|Manufacturer||Sony Australia Limited|
|Hardware Interface||Bluetooth 4.0|
|Number Of Items||1|
|Microphone Form Factor||With_Microphone|
|Headphones Form Factor||Over Ear|
|Battery Cell Composition||Lithium Polymer|
|Form Factor||Over Ear|
|Memory Card Slot||;;|
|Includes Rechargable Battery||Yes|
|Includes AC Adapter||No|
|Supports Bluetooth Technology||Yes|
|Product Dimensions||18.45 x 7.7 x 25.22 cm; 254.01 Grams|
|Item Weight||254 g|
|Manufacturer||Sony Australia Limited|
|Item Model Number||WH1000XM3B|
|Batteries||1 Lithium Polymer batteries required. (included)|
|Is Discontinued By Manufacturer||No|
|Date First Available||1 October 2018|
Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones WH1000XM3: Wireless Bluetooth Over the Ear Headphones with Mic and Alexa voice control - Industry Leading Active Noise Cancellation - Black (WH1000XM3B)
- Flagship wireless headphones with Digital Noise Cancelling
- Wireless headphones with industry-leading Noise Cancellation
- New HD Noise Cancelling processor, The supplied carry case is durable and includes a cable for wired listening
- Integrated Alexa Assistant, Headphones Connect App is needed. Available from September 2018 onward. Install the Amazon Alexa app and change the assignment of noise cancelling button with Sony | Headphones Connect app, then just press the noise cancelling button to get going.
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Headband style High-Resolution Audio headphones with industry-leading noise cancellation and Ambient Sound control.
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- The ANC is insane. I wear these in the office, and at 30% volume cannot hear conversations next to me.
- Extremely comfortable and lightweight. I get Cervicogenic headaches, and heavy headsets will trigger these headaches. I can wear these for hours without any pain at all.
- The audio quality is good. Not amazing, and on the default profile, the bass is a little heavy. The bright/excited preset is the best for me I've found.
- The battery life is amazing
- The microphone leaves a lot to desire. Muffled and hard to hear in high ambient noise scenarios.
- The accompanying app needs some work - not as feature rich as one would hope, although is certainly enough to configure headphones.
- The headphones does not have smart Bluetooth; you can only connect to one device at once. What? Is it 2010?
Overall, the cons of these headphones are far outweighed by the pros. I would buy these again in a heartbeat.
The noise cancelling is amazing. Sound quality blows the Bose out of the water. Nice and comfy too, and better battery life. Very, very happy.
About the only negative is they don't do multi device pairing like the Bose does; you can only be connected to one music source at a time.
However, I was quite disappointing to note it's below-par mic and Bluetooth performance.
Mic quality issues: Almost all of the recipients of the calls I made with this were complaining they couldn't hear me and the audio was muffled. I wasn't even in an area where there was a lot of background noise. Tried calling on my commute on the train and it was completely unusable and the other end couldn't understand a work I was speaking. Very disappointing.
Bluetooth issues: During calls and even listening to music, there are constant disruptions to the audio stream with pauses and audio fades which is really frustrating. My phone was only two feet away or inside my pocket.
Verdict: When someone buys a premium wireless headphone these days, one expects it to have really good mic performance (with good background noise reduction) and reliable Bluetooth streaming with zero interruptions. WH1000XM3B certainly does a great job in audio quality and ANC but had compromised the basic features of a standard Bluetooth headset.
Also, sometimes the sound becomes a little bit jerky. It's happening on my phone and on my desktop PC. I know mastering Bluetooth is more an art than a science, but for that price I expected a bit better.
- in terms of noise cancelling, these are on par or better. I wear these at work, or at home while my wife watches TV (or when she's around generally), and they work great.
- for music, these flat out are in a different league to Bose. The bass is deeper, the sound stage is wider and the vocals are crisper.
With the latest update, also now supports Alexa. So with the better tech and longer battery life, it's a no brainer. Amazing headphones.
These headphones are being sold from unstaffed vending machines in the international departure lounges of New York City airports. Plainly the target market includes air travelers and people about to board a flight out of the country in which they just purchased the product. I’m surprised that a global company like Sony takes this attitude. Very likely my last Sony purchase.
Top reviews from other countries
First, the positives: Noise-cancelling:
This is top of its class, absolutely wonderful. I tried to switch from Bose QC 35 IIs to this, and the difference in noise reduction is absolutely detectable and almost uncanny. It seems to be much better at filtering lower sounds as well, so while dull rumbles with the QC35 will be quieter, with this Sony they are practically gonezo.
Audio Playback/Sound Quality:
Again, this is a great pair of cans. Reasonable bass, excellent highs and mids. For a non-audiophile, this will likely be one of the best sounding headphones you can own. Compared to the Bose QC35 IIs, it's not a huge difference in my common scenarios (sadly I didn't always get to make the best use of the DAC stuff built into the Sony which clearly wins by a mile), but if you listen with noise cancelling enabled, the superior reduction in background noise makes the audio seem even clearer.
Now for my negatives: Controlling the unit (compared to my trusty Bose):
- It takes 2 full seconds of holding the power button to turn the system on or off
There is this nifty little feature where you can cover your right earpiece with your hand and it will turn off noise cancelling and lower the audio playback volume so you can hear the external world. This works well enough, but usually it looks a little strange and isn't typically what I would use. I tend to either be in a context where I'm listening with no need to interrupt, or I need to turn it off immediately for extended periods. Having to awkwardly hold the power button is cumbersome, but because the ear-holding doesn't pause the playback any sufficiently long interaction will require pausing, which is also not good...
- Play/Pause requires a double tap of the the ear phone
The issues with this are pretty straightforward. I'd say I only had this "gesture" work for me the first time I attempt it about 66% of the time. If you're too low or too high it's not recognized, if you're slow or too fast it's not recognized, if you're too light or too heavy it's not recognized. And repeatedly tapping hard on your own head both looks silly and sounds unpleasant. Way too unreliable for how critical the function is.
- Volume and playback controls are entirely touch based
Swiping up and down on the ear controls volume. If you want any semblance of precision you have to do one quick swipe at a time to go up or down one "tick". If you're too slow it will register them as multiple swipes which can lead to quickly having undesired low or high volumes.
- Skip forward/backward are swiping forward and backward
The same issues for volume apply here as well, generally.
--- There are two aspects of all this touch-based control that I despise
1. The orientation of the swipes is static, and precise. Meaning, if you're lying down trying to skip forwards, you need to swipe from the surface you're on towards the ceiling, or else you'd accidentally adjust volume, and vice-versa. Also, if you're setup such that you're lying on a side, you basically can't interact with the controls if the right ear is covered.
2. The precision required on getting the right part of the earphone with the right part of your finger at the right speeds/pressures is a totally unhelpful and unneeded abstraction from simple buttons. If your gesture doesn't work, there's no feedback to understand what you did wrong.
- The "multi" device syncing:
This may not be as big an issue for other users, but this headphone does NOT support synchronous device pairing/playback. Meaning that you have to manually disconnect from say, your phone, and then manually connect to your laptop or other device. You don't have to re-sync the Bluetooth, but you have to go into menus and fiddle. My Bose QC 35s connect to both my phone and PC at once, and switch between them based on audio-playback-priority. I can be listening to YouTube on my laptop, and if I get a phone call it switches audio to my phone automatically. No such behavior from the Sonys. This feature is the main make/break for me.
- Wind noise-cancelling:
Although the actual level of cancelling is better, the handling of high speed wind is atrocious. Sadly this effect my commute quick often as I take an open ferry most mornings.
- Long-term comfort:
I suspect this would improve with more break in time, but on multiple occasions, a session of 45+ minutes started to get a little painful, and loosening the headband led to it slipping off more than reducing discomfort.
Overall, it's clearly a high quality item, and it does the jobs it does very well, but for my workflow and usecases, it falls quite short.
If it helps the headphones are supplied with the following...
A reasonably solid case - don't buy an extra one until you've tried it out, as I think it's pretty good.
A very short charging adapter.
A lead that will connect them to a device. It is about a meter long so will reach an entertainment system on a plane.
An adapter so you can use them on a plane (ie with the two prongs).
Hope that's helpful
The sound quality is great, nice and full sound, deep bass, being able to customise sound settings via the app is very useful as everyone prefers different tones. The connectivity with the app is very good. I haven't used them on a phone call yet, but I have heard other people say they do a great job, however apparently these are not as good as the Bose QC35ii for calls.
They pair to my phone (OnePlus 6T) almost instantly - no complaints about this.
The noise cancelling is really good, you do get a slight feeling of pressure in your ear when there is little to no sound, but as soon as some audio kicks in you don't notice it. It's also really good being able to switch between external mic on/off which means you can keep them on when in public places where you need to speak to people i.e in the shops, or when you are at home with friends and family.
The battery life is brill. I probably charge them every week or two, if that. I use them most nights for watching Netflix, YouTube, watching sports and listening to Spotify.
The case is okay, i'd prefer it to have a pouch for the cable to go in but instead it's kinda just stuffed into an empty gap. Not the biggest issue in the world if i'm honest! Having a USB-C input is a huge advantage as all my other devices use this. This was one of the reasons I chose this over the Bose QC35ii's.
There are only 2 things I don't like. 1st is that the ear cups could be a tiny bit more generous. I have large ish ears, so they do tend to touch the wall of the cup which is very well padded so not in the slightest bit uncomfortable, just would prefer a bit more space for ventilation. 2nd is that the touch panel on the right earpiece every now and then does not react and you have to re-do whatever gesture. HOWEVER, having this touch panel is great in comparison to trying to feel around for buttons every time you want to change track, volume etc... so I still prefer this over buttons. It is MUCH more convenient without buttons.
All in all, if I could mark these out of 10 they'd get a 9.5. As I said there are a couple of niggling things that I don't like, but nothing in life is perfect and I can promise anyone who buys these will be very happy with them. You really can't go wrong with a product of this quality and I definitely recommend them.