Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Updated Feb 24, 2020 at 10:34 am
Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless Picture
7.4
Mixed Usage
7.2
Neutral Sound
8.0
Commute/Travel
7.2
Sports/Fitness
7.6
Office
5.9
Wireless Gaming
7.6
Wired Gaming
7.0
Phone Calls
These headphones were replaced by the Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Yes
Noise Cancelling Yes
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Sony WH-1000XM3 are great headphones for commute and travel, and they're a decent option for most uses. They have an excellent battery life, a great wireless range, and one of the best noise cancelling that we've measured so far. They also have a sleek new design that's slightly more comfortable than previous models. They isolate a bit more and leak less than the often-compared Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018, and they have more customizable features. However, they're not as comfortable as the Bose, and their default sound can be a bit too bass-heavy for some. On the upside, you can EQ them via the app.

Our Verdict

7.4 Mixed Usage

Decent for mixed usage. The Sony WH-1000XM3 are versatile wireless over-ears. While some may find them slightly too bulky for sports, they're comfortable and have one of the best ANC that we've measured so far. They also sound decently well-balanced; if you want to customize your sound profile, they come with a great EQ. Unfortunately, they have a bit too much latency for watching videos and gaming.

Pros
  • Comfortable and premium-looking design.
  • Great active features and app support.
  • Excellent noise cancellation.
Cons
  • Poor latency for watching videos.
  • Slightly bulky design.
7.2 Neutral Sound

Okay for neutral listening. The Sony WH-1000XM3 have a decently well-balanced sound that delivers a lot of bass, and sound good with instruments and vocals. Unfortunately, the high-bass is slightly overemphasized which tends to make them sound a bit boomy. Their treble range is also slightly lacking, giving them a slightly dark sound overall. If you want to tone down the bass, however, these headphones come with a pretty good EQ via the app. While they'll sound good for most listeners, they don't have the most spacious soundstage, making them not the most ideal choice for more neutral listeners.

8.0 Commute/Travel

Great for commuting. The Sony WH-1000XM3 have one of the best isolation we've measured and should block the ambient noise of most commutes and noisy environments, especially if you have a bit of music playing in the background. They also have easy-to-use controls and a long 27-hour battery life that should be more than enough for long flights and most commutes.

7.2 Sports/Fitness

Alright for sports use. They have a comfortable wireless design and a good control scheme. Unfortunately, like most closed-back over-ears, they won't be the most breathable headphones for sports, and they're a bit bulky which makes them slightly unstable when running and working out.

7.6 Office

Good for office use. The Sony WH-1000XM3 have excellent noise cancellation, they're comfortable, and don't leak as much as some of the other wireless over-ears we've tested, making them a good choice for the office.

5.9 Wireless Gaming

Disappointing for gaming. The Sony WH-1000XM3 aren't Bluetooth compatible with the Xbox One or PS4. While they can be used wirelessly on PC, they have a bit too much latency for gaming, and their mic is average at best. On the upside, they have a simple audio cable that you can plug into your console controllers for audio.

7.6 Wired Gaming

Good for wired gaming. The Sony WH-1000XM3 are comfortable for long gaming sessions thanks to their padded design. They also have a decently well-balanced sound profile that delivers bass. Unfortunately, when wired, you'll only get sound - these headphones aren't microphone-compatible with either the Xbox or PS4. On the upside, if you prefer playing JRPGs or other single-player games, then these headphones will be good for wired gaming.

7.0 Phone Calls

Reasonable for phone calls. With an average microphone, the Sony WH-1000XM3s have mediocre recording quality: voices may sound thin and muffled. If you take calls on the bus or train, the microphone will struggle to fully separate speech from background noise. However, these headphones fare better in quiet to moderately noisy environments.

  • 7.4 Mixed Usage
  • 7.2 Neutral Sound
  • 8.0 Commute/Travel
  • 7.2 Sports/Fitness
  • 7.6 Office
  • 5.9 Wireless Gaming
  • 7.6 Wired Gaming
  • 7.0 Phone Calls
  1. Update 9/10/2020: We have updated their portability test score and test settings.
  2. Update 2/5/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.4.
  3. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  4. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.
  5. Update 8/2/2019: We've updated the Power saving feature score as it turns out the auto-off timer of these headphones is only triggered when they are disconnected from their source rather than when being inactive for a while.
  6. Update 3/11/2019: We've updated the Noise Isolation text with a re-test of the XM3's ANC, after the 4.1.1 update.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The Sony WH-1000XM3 have a slightly different headband design than their predecessors, the Sony WH-1000XM2 and Sony MDR-1000X. The headband has a two-tone finish with pleather coating over the pads. It doesn't look quite as premium as the Sony WH-1000XM2's metal frame, but its profile is much lower, making it a sleek alternative. The ear cups, on the other hand, are fairly similar to the previous models, but have cool accents around the vents and the Sony logo. They come in two color schemes: an understated black, and a more flashy white color scheme.

8.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.6 lbs
Clamping Force
0.8 lbs

The Sony WH-1000XM3 are a bit more comfortable than the Sony WH-1000XM2. They have better, softer pads, a new headband design that better fits the contours of your head, and they're a slightly lighter fit. This results in a more comfortable design that you can wear for longer. These headphones are also closer in comfort to the Bose QuietComfort 35 II, although the Bose are still a bit more comfortable overall. On the upside, the WH-1000XM3 and the Sony WH-XB900N are the most comfortable Sony wireless over-ears we've tested, so you can wear them for hours without feeling any fatigue or soreness as long as the breathability isn't an issue.

7.6
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Good
Feedback Decent
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control On/Off
Talk-Through
On/Off
Additional Controls Voice Assistant

The Sony WH-1000XM3 have the same touch-sensitive control scheme as the Sony WH-1000XM2 but are more responsive to swipe gestures. The controls are fairly easy to use: swipes up and down control the volume level; left and right swipes rewind and skip tracks, respectively; and double-tapping is the multi-function button to pause or resume audio, as well as to manage calls. If you cover the touch-sensitive pad, you can also temporarily mute your music if you need to pay attention to your surroundings. Finally, the ambient button on the left cup can activate aware mode - if you prefer, you can reconfigure this to trigger Google Assistant via the app instead. While feedback is less intrusive compared to previous models, the auditory beeps/cues aren't as loud, especially at high volumes.

Update: 11/21/2018: There are a few complaints online that the WH-1000XM3's touch controls don't work properly in colder climates. While we do plan to implement a cold and heat test in a future update, we can confirm that this headset's controls don't work as expected in below zero conditions.

6.5
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 5.8 C

The Sony WH-1000XM3, like most closed-back over-ear headphones, aren't very breathable. Despite the thicker pads, they don't make your ears too much warmer than the Sony Sony WH-1000XM2. However, they can create a good seal around your ears, and prevent airflow. If you use these headphones while running or working out, you'll sweat, but for more casual use, they should be fine.

6.0
Design
Portability
L 5.6 "
W 6.0 "
H 3.2 "
Volume 108 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required No

Update 09/09/2020: We have remeasured the dimensions of these headphones, which has slightly lowered their portability score.

The Sony WH-1000XM3 are about the same size as the Sony WH-1000XM2. They have a slightly lower profile headband that doesn't take up as much space in your bag, but it's not a very significant difference since the headphones are fairly bulky overall. On the upside, they fold into a more compact format which makes them somewhat portable, and they come with a pretty good and sturdy case.

8.0
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 7.1 "
W 8.1 "
H 2.4 "
Volume 136 Cu. Inches

The Sony WH-1000XM3 come with a sturdy hard case that will protect the headphones from scratches, minor falls, and water damage. It has a fabric finish instead of the pleather-like coating of other Sony headphones, which some may prefer. It's not the most portable case, but it'll easily fit in larger bags.

8.0
Design
Build Quality

The Sony WH1000XM3 have a great build quality and a premium look and feel that should easily withstand a couple of accidental drops. The new headband design is sturdy and flexible, and the ear cups are dense. Unfortunately, the new headband is coated with pleather-like padding that won't fare as well over time as the metal frame of the Sony WH-1000XM2. They also have a similar yoke/hinge design to the Sony WH-1000XM2, which may be prone to cracking. We'll continue to monitor the discussion threads for any major defects with the headband that may warrant a score change. However, for now, they're one of the better-designed wireless over-ear headphones we've tested and feel more premium and durable than the Bose QuietComfort 35 II.

7.0
Design
Stability

The Sony WH-1000XM3 are stable enough for a light jog, but won't be the ideal headphones for working out and exercising. Their wireless design and slightly better fit than the Sony WH-1000XM2 make them a bit more stable. However, since the ear cups are moderately heavy and stick out a bit like the Sony WH-1000XM2, they'll sway a lot depending on the intensity of your work out routine.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones
  • Audio cable
  • USB-C cable
  • Airline adapter
  • Manuals
  • Carrying case

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
3.25 db
Treble Amount
-3.05 db

The Sony WH-1000XM3's sound profile is overall bass-heavy, while the treble lacks detail. With this default state, these headphones will be good for listening to genres like dubstep and electronica. However, if this sound profile isn't right for you, the Sony | Headphones Connect app offers several preset EQs that can better suit your listening preferences.

8.3
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.34 dB

The frequency response consistency is great. Similar to the Sony MDR-1000X, Sony WH-1000XM2, and Bose QuietComfort 35 II, the Sony 1000XM3 seem to be using their noise cancelling system to check for bass consistency. Therefore, in the bass range, they perform extremely consistently. In the treble range, they're also quite consistent, but not as much as the bass range. This results in consistent delivery of bass and treble across multiple users and re-seats.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
7.0
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
4.28 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10 Hz
Low-Bass
3.82 dB
Mid-Bass
5.09 dB
High-Bass
4.87 dB

The bass accuracy is okay. Consistently overemphasized throughout the entire range, the response is generally even and flat. Bass will be deep, heavy, and punchy, which is good if you like listening to genres like EDM. However, this comes at the expense of the mid and treble ranges: overpowered, they may sound a little muddy in comparison.

9.4
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
0.85 dB
Low-Mid
0.4 dB
Mid-Mid
-0.09 dB
High-Mid
-0.01 dB

The mid-range performance is excellent. The entire range shows a well-balanced and even response, which is important for the accurate reproduction of vocals and lead instruments. The slight broad dip between mid-mid and high-mid won't be noticeable to most.

7.6
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.25 dB
Low-Treble
-1.83 dB
Mid-Treble
0.21 dB
High-Treble
-12.11 dB

The treble accuracy is good. The response throughout the range is even and well-balanced, but there's a broad dip between low treble and mid-treble: these headphones will sound warm and lack a little bit of detail, which will be most noticeable on vocals and lead instruments.

7.5
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.84 db
Dips
0.8 db

The Sony WH-1000XM3's peaks and dips performance is good. The peak in the high bass will give extra thump to your tracks. However, the peak in the mid-treble can make some instruments and vocals sound piercing, although this might not be audible to everyone.

7.9
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.23
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
1.86
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.77
Weighted Phase Mismatch
8.26

The Sony WH-1000XM3 have good imaging. Because group delay falls below the audibility threshold, it should produce tight bass and transparent treble reproduction. Our test unit's L/R drivers are also well-matched in amplitude, frequency, and phase response, creating a stereo image with accurate placement and object localization (such as voices and sound effects). However, these results are only valid for our unit, and they may not be the same for every pair.

3.7
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
2.68 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
9.23 dB
PRTF Distance
5.13 dB
Openness
0.2
Acoustic Space Excitation
2.9

The Sony WH-1000XM3's soundstage, like that of most other noise cancelling headphones, is poor. In order to create an out-of-head and speaker-like soundstage, the pinna or outer ear needs to be activated with resonances. Our tests show a good amount of pinna activation, suggesting a relatively large-sized soundstage. However, the low accuracy of the response also suggests that this soundstage is perceived as being located inside the head, resulting in a slightly unnatural feel.

6.4
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
On/Off
Speaker Modeling
On/Off
Room Ambience
Presets
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
Yes

The Sony WH-1000XM3 offers Virtual Surround, an acoustic effect unique to Sony products. With this technology, you can control sound positioning in a 360-degree environment. These headphones also can turn multi-channel content into 3D binaural audio.

Sony additionally offers 360 Reality Audio, a format available through the Sony Headphones Connect app that produces a better spatial quality of sound. To use this, however, you'll need to subscribe to a streaming service compatible with this technology.

7.3
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.380
WHD @ 100
0.198

The weighted harmonic distortion performance is okay. While there's a peak for both frequencies between the low and mid-treble, the overall distortion remains fairly low. Overall, all frequencies fall within good limits, which should result in clear and pure audio reproduction.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
Unknown
Power
On
Connection
Unknown
Codec
aptX, 16-bit, 48kHz
EQ
Off
ANC
On
Tip/Pad
Default
Microphone
Integrated

The results are only valid for these test settings.

Note 09/09/2020: We have updated the ANC setting from "Maximum" to "On".

Isolation
9.8
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-29.9 dB
Bass
-23.03 dB
Mid
-27.24 dB
Treble
-39.7 dB

The WH-1000MX3's ANC (active noise cancelling) is outstanding, and one of the best we've measured so far. When compared to older models such as the Sony MDR-1000x and Sony WH-1000XM2, these headphones have better and more consistent noise isolation, thanks to their improved design. Throughout the entire range, these headphones provide outstanding noise cancelling, whether you're on the bus or at the office. Better still, if you need more options, the Sony Headphones Connect app allows you to adjust the amount of noise cancelling according to your preferences.

Update: 03/11/2019: Some users have been experiencing a reduction in noise cancelling performance after the 4.1.1 update. We re-tested our Sony WH-1000XM3, but from our measurements, it doesn't seem like there's a noticeable difference in noise cancelling efficiency. You can check out the results for yourself here. However, we may have gotten lucky with our unit since the consensus online seems pretty mixed on this issue. You can participate in the discussion thread below if you're also experiencing this issue.

7.4
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
37.09 dB

The Sony WH-1000XM3 have okay leakage performance. A significant portion of it is spread over the mid-range, resulting in a fuller-sounding leakage compared to that of in-ears and earbuds. However, the overall level of the leakage is relatively low.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No

The Sony WH-1000XM3 have an average integrated microphone.

6.3
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
226.27 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
3.72 dB
HFE
3044.37 Hz
Weighted THD
27.163
Gain
29.59 dB

The integrated microphone has a mediocre recording quality. Like most Bluetooth headphones, recorded speech may sound little thin, noticeably muffled, and lacking in detail. However, this is an improvement when compared to the Sony MDR-1000X and Sony WH-1000XM2. Overall, your voice should still be intelligible and understandable.

For Bluetooth headphones with a better performing microphone, take a look at the Jabra Elite 85h.

6.9
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
19.65 dB

The microphone is decent at noise handling. This mic shows a noticeable improvement over the older Sony MDR-1000X and Sony WH-1000XM2 models in terms of noise handling, making it well-suited for quiet and moderately loud environments. However, they may still struggle to fully separate speech from ambient noise in louder places.

Active Features
7.6
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
27 hrs
Additional Charges
0.0
Total Battery Life
27 hrs
Charge Time
2.2 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
No
Audio While Charging
No
Passive Playback
Yes
Charging Port USB-C

The Sony WH-1000XM3 have an improved battery performance over the Sony WH-1000XM2. They have about 27 hours of continuous playtime with ANC enabled. Unfortunately, they don't have a true smart auto-off timer and they need to be disconnected from a source to automatically turn off. However, you can set a timer for this in their app. The new, improved battery makes them suitable for most use cases, including commuting and travel since they will last more than a weekend of heavy use without running out of battery. That said, if you're looking for a pair of Sony over-ears and value long battery life above all else, consider the Sony WH-H910N/h.ear on 3 Wireless, which provide roughly 40 hours of continuous playback. The new USB-C connector also makes charging quick: a full charge takes less than 2 1/2 hours. If you forget to charge them, even 15 minutes can deliver up to 5 hours of playtime.

Update: 08/02/2019: The auto-off timer of these headphones only triggers when being disconnected from their source rather than when no content is playing. We don't consider this to be a feature that prolongs the battery life as you could put the headphones down on your desk and they could still be connected to your PC or phone that's near, and still drain out. The review and text have been updated.

8.5
Active Features
App Support
App Name Sony| Headphones Connect
iOS Yes
Android Yes
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
Graphic + Presets
ANC Control
On/Off
Mic Control No
Room Effects
Yes
Playback Control
Yes
Button Mapping Yes
Surround Support
Yes

The Sony | Headphones Connect app is a great app that gives you customization and control over some of the Sony WH-1000XM3's features. Well-designed and easy-to-use, this app has a great graphic equalizer with presets, and an in-app media player, as well as room effects and sound position options. There are even quite a few features that aren't common for other wireless noise cancelling headphones such as live data on their adaptive noise cancelling performance. You can also calibrate the ANC directly in the app instead of holding the NC/ambient button.

Update: 01/23/2019: Firmware update to version 4.1.0 adds Alexa support for the Sony WH-1000XM3 and also support for voice prompts and notifications in different languages. You can disable the voice prompts/notifications, but you will still get audio cues for more important messages like power on and off, low battery, and pairing.

Update: 08/02/2019: The auto-off timer of these headphones only triggers when being disconnected from their source rather than when no content is playing. We don't consider this to be a feature that prolongs the battery life as you could put the headphones down on your desk and they could still be connected to your PC or phone that's near, and drain out. The text has been updated.

Connectivity
7.2
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
4.2
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
Yes
Line Of Sight Range
185 ft
PC Latency (SBC)
224 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
200 ms
PC Latency (aptX HD)
204 ms
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
120 ms
Android Latency
331 ms

These headphones support NFC, making it easy to pair with smartphones. While they don't have simultaneous multi-device pairing like the Bose QuietComfort 35 II or the Microsoft Surface Headphones 2 Wireless, they're still one of the best Bluetooth earphones we've reviewed to date. Also, their newest version, the Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless, come with multi-device pairing.

Their latency is average for most Bluetooth headphones; they have slightly less latency when using aptX, but they still won't be the ideal choice for watching movies and gaming. However, the latency on iOS is much lower than on Android - you'll experience less lag with your Apple devices.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A

These headphones can only connect via Bluetooth.

9.5
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
Yes
USB Audio
No
Detachable Yes
Length 5 ft
Connection 1/8" TRS
Analog/USB Audio Latency
0 ms

These headphones come with an audio cable with no in-line remote or USB adapter. This means they don't have a mic that is compatible with consoles.

Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC/PS4 Analog
Audio Only
PC/PS4 Wired USB
No
PC/PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No

These Bluetooth-only headphones can only be used via Bluetooth on PCs. Due to their high latency, however, they aren't recommended for gaming. While you can still use these headphones by plugging in the audio cable into a PS4 controller, you won't be able to use your microphone.

Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio Only
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No

The Sony WH-1000XM3 aren't Bluetooth compatible with the Xbox One. While you can still use these headphones by plugging in the audio cable into an Xbox One controller, you won't be able to use the microphone.

0
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
No Base/Dock
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
No
Power Supply
No Base/Dock

The Sony WH-1000XM3 don't have a base/dock. If you want a versatile headset with a base that you can also use wired, check out the SteelSeries Arctis 7 2019 Edition Wireless.

Compared to other headphones

Comparison picture

The Sony WH-1000XM3 are one of the best noise cancelling headphones and best headphones for music that we've tested so far. They have great customizable features, excellent noise cancellation performance, and a decently well-balanced audio reproduction that sounds good with most tracks, although it can be a bit bass-heavy for some. On the upside, they have a sleek, new design that's a bit more comfortable than the previous models, they deliver a long-lasting battery life, and they're easy-to-use, especially with a lot of customizable features via the Sony | Headphones Connect app. See our recommendations for the best closed-back headphones and the best travel headphones.

Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018 have similar performance to the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless. The Bose are a bit more comfortable than the Sony and have a better-balanced and less bass-heavy sound profile. They also have an easier to use control scheme and can pair with multiple devices at once, which makes them a bit easier to use with your PC and your phone. On the other hand, the Sony are a lot more customizable than the Bose as their companion app gives you access to a graphic EQ, noise cancelling options and optimization, an in-app player, room effects, and codec options. The Sony also have a longer battery life with a better quick charge feature. Get the Bose if comfort is most important and you typically use headphones without companion apps. However, if you like to tweak your audio and want more features, the Sony are the better option.

Sony WH-XB900N Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are better headphones than the Sony WH-XB900N. They feel like more premium headphones and most importantly, their ANC feature is way better, which makes them more versatile and a better option for commuting. Their sound is also less bass-heavy, but you can EQ both headphones in their app to make them sound more like you prefer. On the other hand, the XB900N have better obstructed range and they also have remarkable battery life. They are overall very similar headphones, but the XM3 will offer better value.

Jabra Elite 85h Wireless

Both the Jabra Elite 85h and Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are very versatile ANC headphones. The Jabras have a better control scheme with physical controls, and their default sound profile is more accurate and better sounding. However, they don’t have the great noise isolation performance of the Sonys. Since you can easily EQ the XM3 in their app, they could be the best option for most. On the other hand, the mic of the Jabra is superior and sounds clearer and fuller, which is better for calls.

Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless

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.

Beats Solo Pro Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are more versatile than the Beats Solo Pro Wireless. The Sony over-ear design and amazing ANC feature block out a lot of noise, which is better for commuting or at the office. They're also noticeably more comfortable and have a better battery life. Their app also offers more customization and plenty of controls. On the other hand, the default sound signature of the Beats is more neutral, but you can't EQ them like you can with the Sony.

Sony WH-1000XM2 Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM3 are a better headset than the Sony WH-1000XM2, although not by much. The XM3 have a more comfortable over-ear fit thanks to the headband redesign and softer ear cup pads. They also have better noise cancellation, mostly due to their lower self-noise, and a better battery life performance, with a customizable auto-off timer and a quick charging USB type C connector. This makes them a bit more convenient in case you forget to charge them overnight. On the other hand, the XM2 now offer a better value for your money since they are now at a lower price point than the XM3. They also have a great noise isolation performance and a decently well-balanced sound quality that's not very different from the XM3. Their metal headband also feels slightly more unique than that of the XM3 and gives them a slightly more classy look and feel.

Shure AONIC 50 Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are better headphones for mixed usage than the Shure AONIC 50 Wireless. The Sony are more comfortable and can be carried around more easily due to their folding ear cups. They also provide a more consistent, well-balanced default listening experience as well as a substantially more effective ANC system, which dramatically lowers the volume of everything from plane and bus engines to the high-pitched hum of an AC unit. The Sony| Headphones Connect app offers a much broader range of options than the ShurePlus Play app, although the Sony's graphic EQ is less adjustable than the Shure four-point parametric EQ. The Shure also have an easier-to-use control scheme as well as aptX-LL compatibility.

Sony WH-H910N/h.ear on 3 Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are better wireless over-ear headphones for mixed usage than the Sony WH-H910N/h.ear on 3 Wireless. The XM3 are more comfortable, better-built, deliver a more consistent listening experience, and have a substantially more effective ANC system. They also have more options in the Sony| Headphones Connect app. Conversely, the H910N last much longer off of a single charge, while their integrated microphone does a better job of making your voice sound clear in quiet environments.

Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM3 are a slightly better noise cancelling headset than the Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless. The Sonys have a more premium, high-end build quality and offer better noise isolation for traveling and commuting in noisy conditions. The Sonys are also a bit more comfortable than the Sennheisers. On the other hand, the PXC 550 Wireless have more connection options, making them a great choice if you have a lot of devices that you typically use your headphones with. The PXC 550 Wireless also give you a bit more control over their active features, and they sound a bit better with their default sound profile although both headphones can be EQed fairly easily thanks to their respective apps.

Sony WH-CH700N Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM3s are more versatile headphones than the Sony WH-CH700N, thanks to their great noise cancelling feature. Even if the WH-CH700N are also noise cancelling, their isolation performance is sub-par and the feature barely does anything. The XM3s will be a better option for commuting and at the office, but their default sound profile might be a bit bass-heavy for more neutral critical listeners. If you care about sound fidelity, then the CH-700N might be a better option. They also have a longer battery life, but take a long 6 hours to charge fully. On the other hand, the XM3s are slightly more comfortable and have a nice touch-sensitive control scheme. They also feel more premium, but are significantly more expensive.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50X and the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are two different headphones that are targeting different uses. The M50x have a more neutral sound profile and are great for mixing or simply enjoying music the way it was supposed to be heard. The Sonys are noise cancelling headphones that have a more bass-heavy sound profile, but are great to use in noisy environments like your daily commute.

Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless and the Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless are two very different headphones. Some may prefer the comfort of over-ears while some would prefer the portability of a truly wireless design. When it comes to noise isolation, both are great, but the Sony are better in this regard thanks to their amazing ANC feature. On the other hand, the Apple are more neutral sounding and are noticeably more stable and breathable, which is great for sports.

Sony WH-H900N/h.ear on 2 Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM3 are a much better noise cancelling headset than the Sony WH-H900N. The H900N have a better-balanced default sound. They also have a cool look that some may prefer since they come in a lot more color schemes than the more premium XM3s. On the other hand, the WH-1000XM3 have a better noise cancelling performance that makes them a much better choice for your commutes. They're also a lot more customizable. They have a better battery life and drastically faster charge time that makes them a lot more convenient for day-to-day use, especially if you forget to charge your headphones overnight. They're more comfortable and look and feel a lot more premium than the H900N.

Bowers & Wilkins PX Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM3 are slightly better wireless noise cancelling headphones than the Bowers & Wilkins PX. The Sony are a lot more comfortable than the B&Ws out-of-the-box. They're lighter and have better-padded ear cups that do not clamp your head like the PX. The Sony also have a longer battery life, a better noise cancelling performance, and a more customizable app that makes them a bit more versatile for different listeners than the PX. The PX, on the other hand, are much better-built, look a bit more premium, and feel more durable. They also leak a less at high volumes, so they're a bit more suitable for noise-sensitive environments like using them at the office.

Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless have more features than the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless. The WH-1000XM4 support multi-device pairing, have a longer continuous battery life, and they offer some additional talk-through control options. However, the WH-1000XM3 are a somewhat better choice for neutral listening, as they have a more neutral, less bass-heavy default sound profile and a more consistent audio delivery. They also come with a Virtual Surround feature, which the WH-1000XM4 lacks.

Beats Studio 3 Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are better headphones than the Beats Studio 3 Wireless. They feel slightly more premium and sound a bit more neutral, but with a small excess in thump and rumble. Additionally, you can customize their sound to your liking easily inside the Sony app, which Beats is lacking. The ANC of the Sony is also noticeably better and will block out more ambient noise. On the other hand, the only place where the Beats is a better choice over the Sony is that their audio cable has an in-line mic and the Sony don’t. They also have physical buttons, which can be easier to use for some, especially since the touch-sensitive surface of the Sony is practically unresponsive in freezing conditions.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT

The Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are better headphones than the Audio Technica ATH-M50xBT. They have a great noise cancelling feature that is suitable for loud environments like your daily commute, and they are also more comfortable to wear for long periods of time. The Sony also feel better-built than the Audio Technica and their sound profile can easily be EQ’ed inside their app, which the Audio Technica don’t have. You’ll also get more battery life out of the Sony. On the other hand, the Audio Technica have a better default sound profile right out-of-the-box and some may prefer their physical button control scheme to the touch-sensitive one of the Sony.

Bose 700 Headphones Wireless

The Bose 700 Headphones Wireless and the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are both good wireless noise cancelling headsets that share a few similarities. Both are comfortable, feel well-built, and have touch-sensitive controls wrapped up in a sleek monochromatic design. The Sony are easier to use since the touch-sensitive surface is larger and can fold up into a more portable format. Both headphones have a more bass-heavy sound profile, but fans of customization are more likely to prefer the Sony due to their compatibility with the highly customizable Sony | Headphones Connect app. That said, the Bose have a vastly superior integrated microphone and even feature a mic mute button, which makes them slightly better for business users.

Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are better noise cancelling over-ears than the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless. 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.

Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless

The Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless and the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are both good headphones, but the XM3s might be better for most people. They are a bit more comfortable and their noise isolation is noticeably better, which makes them a better choice for commuting. On the other hand, the Sennheiser headphones have a more distinguished design with a nice and sleek retro look, which some may prefer. The XM3s have a touch-sensitive control scheme, which has trouble with cold weather, while the Momentum 3 Wireless have physical buttons.

SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless and the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless are rather different types of headphones, but both models are very versatile. If you're looking for a great noise cancelling pair of headphones to bring on your daily commute, go with the Sony, but if you want wireless gaming headphones that can also transition to more casual use thanks to their Bluetooth support, then check out the SteelSeries instead.

Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2017

The Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are better headphones for mixed-use than the Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2017, but the Astro will be a noticeably better pick for gaming due to their great dock and great sounding microphone. The Sony will be better for everyday use as their ANC will block out ambient noise and are a great option for commuting or using at the office. They can be used for single-player games if used wired, which makes them a decent option for some games, but won’t be the best for multiplayer games. On the other hand, the Astro are open-back, which means they won’t be a good option for outside use.

Razer Opus Wireless

The Razer Opus Wireless are slightly better over-ear headphones than the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless. The Razer feel a bit more stable on the head, despite being just as comfortable as the Sony. They also have longer battery life and a more accurate sound profile out-of-the-box, though they lack quite a bit of bass. While the ANC on the Opus is still outstanding, the Sony performs a bit better. You also get more customization options in Sony's companion app, but both apps feature a graphic EQ and presets. While some people may prefer the Sony's touch-sensitive controls, they don't work properly in the cold, so those who live in colder climates may prefer the Razer's physical buttons.

Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC

The Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are better headphones than the Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC. Most notably, the XM3s' ANC is excellent and blocks more ambient noise than the HD 4.50 BTNC. Their overall audio reproduction is more accurate, but with a slightly overemphasized bass, which can be EQ’ed inside their great app. The XM3 are also more comfortable and better-built than the Sennheiser. On the other hand, the HD 4.50 can connect to two devices simultaneously, and have slightly lower latency. Some may also prefer their control scheme with physical buttons over the touch-sensitive surface of the WH-1000XM3, which has trouble working appropriately in colder temperatures.

Nura Nuraphone Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are a better choice for everyday use than the Nura Nuraphone. Their ANC feature is one of the best we’ve tested so far and they are noticeably more comfortable too. You get access to more control commands thanks to their touch-sensitive surfaces, although they don’t respond well in freezing weather. You can also EQ them to your liking inside their app, but it won’t offer a personalization feature like the Nura’s app does. If you’re looking for headphones that are great overall and will be used during your commute, go for the XM3s. If you want a unique listening experience, go for the Nuraphone.

AKG N700NC Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM3 are better noise cancelling headphones than the AKG N700NC. The Sony have a more sturdy and more comfortable build, on top of having amazing noise cancelling capabilities. On the other hand, the AKG are more neutral sounding and might be a better choice for critical listeners who wouldn’t like the Sony's overemphasized bass. The Sony also have better battery life and more customization options. If you prefer physical buttons and think a touch-sensitive control scheme is too finicky and frustrating to use, then the AKG are a better option.

Microsoft Surface Wireless Headphones

The Sony WH-1000XM3 are better headphones than the Microsoft Surface Headphones. They are better-built headphones that have a better sound quality and ANC features. Overall, the XM3s are more versatile and more customizable thanks to the great companion app. On the other hand, the Surface Headphones have a better and more complete control scheme, and they have amazing wireless range performance that maxed out our testing facility. Being about the same price, we suggest getting the XM3 over the Surface Headphones.

Sennheiser PXC 550-II Wireless

The Sennheiser PXC 550-II Wireless are very similar to the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless. The Sonys are slightly more comfortable, feel slightly better built, and have much better noise isolation. On the other hand, the Sennheiser have better controls, a more stable fit, and a more accurate and less bass-heavy sound profile.

Sennheiser HD 650

The Sennheiser HD 650 and the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are differently-designed headphones to serve different purposes. The more bass-heavy Sonys have an excellent active noise cancelling feature to help isolate disruptive noise, while the more balanced-sounding open-back Sennheiser intentionally let in ambient noise to create a more spacious sound.

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H9i Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are more versatile headphones than the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H9i Wireless. The Sony noise isolation performance is better, and they will be better suited for commuting. Also, the Sony companion app is great and offers tons of controls and customization options. Additionally, the cups of the Sony are wider and should suit more ear sizes and shapes. On the other hand, the Bang & Olufsen has lower latency and feel like more high-end headphones.

Cowin E7 Pro Wireless

The Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless are noticeably better headphones than the Cowin E7 Pro Wireless. The Sony are better-built, more comfortable, have better noise isolation performance, and they have a better audio quality. The Sony also have a touch-sensitive control scheme, while the Cowin has physical buttons, which won't malfunction in freezing conditions like the Sony. The only things that the Cowin do that the Sony can't is provide audio while charging, and their latency is better.

Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are better than the Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Wireless. They're more comfortable, and have a better noise cancelling feature which is great for commuting and at the office. Their audio quality is also better and you can EQ them inside their companion app. On the other hand, the PX7 have a longer battery life and feel a bit sturdier than the XM3.

JBL Live 650 BTNC Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are better over-ear wireless headphones for most uses than the JBL Live 650 BTNC Wireless. The Sony are more comfortable, have better controls, and look and feel more premium and durable. Their default sound profile is slightly better-balanced, and they have one of the best ANC features we've ever tested, which does a remarkable job at blocking out all background noise. Their battery also lasts longer, and they have a better companion app. On the other hand, the JBL feel more stable on the head, and still have a well-balanced sound profile and a great app that includes a parametric EQ, giving you more control over your music than with the graphic EQ in Sony's app.

Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 Wireless 2016

The Sony WH-1000XM3 and Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 are both good mixed usage headphones, but each have their own positive points. The Sony have better noise isolation performance, while the BackBeat Pro 2 have a better out-of-the-box sound quality. However, Sony have a great companion app that has an EQ. The WH-1000XM3 are slightly better-built and feel more comfortable for most. On the other hand, the BackBeat Pro 2 support lower latency codecs and can be used with minimal wireless latency with the appropriate dongle. Also, the Sonys have a touch-sensitive control scheme, while the BackBeat Pro 2 have physical buttons.

JBL TUNE 750BTNC Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are much better headphones than the JBL TUNE 750BTNC Wireless. While both headphones are over-ears, the JBL aren't nearly as comfortable due to their awkwardly sized ear cups that tend to rest on top of the ears. Other than that, the Sony also feel much more durable, isolate much more noise thanks to their remarkable ANC feature, last almost ten hours longer off a single charge, and have a dedicated companion app so you can change the EQ of your headphones. On the other hand, the JBL charge quicker, can pair to two devices at once, and leak a bit less audio.

JBL CLUB ONE Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are much better active noise cancelling headphones than the JBL CLUB ONE Wireless. The Sonys are slightly more comfortable, and their ANC can block out more noise in each of the ranges. They also have a virtual soundstage feature and a longer-lasting continuous battery life. However, the JBL have a unique Silent Now feature that allows you to use the ANC without audio or Bluetooth connectivity. They can also simultaneously pair with up to two devices at a time, and when wired, they have full compatibility with PS4 and Xbox One.

Skullcandy Crusher 360 Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM3 are better and more versatile headphones than the Skullcandy Crusher 360 Wireless thanks to their great ANC feature. They also have a companion app that offers multiple controls and customization options that Skullcandy headphones don’t have. Additionally, the XM3s are more comfortable and better-built than the Crusher 360. On the other hand, the Crusher 360 have an in-line microphone that the Sonys lack, and their default sound profile is more accurate than the XM3’s.

Dolby Dimension Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are more versatile headphones than the Dolby Dimension Wireless. The Sony isolation performance is noticeably better, and they have a better audio reproduction, on top of having customization options inside their great app. They are slightly less comfortable and well-built than the Dimension, but most people should be satisfied with the Sony. They can also be used wired, even if the battery is dead, which you can’t do with the Dolby. On the other hand, the Dolby have virtualization and head tracking features that the Sony don’t have, and they support aptX-LL for watching video content.

Microsoft Surface Headphones 2 Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are better noise cancelling headphones than the Microsoft Surface Headphones 2 Wireless. The Sony isolate way more noise across the entire range, their sound profile is more neutral as well as better balanced, and they also have a virtual soundstage feature with room ambiance presets and longer battery life. However, the Microsoft have multi-device pairing up to two devices, they have easier-to-use controls, and they can also be used wired on the PS4 and Xbox One with full audio and microphone support.

Bose QuietComfort 35/QC35 Wireless 2016

The Bose QuietComfort 35/QC35 Wireless 2016 and Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are two great pairs of noise cancelling headphones, but for different reasons. The Bose are a bit more comfortable than the Sony and have a slightly better default sound that doesn’t have as much high bass, which makes them sound a tad bit more balanced overall. Their control scheme is made of physical buttons, which are easier to use. The Bose can also pair to two devices, which the Sony can’t do. On the other hand, the Sony are a lot more customizable than the Bose thanks to their great app. It gives you access to a good EQ, noise cancelling options and optimization, an in-app player, room effects, and codec options. The Sony also have a longer battery life with a better quick charge feature. Overall, get the Bose if comfort is most important for you. However, if you like to tweak your audio and want more features, the Sony are the better option.

Superlux HD 681 EVO

The Superlux HD 681 EVO and the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are two headphones at very different price points with different uses. The Superlux are entry-level audiophile headphones that have a fairly neutral sound profile and a semi-open back design to create a wider and more spacious passive soundstage. However, the Sony are more versatile. They're comfortable, their sound profile is also fairly balanced, and they have an integrated microphone, and they have a superb active noise cancelling feature. They're also wireless and their 27-hour battery should be more than enough to get you through a work day or commute.

JBL CLUB 950NC Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are better Bluetooth over-ears than the JBL CLUB 950NC Wireless. The Sony are a bit more comfortable, feel more durable and well-built, and have a better integrated microphone. They also have a slightly more bass-heavy sound profile which adds extra kick and thump without being overpowering. While both headphones have ANC, the Sony's is one of the best we've ever tested and works drastically better, especially at blocking out the low rumble of bus or plane engines. On the other hand, the JBL come with an audio cable with an in-line mic so you can take phone calls while using your headphones wired. The JBL also have physical buttons, as opposed to the touch-sensitive ones found on the Sony that don't work properly in cold climates.

Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are better and more versatile headphones than the Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT Wireless. They have a great noise cancelling feature, are more comfortable, and have a great companion app that offers plenty of controls and customization options. While the Audio-Technica have a better out-of-the-box sound profile, you can EQ the Sony with their app to suit your preferences. The Sony also have amazing battery life and can also be used wired with phones, which you can’t do with a normal 1/8” cable with the Audio-Technica.

1More Triple Driver

The 1More Triple Driver in-ear headphones and the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are very different. The 1More in-ears are more portable and sound very neutral. They’re a bit more comfortable than typical in-ears and are decently well-built. On the other hand, the Sony’s over-ear design is more comfortable, and their sound profile is a bit more bass-heavy, although the XM3 are compatible with the Sony app that allows you to customize their sound signature thanks to an EQ. They also have an excellent ANC feature to block out ambient noise surrounding you, which is great when commuting.

Sony WH-CH510 Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are much better Bluetooth headphones than the Sony WH-CH510 Wireless. The WH-1000XM3 have a much more comfortable over-ear design, have better controls, and feel much more premium and better built. The sound profile of the WH-1000XM3 is also better-balanced, and they block way more background noise thanks to their excellent ANC performance. On the other hand, the WH-CH510 have a longer battery life.

Jabra Evolve2 65 Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are more versatile headphones than the Jabra Evolve2 65 Wireless. The Sony are wireless over-ears that are even more comfortable to wear, better-built, and offer vastly superior noise isolation courtesy of a highly effective ANC system. That said, the Jabra have a much longer battery life, can connect to two devices at the same time, and have a boom microphone that's much better overall than the Sony's integrated mic.

Jabra Evolve2 85 Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless and Jabra Evolve2 85 Wireless have different strengths and weaknesses. The Sony block out more ambient noise, feel better-built, and offer a more consistent listening experience as well as a broader range of configuration options in their companion app. However, the Jabra support multi-device pairing, last longer off of a single charge, and have an easier-to-use control scheme. The Jabra's boom mic also has superior recording quality and noise handling capability.

Creative SXFI Air Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are more versatile headphones than the Creative SXFI Air Wireless. These ANC headphones block a lot of ambient noise, they have a good sound quality and are more comfortable than the Creative. They're also noticeably better built and offer about twice the battery life. On the other hand, the Creative have a better sounding microphone and a unique head mapping feature.

Jaybird X4 Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless will be more versatile headphones than the Jaybird X4 Wireless. These over-ears are very comfortable and their great ANC feature is great for commuting. They are well-built and also have a great app that lets you EQ their sound profile, just like the X4. However, the Sonys won’t be as portable or breathable as the Jaybird X4. If you’re looking for everyday headphones, the WH-1000XM3 are the better option, but for sports, go with the Jaybird X4.

TOZO T6 Truly Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are better wireless in-ears than the TOZO T6 Truly Wireless. The Sony look and feel more premium and durable, have a much better-balanced sound profile, much longer battery life, NFC pairing, and a dedicated companion app that gives access to a graphic EQ. On the other hand, the TOZO feel more stable in the ear. While the TOZO isolate background noise better overall, the Sony do a better job at blocking our the low rumble of engines thanks to their ANC feature.

TREBLAB Z2 Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are much better headphones than the TREBLAB Z2 Wireless. While both headphones have well-balanced sound profiles, the Sony is a bit more bass-heavy, without being overpowering. They also look and feel much more premium and well-built, are a lot more comfortable, last longer off a single charge, and have an excellent companion app that gives access to a graphic EQ. Sony's ANC is also among the best we've ever tested, while the TREBLAB's ANC doesn't do much at all. On the other hand, some people may prefer the physical controls on the TREBLAB, and they may represent better value to some.

Nura NuraLoop Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless and the Nura NuraLoop Wireless are two very different pairs of headphones, though the Sony perform better for most uses. The Sony are Bluetooth over-ears that are significantly more comfortable, have a better-balanced default sound profile, and have a much better ANC. On the other hand, the NuraLoop are Wireless in-ears that still have excellent ANC, and have a unique personalized custom EQ that automatically finetunes your headphone's sound profile.

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