Technology

Test: Sony WF-1000XM3 in the test

Sony In-Ear-Kopfhörer WF-1000XM3 im Review

Conclusion from 26. 07. 2019

Sony's in-ear headphones WF – 1000 XM3 shows top performance in all categories: The sound quality is great for true wireless headphones, the battery life as well, and the equipment and comfort are great. Noise canceling is effective and the battery life is excellent. In the video, we reveal what you should consider when buying true wireless in-ear models.

Advantages
Very convenient
Excellent sound
Persistent battery

From 164, 99 €: Find the best price for Sony WF – 1000 XM3

The values ​​in the article refer to the test time of the product ( 26. 07. 2019 ) .

The ratings below show how it compares to the other products in the leaderboard.

test ratings (compared to all tested products in this category)

Sony WF – 1000 XM3 in the test: Strong sound in mini format

Sony's True Wireless In Ear WF – 1000 XM3 convinces with a strong sound – which in our opinion is not too much with the sound of the over ear Sony WH – 1000 XM3 (for test) connects. The WF – 1000) XM3 is very clear, with a rich but not excessive and mastered bass. We also really like the middle and voice presentation. Voices seem close to the listener, lively and present – even if a little too hard. The highs are clearer than the over-ear model and provide a detailed representation, we also find the bass area more defined. In direct comparison we like the sound characteristics of the WF – 1000 XM3 In Ear even a little better than that of the WH – 1000 XM3 Over-Ear. But ultimately the sound of both models is fun.

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The stylish charging case is extremely comfortable, if a little bulky. Picture: CHIP / Rian Voß

Although we have the clearer representation of the WF – 1000 See XM3 as an improvement over the over-ear model, it has a disadvantage: The XM3 in ear does not play quite as relaxed as the large model or the true wireless competitor Bose Soundsport Free (for test ) , which is one of the best sounding true wireless in-ear headphones for us. The heights are controlled and do not “bite”, but the WF – 1000 XM3 has a bit too much energy for our taste. This can be heard, for example, with string instruments, which play up intensely and lively, but should have a little more feeling. In these cases, the XM3 In Ear does not reflect the dynamics of the music quite as well as the gentler Bose, but is somewhat more researched overall.

We see another small disadvantage the narrower stage; the Bose Soundsport Free plays a little more openly and spatially, with the Sony the instruments move closer together. Although it is ultimately a matter of taste which sound users prefer, we see Bose as having an advantage here. Nevertheless, the sound of the WF – 1000 XM3 for a True Wireless In Ear tip . We were able to enjoy various types of music over a long period of time. With the Sony app, which contains an equalizer, the sound can be adapted even better to your own taste.

Fits, wiggles, has air: The wireless XM3 is firmly in the ear and does not press. Picture: CHIP / Rian Voß

Big comparison test: this is what you should pay attention to when buying true wireless in-ear headphones

Heavenly silence: headphones with active noise cancellation in the comparison test

Comfort and features: Sony WF – 1000 XM3 with Noise Canceling (ANC)

The comfort of the WF – 1000 XM3 we also have nothing to complain about. Sony provides various attachments from which the user can choose the one that suits them best. The in ears are pushed into the ear canal and rotated until they are firmly seated. Sony does without wings for a better hold in the ear – but that doesn't matter. The WF – 1000 XM3 were stuck with us without slipping and – completely important – without pressing uncomfortably. Some competing models noticeably close the ear, which leads to pressure and sound distortion during movement, which is not the case here.

The Sony WF are waterproof – 1000 XM3 not. Sony sees them primarily as travel headphones. In our opinion, you are still suitable for sports, but if you actually want to go jogging in the rain, you better use a splash-proof model like the Jabra Elite Active 65 t or the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless .

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Sony includes a whole arsenal of essays. It is almost impossible that the headphones will not fit you. Picture: CHIP / Rian Voß

Active noise cancellation in the test

Thanks to its active noise cancellation (ANC), the WF dazzles – 1000 XM3 effectively tested ambient noise like the over-ear model. Deeply humming noises are practically eliminated, but high tones and voices can still be heard. We tried the XM3 in-ear together with the XM3 over-ear during a flight and can both attest to excellent noise cancellation. As the measurements of the audio laboratory Head Acoustics show, the in-ear model dampens low frequencies and sometimes the mid-range somewhat better, in the over-ear version the XM3, on the other hand, copes somewhat better with high frequencies. In practice, both are excellent, at the latest as soon as soft music starts to play, the aircraft noise can no longer be heard. In such situations, ANC is a real added value.

The background noise that occurs with many ANC headphones is hardly noticeable here. If you want, you can turn off signal processing. Alternatively, there is an ambient sound mode that allows you to have a conversation or not to miss announcements. And if you are out in windy weather, you will enjoy the option to reduce wind noise. You set this once via the Sony headphones app, then this so-called ambient mode can now be activated by touching the headphones. You only hear the wind as a soft whisper. However, this reduces the effectiveness of noise canceling. In our opinion, the active noise suppression of the XM3 over-ear is more effective in this mode.

Noise suppression in the test: the in-ear WF – 1000) XM3 dampens a bit in the bass range better, the over-ear WH – 1000 XM3 provides a little more effectively in the high frequency range for silence. In practice, both are excellent. (Image and measurements: Head Acoustics)

Are in-ear headphones harmful? Clearly explained

Strong equipment

When it comes to equipment, Sony leaves almost nothing out. The charging case could be a bit more compact, but it looks solidly processed, supports NFC for quick coupling and holds the earplugs magnetically. As expected, the in-ears turn on automatically when removed. If you take it out of your ear, you pause the music (this works individually with both plugs), you put it back in the case, then it switches off and the case automatically charges it. In this regard, the handling works without any problems.

Basically, we also like the touch control, since true wireless in-ears are often easier to control by touch. Users can switch between ANC and ambient mode, switch tracks or pause and wake up their voice assistant. Unfortunately, it is not possible to adjust the volume on the headphones, which we consider the biggest drawback of this otherwise almost perfect true wireless in-ears. You will need your mobile phone instead.

Update, December 2019 : With the end of November 2019 published firmware version 2.0.2, Sony added a volume control later.

With the Sony WF – 1000 XM3 can also be used like Make calls with any true wireless in-ear we've tested. As the measurements by Head Acoustics show, disturbing echoes cannot be heard by the conversation partner, but the voice of the headphone wearer should be louder.

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The most important measurements at a glance (the greener the elements, the better): The WF – 1000 XM3 has excellent active and passive noise insulation and has a low background noise level. The volume of one's own voice in the conversation partner in calls (SLR) is however quite low – this is similar with the over-ear model. (Image and measurements: Head Acoustics)

Strong battery life

The battery life is also excellent. In our test, the WF – 1000 XM3 with one battery charge without use from noise-canceling through a strong nine hours – with repeated charging in the battery case you get a total runtime of very good 38 hours. If you use active noise cancellation, you can enjoy over seven hours of music without and 26 hours with recharging. After only 15 minutes of loading are the WF – 1000 XM3 also ready for use again for four hours. A full load of plugs and case takes over three hours. This makes the XM3 In Ear actually suitable for all application scenarios, even longer flights.

If you are looking for a still quite compact, good-sounding and durable travel headphones, you can use the WF – 1000 XM3 nothing wrong. The introductory price of 250 Euro but not without an in-ear.

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