Wireless over ear headphones have been around for years. Nowadays we also encounter more and more wireless in-ears on the streets. But where active noise cancelling in headphones is already the most normal thing in the world, only a handful of in-ears offer it. So we were pretty excited when the package with Sony’s latest WF-1000MX3 wireless in-ears was delivered to the office.
On paper, the Sony WF-1000MX3 is the most up-to-date true wireless noise cancelling in-ear. They have Bluetooth 5.0 with support for the AAC codec, the active noise cancelling uses two microphones per in-ear and they play 4 to 8 hours on a single charge.
In addition to the two in-ears, the packaging also includes a charging case in soft grey with bronze accents, a USB C charging cable and an extensive set of earplugs in various sizes and materials.
Before first use, the in-ears must be charged. We open the case and place the in-ears in it, thanks to a small magnet they are held firmly in place. With a reassuring amount of force, the in-ears slide right in. The led starts to light up red to indicate that they are charging. So far an excellent first impression.
The build quality is good, Sony has used beautiful materials and, although taste can be disputed, in our opinion the colour scheme exudes a certain luxury.
To be on the safe side, the in-ears may remain in the case for 1.5 hours, so they are 100% charged and ready for use. In the meantime, we have plenty of time to load a collection of music onto the phone.
Once charged, connecting the in-ears to the phone is child’s play. Our phone, an Oneplus 7 Pro, has NFC and BT 5.0, to pair the in-ears we just need to place the phone on the case. Accept the link request and they are ready to go. We do recommend that you install the Sony Headphones Connect app. With this app you can adjust the settings of the WF-1000MX3 to your liking. For example, you can adjust the noise cancelling to your activities, but more about this later.
As usual, the Sony WF-1000MX3 sounds a bit sharp right out of the box at first and we miss definition and depth in the sound. But after about 10 hours of playing, and recharging once, the 6mm drivers loosen up and we can really start listening.
Our first impression: wow. We almost forget we’re listening to a set of completely wireless in-ears. These Sony’s play with great pleasure, also due to a slightly exaggerated bass. But hey: it’s nice. We start with some golden oldies, Steely Dan’s Hey Nineteen swings in our ears and we sit in front of Neil Young’s stage during the live performance of Rockin’ In The Free World between the audience. With the remastered version of Sweet Child O’ Mine the Sony’s also show what they are capable of.
Not the clearest or most balanced sound, but with a large portion of fun, with a lot of joie de vivre the French would say.
Time for some more modern work: the front man of The Gaslight Anthem, Brian Fallon, kicks off with his second solo album: Sleepwalkers. Unnoticed, after one minute we’re already tapping our feet and we almost sing along loudly. One more then, Trentemøller with Moan, nice oppressive bass, a sharp edge where it belongs and the effects sound surprisingly spacious. With the Sony WF-1000MX3, we do miss something in the top-end, although it doesn’t really bother us. Fortunately, the app offers plenty of possibilities to adjust the sound to your liking by means of an EQ. Finally the new TOOL, a beautiful recording and a lot of dynamic. The Sony’s play it without any problems and with conviction. Spatial, powerful and with enough volume to cause hearing damage if you are not careful with the volume.