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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Sony WF-1000XM3 earphones review: Can impress the audiophiles

The Sony WF-1000XM3 has premium written all over it. In our full review of Sony WF-1000XM3 find out if you should spend Rs 19,990 on the earphones.

Rating: 4 out of 5
Rs. 19,990
Written by Nandagopal Rajan | New Delhi |
Updated: August 4, 2020 12:21:51 pm
Sony WF-1000XM3 earphones The Sony WF-1000XM3 has premium written all over it (Express photo: Nandagopal Rajan)

With there being no dearth of new brands in any segment, Sony has been clearly trying to tout itself as a premium player, whatever it is selling. While it does have products across price points, it wants to stand out for the premium experience and branding it offers customers with these products. Now, just weeks after coming up with its most affordable truly wireless earphones, the company has launched the premium Sony WF-1000XM3, catering to a different breed of customers.

The Sony WF-1000XM3 has premium written all over it. So the charging case has a copper chrome lid and is a bit larger than the pods we have seen from other brands. It also means there is more battery power here. There is a red LED that glows as long as the earphones are inside. Inside, the earphones are nestled tightly and have LEDs to show they are charging. As you pick them up, the red LEDs change to blue for an instance to show the pairing. All very suave and subtle.

The earphones of the Sony WF-1000XM3, with a dash of copper on it, are big and cover the insides of your ears fully. Large earphones are actually good, because it means more battery life and a better microphone. They fit well and stayed in place despite the brisk walks. But the Sony WF-1000XM3 is clearly not meant to be used in the gyms as the design language suggests. This is more for your music lounge, calls in cafes and relaxed evening strolls in the park.

The earphones are touch-sensitive and you can customise what you want to do with either earpiece. By default, the left earphone has the navigation controls plus smart assistant and the right one is for noise cancellation and related settings. The customisations can be changed using the Sony Headphones Connect app. Just keep in mind that the sensitivity on the earphones is high and it is better to keep your hands away from your ears when you are enjoying an album.

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Sony WF-1000XM3 earphones The Sony WF-1000XM3 earphones sport a dash of copper on it that are big and cover the insides of your ears fully. (Express photo: Nandagopal Rajan)

The Headphone Connect app is crucial for your premium experience with the Sony WF-1000XM3. While it lets you customise the touch buttons and access the equaliser, it also offers some unique features. There is, of course, the optimisation for 360-degree audio we have written about before. Along with that, the app can switch to a preset when it understands that you have reached a certain location, like your office. The only issue here is that the app is using your location all this time and thus eating away the phone battery.

The audio profile of the Sony WF-1000XM3 is excellent, and as expected a bit heavy on the bass. But the equaliser gives you the ability to pump down the bass a bit according to your taste.

There is certain full-bodied roominess about it. And the overall experience is rich and layered. The notes surround you from all sides, almost wrapping you in audio bliss.

The Sony WF-1000XM3 uses DSE HX sound enhancement engine and with high-quality audio files the experience is taken to a whole new level. The lows are accentuated and the high is controlled, the overall experience exquisite. Listening to A R Rahman’s /Kadal/, I could feel the earphones enjoy the myriad influences of Rahman’s genius and rise up to the occasion with whatever the challenge was. This is one that will keep audiophiles happy.

With the noise cancellation on, the Sony WF-1000XM3 can let you be, with your music and your thoughts. Even without the music, the noise cancelling is powerful enough to take away the drone of my old ceiling fan and let me concentrate on work. There is also the ambient sound mode for when you don’t want to be completely cut off from your environment. You can switch off noise-canceling and completely shift to normal, especially if you want to save battery.

Sony WF-1000XM3 earphones The audio profile of the Sony WF-1000XM3 is excellent, and as expected a bit heavy on the bass. (Express photo: Nandagopal Rajan)

But you won’t have to do that much as the earphones have six hours of charge and another 18 hours more in the case. However, ensure that you place the earphones into the case properly as there is a tendency for it to not latch on correctly and leave one of the earphones with less power than the other.

The earphones are also good for calls even though, like other Sony truly wireless sets, the audio profile changes to something different and tinny when a call comes in. But this HD call quality ensures both sides hear what is being said.

At Rs 19,990, and launch price of Rs 17,990, the Sony WF-1000XM3 is a good option for the discerning music lovers who want something on their ears all the time, switch between their favourite song and office calls. This has enough featured to impress the audiophiles as well as the geeks.

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