The Sony has a very cool over-ear headphones with active noise cancelling WH-1000X, considered to be among the best on the market. But with wireless “plugs” the situation is sad: there are a couple of models, but almost nobody has heard of. Despite this, Sony still continues to develop this direction, and, it seems, they have finally managed to make an interesting model. “” talks about Sony WF-1000XM3, which are able to press the AirPods and other wireless headphones.

WF-1000XM3 (for simplicity hereinafter M3) — wireless in-ear headphones with active noise control (ANC). Included are seven pairs of ear cushions (three of them — foam), charging wire, paper manual and the earphones themselves with a huge case. Seriously, this is almost the biggest case of wireless headphones available. For comparison, they are more than twice the size of AirPods and do not fit in a Trouser pocket due to the large thickness. And without case you can not use them due to the risk of losing, so you have to wear them in any bags or backpacks.

The case is made of plastic, and most of it has a coating of soft-touch. The Assembly is normal (except for protruding seams from the plastic spikes), did not play and does not rattle, the lid rests on the magnets firmly. But far more important was the lack of wireless charging, although the NFC chip for quick connection of devices in it, and for QI has no place.

On the body there are no buttons, there is only one led that shows the status of the headphones. And, of course, the case collects dust, dirt and the rest of the detail of the pockets, and a velvety finish scratched and worn. But it is necessary to pay tribute to the designers Sony, because the earphone look unusual and is not similar to any of the competitors, that is an achievement in times when everything is a blueprint, make “soap” out of white glossy plastic.

Autonomy is another huge plus for the M3. A ten-minute charge will last about an hour and a half playing music, but only claimed 24 hours of work enabled threshold: 6 hours headphones will last on a single charge and 18 hours will add a case. Disabled noise reduction, these figures rise to 8 hours “ears” and 24 hours charge of the case. This information is very close to the truth, and with constant use case needs to be charged about once a week.

Headphones under be the case — equally huge, heavy and sticking out from his ears like a radar. This could be justified capacious battery and the rest of the filling, but at first, these dimensions are very confused. Them uncomfortable to wear a hood, or a hat, because they become more and more pressure on the ears, and overlaps the microphone is responsible for the ANC.

Here, too, there are no buttons, instead on the housing of each earphone has a small touch surface. By default, the left “ear” is responsible for the control of noise reduction (one-touch change operation mode, retention mode includes a “quick attention”), and the right for playback (one click — pause two — next track three — previous). No more bodies, there is no control, and to adjust the volume touch sensor is impossible. But don’t be stingy with LEDs: they are on the case, and the “ears”, and so Shine that night to the headphones is better not to touch. Even the M3 can automatically put the music on pause when removing headphones thanks to the proximity sensors on the inside “ears.”

However, all this has little to do with the sound here is surprisingly excellent. Here I must say that they have the support of LDAC with aptX codec, and has only AAC and SBC (with the support of technology improve sound HSEE HX), but when listening to streaming music from Spotify, Apple Music and the rest is generally not felt as a problem. If you try to “fill” my music in high quality, then the difference will be audible. Of course, any headphones you need to listen live, but here the situation is generally typical for Sony, and if you know how sound their headphones in recent years, and with M3 it will all be clear: the sound is loud, clear, with good detail and without pronounced accents. The private app has a simple equalizer to adjust the sound with a separate slider for bass boost. Comparing with others, we can safely say that they sound better headphones from Apple, Huawei, Samsung and is pretty close to True Sennheiser Momentum Wireless and similar expensive models.

But what distinguishes them from Sennheiser and other Hi-End headphones, the active noise reduction system. It may be thought that noise reduction in-ear headphones are not necessary, because they already have a normal passive noise isolation, but it is not. In any case, public transport or other noisy place will have to twist the volume that destroys your ears. It just needs a system of active noise — it drowns out the outside noise, allowing you normally listen to music without raising the volume.

While Sony is not trying to say that M3 can be used safely in an airplane (and similar “extreme” conditions), and only timidly point out that this is “headphone for the city.” Behind these words lies the fact that ANC headphones is not as powerful as their older models, and are not able to completely isolate the listener from the outside world. That is, returning to the example of public transport, headphones quietly cut off train whistles and other noise at low frequencies, but sounds still leaked.

Despite this, the city and the bustling office to listen to the music in them is much more comfortable than in the usual “gags”. Even set at maximum noise reduction you understand what is happening around you, hear cars moving near and what the interlocutor says. Of course, complete isolation invoices WH-1000XM3 there is no question — this is a different format and different price.

The noise reduction has several modes of operation, configurable through the app. There are several levels of jamming noise and the ability to separately set the focus on the voices of the people around them to the microphones on the body did not weaken them, and Vice versa — increased. Can be switched manually or automatically depending on the environment. To Sony the system is called “Adaptive volume control”, which detects user activity (e.g., walking, sports, rides the train) and she switches the modes of operation of ANC. It works quite correct, but of little use, because it is easier to switch the noise reduction yourself. In addition to this, there is a function “Quick attention”, lowering the headphone volume to the minimum and increasing external noise, so that the user can hear what he say.

To ensure a stable connection, the headphone atypical connectivity system. Here we use Bluetooth 5.0, allowing you to simultaneously connect two graphics cards, but with these headphones it doesn’t work. The fact that each headset connects to a smartphone as a separate device. Because of this the phone cannot be connected to a second pair of headphones, and do M3 do not connect simultaneously to two devices. But, in theory, this should increase connection stability and to get rid of “asynchronous”.

But this is only in theory and in practice, the connection is unstable. Even if the headphones at a distance of a few centimeters from the smartphone may suddenly decrease the sound quality. And the problem is not the streaming service, namely the Bluetooth, because with other headphones, this won’t happen. And the same thing happened with the test model, and with the release, which went on sale. Sometimes they can just “fall off” from the phone and after a few seconds to connect again. And you can not connect, then you will have to manually connect them.

Touch control is also something wrong. Periodically touch just not perceived, sometimes triple clicking the headphones include next track, and when you double — put the music on pause. In General, for normal operation requires a certain skill, although this could have been avoided, the manufacturer spend more time on testing.

Of the totality of all characteristics and possibilities of the WF-1000XM3 can be called one of the best headphones on the market. Not only that, they sound significantly better than most competitors, and there is a noise reduction system. Even if they are not able to extinguish all external noise, making them impossible to use as ear plugs (ie just paste the ears, to sit in silence), but as a gadget every day, and no need to constantly charging, they are very good.

Anyway, is the impression one gets after a dry glance at these headphones, but after prolonged use, the questions remain. First, they are simply “raw”, and most of the problems can be easily fixed software. But still it’s hard to recommend the man who was AirPods, which let them lose all settings, but it can quickly switch between devices and even exist in the Apple ecosystem. Android is not critical, but the lack of wireless charging in such a large case and water protection may be crucial.

And the issue price is also very important: in Russia they cost 18 thousand rubles, a thousand higher than the official prices AirPods. Other models in this segment are much cheaper, but they don’t have ANC, so there is actually nothing to compare.

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