Sony’s WH-1000x series of Active Noise Cancelling headphones is a product that always has us excited whenever there’s a new release.
This is my full review of the Sony WH-1000x M3 Active Noise Cancelling Headphone.
Design & Comfort
A first glance you might mistake the Sony WH-1000x M3 with the older Sony WH- 1000x M2 headphones. But when you start to look a bit closer you’ll see subtle differences that make the new M3 a bit more refined and distinct. Comfort has been the biggest improvement on the M3, the headband is now more contoured to your head, there’s also a lot more padding for your head. Sony also redesigned the padding on the earcups to be much softer and plush. Not only are these headphones much more comfortable and stable, but the headphone is also now 20 grams lighter compared to the older model.
Sony claims up to 30-hours of playback with ANC on, but only a few active noise-cancelling headphones on the market will actually deliver 30-hours. In real-world testing, using at 50% volume with all the setting on you’ll get a total of 20 hours of playtime from full to dead.
The M3 is now upgraded to USB-C Charging, but what makes the M3 better than most, is its ability to fast charge. Last year’s model provided 70 minutes of playtime when charged for 10 minutes, but now with the newer M3, 10 minutes of charge gives you a whopping 5 hours of playtime.
Make sure to use a 1.5amp charger or higher to get the fast charging capabilities.
Control & Playback
The touch-sensitive controls are back on the right earcups and it works extremely well. All the actions are intuitive and responsive, so gentle glides with the finger are all you need. Swiping up and down or holding the upper and lower regions of the earcup raises and lowers the volume. Swiping left and right will skip or goes back to the previous track and you simply double-tap to pauses and plays.
With that same right earcup, you can place your hand over it and the headphone will lower your music, turn on the microphones, and pump in outside noise allowing you to hear what’s going on around you. This feature is especially convenient when you’re in transit, at the airport or on a plane, you don’t need to remove the headphone to hear what people are saying. On the left earcup, you’ll find the power and all your other buttons and features.
The Sony 1000x M3 doesn’t offer Bluetooth 5.0. Bluetooth 5.0 is the new industry standard for Bluetooth connectivity and with Sony being so forward-thinking and innovative, you would have expected the M3’s to have the latest in Bluetooth technology. But the M3 uses Bluetooth 4.2 and it still works well, you are able to get up to 90 feet in wireless range before the audio starts to break up. One thing to note is that the M3 can only pair with one device at a time so if you use multiple devices with your headphone on a daily basis, you will have to switch between devices constantly and this can become frustrating very quickly.
One of the best things about Sony is that they offer the best wireless audio transmission. So these headphones will be perfect for Audiophiles.
Sony Headphones Connect App
Using the app, the headphones have the ability to automatically change the amount of noise it lets in based on your movement. The feature might come in handy if you’re walking on the street and you might want to hear your surrounding for safety and as soon as you sit down, the headphone will automatically turn on the ANC back to 100%. You can also turn this feature off and leave ANC on permanently.
There’s an ANC Optimizer that you can perform for maximum effectiveness in new environments, so you can position where you want the audio to come from. You also have an equalizer that offers some changes to the audio.
If you are an Audiophile, one thing to note is that the app will force you to switch from high-quality audio transmission to mp3 quality. This will only be an issue for those with high-end audio files. But you can use your own dedicated equalizer instead on the Sony app to avoid this minor set back.
Active Noise Cancelling (ANC)
Whether you’re using the headphones in transit, on a plane, in a coffee shop or even in the city, once you turn the ANC on all the ambient air will be gone. Voices are greatly reduced, cars are barely heard and when using on a plane you will feel very isolated and in your own space. One thing to keep in mind is that ANC headphones can’t fully block everything out but Sony has implemented their own processor that takes their noise-cancelling technology to a whole other level making the M3 headphones a step above everything else on the market.
When it comes to sound quality, the M3 is very similar to the previous generation, but the M3 is just that bit more refined. So audio is slightly brighter and more forward. These headphones are very bass focused so you get very punchy bass and with so much emphasis on the bass, the mids aren’t as bright but vocals are clear. The highs are present but there’s not a lot of brightness or clarity.
The Sony 1000x M3 is not perfect, but when compared to most of the other ANC headphones on the market, it ticks the most boxes. The M3 is great on comfort, the best at fast charging, one of the best in battery life, the best at active noise cancelling and not to mention the best bass-rich audio experience. This makes Sony WH-1000x M3 Active Noise Cancelling headphones the current king of ANC headphones. Read Now: Best Active Noise Cancelling Headphones