Sony WH-1000XM3 wireless headphones are incredibly consistent with previous models like the Sony WH-1000XM2 and the Sony MDR-1000X.
To find out, they are a powerful pair of noise-canceling headphones, and Bose can hit both his arms behind his back.
Because Bose has done an incredible job with its noise-canceling algorithm over the years, Sony is perfecting that time for audio reproduction, creating a simultaneous compatible algorithm that creates a single sound barrier, but several different types to suit whatever situation you are in.
This excellent combination of XM2s, lightweight design and comparable pricing, coupled with more comfortable pad-like adjustments across the bridge of these wireless headphones, have made these Sony headphones king of noise cancellation and the best headphones from 2020 (and 2019 and 2018) – Sony WH-1000XM4.
As such, the Sony WH-1000XM4 is the best headphone you can buy today. They come with a number of improvements, including multipoint alignment, DSEE Extreme Upscaling, Conversation Recognition and Automatic play / pause using the integrated sensor.
Arguably, the biggest changes in the 1000X are in the design of the headphones: they are lighter and more compatible than the previous model.
In terms of weight, headphones have lost about 1 ounce (22 grams) of their previous design. It may not seem like a big deal, but considering that you have been using it for a long time, a transcontinental flight, that is, every ounce helps.
The other design change is the new flush fittings that make the old bridge padding a little more comfortable.
This makes headphones more comfortable, but significantly less bulky when in your head. Sony also gauged the headset and replaced the silver detail on the side of the headphones with a copper tone.
Finally, Sony’s last change was to replace the microUSB port on the right earphone with the USB Type-C, which could reduce or increase the amount of cables you need to charge depending on the other devices you carry in your bag.
Despite the minor adjustments, these headsets are still relatively minimal – which really appeals to the business-class customers that Sony craves.
The 1000XM3 comes in only two colors – all black or silver gray – and with the Sony logo emblazoned on each headset, they are completely indeterminate.
They are designed to sound good and comfortable to use – they are not as fancy as Beats headphones.
Around the left headset, you will find only two buttons on the headset. Power / Bluetooth has another to change the noise cancellation between one and its three settings: on, ambient mode and off.
Below the buttons, you’ll find an auxiliary connector, which reflects on the other headset from the USB Type-C port used to charge headphones. (In the box you will find a USB to USB Type C cable, a 3.5mm Aux cable, a two-pin AX adapter and a Hard Carry case.)
What’s missing here, of course, is the playback controls. Sony hides them in the right earpiece as a capacitive touch cover. To continue, you need to swipe to the right in the right headset or swipe left to return.
Pause is done with double touch and resume is done in the same way. Similarly, to reduce the volume, you need to lower the right headset and slide up to increase the volume.
This is a system that can be used for a while, but after using it for a week it becomes second nature.
Obviously, what you’re buying on noise-canceling headphones is the ability to effectively block out the noise. In this arena, there was nothing better than 1000 XM3 until XM4 appeared.
According to Sony’s tests, the 1000XM3 is four times more effective than the 1000XM2 for noise cancellation – an impressive feat considering how well the M2 did last year.
In practice, this statement is certainly true when faced with low frequencies, such as when you ride a train or fly in an airplane and where there are high frequency sounds such as people talking or playing music in the work environment.
In almost all scenarios, the WH-1000XM3 performed wonderfully, often reducing the noise from disturbingly loud hum to highly manageable hum – and sometimes eliminating external noise altogether.