Sony’s new WH-1000XM3 Noise Cancelling headphones have put down the gauntlet to Bose with new class leading battery life and arguably better sound quality.

I listened to the WH-1000XM3 headphones for a while in each of 3 noise environments setup by Sony to mimic the sounds you’d hear while walking in a crowd, working in an open plan office and sitting in a plane.


  • High Resolution Audio: yes
  • Driver Unit: 40mm, dome type (CCAW Voice coil)
  • Frequency Response: 4Hz-40,000Hz
  • Impedance: 47 ohms (Power On) (Wired), 16 ohms (Power Off) (Wired)
  • Sensitivity: 104.5dB/mW(1kHz) (Power On) (Wired); 101dB/mW(1kHz (Power Off) (Wired)
  • Weight: (excluding cable) Approx. 255g
  • Volume Control Touch Sensor
  • Quick Attention Mode: Yes
  • Digital Noise Cancelling: Yes (On/Off, Personal NC Optimiser, Atmospheric Pressure Optimising)
  • Ambient Sound Mode: Yes (Normal/Voice)
  • Sound Enhancements: DSEE HX
  • NFC: Yes
  • Bluetooth: Version 4.2
  • Passive Operation: Yes
  • Battery Charging Time Approx. 3 Hours (Full charge)
  • Battery Life (Wireless music playback time) : Max. 30/38 hours (NC on/off)
  • Supplied Accessories: Carrying Case, Connection Cable, USB Cable, In-Flight Plug Adaptor

Hands-on Experience

Expecting an incremental improvement in the specifications and performance of these 3rd generation headphones I was quite surprised to find that they are a big leap forward both in day to day noise cancelling and practical usefulness for long haul travellers.

In an often noisy crowded world you’ll experience an oasis of silence thanks to the newly developed Sony HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1 which claims to have about 4x better performance than the previous processor.

This newly-developed component can not only negate transport noise but also further cancels out daily background sounds such as street noise and human voices thanks to Dual Noise Sensor technology which captures ambient noise with dual microphones and then passes the sound data to the processor to cancel the noise.

Dare I say it they are better than Bose QuietComfort 35 II, with the Sony WH-1000XM3 beating the previous industry leader thanks to longer battery life and quick charge functionality via USB-C that provides 5 hours wireless playback after a mere 10 minutes charge time.

Dan is currently testing the Sony WH-1000XM3 and will have a review available for you to read soon including new Google Assistant functionality.

If you don’t want to wait you can head to Sony Australia online which are selling them for $499.95 RRP or leading electronics and audio retailers which are already offering deals close to $400.

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I have the last Gen model, they have their limitations (call quality and one device as mentioned already) – but we’re they will absolutely worth it for the sound and noise cancelling quality and fantastic battery life? Absolutely.

New model seems to have further improved on comfort and noise cancelling for the same price. I would definitely recommend.

Sagar Shrestha

Before buying please try it in a noisy place and give a call to your mate.
If your mate can listen you clearly then buy it otherwise Sony does not care about its customers.


Mike I just bought these and used them on a recent 6 hour flight. They are amazing. The call quality is excellent and yes they can only be paired to one device at a time unfortunately


How is call quality? I’ve read multiple times that it’s quite awful, that the caller sounds muffled and is hard to understand. The Bose QC35 ii don’t have this issue.

Additionally it’s worth noting that you can only pair one device to the XM3’s whereas nearly every other Bluetooth headset can be paired to multiple devices at once

Jarryd Howard

got this for $400 at jbhifi and love them, can’t hear anything around me, totally worth the money.

Jarryd Howard

Battery life is great and it charges so quickly well for me anyways


check ozbargains they have gone around $350