In-depth Review: Sony WH-1000Xm3 – Best Wireless Headphones of 2018/2019!

Review of the newest iteration of one of the most popular wireless noise cancelling headphone series.

There will also be some comparisons to some of the heavy hitters in this segment. Please excuse my voice at times, I’m feeling a little under the weather.

If I’ve missed out on anything please feel free to let me know!

Timeline

Accessories: 1:32
Design and comfort: 3:16
Build quality and design: 4:09
Battery life and bluetooth codecs: 8:00
Features: 10:39
Call Quality: 13:33
Sound Quality: 14:21
Conclusion and Comparisons: 21:00

Comments

Michael McGrath says:

Finally

Doloris Peng says:

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Han Tee says:

WH-1000XM2 does support multi devices connection at the same time, I managed to connect my iPhone and my NW-A45 at the same time. While listening to NW-A45 music, I can still answer phone calls when someone called me through iPhone. I believe WH-1000XM3 does support the same function. Btw, I sold my XM2 and pre-ordered XM3(SINGAPORE). XD

Andrew Buenahora says:

Black or silver? Can’t decide on the color to get. Both look quite nice.

Joseph Davenport says:

Just asking because I still have my Bose qc35ii if you had to choose between the Beats Studio 3 and the Sony 1000 xm3 which one would you choose?

Antoine P says:

Thank you, although I thought this review was going to make the Bose or Sony choice easier, you’ve just made it harder! I have compared a friends QC-35s side by side with my HD-650s and the SQ was “acceptable” for a travel/commuting headphone, but only just. Sony have done a great job taking on Bose with the improved looks, NC, comfort and USB-C. I dislike touch controls and would miss multi-pairing (killer feature, I love it on my little Bose Bluetooth speaker), but if the SQ was better I would go with Sony now. Might have to wait a bit longer for the MkIII Bose, the MkII improvements were such a disappointment!

gil cohen says:

Is the input lag gone using it wired?

Leroy Smith Jr says:

Is the ear cups removable?

Elliot Rekcah says:

which one has better noise cancellation the Sony WH-1000Xm3 or the Bose qc35?

Joseph Davenport says:

I really need your honest opinion/answer I’m really confused on keeping the Bose qc 35ii or exchanging them back for the B&W px I know you stated that they sound much better the the Bose but it seems the Bose is clearer but I do notice distortion at higher volumes but RRatings is saying the Bose sounds better than the PX!

Kreeson Naraidoo says:

How do these compare to the WH 1000X-M2? Would love to hear from you if you have any info to share. kreeson@picomoments.com

Святослав Якобчук says:

What volume do you set on headphones when you compare them? What is the music genre and environment? The sound will differ a lot depending on that circumstances.
I had the Bose QC35 II and they have a huge lack of mids if you listen not too loud (25-35%). I used it for canceling office noise during all work day. I’ve listen it on 30% of volume, electronic, dance and trance genres. Then I tried Sony 1000XM2 and its sound was much better then Boses. Plus you can adjust EQ. Though Bose is VERY comfortable to wear all day long unlike Sony which gives maximum 2 hours of using until you become fill discomfort.
What would be your conclusion about sound quality of Bose 2 and Sony 3 if you use them in such settings? You can’t listen to music so long on max volume. You probably will set something about 30% of volume.

Chris Pineo says:

What is the function of the “Sound Control Positioning”? I understand what it does, I’m not clear on who wants the headphones to do it?

indrakumar chaudhary says:

Why black? Silver is not cool?

Saintflocka says:

Hows the sound vs the nuraphones? I have nuraphones and the only thing keeping me from returning them is the sound which is great but the comfort is awful for me.

Psyche Edgar says:

oes it sound better than the PXC 550 ? Thank you, great review.

NeRdY gEeK says:

Does it sound better than the Bowers and Wilkins PX

Victor Bergsten says:

What about burn-in time? heard they need 24h to perform at its best

Joseph Davenport says:

You might laugh when I tell you this but last night I used a friend of mine Beats Studio 3 cuz we both drive trucks and we was going to the same place it was a two-hour ride and I let him hold my Bose qc35 and he let me use his Beats Studio 3 and wow I was really shocked on how good those things sounded man maybe because I haven’t used beats in 3 years but I couldn’t hear nothing but the music I tested them standing in front of the engine and when I say I couldn’t hear nothing I couldn’t hear nothing but the music the ANC was pretty good!

Ken Lin says:

I don’t know if you can see my comment, but I would like to choose a best noise cancelling headphone for Japanese animation theme. And the clarity and volume of human sound in the piece is even more important than the base, I also heard a lot of people said Sony’s headphone specifically good at that kind of animation pieces, do you agree with this opinion? (I personally don’t like the base louder than the human voice)

Ken Sheppa says:

Are the ear pads user replaceable?

Michael McGrath says:

R.I.P Bose QC35

MrPicoSun says:

I’m an avid podcast listener, as well as music. How will these fare?

Michael McGrath says:

What happened to holding the ANC button down for optimiser. Is that still there or is it automatic now?

Shrink21 says:

@TheGamingAudiophile Please let me know if you can put the xm3s ear cups on the xm2. Thanks mate.

Bhavin Shah says:

hey! Since both WH1000XM2 and XM3 have removable ear cups, any idea if the XM3’s ear cups fit on XM2’s? Coz XM3’s ear cups are better.

Daniel Batchelor says:

Hey mate, I’m in the market to buy some headphones for gaming… Any chance you could please recommend a set of really good wireless headphones, under $600.00 for gaming without a microphone attachment as I plan to get a separate microphone on a boom arm!

Thanks very much mate!

Svend Bent Jensen says:

The way you’re fondling those headphone for 24 minutes straight, the two of you should really get a room…

Calvin Ong says:

Can you share how does WH-1000XM3 handle device switching? Can you just tap the BT connection on another device and it will switch or do you have to disconnect the existing device first? Thanks!

Ftayte Smith's says:

which is more comfortable Sony xm3 and Bose qc35ii cuz I want to buy Headphone for spending my long time with study.

Jianxun Dang says:

Nice review. but I am surprised to hear you say that 1000xm series has worse sound quality than QC35. Anyway, I have already ordered xm3. My biggest worry is the band-cracking issue.

Speedsk8r says:

Great review I have the sennheiser pxc 550’s, the parrot zik’s and the Bowers and Wilken’s Px’s and your right the Bowers are awesome except the damn comfort of the earcups with glasses.

Mike Oye says:

I will note all the features the Sony has for everyone’s convenience.

1. Support for all bluetoothcodecs except aptx low latency.
2. Auto off timer
3. NFC connection with phone by placing phone on the left ear up
4. tell you battery level when short press power button.
5. You have 4 surround sound modes. Arena, club, outdoor stage, concert (tons of fun can be had with this if you know how to manipulate eq)
6. Supports usb-c
7. ANC
8. Ambient Sound
9. Google assistant support with dedicated button (sacrifice noise cancelling control)
10. Noise cancelling button
11. Adaptive noise cancelling
12. Optimizer for noise cancelling
13. Sound control positioning (change where sound comes from and get tripped up, in Sony app).
14. Cover right ear cup to let noise in
15.barometer that adjusts for altitude changes
16.touch controls on the right
17. Long press right ear up to activate google assistant (available only if noise cancelling button is off. This is different from a dedicated button as a dedicated button is faster and reads notifications
18. EQ change in app. You have 5 frequency ranges to modify from which is more consistent than most apps which give you 10-15 which sounds like a good deal but you have to know what you’re doing or whatever headphone you use will sound like garbage.

I hope I’m not missing anything haha

TheGamingAudiophile says:

To elaborate on the sound further with the WH-1000Xm3’s… It works well with the target audience Sony is going after. It’s a warm, smooth, forgiving and powerful sound that MOST people will enjoy. It’s not a sound built for accuracy and fine details. It’s a sound built for easy listening and pleasure when in noisy environments. However, being that I have tested endless headphones and have a WIDE know how on different sound signatures I typically like to steer to towards a balanced sound that keeps favoritism to any frequency at a bare minimum. This allows you to truly hear EVERYTHING the artist put into the recording. So from the lowest rumbling of the bass to the highest ting in the trebles, I want to hear it ALL. It’s like having a TV, you want to to be able to display ALL of the colors in that movie, right? You prefer that it does that than display reds too much and greens too little right? You see where I’m going here. What people don’t seem to understand is that I am ranking the sound of headphones depending on how close to the original sound the artist and producers heard and that’s why the Sony’s sound inferior to my ears in comparison to all of the headphones also in this video. But, it’s still the best ANC wireless headphone you can buy today.

Michael McGrath says:

Why is an audiophile reviewing bluetooth headphones anyway?

Robin Laux says:

Can ANC be active while using the cable input?

Rasmus Sonck says:

Is It true that if you watch YouTube videos the sound comes a bit late like It has latency time?

Einar K says:

Hi,
Thank you for a good review.
Have you tested the sound with and without Noise Canceling på XM3?

I have XM2.
With noise cancelling off, the sound becomes much clearer and much better bass when I use EqualizerAPO64 for windows. Sound does not get as good with noise canceling on.
Sorry for bad english.

Ryujinx says:

I love how you break down the categories in the timeline, I wish more reviewers follow the same method. Subscribed.

Raymond Zhu says:

If you use the 3.5mm cable, will the latency still be there for gaming?

David C M Lee says:

Compare those headphones with the Bang&Olufsen, please?

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