"Sony's WH-1000XM3 dethrones Bose QuietComfort 35 II as top noise-cancelling headphone"
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CNET First Look
CNET First Look
Sony's WH-1000XM3 dethrones Bose QuietComfort 35 II as top noise-cancelling headphone
Sony's been chasing Boze to create the ultimate noise cancelling headphone.
It may have finally done it with this, the WH-1000X Mark 3.
It seems as if Sony's engineers went through CNET's review of last years 1000XM2 and corrected each small issue I had with it.
The biggest changes to design on the headband and padding on the ear cups.
The headband is now more contoured to your head, and the headphone has shaved 20 grams of weight.
The padding on the ear cup is also a little bit softer.
The end result is the headphone is clearly more comfortable.
Bose Quiet Comfort 35 is still lighter, but this model is now neck and neck with the Bose in terms of comfort.
Both headphones list for $350.
Sony has also moved from micro USB to USB-C and there is a new quick charge feature that gives you five hours of playback from a 10-minute charge.
Total battery life is rated at 30 hours, that's very good.
I was a little critical of headset performance in my review of earlier 1000X models.
For this headphone, the engineers shifted to a new three microphone array system that filters out background noise while picking up your voice during calls.
The headset performance does seem better as a result.
There are a few other cosmetic changes.
The exterior finish on the earcups, where you'll find the touch controls, is smoother.
And the carrying case is slightly different.
There's a spot for the short USBC cable and the included headphone cord and yes the headphone does sound very good in wired mode.
Sony reps told me this model has the same drives as it's excellent NDR 1A mark 2 headphone and I think this definitely sound better than the Bose quiet comfort 35.
It sounds more natural with a little bit better definition, clarity, and strong punchy bass.
the noise canceling also matches Bose's and thanks to Sony's adaptive sound control feature.
It may actually be superior.
I'm not going to get in to all this headphone's features, you can check out my full review for that, but Sony has retained perhaps the best extra feature, the ability to muffle your music and let the outside world in by simple holding your hand over the right ear cup where the touch controls are located.
Once you've finished talking to someone You remove your hand, and then you zip resumes playing at its previous volume, and the noise cancellation kicks back in.
The Bose Quiet Comfort 35 is due for an upgrade and should get better, but for now, Sony's 1000MX Mark Three has taken over the title as the top noise-cancelling headphone on our list.
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