Sony WH-1000XM3 Review

Sometimes I wonder if Bose regrets introducing noise cancellation technology with Sony constantly producing superb competition. The Sony WH-1000xm3 keeps the streak going with an impressive set of capabilities for your auditory pleasure. Sony seems to keep it simple for their high-end headphones with a few noticeable improvements over the xm2’s.

Though when you’ve got the top noise-cancelling headphones on the market not many changes are necessary. Even as companies like Bose make efforts to revolutionize noise-cancelling technology. This Sony WH-1000xm3 review seems to show that all roads go through Sony.

Sony WH-1000XM3 Review
  • Excellent sound performance
  • Industry-leading battery life
  • Wireless or wired use
  • A bit heavier and bulkier than some of the competition
  • No features beyond active noise control
  • Better sound quality can be found in lower price non-noise-cancelling option

Sony WH-1000xm3 features

Sound Quality

While Sony wh-1000xm3’s excel in many areas it probably isn’t a surprise that sound quality is one of its best areas. Sony prides themselves on delivering the highest fidelity with their headphones and the 1000xm3’s are no different. If you are looking for deep bass swells that reverberate through your body these will do it. Their ability to handle a wide range of frequencies from high to low is remarkable. Using an Android device with aptX HD standard can boost the sound quality even further. Devices that use an LDAC codec are another you can grab for better audio. Neither are required however as wh-1000xm3’s deliver excellent sound quality on their own. As far as listening to music goes you won’t find a better sound in noise canceling headphones.

Battery Life

The Sony noise-cancelling headphones wh1000xm3 continue to impress when battery life comes into question. With the average life for noise-cancelling headphones at 15 hours the wh-1000xm3 double that with a 30-hour life. Battery life will differ depending on volume and the features you’re running. Overall though the Sony wh-1000xm3 leads the market with stellar performance here. Comparably priced models from other companies often top out at 20 hours. A quick charge feature allows you to charge for 5 hours in just 10 minutes. You can even use the app for even more battery saving features making these the most power-conscious option.


The first thing you’ll notice about these compared to the xm2’s is how light they are. When you are flying across the country ever ounce makes a difference or in this case 22 grams. The total weight of these headphones is just 0.56 pounds. They fit well with your head with an upgrade to the previous model’s headband padding. The result is a feeling that is a bit more comfortable while looking a bit more stylish on your head. The design isn’t too flashy with copper accents on the insides.

 The xm3’s are currently available for purchase in black or silver. A USB Type-C port is used for charging while the headphones have just two buttons. One for power and Bluetooth, the other for switching between the three noise cancellation settings. The wireless gives you 30 feet of range while making cords unnecessary. It feels cool to control your music by touching and sliding along the right earpad. The touch-sensitive controls make you feel like you’re in Star Trek once you get used to it.


The main function of the wh1000xm3’s noise cancellation is pretty solid as well. Sitting just below the Bose 700 in this arena the 1000xm3 have stellar noise cancellation abilities. They have been tested to be four times more effective here than the previous xm2’s. You will have three settings to choose from. The standard mode eliminated most high and low frequencies to a murmur even without music on. Ambient mode allows you to hear more distinctive noises coming through. Finally, a Quick Attention mode lets you hear external audio by reducing your volume through microphones.

Six microphones and a powerful processor give the wh1000xm3 an impressive ability to adapt to the environment. The touch controls have been mentioned but you also have voice controls with the addition of Google Assistant. The last special feature lies in these headphones’ built-in mic abilities. The mic quality is relatively solid though it will likely be a bit quieter than your phone’s mic. The call quality doesn’t compare to the Bose 700’s but it’s certainly serviceable.


You can find the Sony wh-1000xm3 for a price of around $350 so they are certainly considered high-end headphones. While that might seem high it is actually quite apt for the quality of the headphones. As a top of the line pair of noise canceling headphones, they are appropriately priced as such. 

Sony WH-1000XM3 Review Conclusion

You can find other high-end noise cancelling headphones that might look a bit sleeker. Still, the wh-1000xm3 from Sony is the total package that cannot be ignored. Would you trade a bit of looks for superb sound, battery life, and features? It’s really hard to say any noise-cancelling headphones are definitively better when few are even comparable at all.


Is Sony wh-1000xm3 good for the gym?

While the wh-100mx3 aren’t naturally sweat-resistant they are collapsible for easy transportation. With the purchase of sweat-proof covers, there’s no reason these wouldn’t make great gym headphones.

Is Sony wh-1000xm3 waterproof?

Sorry, the wh1000xm3 is not waterproof or splash-proof in any way. You’ll want to take every precaution to avoid moisture interfering with these headphones.

Can Sony wh-1000xm3 connect to PS4?

Yes, these headphones can connect to your PS4 for listening to games. However, it is not a gaming headset and can’t be used for communicating in-game.

How do I get the most out of my Sony wh-1000xm3?

As long as you take good care of these headphones most of it is self-explanatory. Make sure you familiarize yourself with the headphone’s smartphone app for full control.

Sony WH-1000XM3 Headphones Manual

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Sony WH-1000XM3

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