Sturdily built, the Sony WH-1000X M3 is great for all kinds of music
Sony’s entry into the noise cancelling segment has been quite a revelation. In fact, now you see quite a few frequent fliers sporting Sony headphones where Bose used to dominate till about a year back. Sony has refreshed its noise cancellation headphone range with its latest offering, the Sony WH-1000X M3.
The design of the Sony WH-1000X M3 is similar to the earlier versions, but it is definitely more refined in comparison. One important change is how the band on top is one closer to the head and thus reduces pressure when you are using it for long hours. Also, there is a hint of brass all across the headphone from the logo to the small vent on the ear cups, adding an element of class. The ear cups are soft and cover the ears completely, thus cutting out noise even before you switch on noise cancellation.
The Sony WH-1000X M3 pairs easily with your devices and for those on Android, there is one-touch NFC pairing too. There is also the Sony Headphone Connect app that gives you control over the device. I was fascinated by how the app lets you not just use the equaliser, but also adjust the position of the source itself. Another good feature is its ability to optimise noise cancellation based on the environment you are in. So if you optimised it first for a high-pressure long haul flight, you can do it again for when you are home.
I used the headphone paired with both an iPhone and iPad during a short trip to Chennai. The headphones were soft and easy enough for me to doze off even when the music was playing. However, every time the ear cup touched the seat, I could feel the engine drone on it.
The design is minimalist, but there are a lot of features that are almost hidden. The right ear cup is touch sensitive and you can use its surface to swipe to the next song or adjust volume. Cup the ear cups and you become aware of what is happening around you. There is also a button above power which is by default used to adjust ambient sound making you aware of the surroundings. A long press initiates the calibration for noise cancelling. However, you can use the app and configure this for Google Assistant.
The Sony WH-1000X M3 offers a well-rounded bass-heavy audio profile. This is a high-definition headphone and you will realise this the moment you play something. The guitar strums, the boom of the drums and the soul of the vocals just jump at you. I watched a couple of movies using headphones and the experience was surreal as the headphones offer one of the best surround sound profiles I have listened to recently. It is great for all kinds of music from the pure vocals in Carnatic to heavy metal and pure instrumental. You will love very bit of it, especially if you are playing Hi-Def audio files. It can also take calls—you need to tap once on the ear cup. The audio quality is good for both sides of the conversation.
The only issue I experienced was that it gets a bit hot inside the ears cups after a couple of hours. But then, perhaps I should not be wearing it for so long. But to its credit, I did not have to charge it even once during the review period. For a headphone with active noise cancelling, that is quite and achievement.
At Rs29,990 this is one of the best noise cancelling options you can spend your money on. The controls it offers takes Sony WH-1000X M3 a notch above the rest.
*Estimated street price: Rs 29,990