The AirPods just got new competition in Sony's WF-1000XM3 wireless earbuds

Ruben Fields
July 7, 2019

According to the early reviews from various tech blogs, it may be the best truly wireless earbuds that money can buy.

Thankfully, the buds' carrying case provides a top-up on the go.

When Sony launched the WF-1000X, the company's first true wireless headphones, they became an instant hit but the Japanese giant took two more years before it made a decision to release their successor: the WF-1000XM3. Sony's truly wireless earphones can be used for hands-free calling. First up, alongside the new name, the WF-1000XM3 feature Sony's new QN1e HD Noise Cancelling Processor and Dual Noise Sensor Technology. Headphones Connect app, where you'll find customisation features for sound, noise cancellation, touch controls and more. The subject is fascinating, but conceptually quite simple. Anything ranging from annoying aircraft cabin noise, to hustle and bustle on the city streets, is dramatically cancelled by the buds, making it easy to be all about the music. Still, I like how the earbuds snugly drop into place and are held in magnetically.

However the WF-1000XM3 wireless and cordless earphones are different from its WH-1000XM3 sibling because they're not connected by a band, with each ear created to hold in the ear thanks to what Sony calls a "tri-hold" structure to hold the earphones in place. In addition to that, it is also optimised for Google Assistant as well. Another useful feature is the Quick Attention Mode.

They are designed for a long, long life.

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It uses 24-bit processing and claims to bring greater efficiency to the headphones, thus allowing for better battery life. And, there is Bluetooth 5.0 and a dedicated on/off switch for active noise cancellation. And the charge case can recharge the buds three times. If you turn it off, that extends to eight hours. Sony also states that the earbuds come with a quick-charge feature, in which a 10-minute charge can give about 90 minutes of playback. The case can be charged with a USB-C charging cable.

Noise-cancelling can work during phone calls, too, and can be enabled while you're on a call, which was a frequently requested feature from Sony fans.

For codecs, Sony supports AAC and SBC on the M3s but not the company's own higher-res LDAC. The only difference is, Sony tells us, that the earbuds don't have the auto-adjust system that the headphones do. That includes customisation for things like user controls and noise cancellation.

The WF-1000XM3 also have noise-cancelling, whereas Apple's AirPods have nothing of the sort.

Further information and full product specifications are available on Sony's website here.

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