Rapid Review: Sony WH-1000X M3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Image: Sony

I have to admit that I'm one of those people who is pretty annoyed at the disappearance of the 3.5mm headphone jack from my mobile devices. And while Bluetooth is easy enough to set up, there are times when it's easy to plug in a set of wired headphones. Sony's WH-1000X M3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones offer the best of both worlds. They deliver Bluetooth connectivity but also support a 3.5mm connection. Here's how they performed for me.

What Is It?

The Sony WH-1000X M3 are the third iteration of this set of headphones. I haven't tested the first two versions so I'm coming at these as a fresh set of cans rather than considering them as an upgrade.

The WH-1000X M3s come in two different colours; tan and black. They come wth a nice carry case into which the headphone fold. There's also a compartment for the charging cable and a 3.5mm good-plated cable in case you need to use a wired connection - such as during take-off and landing in a plane.

Noise cancelling can be turned on an off easily and there's also support for Google Assistant.

Specifications

Weight 255g
Inputs 3.5mm jack and Bluetooth 4.2
Frequency Response 4Hz-40,000Hz
Driver Unit 40mm, dome type
Battery Up to 30 hours, full charge takes three hours over USB (USB-A to USB-C cable supplied), 10 minute charge gives five hours of battery life.
Image: Sony

What's Good?

With headphones, there are two factors I start with - comfort and sound quality.

On comfort - the WH-1000X M3s fitted comfortably over my head and the earpieces were comfortable. There's plenty of padding and the headpiece can be adjusted to accomodate most people easily. The controls for powering on and toggling the noise cancelling on and off are easily accessed.

Sound quality was excellent. I didn't have the chance to test them out on a plane but my office fish tank filter has a similar hum. The active noise cancellation over Bluetooth did a great job of dulling the background sound.

Music, podcasts, and movies all sounded excellent. There was great depth to the sound and I could hear different instruments clearly in orchestral pieces and the sound effects in movies were crystal clear.

Image: Sony

What's Bad?

My main hassle with the Sony WH-1000X M3s was the touch controls. There aren't any markings on the sides but touching one area activates the play/pause controls and another for the volume. But knowing precisely where to touch was an exercise in frustration.

Should You Buy It

The Sony WH-1000X M3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones retail for $399.

Good noise cancelling headphones are something that frequent travellers and anyone working in a noisy office can really appreciate. And while the price is quite significant, you'll get many years of use from these headphones.


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