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Sony WF-1000XM3 Review

Are these really the best true wireless ANC Earbuds?

Noise cancelling headphones have come a long way, and with 2018’s WH-1000XM3, Sony’s award-winning headphones, can these pocket-size earbuds really live up to its bigger brother?

The short answer — yes! With industry-leading noise cancellation and their powerful yet small 6 mm drivers, these earbuds are at the top of the game. Let’s find out why?

Sony WF-1000XM3
Our rating:4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)


How Do They Sound?

Sony has a reputation for making great sounding speakers, headphones, and earphones. It’s no surprise that with their first true wireless earbuds that the sound quality is impeccable. They deliver very clear and bright mid and high frequencies that sound even better, considering these earbuds support Sony’s DEE HX audio format, which provides lossless audio quality.

Sony WF 1000XM3

The bass is definitely not as loud as some of its direct competitors like the Bose SoundSport or Jabra 65T. But what the Sony has going for it is a clearer and well-defined low range that doesn’t sound muddled when you crank the volume up.

Listening to music gives a genuine feeling of space, as if you’re listening to the music as it’s being played in a studio. Very little vocal masking occurs, even when there is a lot of instrumentation involved.

Are The Microphones Any Good?

It’s decent. When used for voice calling, the person on the other side can tell it’s a headset being used. When outside, they do sometimes pick up a little too much noise, like wind and passing vehicles. This can make it a little difficult for the person on the other side. Even then, we never experienced any issues or people complaining that they could not hear clearly.

What Is Noise Cancelling?

It’s a no-brainer that when it comes to these premium earbuds, most buyers want to know about the noise cancelling.

Sony has designed dual-sensor microphones on each of the earbuds to suppress as much of the environmental noise as possible when using the ANC function.

Sony WF 1000XM3 review

They also come with a handy android and IOS app that allows adaptive sound control and different presets. Whether you’re walking down a busy street, flying off on business or holiday, or relaxing at home, you can enjoy a tailored musical escape without any interruptions.

Speaking about interruptions…


Most earbuds connect only to one of the earbuds via Bluetooth, which then pairs with the other earbud. Sony has now made it more convenient by allowing two separate Bluetooth transmissions, one for each ear, which greatly reduces latency and allows for the best listening experience possible.

 Sony WF-1000XM3 Industry Leading Noise Canceling Truly Wireless Earbuds Headset

The earbuds come bundled with Bluetooth version 5, which means connectivity is easier and faster than ever. This means that some of the connectivity problems experienced by owners of the Sony WH-1000XM3 with the version 4 chipset are now a thing of the past.

They also come built-in with Alexa and Google Assistant is easy to set up within the Sony headphones app. With this comes ease of control over all technology in your home and workplace. Hands-free calls, scheduling dates, and setting reminders are all done by voice with your trusty Sony WF-1000XM3 earbuds.


Just from the case alone, these earbuds are here to make a statement. Much like their predecessors, the Sony WH-1000XM3, they come in matte black or white with copper accents. The design feels expensive to the touch with the silky matte finish.

Sony WF-1000XM3

In the box, you will find a set of different sized buds, so you can choose which size is most comfortable. As well as a USB type-C cable to charge up the case and earbuds. USB type-C means fast charge is also an option.

While we’re talking about charging…

How Long Is The Battery Life?

Sony’s website claims with day to day use; you’ll be getting around six hours on a full charge with the earbuds. However, we found those numbers to be relatively optimistic. We found battery life running between four to hours five in a single continuous play session instead of the six hours claimed.

The case further adds up to another 18 hours of power and charges relatively quickly. You can charge up the earbuds inside the case in an hour and a half. The case charges to 100% in three and a half hours.

sony wf 1000xm3 reviews

You can also disable noise cancellation to prolong the battery life of the earbuds up to 32 hours, but we suggest leaving the noise cancellation on, since it’s an absolute game-changer, and adds to the value of these headphones.

Who Are The WF-1000XM3 Really For?

These headphones are not cheap and are at the top of the mid-range in terms of price. But quality costs money which explains that. They are for people who often travel and want the cream of the crop in terms of active noise cancellation and audio quality. And are superior in every way when it comes to everyday use and comfort.

The top of the line noise cancelling means traffic on your commute, the humming of an airplane or the rest of the family vanishes into thin air when using these earbuds.

This means that for someone who really enjoys listening to high fidelity music, which at the moment is only available on some streaming platforms like Deezer, which supports FLAC streaming. On IOS, Apple has its own version of high fidelity AAC on Apple Music.

Sony WF-1000XM3 Pros & Cons


  • Active noise cancellation works incredibly well.
  • Superb audio quality.
  • EQ adjustment allows you to get the sound you want.
  • Excellent battery life.


  • Lack of waterproofing.
  • Frequent fliers might miss a cable option.
  • No wireless charging.
  • No on-earbud volume controls.

More Headphone Options

We most definitely really like the WF-1000XM3 from Sony, but they might not be right for you for some reason? If so, take a look at our in-depth reviews of the Best Headphones and Earbuds for Sleeping, the Best Headphones with Microphone, the Best Headphones for Rock Metal Music, the Best Waterproof Bluetooth Headphones, the Best Waterproof Headphones, the Best Clip On Headphones, and the Best Headphones under 100 dollars on the market.


Why should you buy these headphones?

Well, you’ll get high-quality audio processing from Sony, with top of the range active noise cancelling, wrapped inside a stylish pair of true wireless headphones.

Stylish, comfortable, and Sony’s high-quality audio support, these headphones are for audiophiles on the go. For music lovers who want something small and compact, but don’t want to sacrifice the quality of their listening experience.

So, the real question shouldn’t be why should you buy these headphones. It should be, why not?

Happy listening!

5/5 - (84 votes)

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About Joseph L. Hollen

Joseph is a session musician, writer, and filmmaker from south Florida. He has recorded a number of albums and made numerous short films, as well as contributing music to shorts and commercials. 

He doesn't get as much time to practice and play as he used to, but still manages (just about!) to fulfill all his session requests. According to Joseph, it just gets harder as you get older; you rely on what you learned decades ago and can play without thinking. Thankfully that's what most producers still want from him.

He is a devout gear heat and has been collecting musical instruments all his life. As his wife, Jill, keeps on saying, "You're very good at buying nice instruments, but terrible at selling them!".

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