Sony Wf-1000xm3 Noise Canceling Wireless Ear-buds Review

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In 2017, when Sony launched WF-1000X a wireless ear-buds pair, in market it failed to compete with others. In 1000X series of headphones number of blunders was there including less battery life, sound delay while watching video-clips, connectivity issue and absence of cable between ear-buds. Due to all these issues these headphones were plagued.

Sony is now back and presenting their latest ear-buds “WF-1000XM3” in August and almost all of complains from original one were considered. And they too much improved their look, battery life as well as signals problem. Moreover “noise cancellation” feature is outstanding and make this one different from others.

Design

As compare to old shiny ones M3s has more professional, nice and glossy appearance. These ear-buds along 1000XM3 headphones look super nice because the logo of Sony and microphone inlet is decorated with copper/rose gold accents. (These are also available in grey color but the black ones are eye-catching). For finding the ideal fitting Sony provides a number of ear tips. Seven different options are available in them. I am using the ones with comfortable foam. This issue of little numbness in ears present in WF-1000X is resolved and with the passage of time M3 became more comfortable. Sony provided more comfort to ears by changing the design and placed extra grip on ear-buds bottom part which stays inside your ears.

You can adjust sound playback with right and noise cancellation with left ear-bud as both ear-buds have touch control area. By clicking on left ear-bud it switches between ambient sound and noise cancellation which allows outside voices to come into your ear in conditions when you want to hear outside voices.

By 1000X headphones, Sony introduced “Quick Attention mode” in which by placing your finger on left ear-bud stops music and activate ambient sound until your finger is placed on this point. And soon you remove your finger sound playback and noise cancellation comes again. It is beneficial for quickly paying on coffee shop or to hear a short announcement etc.

Standardized music controls are present on right ear-bud: 3 times for going back, 2 times for skipping towards next audio, 1 time to play or pause. Moreover to reach Google Assistant and Siri you can press and hold it. Similarly in other Sony headphones, the ear-buds of M3 also provide Google Assistant integration on very deep level. Its ability is to automatically read your main notifications loudly.

There are no voice controls present on ear-buds of M3. You will do this by your chosen voice assistant or from device directly. By using companion mob application of Sony you can adjust EQ or customize few choices. But many people will not do that and that’s totally fine as they don’t miss too much.

Feature

According to Sony as compare to old WF-1000X, in M3s they improved the feature of “active noise cancellation” and this is completely true as I can also assure you this.  

In 1st model, bit over noise isolation was provided along a nice seal of ear-bud but effect is absolutely better noticeable as well as pronounced in this one. According to my thinking these are ear-bud form factor restrictions or limitations that are not equalized with Sony headphones. Sony has much to improve in their bigger cans which entirely cover ears of listener and to compete with NC level at very small size which is a tough challenge.

Nonetheless, whatever Sony is providing here creates all contrast on busy lanes of city, office or stuffed subway train. You can hear noise of your companions if no sound is playing. But every voice slows down and fades once audio initiates. QN1e processor of company is the reason of few improvements which Sony told me and to both ear-buds a 2nd noise cancelling mic is also added. There are various designs available from ear-buds including Air-pods which are present in your locality as it is a world of differences. Beyond my preference even Power-beats Pro provides extra outer noise to come between my music and me.

Connection

Both ear-buds connect to the phone at once due to a recent Bluetooth chip set present inside. Like old wireless ear-buds in this one there is no connected system between both ear-buds in which one was at mercy of other. So now if one is on charge in the case then you can easily use other ear-bud of Sony M3 to make call or listen to music. While watching videos now there is no longer that relay between both ear-buds because it extremely decreases the audio lag. Now it reached on this level that it is unnoticeable if there is bit delay in lip sync. On my laptop, iPhone XS and Pixel 3A XL I tried it. So truly all weak areas of audio lag was vanished and at some points video restarting was sufficient to get things back to normal if somewhere it popped up.

At start when you put these ear-buds both of them reports about their battery timing and connectivity status loudly this is due to simultaneous Bluetooth connection. At first time it was a bit awkward but now its totally fine to me.

Many questions about quality of mic came from all of you. By using M3s whenever you make a call people will absolutely tell you that you are utilizing the ear-buds but you will never receive complains related to voice clarity or hearing. For listening other person more clearly on the call noise cancellation remains activated during the calls. Moreover Sony is trying to optimize your sound from surrounding. It is nothing something new or advance as Air-pods have all these facilities already. But you will not pull out ear-buds when you want to use mobile. But remember you cannot pair with 2 devices as Sony did not allow it yet. That’s why if any call comes and you want to answer it while you are watching movie or listening sound on laptop than you have to remove the ear-buds out. In M4 model, Sony kindly work on this issue.

Noise cancellation

Along noise cancellation activated battery life is of 6 hours at one time charge. But if you turn this feature off than timing lengthens to 8 hours. For wireless ear-buds this timing is the highest. For listening up to twenty four hours along feature of noise cancellation or for thirty two hours without it, this is allowed by the sufficient extra juice hold by the case. By charging with USB-S for ten minutes you can have playback of ninety minutes as told by Sony. Unluckily, wireless charging is not present in M3s.

Its charging case is fine and wide in size. Height of its case is similar to Air-pods of Apple but two times wider than them. But I like it when ear-buds comfortably magnetically held and move towards their place. I was frustrated while using Power Beats Pro due to charging issue but in this one it is almost impossible if you put both inside case and one of them is not charged. Everyone have their own taste but I really like those lights present on case and both ear-buds which is used by Sony for  charging indication.  

LED which is present in ear-buds blinks blue when you use or pair the ear-buds. While wearing it, you are unable to notice this but others can. Like other wireless ear-buds now-a-days, sound will be pause as soon as you remove one ear-bud from your ear till you put it back.

Sound

By the sound of Sony M3s, I am happy and satisfied. From some days I am utilizing ear-buds of final production and with unit of preproduction I also spent seven days. During all this time even at intersections and troubling areas where wireless ear-buds face connectivity issues I have not seen or felt any dropout in the connection. So this is a huge achievement by Sony in this item.

On M3s. SBC and AAC is supported by Sony for codecs but their own largest LDAC or apt-X is not supported and this is disappointing for sound nerds. But Sony is insisting that you will hear top-notch sound due to Digital Sound Enhancement Engine HX and 24-bit audio signal processing which will improve sound quality of lossy audio. And my tests proved it right. M3s is giving ample base, better separation and without any problem it is able to juggle genres whatever I am listening either Lizzo, Jason Isbell, Carly Rae Jepsen, The National, or Maggie Rogers. M3s has proven itself quiet capable and better.

Soundstage which you are getting from Master & Dynamic MW07s or Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless ear-buds cannot compete with M3s because it is not quiet absorbing and wide (But the price of both of them is higher than Sony).  But other ones including Samsung Galaxy Ear-buds, Jabras and Air-pods are beaten by Sony’s M3s quiet easily. According to me, M3s have equal level of Power beats Pro because still it is also in my favorites of wireless ear-buds. And in this competition Sony gets extra points due to its amazing noise cancellation feature.

Unluckily, one major drawback of WF-1000XM3 ear-buds is this that they are not resistant to water or sweat. And it is more frustrating when Sony do its marketing in the summer season along ear-buds set that are not suitable to wear while running or doing exercise or even on a hot day when you are sweating. It is noted by an employ of Sony that he never heard any complain of breakage from gym in all old models. In original model resistance towards water was also absent. But in this much price I think so it is not accepted.  

1000XM3 ear-buds of Sony will face a tough competition. There are other good options of Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless and Powerbeats Pro with small difference of money. Number of options including Jabra’s Elite 65ts, Galaxy Buds, and AirPods are available in a bit less. But if you are ready to ignore lacking of water and sweat resistance than it is quiet easy for you to be appealed by Sony. Without any distraction it is only you and music. Feature of noise cancellation is absent in true wireless buds of Bose till now. May be they will introduce it in coming year. So in this context Sony can claim to have an important feature which in this form factor is still not provided by even Samsung, Apple or other brands.

Verdict

After thinking a lot, I can say that as compare to Sony’s very 1st true wireless ear-buds M3s have much more advancement and improvement. And it will got perfection if in the upcoming models Sony adds multiple pairing of devices and sweat/water resistance. Then it will be a perfect choice for everyone.

Last update was on: August 3, 2020 9:43 pm

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