Summary of Sony WF-1000XM3 test
Booming bass that doesn’t overwhelm? Check. Bright heights that offer depth but do not distract? Do you bet? Solid performance across a variety of genres? 100 percent. The Sony WF-1000XM3 checks almost every box for sound quality. These earphones really capture the openness of albums like The Appleseed Casts The Fleeting Light of Impermanence, loaded with overlaid guitar riffs, rhythmic drum fills and spacey synths. This is exactly the style that some earphones can compress into a boring mess. But with Sony’s latest sound, the sound stays big and airy, so the individual drums stay crisp. The guitar riffs are plucked over it instead of getting lost under it.
Bass-heavy genres also sound great on the WF-1000XM3. The low-end tone is big and booming, but it’s never too much. This means that Gojira’s The Way of All Flesh’s hammering heavy metal drums do not drown out complicated finger taps or other guitar riffs. It’s pretty chaotic music, but the WF-1000XM3 organizes everything and every instrument stands on its own.
When it comes to hip-hop, these earphones don’t deliver the same sound as over-ear headphones, but they process them better than most true wireless options. Denzel Curry’s ZUU can sometimes be a bit much for her, but the album is full of powerful bass. The WF-1000XM3 inspires with slightly milder hip-hop like Flying Lotus’ Flamagra and Anderson Paaks Ventura.
The noise cancellation is only part of what makes the sound so clear here. Sony also uses a Digital Sound Enhancement Engine HX (DSEE HX) with the WF-1000XM3. It is software that acts as a digital audio converter (DAC) and amplifier. The main purpose is to scale compressed audio files to “bring them closer to the quality of high definition audio”. In other words, as close to 24-bit audio as possible via Bluetooth. Even if you are not immediately impressed by the sound of the Sony WF-1000XM3, the Sony headphone app can help. Just like the WH-1000XM3 headphones (note the one-letter difference. Many thanks to Sony!) You can use the companion software to optimize the EQ, select a tuning preset and adjust the clear bass level.
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