First Impressions: Sony’s WF-1000XM3 Earbuds Are The Real Deal

I am still on the quest to find the ultimate earbuds, and it looks like I at least came close this weekend. Sony’s new silver earbuds, which have earned a lot of acclaim, have finally come across my desk.

I’ve only used them for a couple of hours, so this is just a hands-on review. You can bet I’ll have a full review by the end of the week. For now, here are my first impressions:

  • The first thing one needs to do is download Sony’s Headphones app and set the Sound Quality mode to “Priority of Sound Quality.” It makes a huge difference. At first, I thought it was strange how Sony charge so much for sound quality that is so cheap, but found this setting and it made a huge difference.
  • Speaking of sound quality, it is top notch. I’ve been using these buds on the Galaxy S10+ and the warm bass-emphasized sound is almost as good as Sony’s over-the-ear WH-1000XM3 headphones.
  • It’s too bad that there isn’t a volume rocker on the buds, but that’s not a deal breaker.

Sony's earbuds come with a large charging case.

  • Speaking of the buds, the sound controls are touch-operated. This is a little difficult to get used to on a set of earbuds.
  • The noise cancellation on Sony’s new earbuds is shockingly good. I never expected the cancellation to match Sony’s flagship over-the-ear headphones, but it actually comes pretty close. These can almost be used as sleep buds.
  • Notice, I said “almost.” Although the buds don’t feel like they are going to fall out, they don’t completely feel like they’ll stay in, especially if you roll around on your pillow all night.
  • It’s unfortunate that the WH-1000XM3 buds aren’t listed as being sweat or water-resistant. I’ll test them in a workout and let you know if they still work. My prediction is that they will.
  • The battery life is great (six hours with noise cancellation, eight without), but the case this comes with is pretty large.
  • The setup on these was very simple. All I had to do is take them out of the case and the Samsung Galaxy s10+ did its thing.
  • I only made one phone call, and the person said I sounded okay. However, they could easily hear the background music playing outside of Starbucks. The WH-1000XM3 certainly aren’t known for their mic quality, but things have definitely improved from Sony’s previous earbuds.
We’ll see if I still like these earbuds once the honeymoon period ends. Stay tuned….

About Daryl

Daryl Deino has been a technology enthusiast since 1995 and has written for several newspapers and technology sites. Please reach him at [email protected]
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