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Sony expands its 1000x family with new industry-leading noise canceling earbuds, the WF-1000XM3. Picking up where the inaugural pair of wireless earbuds, the WF-1000X fumbled, the M3 model flourishes in almost every aspect. The original 2017 tin-can-esque model was plagued by the typical first-generation woes: connection issues, poor battery life, audio delays, etc. But, Sony’s latest attempt at industry-leading earbuds are the best answer to the rival Apple Airpods.
Aimed at travelers and commuters, the WF-1000XM3 buds are specifically designed for improved comfort and stability in the ear. The ergonomic tri-hold structure holds the earbuds firmly in place, with three supporting points for the ear. With multiple earpieces provided, users can find their perfect fit. They also feature an all-around sleeker and cleaner look than the shiny metallic predecessor.
Each earbud is equipped with a circular touch pad featuring specific controls on both sides. The left earbud allows for noise cancellation adjustments and ambient sound mode, while the right focuses on audio playback control.
Sony also brings over its signature Quick Attention mode from its 1000X headphones. With ease, listeners can use the mode to communicate and listen to their surroundings without removing their earbuds. They can simply place their left finger over the earbud to quickly lower the volume and allow the ambient sound in. Additionally, the new earbuds will automatically pause and resume music when users remove one of the earbuds from their ear.
For sound quality, the WF-1000XM3’s are packed with sound-improving functions, thanks to the Digital Sound Enhancement Engine HX and 24-bit audio signal processing that upscales compressed MP3 files to HD-quality levels. As earbuds go, its one of the best sounding earbuds on the market. Pairing that with its industry-leading HD noise cancelling processor QN1e, the M3 is a commute dream.
Sony also gave the earbuds a quick charge function to have you listening to music in a matter of 10 minutes. The short amount of time, supplies up to 90 minutes of listening, as well as voice assistant capabilities and customizable touch controls. Thanks to the carrying battery case, the earbuds can get up to a total of 24 hours of listening with the noise-canceling feature or 32 hours with it off. Unfortunately, the M3’s don’t feature wireless charging.
This leads us into our only downside with the M3’s; they’re not water and sweat resistant. So for those looking to workout or sit poolside this summer, may want a different earbud option. At a premium price of $230, it’s minor a let down for a common feature in today’s earbud market to be missing.
The lack of sweat resistance is a bummer, but the M3 makes up for it with so many other great features. It’s premium price puts it right below the pricey Powerbeats Pro and Sennheiser Momenttum True Wireless, and right above the more affordable Apple AirPods, Samsung Galaxy Buds, and many other choices. There’s plenty of stiff competition here, but the M3’s high quality sound design, signature Quick Attention mode, and sleek design, makes Sony’s industry-leading noise cancelling earbuds one of our most desirable while traveling.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 earbuds are available now in black or silver colorway for $250.