Sony’s new WF-1000XM3 True Wireless headphones have a lot to live up to: Launched as part of the brand’s lauded 1000X family of noise-cancelling cans – that includes the award-winning Sony WH-1000XM3 – the expectation is that these true wireless buds will offer superior noise-cancelling and no lack of style.
Sony released a firmware update late 2019 for the WF-1000XM3 headphones that brings a bunch of improvements, volume control via the headset and a visible battery level indication of the charging case in the “Sony Headphones Connect” app. These updates may seem small, but they’re significant if you love these headphones already and want to make the experience work even better.
Touch controls are accessible from both earbuds. By default, double-tapping the left earbud alternates between noise cancelling and ambient sound modes, while double-tapping the right earbud skips tracks. You can also access Google Assistant by saying, “Ok Google.” Both of the touch panel controls may be remapped via Sony’s app.
Under the hood, the earbuds use a dual-microphone array to combat external noise. This updated system is far more effective than the company’s WF-SP700N noise cancelling earbuds. The WF-1000XM3 also features a new ANC processor, the QN1e. This facilitates 24-bit audio signal processing while acting as a DAC. Sony claims this also improves energy efficiency, meaning you get to enjoy extended listening times.
Finger Touch Control
Just like its over-ear sibling, you can enter a conversation at a moment’s notice without removing the earbuds. Holding a finger over the left earbud decreases the volume and allows ambient noise through. After all, the earbuds support automatic ear detection, something we’ve seen in the AirPods, Samsung Galaxy Buds, and Beats Powerbeats Pro. This allows the proximity sensor in each earbud to detect insertion and removal, thereby playing and pausing music accordingly.
You can pair the Sony true wireless earbuds via NFC or the traditional Bluetooth pairing method. Either works perfectly fine. The earbuds operate via Bluetooth 5.0 and support a 10m wireless range. Generally speaking, connection strength is impressive, possibly due to the new antenna placement within each housing. You can’t connect to more than one device simultaneously, though.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 is a prime example of how far true wireless earbuds have come. The earbuds’ noise-cancelling runs circles around their few competitors while the sound quality, fit, and design are all stellar.
Pricing and Availability
The WF-1000XM3 (retail price S$ 349.00) is available at selected Sony Stores, Sony Centres and Sony authorised dealers.