The Sony WF-1000XM3 are neutral-sounding and versatile truly wireless headphones. Their design is stylish and feels premium but it’s a bit hard to find a good airtight fit as their tip options are larger than average. This mainly negatively impacts their bass reproduction and isolation performance. On the other hand, once you've achieved an airtight fit, their ANC feature makes them good for commuting and blocks out a good amount of noise in an office setting. They also provide about seven hours of continuous battery life, their case yields an additional three full charges, and they're compatible with a companion app that gives access to decent audio customization.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 are decent for mixed usage. They have a fairly well-balanced sound profile that can be easily customized in their companion app. They're also somewhat comfortable, although getting an air-tight fit is a bit hard to achieve due to their large ear tips. On the upside, they're small and lightweight. Their ANC feature is satisfactory and helps make them a good option for commuting and going to the office. If you can find a stable fit, they’re great for sports. Unfortunately, like most Bluetooth headphones, their latency may be too high for watching video content or gaming.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 are decent for neutral listening. These truly wireless headphones provide well-balanced audio reproduction for you to listen to your favorite tracks on the go. Some may find low-end bass to be a little lacking while others may notice a touch of boominess, but their mid and treble ranges are even and well-balanced. That said, their large tips make finding an airtight fit a little tricky and could have an impact on how you hear certain sounds, particularly in the bass range.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 are good for commuting. These earbuds are portable and easy to carry around, and their isolation performance is pretty good. They do a decent job of isolating you from low-frequency noises like bus and plane engines. They also have a seven-hour battery life, so they’ll last you enough for your daily commute or a decently long flight abroad.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 are great for sports. They're portable, breathable, and durable. However, if you can’t find a good fit due to the large ear tips, they might not be the most stable option for physical activity. Sony doesn't list an official IP rating, which is disappointing.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 are decent for the office. The in-ear fit might not be the most comfortable for long listening sessions, but they're still fairly comfortable if you find the right fit, and they isolate very well against work environment noise like ambient chatter and an A/C system. They also don't leak that much audio, so you can listen to music at fairly high volumes without worrying about disrupting coworkers. A brief stint in their case to charge, meanwhile, should give you enough battery to get you through a day at the office without too much of a problem.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 aren't suitable for wireless gaming due to their incompatibility with PS4 and Xbox One consoles and their high audio latency on PC.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 are truly wireless headphones that can't be used with a wired connection.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 are adequate for phone calls. Your voice should sound reasonably natural, if a little thin, but people on the other end of the line may have a hard time understanding you if you're calling from a loud or crowded environment. Thankfully, they block out ambient noise to a satisfactory degree.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 are stylish, but slightly bulky truly wireless headphones. Their design is sleek and the metal materials used give them a high-end look. However, the buds are quite large and protrude far outside of the ears. They come in two colors: black and silver.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 are only decently comfortable. They're lightweight and come with a wide range of foam and silicone ear tips, but unfortunately, the smallest option is larger than other headphones we’ve reviewed so far. The bud itself is also quite big and protrudes from the ear at a severe angle, so they may not be the best option if you have small ears. Achieving a stable fit necessitates pushing them pretty far into your ears, which may not suit everyone either.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 have touch-sensitive surfaces on each bud for different controls. You can easily control music and calls and can cycle between their ANC and talk-through modes. Holding down the left earbud enters the talk-through mode, and goes back to ANC as soon as you release it. You can also trigger your device’s voice assistant by holding down the right earbud. These commands can be remapped inside the app for both earbuds, but out-of-the-box, these headphones don't offer volume controls on the buds. The touch-sensitive surface is responsive, easy to use, and offers good audio feedback when making inputs. If you prefer a control scheme with physical buttons, check out the Jabra Elite 75t Truly Wireless.
Like most in-ears, the Sony WF-1000XM3 are very breathable. They don’t trap heat inside your ears and you shouldn’t notice a difference in temperature when wearing them. This makes them a good option for sports, as you won’t sweat more than usual.
Like all truly wireless in-ears, these are very compact. You can easily put them inside a pocket or a bag, making them easy to carry around. They also come with a nice hard charging case.
The Sony WF-1000XM3's case is great. It's stylish and feels well-made. The case is a bit bigger than those of some competitors, but it can still easily fit in some pockets or a bag. It holds the headphones well thanks to magnets and protects the buds from physical damage and scratches.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 are very well-built truly wireless headphones. While they don’t look quite as premium as the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless, they still feel well-made. The materials used feel like they could survive a few accidental drops without a problem. Even the case feels well-made and gives a high-end impression. Unfortunately, we didn’t find any information on an official IP rating for dust and water resistance. For a water-resistant pair of sports truly wireless headphones, check out the Jaybird Vista Truly Wireless or the IP55-rated Sony WF-SP800N Truly Wireless instead, although we don't currently have a test to measure this.
The Sony WF1000XM3 are decently stable, with caveats. The smallest tip option is quite large, which made finding an air-tight fit a bit harder, especially if you have small ears. They also don’t have any stability fins or ear-hooks. If you like this design but would like something that's more stable, check out the Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro Truly Wireless.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 have a well-balanced, if slightly boomy, default sound profile overall. While they're lacking a touch of low-end bass, which may displease fans of EDM and hip-hop, they're still versatile enough to suit a wide range of musical genres and audio content. If you're not a fan of the way they sound out-of-the-box, you can change their sound profile via a graphic EQ in their companion app.
Their frequency response consistency is remarkable. If you achieve a proper fit and an air-tight seal using the assortment of tips that come with the headphones, then you should be able to get consistent bass and treble delivery every time they use the headphones.
The Sony WF-1000XM3's bass performance is great. The slight lack of thump and rumble may be caused by the poor seal we achieved in testing due to the overly large ear tips. If you manage to get an air-tight seal, you’re probably going to get a good amount of low-bass thump, which is quite common on Sony headphones. On the other hand, we measured an overemphasis in the high-bass, which results in a bit of excess boominess in the overall bass performance.
Their mid-range performance is excellent. There’s a small overemphasis in the low-mid, which is the continuation of the overemphasized high-bass. This results in slightly cluttered vocals and lead instruments. Overall, however, vocals and leads are still very present, detailed, and clear.
The Sony WF-1000XM3's treble accuracy is great. The response is very flat and even for most of the range, resulting in detailed, present, and bright vocals and instrumentals.
Their peaks and dips performance is amazing. There's an extended bump across the bass range and low mids that muddies and clutters some vocals and lead instruments. A dip in the mid-mids nudges them toward the back of the mix. However, neither of these shifts is too noticeable.
The Sony WF-1000XM3's stereo imaging is outstanding. Their weighted group delay is well below the audibility threshold. This ensures a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction. Also, the L/R drivers of our test unit are well-matched in frequency, amplitude, and phase response. This is important for the accurate placement and localization of objects in the stereo image. Note that these results are only valid for our unit and yours may perform differently.
The Sony WF-1000XM3's passive soundstage is awful. Due to their closed-back design and lack of interaction with the outer-ear, sound is perceived as coming from the inside of your head rather than speakers placed in front of you. Their soundstage won't be perceived to be as open as that of open-back earbuds like the Apple AirPods 2 Truly Wireless 2019 or the Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless.
These headphones are compatible with both Sony's Virtualphones Technology (VPT) and 360 Reality Audio (360RA) virtual surround sound features, though the manufacturer states that only one feature should be activated at once for the best experience. Using 360RA comes with a couple of caveats. Firstly, only a few premium-tier music streaming apps offer support for it, including Deezer, TIDAL, and nugs.net. Also, relatively few songs are mixed with 360RA, and the quality of said mix can vary depending on the artist. With that said, this score is not based on the features' performance, but whether or not the headphones support it.
The Sony WF-1000XM3's weighted harmonic distortion performance is great. Aside from a spike in the high-mids at high volumes, there are no sharp peaks, resulting in mostly clean and pure audio reproduction.
These are the settings used to test the Sony WF-1000XM3. Our results are only valid when using this configuration.
Update 03/20/2020: We received some feedback from our users that a recent firmware update to these headphones improved their ANC performance. Upon updating and retesting the ANC, we didn't find any significant changes to their isolation performance and our test results remain the same.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 do a decent job of blocking out ambient noise. Their ANC system is most effective in the bass range, which comprises of sounds like bus and plane engines, but it actively hurts their passive noise isolation capabilities with higher-pitched ambient noise. They can be used in public transit, but won’t block out as much noise as other in-ears because it’s hard to get an air-tight seal. On the upside, they're outstanding at isolating against work environment noises like ambient chatter and great at reducing the noise coming from an A/C system. For even better isolation with ANC earbuds, check out the Amazon Echo Buds Truly Wireless.
The Sony WF-1000XM3's leakage performance is impressive. It's likely that you won’t bother surrounding colleagues in an office setting.
These truly wireless headphones have an integrated microphone.
The Sony WF-1000XM3’s integrated microphone's recording quality is okay. Recorded or transmitted speech sounds natural and fairly clear, but might be perceived as thin.
The Sony WF-1000XM3's microphone delivers middling noise handling performance. It struggles to separate speech from ambient noise in moderately loud situations like a busy street, so this mic should only be used in quiet environments.
The Sony WF-1000XM3's battery performance is decent and is quite good for truly wireless headphones. We measured almost seven hours of continuous playback on a single charge, which is slightly over the advertised six hours. According to the specs sheet, you can get about eight hours if you disable the ANC feature, though we don't test for this. Their case gives you three additional charges. There’s also an auto-off timer that can be set inside their companion app.
Update 12/13/2019: We had previously incorrectly listed the app to support room effects. You can now also remap the tap controls to volume control, playback control, ambient sound control, google assistant or Alexa, or simply assign them to no command. Also, the low-volume issue is now resolved and you don't need to play around with the in-app volume slider when first using the headphones.
Unlike the Sony WF-XB700, the Sony WF-1000XM3 are compatible with the Sony|Headphones Connect app which gives you a lot of customization options and excellent control over the features. The app is easy-to-use and offers quite a few uncommon options. It gives you live data on the adaptive noise cancelling as well as a slider for the noise cancelling and ambient sound control. There's also a graphic equalizer with presets, as well an in-app media player. You can even remap the touch-sensitive controls of each earbud for their respective hold or tap commands.
These truly wireless headphones have good connectivity. They're Bluetooth 5.0-compatible and have a case that supports NFC, which makes pairing very quick and easy. However, they don’t support multi-device pairing, which is quite disappointing for high-end headphones. The Sony WF-1000XM3's latency might be a bit high for watching video content. However, apps and devices compensate for this lag, so your real-world experience may vary. On the other hand, it seems that there’s a delay between the buds. We experienced a noticeable delay where the right earbud would play/pause music before the left bud, which is frustrating.
These headphones are Bluetooth-only.
As expected, the Sony WF-1000XM3 True Wireless headphones can’t be used wired for audio.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 can connect to Bluetooth-enabled PCs, but their latency is too high to recommend them for gaming. They're also incompatible with PS4 consoles.
These headphones can't connect to Xbox One consoles.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 come with a nice, hard charging case that holds three charges. The case doesn’t have any inputs other than the USB-C charging port.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 are versatile and premium-feeling truly wireless in-ears. They have decent noise isolation performance, a fairly well-balanced sound profile, and a sleek high-end design. Unfortunately, it's quite difficult to get an air-tight seal as their tip options are larger than other similar headphones. For more options, see our recommendations for the best truly wireless earbuds, the best wireless earbuds, and the best wireless earbuds for running.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless are slightly better truly wireless headphones than the Jabra Elite 75t Truly Wireless, depending on your usage. The Sony have ANC which provides better overall noise isolation, though they do leak more sound. They also have a more neutral sound profile, a more premium-feeling case, and a better app with more customization options. On the other hand, the Jabra Elite 75t are more comfortable, have better controls, and a significantly smaller case which provides the same overall battery life. Fans of bass will also likely prefer the Jabra's more excited sound profile.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless are better overall headphones than the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2. The Sony have a more balanced sound, have a longer continuous battery life, and are slightly more comfortable. Their ANC is also better at isolating noise, especially in the bass and mid-range.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless and Sony WF-SP800N Truly Wireless are stronger in different areas. The WF-1000XM3 have a more premium build, a more effective ANC system, and a better-balanced default sound profile. The WF-1000XM3 also support NFC pairing and have more options in the Sony| Headphones Connect app, including surround sound configuration. On the other hand, the WF-SP800N have a more comfortable, stable fit, leak less audio, and last longer on a single charge, though their case holds one charge to the WF-1000XM3’s three, so the WF-SP800N’s total battery life is less.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless and the Jabra Elite Active 75t Truly Wireless are both decent truly wireless earbuds for mixed usage. The Jabra are designed for exercise, and have a sportier design that's also quite a bit more comfortable. The Sony have a more casual look, but feature active noise cancelling which helps isolate more ambient noise in the bass range. They're also even more customizable, but it can be hard to get a proper fit and they're not rated for any kind of waterproofing.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless are more versatile truly wireless headphones than the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless. The Sony are a bit more comfortable and come with more tip options, including foam tips. Their sound profile is better-balanced and they last longer on a single charge, while their app offers more customization options. On the other hand, the Sennheiser have volume control, which the Sony are lacking, and their fit passively isolates ambient noise better than the ANC feature of the Sony. They also support the aptX-LL codec, which is nice.
The Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless offer similar performance to the Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless but have much better ANC. The Apple sound profile is similar, though the Sony are much more consistent among users. The Sony also provide longer battery life and a much more customizable app with a full graphic EQ for both Android and iOS. The Apple, on the other hand, are more comfortable in the ear and feel significantly more stable.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Truly Wireless and the Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless are both very decent truly wireless headphones that have different strengths. The Sony provide ANC and do a much better job at blocking out background noises, but they're heavier and not as comfortable as the Samsung. The Samsung feel much more stable in the ear, and may be better to wear to the gym, though the Sony feel slightly more premium and well-built. While the Samsung's out-of-the-box sound profile is more well-balanced, the Sony has a full graphic EQ within its app to adjust their sound. Finally, though the Sony have a slightly longer battery overall within their case, the Samsung last almost double the length of time off a single charge, so don't need to be recharged as often.
The over-ear Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are better for noise isolation while the truly wireless Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless are noticeably more portable. The over-ear design of the WH-1000XM3 is more comfortable and they have a better battery life. The true wireless WF-1000XM3s have a more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box, but you can EQ both inside their app to your preference.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless are better everyday truly headphones than the Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless due to their superior noise isolation performance. The Sony have a decent ANC system and will block ambient noise well, especially if you have a good fit. Their battery life is also better and their app offers more control and customization options. On the other hand, the Bose have an open-back design that will be great for running outside and staying aware of your surroundings. They also have a more neutral sound profile, but it can’t be customized with an EQ.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless are better than the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 Truly Wireless. The Sony have ANC, which gives them much better noise isolation, better controls, a more neutral out-of-the-box sound profile, a better app, and a better microphone. On the other hand, the Anker feel much more stable in the ear thanks to their stability fins.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless are better headphones than the Sony WF-XB700 Truly Wireless. The WF-1000XM3 have a better build quality and come with an ANC feature, though it isn't the most robust. They also have a more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box, though some listeners may prefer the WF-XB700's overemphasis in the low and mid-bass ranges. You can easily adjust the sound profile of the WF-1000XM3 in the companion app using the graphic EQ and presets, which the WF-XB700 lacks. On the other hand, the WF-XB700 lasts longer off of one charge, but the WF-1000XM3 has more charges built-in to its portable case.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless are better truly wireless headphones than the Klipsch T5 True Wireless. Although we had fit issues with both headphones, the Sonys still perform better, with better sound quality and a noticeably better noise isolation performance thanks to their ANC feature. They also have a dedicated app that allows customization options.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 are slightly better truly wireless headphones than the Jabra Elite 65t. They are a bit more comfortable, although getting a tight seal can be an issue for some. They also feel better built, although not as stable as the Elite 65t. They also have a decent ANC feature, but the passive isolation from the Elite 65t's fit blocks even more noise.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless and the Jabra Elite Active 65t Truly Wireless are both decent mixed usage headphones and perform quite similarly. The Sony are slightly more comfortable and come with more tips, but it’s hard to get an air-tight fit with them. Their app offers slightly more features and they have a longer battery life for a single charge. On the other hand, the Elite Active 65t have a better passive isolation performance than the ANC of the XM3, they have volume controls, and can be connected to 2 devices simultaneously.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless are much better noise cancelling truly wireless earbuds than the Sony WF-SP700N Truly Wireless. The WF-1000XM3 have a significantly better-balanced sound profile, isolate a lot more noise, and have a much longer battery life. Their compatibility with Sony | Headphones Connect is improved, they're easier-to-use, and they have a much more premium design.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless are better everyday true wireless headphones, while the Beats Powerbeats Pro Truly Wireless will be the better option for sports. The Sony have decent isolation performance, which is good for commuting, while the Beats are one of the most stable sports headphones we’ve reviewed so far thanks to their ear-hook design. The Beats are also a bit more comfortable and have volume control, which the Sony are lacking. They also have an impressive 11-hour battery life, which is noticeably longer than the Sony.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless are similar truly wireless in-ears to the Amazon Echo Buds Truly Wireless. The Sony have a better app, feel slightly better built, have a better-balanced sound profile, and last longer off a single charge. The Amazon, on the other hand, feel much more stable in the ear, have a longer overall battery life, and isolate ambient sounds much better.
The Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018 and the Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless are different types of headphones that serve different purposes. The Bose are better if you find over-ears more comfortable and want something with a long, continuous battery life. The Sony are more portable, and can still last you all day thanks to their charging case, though they don't last nearly as long off a single charge. Their ANC feature also doesn't work nearly as well as the Bose.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 and the JBL Reflect Flow have very similar performance, however, the Sonys are more expensive, due to added features such as active noise cancelling, and tons of customization options through their mobile companion app. Battery life on the Sony is not as long on a single charge, but they charge faster, and the earbuds have an auto-off feature.
The Sony WH-1000XM3 are better noise cancelling over-ears than the Anker Soundcore Life Q20. The Sony are more comfortable, they isolate significantly more noise, and they feel a lot better-built. They're also compatible with an excellent companion app which gives you access to tons of sound customization features. There's a premium price to pay for the Sony, though. The Anker are a lot more affordable, and still perform decently overall, so they may provide better value for some users.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless and the Samsung Galaxy Buds Truly Wireless perform quite similarly. The Galaxy Buds are slightly more comfortable due to their small size and it’s easier to get a nice fit with them. Both headphones sound very similar, but the Sonys have a better EQ inside their companion app. The WF-1000XM3 also have better bass-range isolation, which will be better for commuting.
The Sony WI-1000X Wireless and the Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless are both versatile noise cancelling in-ears, although the WI-1000X have a slight edge. Thanks to their neckband design, their controls are easier-to-use, their battery lasts longer on a charge, and they have much better noise cancelling. The WF-1000XM3 have a very premium design and are a better choice for fans of truly wireless designs.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless are slightly better-performing Bluetooth earbuds than the Bang & Olufsen E8 3.0 True Wireless. The Sony have a more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box and are compatible with an excellent companion app that provides a ton of customization options. They have some pretty notorious issues with their fit, however, the Bang & Olufsen tend to fit most people more securely, and are more comfortable for some as well.
The Jaybird Vista are better sports headphones, while the Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless are going to be more versatile headphones. The Vista are more stable and more comfortable, which is great for sports. They are also rated IPX7 for water resistance, while the Sonys lack an official rating. On the other hand, the WF-1000XM3 have an ANC feature that does a passable job at blocking out ambient noise and have more battery life for you to use during the day. The Vista’s sound will be more customizable thanks to their great parametric EQ.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless are better true wireless in-ears than the Apple AirPods 2 Truly Wireless 2019. The Sony closed-back design, mixed with their ANC feature, makes them better at isolating against ambient noise, which is useful when commuting or at the office. The Sony audio reproduction is also noticeably better, on top of having a better touch-sensitive control scheme. On the other hand, the Apple have one of the most comfortable fits for in-ears if their one-size-fits-all design suits you. They also take less than an hour to fully charge, and you might see improved performance if your mobile device can take advantage of the H1 chip.
The Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2017 and the Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless each serve different purposes, so they don't perform in the same ways. The Astro are designed for gamers who need an excellent microphone and prefer a more open sound quality, while the Sony are noise cancelling truly wireless earbuds made to help block out the noise of a busy commute or workday.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless are better Bluetooth in-ears than the Nura NuraLoop Wireless. The Sonys are more comfortable, have a more portable truly wireless design, and have a better-balanced default sound profile. On the other hand, the NuraLoop have a much better ANC feature, last a lot longer off a single charge, and have a unique personalized custom EQ that automatically finetunes your headphone's sound profile.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless are better truly wireless headphones than the Microsoft Surface Earbuds Truly Wireless. The Sony feel slightly better-built and have a much more accurate and well-balanced default sound profile that's more consistent among various users. They also have ANC which helps them block out drastically more background noise than the Surface Earbuds. Finally, they also last longer off a single charge and have a much better companion app. On the other hand, some people may prefer the earbud fit of the Surface Earbuds, as they don't enter the ear canal nearly as deep. Their large touch-sensitive surface also allows for additional functionality, such as integration with Microsoft 365, which could be useful for some people.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless are better-performing truly wireless headphones than the TOZO T6 Truly Wireless. They have active noise cancelling, a more neutral sound profile, and better battery performance, However, since the Sony can be challenging to get fitted in your ears correctly due to their large earbuds, the TOZO actually end up isolating more overall noise passively. This can vary from person-to-person, though.