bane of each pair of NC headphones I’ve ever examined – is way much less of a problem.

Until you’re going via an space of notably excessive radio interference, I’d suggest sticking to the upper sound high quality choice. The shielding on these headphones is superb anyway – aside from a number of transient blips I’ve but to expertise a major dropout sporting these headphones

Sound High quality

  • Addition of analogue amplifier improves sound
  • Versatile sound
  • Broad soundstage
  • ANC doesn’t have an effect on how music sounds

As for music playback, the addition of an analogue amplifier has additionally labored wonders. I used to be already an enormous fan of the 1000XM2, however the Sony WH-1000XM3 are clearly higher, producing a cleaner, firmer sound.

Sony WH-1000XM3 on top of case
Picture Credit score (Trusted Evaluations)

Devices and vocals are all fuller and higher outlined. Every little thing comes throughout extra clearly and intentionally. The bass division, specifically, is bolder and provides a higher sense of assault. There’s an actual sense of vitality to the way in which Ry Cooder hammers the ivories in Buena Vista Social Membership’s Pueblo Nuevo.

That’s to not say every thing is hyperactive and powerful – there’s delicacy and beauty the place mandatory. These headphones don’t have any downside shifting gears from System of a Down’s loud and obnoxious Cigaro to Devendra Banhart’s candy and low-key Ballad of Keenan Milton.

Sony WH-1000XM3 curled up on table
Picture Credit score (Trusted Evaluations)

There’s additionally a higher sense of area. It’s an even bigger, extra open sound. Devices have extra room to breathe, moderately than jostle for consideration. Separation is healthier than ever, however it by no means goes as far as to be scientific or disjointed – varied parts complement one another properly.

None of that has affected Sony’s signature power and rhythmic precision. Think about hard-hitting dynamics and that is one hell of an entertaining pay attention. If I needed to nitpick, I’d say the Bowers & Wilkins PX has extra element on the high finish, however I’d fortunately lose slightly texture for the general impact the Sony 1000XM3 obtain.

Newest offers

Do you have to purchase it?

You need all spherical attraction The WH-1000XM3 stay a superb purchase, with a wealthy, energetic sound and convincing noise cancellation. For lower than £200 they’re very good.

You possibly can afford higher The WH-1000XM3 had been outmoded by the XM4 in 2020, and they’re higher in just about each means and on some retailers they’re across the similar value.

Last Ideas

With the WH-1000XM5 accessible, you’d have although {that a} headphone as ‘historical’ because the WH-1000XM3 could be omitted to pasture. However they’re nonetheless right here and stay nearly as good as ever.

The newest variations provide a extra nuanced audio efficiency and improved noise cancellation however take nothing away from these headphones. Name high quality is superb, the wi-fi efficiency is excellent, the noise cancellation spectacular and the wealthy, musical sound engages. Pound-for-pound you gained’t discover a higher choice for lower than £200 than the Sony WH-1000XM3 – a traditional pair of wi-fi headphones.

How we take a look at

We take a look at each headphone we evaluation completely over an prolonged time period. We use trade commonplace checks to check options correctly. We’ll all the time inform you what we discover. We by no means, ever, settle for cash to evaluation a product.

Discover out extra about how we take a look at in our ethics coverage.

Examined with actual world use


Are the Sony XM3 or XM4 higher?

The Sony WH-1000XM4 are the higher pair of headphones. They sound extra detailed and exact, characteristic a number of handy talk-through options resembling Communicate to Chat, and the noise cancelling can take care of voices with extra suppression.







IP ranking

Battery Hours

Quick Charging



Launch Date

Mannequin Quantity

Audio Decision

Driver (s)

Noise Cancellation?



Frequency Vary

Headphone Kind


Voice Assistant

Jargon buster


LDAC is an audio know-how from Sony that enables for greater high quality audio streaming over a Bluetooth connection, with bit-rates of as much as 990kbps


ANC (Lively Noise Cancellation) makes use of an array of microphones in a headphone to detect the frequency of the sound coming on the listener, with the ANC chip creating an inverse wave (i.e. opposing sound) to suppress any undesirable exterior noises.

More Stories

6 min read
6 min read
Copyright © All rights reserved. | Newsphere by AF themes.