Sony WH-1000XM3 0020
- Headphones

Sony WH-1000XM3 Review – Active Noise Canceling At Its Best

Competing with the Bose QC35 or Bose QC35 II is not easy. Sony, and other brands, are giving it a try. Sony released the Sony WH-1000XM3, a noise-canceling pair of headphones. They look great, the people who use the Sony WH-1000XM3 are very positive. Let’s dive into the Sony WH-1000XM3!

Introduction & Specifications

Having the Bose QC35 for over 2 years now, I made the decision to try something else. My brother was using the Sony WH-1000XM3 and he really liked it. When I spotted a good deal, I gave it a go and ordered the Sony WH-1000XM3. Short version; it is returned now and I’m using my Bose QC35 again. Why? I will talk about that in this review. Looking just at the specifications, it is a great pair of headphones and I can see why a lot of people are using them.

Bluetooth:Bluetooth V4.2
Frequency Range:2.4GHz Band
Frequency Reponse:4Hz - 40KHz
Volume Control:Touch control
Profiles:A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP
Supported Audio Formats:SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX HD, LDAC
Noise Canceling:Yes
Personal NC Optimizer:Yes
Atmospheric Pressure Optimizing:Yes
Ambient Sound Mode:Yes
Charging Time:Around 3 hours
Charging Method:USB-C
Battery Life:With ANC 30 hours, without ANC 38 hours


The box is simple, with a picture of the Sony WH-1000XM3 on front. On the back, we find a lot of information about features, controls, and more. Inside, we find the hard case protection cover, which is an absolute bonus point and the manual. In the hard case, we find the Sony WH-1000XM3 and the charging cable, airplane converter, and 3.5mm jack cable. All you need.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Hardware & Design

Just looking at the Sony WH-1000XM3, I’m really happy. It is a smooth design, nice little touches around the edges, on the logo, and the controls. It just looks really good. The ear and head cushions are soft and make it comfortable to wear. This is a must since this is in potential a pair of headphones that you are going to wear for hours in a row. The buttons, all on one side, are easily clickable and feel good. On the other ear, you have the touch controls, which work really well. Have a look for yourself!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Get the Sony WH-1000XM3. They are expensive, but they are totally worth the money, believe me. CLICK HERE WHILE IT IS ON SALE!

Foldable Design

You can fold the Sony WH-1000XM3, so it fits in the hard case. Even though the Sony WH-1000XM3 is foldable, it still feels very durable and not fragile at all. It makes it easier to carry around and you can fold it up and store it in your backpack in the hard case.

Sony WH-1000XM3 008

3.5mm Jack

For the more “old school” users, there is a 3.5mm jack available. This means you can stick it into your computer, smartphone, or any other device with a 3.5mm jack that you want to play music from. You can now listen to music even when the battery is empty and you are unable to use it wirelessly. Great feature, even if other brands, like Apple, are removing the 3.5mm jack from its products more and more. I like to use it, even if I don’t use it that often. It is good that it is available.

Sony WH-1000XM3 0017

Clamping Force

The clamping force on the Sony WH-1000XM3 is really strong. Some say it will become less over time, but in my case, I was at the point of getting headaches when I used the Sony WH-1000XM3. The clamping force was so strong it put a lot of pressure on my head, which I did not have with my Bose QC35. Now, I might have a more round head where the clamping force is even stronger, but it is something to consider. If you have a round head, this might not be the pair of headphones for you. For me, this was one of the reasons to sell it and keep using my Bose QC35.

Other people who use it, like my brother, have no complaint whatsoever. He is having a smaller head, so it could be of influence.


These are the more basic functions of the Sony WH-1000XM3, like how to power it on, how to connect it, and how to handle music controls. We will talk about the unique or worthy features in the next section. For now, let’s have a look at the basics!

Sony WH-1000XM3 0018

Power On/Off

Ther is a physical power button that is used to power on or off the Sony WH-1000XM3. Just press and hold for 3 to 5 seconds and the Sony WH-1000XM3 will power on or off, depending on the state it is in. Super easy and straight forward. Most of the time, the pause/play button is the power button, but in the case of the Sony WH-1000XM3, it is a separate physical button. You can see the power button in the picture above.

Get the Sony WH-1000XM3. They are expensive, but they are totally worth the money, believe me. CLICK HERE WHILE IT IS ON SALE!

How To Connect?

You can connect the Sony WH-1000XM3 in two ways. One is with NFC and the other one is with Bluetooth. With NFC, you just have to keep your phone near the headphones, and the connection is made. Super simple, but unfortunately, my smartphone does not support NFC.

With Bluetooth, it is almost as simple as with NFC. You turn on the Sony WH-1000XM3, go to your Bluetooth settings, and find the “WH-1000XM3”. Click on it and click on Pair. Give it a few seconds, and the connection is made. The Headphones Connect application will ask you to analyze your ears and set up some other things, which will improve the sound quality. Really handy to make use of that.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Music Handeling

Instead of buttons for pausing, or skipping a song, you have to control it via touch. I just love it, even though it took me a few minutes to practice it.

If you want to pause the song, you have to double-tap on the right side. Resuming requires the same action, double-tap on the right side.
Want to listen to the next song? Swipe from the left to the right side. Swiping from left to right will take you to the beginning, or the previous song. This is also done on the right side. In fact, all the controls are on the right side!
Raising the volume requires you to swipe from the bottom up. Decreasing the volume is the opposite, swiping from the top down.

If you CLICK HERE, you will be taken to the manual of the Sony WH-1000XM3.

Sony WH-1000XM3 0021

Call Handeling

Answering a call is as easy as pausing a song. Just tap twice on the right side and you answer the incoming call. Done with calling? Tap twice on the right side again and you will end the conversation. Raising and lowering the volume during a call is the same as above. Swiping down from bottom to top will increase the volume and doing the opposite, swiping from top to bottom will decrease the volume.


Playing music with Active Noise Canceling is, of course, not enough in today’s market. The Bose QC35 and Bose QC35 II are bringing features to their headphones and Sony must compete. What did they come up with? Touch control, AI Assistant, Multi-pair, Automatical adaptive ANC, and Quick Attention Modus. The last one if my favorite!

Get the Sony WH-1000XM3. They are expensive, but they are totally worth the money, believe me. CLICK HERE WHILE IT IS ON SALE!

Active Noise Canceling

Normally, you just have active noise canceling and you might be able to lower that function. In the case of the Sony WH-1000XM3, it will automatically adjust the settings to fit your current situation. For example, if you are sitting at home, the level of active noise canceling is different from when you are on the bus. The Sony WH-1000XM3 will detect where you are and what you need and automatically adjust. This can be turned off in the Headphones Connect application, but I really like this feature.

I always check when I go for my daily walk, and every single time the Headphones Connect application will change the level of active noise canceling when it detects me walking outside. Besides the ability to automatically adjust the level of it, it is also one of the best active noise canceling I’ve seen. It is slightly better then the Bose QC35, which is also very strong at this.

AI Assistant

On the Sony WH-1000XM3, you not find just one AI Assistant, but three! You can use the Sony WH-1000XM3 with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Siri. That is something we don’t see that often in products. Most of the time, it is just one AI Assistant. Now, you can use your favorite assistant and use it just how you like it. This is a great feature.

Battery Life

Another great feature of the Sony WH-1000XM3. The battery life is superb. You can easily use the Sony WH-1000XM3 for a day without charging it. I managed to get around 30 usage hours out of a single charge. Going to the office, using it in the office, and going home is no problem for the Sony WH-1000XM3. You can all do that on a single charge.

Charging takes around 2 hours, which what we see in other brands too. Charging goes with USB-C, which is a big plus. More and more smartphones are using this connector, so you can use just one single cable to charge your smartphone and your Sony WH-1000XM3.

Multi Pair

I never really understood this feature and did not see the value in it, until we started to work from home. Now, when I use the Sony WH-1000XM3, it connects to my smartphone and laptop. I can listen to music, have a business call, and when I walk outside, without doing anything still be connected to my smartphone and start listening to music or a podcast again. A really great feature if you are using two devices, like a laptop and smartphone at the same time.

Get the Sony WH-1000XM3. They are expensive, but they are totally worth the money, believe me. CLICK HERE WHILE IT IS ON SALE!

Quick Attention Modus

This is one of my favorite features of the Sony WH-1000XM3. When I’m using my Bose QC35, I need to pause the music or take it off when someone is talking to me. With the Sony WH-1000XM3, I can just place my hand over my right ear and it will lower the volume and noise-canceling too. This means you are able to hear people talking to you without taking off the pair of headphones. Really handy in the office, while in public transport, or just at home.

If you CLICK HERE, you will be taken to the manual of the Sony WH-1000XM3.

Headphones Connect Application

The Headphones Connect application is a really powerful app that you have to install. With this application, you can set the Active Noise Cancelation, you can use the equalizer, and analyze the shape of your ear for even better sound direction. Really amazing.

Here is how the application looks:

If you are an Android user, CLICK HERE to download the Headphones Connect app.
If you are an iOS user, CLICK HERE to download the Headphones Connect app.

Sound Quality

The sound quality is really good. You can compare it to other top brands in the market, like Sony or Bowers & Wilkins. If it is not up to your liking, you can also use the equalizer in the Headphones Connect Application. This way, you can tune it so that the sound quality will match your preferred genre, like hip-hop, house, or classic.

Get the Sony WH-1000XM3. They are expensive, but they are totally worth the money, believe me. CLICK HERE WHILE IT IS ON SALE!

Keeping it on default, I’m more than happy with the quality. Without changing it, you can comfortably listen to different genres and have all the low and high tones in there. Really good job.

Call Quality

Calling with the Sony WH-1000XM3 is a real pleasure. I’ve head headphones or earbuds in the past where calling was a disaster, but with the Sony WH-1000XM3, I’m more than happy to make a few phone calls. The wind is not a major disturbance, where that was a problem in many cases. Also on the Bose QC35. You can walk next to a bust road, where cars are driving past you without the other person knowing it.

I don’t know how Sony did it, but they managed to make calling a pleasure. Really impressed by that, as the wind can be hard to exclude from calls.


The Sony WH-1000XM3 is just amazing. They look really good, they perform really well, and the software is adding some real value to it. The price is high, yes, but it is totally worth it. Normally, I’m not the kind of person who pays more than 200 euro’s for a pair of headphones, but with the Bose QC35 and the Sony WH-1000XM3, I’m more than happy to advise them to people.

I personally brought them back to the store since the sound quality and the noise-canceling were not that much better then the Bose QC35 that I owned. I rather saved the money then having one of the two pairs laying around doing nothing. Sometimes I do miss the gesture control and AI Assistant on my Bose now… Maybe I will find another deal for them.

Sony WH-1000XM3






Product Size/Design


Battery Life





  • Price is high, but totally worth it
  • Gesture controls are working really well
  • AI Assistant is very helpful, they can read out your messages!
  • Battery life is good with 30+ hours on a single charge
  • Adaptive Noise Canceling works great


  • Clamping force is really strong
  • Price might be too high for some people