Sony WF-1000XM3 - Wireless, ANC, In-Ear Monitor - Official Thread

Sony’s latest entry in the true-wireless, active noise-cancelling, in-ear monitor realm is the WF-1000XM3.

It features a revised (lower power consumption) version of Sony’s proprietary QN1e "HD Noise Cancelling Processor, dual noise sensors, 6 hour play time (with ANC enabled) and a charging-case good for another 18 hours/3 charges of power (with a 10 minute fast-charge capability that yields 90 minutes of listening time), and independent Bluetooth connections for each ear-bud (vs. one connecting to the source, and then the other connecting to the first unit).

This is available in the US market now, and I happened upon a pair today, so of course I snagged them.

Lots more details on the official site, and if you want to discuss them - this thread is the place …

First impressions …

Sounds is very good, though has a definite “consumer centric” bass tilt - most of “us” will dial that down a bit with the app-controlled EQ capability. Clarity and definition are, otherwise, much better than most Bluetooth IEMs. They do sound better than my go-to travel ANCs, the Bose QC20i (which are wired), and MUCH better than the non-ANC AirPods.

They’re VERY comfortable, and sit still in the ear without needing hooks or loops. Though it remains to be seen if they’re AS comfortable as the Bose QC20i, which don’t actually insert into the ear canal, unlike the Sony’s.

The ANC functionality and performance is very similar to that of the WH-1000XM3 … which is the best I’ve heard to date. This in-ear model actually works better as the physical/mechanical isolation it provides is actually better than the over-ear equivalent.

The “charging case” is relatively enormous compared to the AirPod version, being fully 4.5x the size:

Interestingly they only support the SBC and AAC Bluetooth CODECs, which means these are going to generally fair better, quality-wise, for iPhone users.

More to come as I get time …


Yea the case looks quite large. Most android phones support AAC now so shouldn’t be an issue with codec. I was surprised they left out LDAC off of this device!

I have been considering getting one, but I’m very happy with my Galaxy buds right now and their surprisingly good sound quality.

Definitely going to follow this one out though.

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I was a bit surprised by them not having LDAC too.

I don’t know if that’s down to the need for them to be lower-power than over-ear stuff (due to much smaller batteries), a lack of horsepower in the CPU or its just something that will come along later (they are firmware updatable from the companion app).

And the form-factor makes the diminutive size of the AirPods and their charging case, seem even more impressive. Though sound-wise it’s not even close … the Sony’s are much better, even without considering the ANC. For travel purposes, which is really what I was thinking about these for, the case isn’t really any larger (volume-wise), overall, than the pouch for the QC20i I usually carry.

The ANC does, as I’ve come to expect, yield a low level hiss when no music is playing (not audible when it is). And it can be turned off, of course, if you don’t need it. Though it was not accompanied by the sense of “pressure” that I get with the WH-1000XM3 when just using them to shut out noise (and not playing music).

The real test is going to be my next plane flight. The Bose QC20i are literally all-day comfortable, since they sit in the outer each and cover the entrance to the ear-canal without actually protruding into it (no pressure there at all). I have literally worn them for the full duration of their 16-hour battery life and not removed them, and had not pressure or comfort issues at all.

The WF-1000XM3 use conventional IEM tips/fitment and sit in the ear the same way, so may not be as comfortable for long periods. The temptation to do away with the wires on the QC20i is very high, however!


The shape looks perfect for CyberMen, but maybe not for humans.


this made me spit out my coffee in laughter. Thanks for that.


Clearly you gentlemen have never worn the Abyss AB-1266 while looking in a mirror …



I have a pair of these and love them. I feel like I couldn’t ask for more from a Bluetooth iem. I have noticed one issue though. When I’m at the gym, where there are lots of people with Bluetooth headsets, I’m getting some kind of interference that makes my music cut out in a very annoying fashion.

I haven’t had a Bluetooth headset in ages, so is this something that’s normal maybe, or should I look into getting mine swapped out? Outside of the gym, I have zero complaints.

You can try using the companion app to switch the “Sound Quality Mode” setting to “Priority on Stable Connection” (it defaults to “Priority on Sound Quality”).

That should help with the drop-outs, though may not eliminate them entirely - having dozens of Bluetooth devices all active, and in very close proximity, often causes such issues. And in modern gyms an increasing number of the workout machines have Bluetooth and often use several channels (e.g. treadmills that offer Bluetooth sound for their built-in screens and Bluetooth heart-rate monitoring etc.).

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