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I would have had a review of the WF-1000XM3s up sooner, but they arrived while I was traveling. That was a bummer for two reasons. First and most obviously is the fact that I hate being late with a review. Second and more selfishly, I really wanted to try them out on those 16-hour flights I just took to Hong Kong and back.
It’s a use case for Sony’s new fully wireless earbuds. The company’s clearly got the Bose market firmly in its sights with a pair of premium buds sporting plentiful battery life and active noise cancelling.
Preview - Couple - Weeks - Companies - Directions
As I noted in our preview a couple of weeks back, companies tend to go in one of two directions with these devices. There are the more active fitness products (see: Jaybirds and Powerbeats) and the general lifestyle ones (Airpods, et al.). It’s clear which market Sony is going after here — it’s exactly the same one it went after with its QuietComfort-besting over-ear headphones.
The XM3s (as we’ll refer to them from here on to save our poor “0” key) lack obvious fitness features like waterproofing and ear stabilizers for those who like to take their headphones for a run. If that last bit applies to you, these will do in a pinch, but you’ll want to look elsewhere for a running partner (Sony’s got the equally pithily named WF-SP700N for that).Those looking for a travel buddy, on the other hand, could do much worse.
Beats - Powerbeats - Pro - Sony - Battery
As Beats did with the Powerbeats Pro, Sony opted for battery life over portability with the XM3 case. Sony’s case isn’t quite as massive as Beats’, but it’s still probably too large for most pockets. The good news there, however, is that with a rated six hours of battery with active noise cancelling on (eight without), you should be fine...
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