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Sony WF-1000XM3 noise cancelling earphones review – the best earphones you can buy


The Sony WF-1000XM3 wireless noise cancelling earphones offer stunning audio and the best noise cancellation in its class. These would have to be the best earphones you can buy.

Sony’s new WF-1000XM3 noise cancelling earphones offer the same audio you’d expect from its big brother headphones but shoehorned into this tiny form factor.

When it comes to audio quality, Sony has a massive head start over numerous brands who weren’t even in the game when the Japanese company was selling Walkmans as fast as they could produce them.

Today Sony is held in the same reverence whenever they release new headphones and earphones.

In the case of the WF-1000XM3, Sony has produced probably its best earphones to date.

The noise cancelling earphones are relatively small especially when you consider what’s onboard including the drivers, the two microphones to detect ambient sound, the new QN1e noise cancelling processor and the Digital Sound Enhancement Engine HX (DSEE HX) to upscale the digital music to near Hi-Res audio quality.

And this is inside an earphone that’s about the width of an Australian 50c coin.

They have an ergonomic design that fits quite comfortably in your ear courtesy of the tri-hold structure which means they have three spots where they grip your ear.

And the good news is they don’t have to be jammed deep in your ear canal to be secured.

You’re not getting that effect where you’re hearing your footsteps in your head either.

So far so good – and we haven’t even turned them on yet.

As soon as you pull the Sony WF-1000XM3 noise cancelling earphones out of their charging case they are ready to pair either manually or through the Sony Headphones Connect app.

Connecting through the app opens up a lot of possibilities and adjustments including Ambient Sound Control to change noise cancellation settings and Adaptive Sound Control for changing the ambient sound mode settings automatically based on your surroundings.

There’s also an equaliser in there so you can tweak the sound or choose from a few presets including some that favour either more treble or bass.

When you finally get around to hearing some music you’ll quickly discover they sound amazing.

We opted for a boost in the bass department through the equaliser preset in the app.

The quality of the music was stunning – excellent clarity and with plenty of authority.

Some listeners may find these Sony earphones are not loud enough at the highest volume.

Not us –  the top volume was more than enough and it also had the right level of bass.

And with excellent noise cancellation, all of the outside sound that may have drowned out what you’re listening to is cancelled out and you’re left with nothing but this excellent audio.

Even without you can enjoy the silence from the best noise cancellation we’ve ever heard on a pair of earphones.

It’s easy to switch from noise cancelling to ambient mode so you can hear someone talking to you or your flight announcement at the airport.

Each earbud has its own Bluetooth connection through a new optimised antenna structure so you get a more stable wireless connection.

You also get low latency which helps when you’ve paired the WF-1000XM3 earphones to a laptop or tablet and watching video content so what you’re seeing on the screen matches exactly what you’re hearing.

There are controls on the earphones so you can hear what’s going on around you by pressing and holding the button on the left you phone.

The button on the right you phone allows you to control and navigate your music as well as access Google Assistant or Siri.

You will get six hours of playback when the earphones are fully charged in the charging case provides another 18 hours of battery. So all up 24-hour is listening with the carry case.

How the Sony charging case shapes up to the AirPods case (left) and the Powerbeats Pro case

That’s plenty of time on a long flight to enjoy your content and the excellent noise cancellation.

There is also a quick charge feature that will offer 90 minutes of use after just 10 minutes of charge time.

The case itself is compact enough to fit in your pocket and it can be recharged through the USB-port on the base.

Noise cancelling headphones are traditionally a product frequent travellers invest in.

The Sony WF-1000XM3 noise cancelling earphones definitely qualifies as well especially if you’re watching your own content on your device on your flight.

There are Bluetooth transmitters that can be used to allow wireless connection from Bluetooth earphones to the in-flight entertainment system.

One such product is the RHA Wireless Flight Adapter.

The Sony WF-1000XM3 wireless noise cancelling earphones are available now in black or white and are priced at $399.95.


The Sony WF-1000XM3 wireless noise cancelling earphones offer stunning audio and the best noise cancellation in its class. These would have to be the best earphones you can buy.