Review: Sony WF-1000XM3 In-Ear Wireless Stereo Headset

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This is a new generation in-ear wireless stereo headset by Sony, the WF-1000XM3 to incorporate better noise-cancelling functions and looks cool both wearable and carryable with a nice black-gold matt finishing – the one we are reviewing.

Competition is surely tough in the noise-cancelling in-ear headsets jungle with fierce predators such as the Sennheiser and Apple in the same territory. When we were handed with Sony’s WF 1000XM3, it was like love at first sight with its sexy look and design. Enough said, let’s dive into it to find out if it has the substance to match the look.

Design
The Case: The matt finishing welcomes your hand in a warm and soft-grip just as though you are holding the hand of your loved ones, it is considerably large but decent enough for a good grip. Although the finishing touch is comfortable, built was a little plasticky, perhaps we have seen a cooler one from Klipsch, but it’s a different ball game altogether, technically.

The case itself, when fully charged, holds up to 24 hours of battery juice to recharge the earphones when you are on the go. it uses the USB Type-C for fast charging. When the case is closed with the earphones in it, you will see a red light to indicates its charging. It takes about three and a half hour to fully charge the case. Once you flip up the top case, you will see a set of cool WF-1000XM3 sits snugly in its nest.

The earphones: It looks like a pair of complex engineering devices with many precision cuts and corners, and actually it was meant to be designed that way to securely fit with stability. The high friction rubber surface helps to secure the earbuds in your ears so they won’t slip out easily. The earphones itself was solidly built and it holds an average of 6 hours of non-stop listening.

Once the earphones are plucked out from the case, it’s automatically activated for pairing in blue lights mode, pairing is easy, just activate Bluetooth function in your smartphone and you will the earphones are there ready to be paired. Once paired, you will hear the voice signal “Bluetooth connected” and you are ready to roll. Once it’s back to its case, the earphones will turn off and back to charging mode.

Feature & Performance
The key selling point of the WF-1000XM3 is its noise-cancelling. So we test this one first, without reading the manual to see how easy it is to use. When popped it into our ears, we use the tap mode to find out which earbud controls the noise-cancelling, it is just either left or right, so we started on the left and there it was, the default noise-cancelling control is on the left earpiece. In the “Noise Cancelling” mode, we can hear the immediate noise cut off from the ambient, but what we think was, the in-ear headphones still could not perform to its fullest compared to its bigger sibling the on-ear headphone type, the WH1000XM3. We still could hear some ambient noises slip through, perhaps you could minimise this further when you choose the best fit of earbuds included for your ear shape. (three sizes included).

One tap on the earpiece will activate the “Ambient sound” mode to hear essential noises such as public announcement or speech. Another tap on it will “Off” the ambient sound control and brings you back to real life. The tap works in a loop of three controls. According to Sony, it was built on a dedicated HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1e where not only cancels significantly more noise across almost all frequencies but also uses less power.

Let’s have some music! That’s what the earphones are all about. The control of the music player is on the Right earpiece. One tap is to play or stop, double-tap to skip to next song, triple-tap to go back to the previous song. If there is an incoming call, you simply double-tap it to receive or ends a call. A long press on the earpiece will launch Google Assistant (Siri, sorry) for some voice commands. When we pull out the earpiece, the music stops, and it resumes when it is tuck back into your ear. Controlling the soundtracks are pretty straightforward. The volume control is not set on the earpiece as default, if you want to customise it, you can do so with the Headphones Connect App. Otherwise, the standard volume control is handled by the smartphone.

To make full use of this the WF-1000XM3 headphones, as mentioned earlier, you will need to download the “Sony Headphones Connect” app from iOS or Android. Once it is launched and paired with your earphones, you can basically access to more features of the earphones. We love the battery meter indicated in the app and also the Ambient sound control level to set your level of noise cancelling. The app will regularly update the latest software and sends it to the earphones to keep the earphones works in top conditions.

For hardcore music lovers who prefer their own music presentation style, the Equzlier feature allows you to set your own music style along with a set of presets built-in too. The music bass was excellent if you want some cool and upbeat kinds of music. It was built on a 6mm driver unit to deliver rich, clear and bombastic sound. and with the help of QN1e processor, it produces stunning sound at minimal distortion. Using the earphones for tv shows and movies are equally enjoyable too. Making hands-free calling with the WF-1000XM3 headphones deliver clear voice quality and you can take calls using either, or both, of the earbuds.

The pair of earphones are, sadly, not designed for sports, it is not water or sweat resistant but we still wear it for a run. You can guess, nothing much happens and we just wiped the sweats with damped cloths.

Final Verdict

One of the best looking True Wireless headphones in the market today, the WF-1000XM3 combines advanced noise-cancelling tech with great audio performances. The WF-1000XM3 is available for RM949, at this price point for all the audio-tech offered, it is really hard to say no to own it. Sold by Sony Malaysia.

Review: Sony WF-1000XM3 In-Ear Wireless Stereo Headset