I just wrote a little while ago about the new Bose 700 headphones and here we are with an answer of a different kind from Sony! I currently have the Sony WH-1000XM3 noise cancelling headphones and love them but these new Sony noise cancelling earbuds sure look pretty great!
Sony Launches New Noise Cancelling Earbuds
Link: Sony WF-1000XM3 Preorder (this is an affiliate link – thanks for the support!)
Earbuds vs Headphones for Noise Cancellation
First question – why would someone choose noise cancelling earbuds over noise cancelling headphones? Until now, pretty much no one would for the simple reason that earbuds have not provided compelling enough noise cancellation to work. Headphones provide over-the-ear protection to help insulate the ears from sound while the earbuds go into the ear.
The Sony Noise Cancelling Earbuds – The Sony WF-1000XM3
But, according to early looks of the pre-production units, Sony has done a great job of inserting their noise cancelling technology into an earbud shape. Earbuds do have the advantage of fitting snugly into the user’s ears and Sony provides 7 tips for these earbuds that should help provide the perfect fit.
The new Sony WF-1000XM3 earbuds are available on preorder as of right now for $230 and will start shipping next month (August) and be available at all retailers then.
One of the other things I saw mentioned in early looks (check out ARS Technica)is that it appears that Bluetooth connectivity is excellent with little to no dropping of signal – something that many earbuds tend to struggle with in some areas.
Good for Travel, Commuting, and What Else?
While these will certainly not be as great as noise cancelling headphones for complete isolation, it appears that the Sony WF-1000XM3 could do a really, really good job in a much smaller package. While not as small as Apple AirPods, they are much smaller than headphones. For the commuter and traveler, sometimes having something small is a good trade off to having full coverage.
I would love to see if these are insulated enough from water/sweat/moisture to be used for running. While having noise cancellation on while running is not a good idea, I wouldn’t mind being able to replace my running earbuds and Sony noise cancelling headphones with just one set of earpieces!
As for battery life, they are rated for 8 hours of use in regular Bluetooth fashion and 6 hours if noise cancellation is activated. To make it even better, they do have a quick charge feature (as well as USB-C – thank you very much!) that will give you another 90 minutes of use with just a 10 minute charge. Also, the earbuds case will give you 3 charges of the earbuds.