Sony’s WH-1000XM3 headphones rival those of Bose — the de facto leader in noise-cancelling headphones. The 1000XM3 long-lasting battery life, are super comfortable and feature a discrete QN1 noise cancellation chip and DAC. Having these two components separated means the headphones are capable of better audio quality, including 32-bit audio processing. While that might not make a difference if you’re streaming music from Spotify, it should be a revelation for anyone listening to lossless audio, especially if they’re using a high-resolution DAP. The QN1 chip, meanwhile, is four times better at noise cancellation than the previous model, according to Sony.
Other than the full retail price, the downsides of the 1000XM3s are their finicky touch controls, a lack of a dedicated button for Google Assistant and unimpressive microphone performance during phone calls.
Sony’s first two pairs of 1000X-series noise-cancelling headphones were good, but not great. The company rebuilt the WH-1000XM3 headphones from the ground up, and it shows. Bose’s Quiet Comfort series is no longer the obvious choice when searching for the ideal pair of wireless, noise-cancelling headphones, and at $238, Sony’s cans are practically a no-brainer if you’re in the market. The sale ends tomorrow, though, so you might want to check it out sooner rather than later.