We have been using the 1000XM3 for quite some time now. Is it worth spending? ₹19,990 on this? Let’s find out
It’s raining earplugs and we really mean it. Quite recently, we saw a few brands en masse the sub- ₹10,000 and ₹5,000 TWS earbud segment in an effort to bring the best of ‘affordability’ and ‘value’. However, not all of them have the same audience. Not all of them are in a race to bring out the most affordable earbuds.
Some brand names are associated with terms like ‘premium’ and Sony is one of them. The company also dumps audio products one after the other. Just a few weeks ago, it launched the WH-CH710N headphones, followed by two earbuds (SP800N and WF-XB700) and within a month, Sony will launch its third earbuds in India – and this is the flagship WF-1000XM3.
Yes, he arrived a year late, but still he is here. We have been using the 1000XM3 for quite some time now. Is it worth spending? ₹19,990 on this? Let’s find out.
Design and build
Starting with the case, it’s not the most compact case we’ve seen (it still uses Jabra 75t Elite Active), but it does have a stealth-esque feel to it. There’s no usual LED indicator, just a rather slim bar that turns red when the earphones or case are charging and it looks pretty good. We have the black/gold color variant, which in our opinion looks better than the off-white/gold combination and is easier to maintain. It also has a USB Type-C charging port on the bottom. In addition, just like the SP800N, you get a magnetic lid.
The quality of the earbuds is good and you also get tapping movements. However, the gesture recognition area is just a circle and not the entire surface – something that makes you think twice before tapping right in the circle and not elsewhere. Compared to others, they look a bit out of fashion, because nowadays you have more compact buds that don’t stick out that much from your ears. But then they don’t look THAT bad and there’s a reason it doesn’t have an AirPods-esque design. We’ll come back to it later.
There are LED indicators and the buttons themselves are light enough not to fall out of your ears, even without the arcs SP800N has. However, they won’t hurt even if you wear it for a few hours straight. The SP800N also has an IP55 rating, which last year’s 1000XM3 is not. That’s something not expected from ‘flagship’ quality earbuds.
As usual, you get extra earbuds in the box, unlike some others from competing brands in the same price range.
But more than looks and build, it’s performance that matters with the Sony WF-1000XM3.
Audio Performance and Features
You get the usual taps to control the audio, record calls and activate voice assistants. These can also be adjusted from the Sony Headphones Connect app. Yes, there’s a bit of latency between when you tap and it shows up on the source device, but it’s in no way a deal breaker. Also, as with the SP800N, you also get audio tap alerts in 1000XM3, which is helpful and reassuring that a command is given. And since the earbuds can control the audio, calls and assistant, we didn’t feel the need to touch our handset during working hours for a long time. And it also plays well with iPhones.
The WF-1000XM3 is not made for gaming or even training. Sony instead presents it as earbuds that are simply there to enhance your listening experience, as it goes heavy on bass and delivers high-quality noise-cancelling technology. We would have loved to see Sony add fast pairing and fast switching to its flagship earbuds, but unfortunately you don’t get it. As in the case of the SP800N, earbuds connect to the device they were first paired with.
Luckily, you get the auto-play/pause feature when and when you remove or plug the earbuds back in. The wireless range should be about 10 meters.
But 1000XM3 earbuds are certainly not a bad investment. You get Sense Engine, wear detection, fast attention mode and noise cancellation, something you’ll find in very few earbuds. This is also the reason why you will not get an AirPods style Voice like design.
As for the audio, the WF-1000XM3 delivers not only clear and detailed audio, but also an impressive noise reduction technology. It’s seriously effective and we honestly haven’t seen any competing earbuds that even come close, all thanks to the QN1e chipset. The mids and highs aren’t the focus, but neither are they completely ignored when the bass kicks in. In fact, we found the 1000XM3’s audio signature to be more balanced than expected. The loudness peak is not as high as that of the Jabra Elite Active 75t, but it is sufficient. And at no point did we get any harshness from listening to music, making calls or streaming videos for hours on end.
And speaking of the calling experience, it’s not bad but not the best either. Often we found that the other party repeatedly asked what we were saying.
The adaptive noise cancellation (ANC) works quite well. However, what really needs attention here is the location-based audio profile which you can set up using the Sony Headphones app. It’s something that Sennheiser, Jabra or any other brand doesn’t offer and Sony doesn’t market it (for some reason). With this feature, you can easily set a location where you want the earbuds to have a different audio profile. It could be at home, in a restaurant, in the office, or anywhere else you could use these buttons. This certainly saves a lot of time spent tweaking the settings based on your environment. I hope Sony finds a way to make it a more prominent feature in the coming days.
Sony WF-1000XM3 gets a thumbs up in the battery segment. We were able to use these earphones for almost 5 hours on average. That includes noise cancellation that is always on and at full volume. And adding to that is about 15-16 hours of juice more through the charging case. In total we were able to get about 18-20 hours of playtime, which is really good compared to what most rivals are offering at the moment.
Of course, there are ways to extend battery life. The most common way is to turn noise cancellation off, which can give you a few more hours (possibly more than 25 hours+ at a stretch). You also don’t necessarily want to keep the volume on full blast all the time.
If the 1000XM3 is completely discharged, it will take more than an hour and a half to charge. However, the fast charging technology in this one is impressive indeed. Although Sony says 10 minutes of charging can give you up to 90 minutes of music playback time. While we were able to extend it to over an hour without noise cancellation and fail to reach 90 minutes, it still hits the mark.
Sony WF-1000XM3 is one of the good earbuds out there and really a product that seems like an all-rounder. From audio to noise cancellation, touch gestures and the good old look, these earbuds certainly prove to be a benchmark for others in the ‘premium’ range. But alas, on ₹19,990, these are faced with internal competition. And this time it’s more of a feature versus audio experience. We are talking about its recently launched rival – WF-SP800N, which is priced at ₹18,990.
While we think the WF-1000XM3 is up a notch when it comes to audio experience, noise cancellation and battery life, the SP800N gives you an IP55 rating and extra arches for a more secure fit, something that also works for longer. rough handling and training. . The rest remains the same between these two buttons.
Of course Sony presents the two earbuds for different audiences, but launching them within a month for the same price tag might not be the best idea.
That said, if you have ₹20,000 to spend on earbuds that work well with iOS and Android, and give you top specs – take the plunge with the Sony WF-1000XM3.