Sony WH-1000XM3 vs Sony WH-1000XM2: The Later, The Better Bluetooth Headphone

Sony WH-1000XM3 vs Sony WH-1000XM2 The Later, The Better Bluetooth Headphone

Since its inception, Sony headphones have been known for their quality sound and design. The new Sony headphones WH 1000xm3 vs 1000xm2 are no different, with each model offering superior sound quality and innovative features. 

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the two models to help you decide which is right for you.

Sony WH1000XM3

The WH1000XM3 utilizes all of Sony’s headphone expertise, delivering the greatest active noise cancellation we’ve yet experienced, along with superior sound quality, long-lasting battery life, and user-friendly gesture controls.

Sony WH1000XM3


  • QN1 processor significantly enhances noise cancellation.
  • Processing audio in 32 bits
  • Over USB-C charging, Intuitive gesture controls


  • Then the Bose QC35 II and 700, bigger
  • Assistant replaces the integrated Ambient Sound control.

Sony WH1000XM2

The noise-canceling of Sony’s older ANC headphones still sounds great and rivals that of the well-known Bose QC35 II. These are still a fantastic purchase if using Micro-USB is OK for you.

Sony WH1000XM2


  • Has still got the best noise cancellation
  • It can be purchased and used for less money.
  • Can be collapsed for simple transportation
  • Same gesture controls


  • Micro-USB is still used for charging.
  • Since its release, the retail price has remained constant.

Sony wh-1000xm2 vs Sony wh-1000xm3 Specs comparison

Sony Best Noise Cancelling Headphones sony wh-1000xm2 sony wh-1000xm3
Check Prices Best Buy sony wh-1000xm2 Best Buy sony wh-1000xm3
Color Options Gold, Black Silver, Black
Headphone Type Closed, dynamic
Wearing Style Circumaural
Volume Control Touch Sensor
Driver Unit 1.57″, dome type (CCAW Voice Coil)
Magnet Neodymium
Impedance (Ohm) 46 ohm (1 kHz) (when connecting via the headphone cable with the unit turned on), 14 ohm (1 kHz) (when connecting via the headphone cable with the unit turned off) 47 ohm (1 kHz) (when connecting via the headphone cable with the unit turned on), 16 ohm (1 kHz) (when connecting via the headphone cable with the unit turned off)
Diaphragm Aluminum coated LCP
S-Master HX Yes ??
Input(S) Micro USB, Stereo Mini Jack Stereo Mini Jack
Frequency Response 4 Hz-40,000 Hz
Frequency Response (Bluetooth® Communication) 20 Hz–20,000 Hz (44.1 kHz Sampling) / 20 Hz–40,000 Hz (LDAC 96 kHz Sampling, 990 kbps)
Frequency Response (Active Operation) 4 Hz–40,000 Hz
Sensitivities (Db/Mw) 103 dB/mW (1 kHz) (when connecting via the headphone cable with the unit turned on), 98 dB/mW (1kHz) (when connecting via the headphone cable with the unit turned off) 104.5 dB / mW (1 kHz) (when connecting via the headphone cable with the unit turned on), 101 dB / mW (1 kHz) (when connecting via the headphone cable with the unit turned off)
Passive Operation Yes
Cord Length Headphone cable (approx. 4.92 ft, OFC strands, gold-plated stereo mini plug) Headphone cable (approx. 3.94 ft, OFC strands, gold-plated stereo mini plug)
Plug Gold-plated L-shaped stereo mini plug
Bluetooth® Specification
Bluetooth® Version Version 4.1 Version 4.2
Effective Range Line of sight approx. 30 ft (10 m)
Frequency Range 2.4 GHz band 2.4 GHz band (2.4000–2.4835 GHz)
Supported Audio Format(S) SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX HD, LDAC
Supported Content Protection SCMS-T
Noise Canceling
Noise Canceling On/Off Switch Yes
Automatic AI Noise Canceling Yes ??
Personal NC Optimizer Yes
Atmospheric Pressure Optimizing Yes
Ambient Sound Mode Yes
Quick Attention Yes
Battery Charge Time Approx. 4 hrs Approx. 3 Hours (Full charge)
Battery Charge Method USB
Battery Life (Continuous Music Playback Time) Max. 30 hrs (NC ON), Max. 38 hrs (NC OFF)
Battery Life (Waiting Time) Max. 40 hrs (NC ON), Max. 200 hrs (NC OFF) Max. 30 hours (NC ON), Max. 200 hours (NC OFF)
Noise canceling Digital Noise canceling lets you listen without distractions HD Noise-Canceling Processor QN1 lets you listen without distractions
Personal Noise canceling Optimizing and Atmospheric Pressure Optimizing Unique automatic personal NC, and Atmospheric Pressure optimization
Bluetooth & NFC Wireless freedom with BLUETOOTH® technology and NFC
Adaptive Sound Control Smart Listening by Adaptive Sound Control automatically adjusts ambient sound to your activity
High-quality audio High-quality audio with DSEE HX™, S-Master HX ™ and LDAC High-quality audio with DSEE HX™ and LDAC
Weight Approx. 9.7 oz Approx. 8.99 oz
What’s In The Box Carrying Case; Plug Adaptor for In-flight Use; Headphone cable (approx. 4.92′, OFC strands, gold-plated stereo mini plug); USB Cable Carrying Case
Plug Adaptor for In-flight Use
Connection Cable
USB Cable

Item in Box

For both headphones, Sony offers the same content. Aside from the headphones, the box also contains a TRS audio cable, a micro-USB charging cable for the XM2 and a type C charging cable for the XM3, an airline adapter, a manual, and a carrying case. Unlike its predecessor, which had a pleather finish, the XM3’s case has a fabric finish.

Item in Box

Built Quality

The XM3 is marginally superior to the XM2. In contrast to the XM2, the XM3 has a different appearance and feel. It has a two-tone headband that is slimmer, has characteristic oval earcups, a lower profile that will suit most ears, is a touch lighter, and has stylish accents around the vents.

The difference in weight between Sony headphones wh 1000xm3 vs 1000xm2 is only about 20g, so it’s not much, but once they’re on your head, the better, low-profile headband makes them feel less clumsy and heavy.

Built Quality

Both headsets’ hinges share a similar design, which seems to make them sturdy enough. As opposed to the metallic finish of the XM2 headband, the XM3 headband features a pleather cover finish.



In terms of comfort, the XM3 is superior. One of the more pleasant wireless over-ears we have tried is the XM3, which has thicker and better pads than the XM2. They should fit most ears better because of this, and you should be able to use them longer than the XM2 without getting tired or sore.


The swiping motions on the XM3 feel a little more responsive, and the auditory beeps for feedback are a little quieter, so they don’t disrupt your listening as much as they did with the XM2.

The controls remain the same: double-tapping pauses and resumes music while swiping up and down adjusts the volume on the right ear cup. Left and right swipes rewind and skip tracks, respectively. The remaining buttons are located on the left ear cup.


The XM3’s buttons have undergone a small modification to make them significantly more tactile and simple to distinguish by feeling alone. In addition, unlike the XM2, the ambient key is slightly longer than the power/pairing key.

On both headphones, the ambient mode button functions identically; however, on the XM3, you may change it to activate Google Assistant using the Sony headphone connect app.


Although the XM2’s sound quality is slightly more neutral and balanced in the bass region, if you enjoy deep bass, you might prefer the XM3. The XM3 performs substantially better and has a nearly flawless response in the mid-range.

Sound- sony 1000xm3 vs sony 1000xm2

Contrarily, the XM2 has a dip, which will slightly detract from the harmony of the main instruments and voices. These two headphones perform similarly in the treble department, with the XM2 being slightly more neutral, albeit the difference is small.

Both of these headphones include an EQ built into the app, so you should be able to customize the sound to your tastes.


We have measured a number of over-ear active noise canceling headphones, and these are by far the best, so we are really impressed. The low background noise of airline and bus engines, workplace chatter, and the sound of air conditioning systems can all be reduced or eliminated thanks to their superb performance in the bass, mid, and treble areas.

According to our observations, the ANC system of the XM3 and XM2 are almost equivalent, although the XM3’s ANC system tends to operate better and more consistently, most likely due to its upgraded headband and earpads.


The XM3 has a notable reduction in leakage compared to the XM2, which is likely due to its upgraded headband and earpads. As long as you don’t blast your music and aren’t in a place that is really quiet, like a library, you won’t have to worry about upsetting anyone around you when using the XM3.

Options for Active Features and Connections

Options for Active Features and Connections

There is a minimal delay with the two Sony headphones. The XM3 performs marginally better than the Xm2 in terms of wireless range, with a distance of 53 feet when blocked by walls and roughly 185 feet in a straight line of sight. In contrast, the XM2 had a straight line of sight range of 45 feet and roughly 172.


The XM3 lasted roughly 27 hours on a single charge with background noise canceling turned on and at typical volumes, while the XM2 lasted slightly longer at 28 hours. Both headphones promise a 30-hour battery life, which is in line with the findings we got.

sony wh-1000xm2 vs sony wh-1000xm3 battery

The XM3 charged completely faster than the XM2, taking only roughly 2.1 hours as opposed to the XM2’s 3.6. With the quick charge feature, you can play for up to 5 hours after just 10 to 15 minutes of charging.

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FAQs about sony headphones wh 1000xm3 vs 1000xm2

Should I upgrade from M2s to M3s?

Since you currently have a pair of Sony WH-1000XM2 headphones, upgrading to the newest model doesn’t seem like it would be worth the money. In other words, it isn’t a STEP high for M2s.

With any improvements to the microphone quality, I’m positive I’ll only be purchasing the Rose Gold logo. Additionally, the quick charging capability with USB C may not be worth spending additional money merely to upgrade from the M2s. In that case, it may be preferable to wait till you receive a step improvement above the M2s.

In summary, I do not suggest it to anyone who already owns Sony M2 cameras.

Is WH-1000XM4 an improvement to WH-1000XM3?

In comparison to the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless, the Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless is more feature-rich. The WH-1000XM4 has more talk-through control choices, supports multi-device pairing, and has a longer continuous battery life.

Is today a good time to purchase a Sony WH-1000XM3?

Does the Sony WH-1000XM3 warrant purchase? Yes, even after the WH-1000XM4 was released, the WH-1000XM3 is definitely still worthwhile to purchase. Because they are a unique breed of headphones that perform effectively in almost every circumstance, active noise cancelers are extremely desirable.

Is the Sony WH-1000XM2 pricey?

A good wireless noise-canceling headset for commuting is the Sony WH-1000XM2. They are marginally superior to the MDR-1000X and offer more customization. They perform similarly in the majority of areas but offer better apps and more reliable sound quality.

How effective is the Sony WH-1000XM3 noise cancellation?

For commuting, the Sony WH-1000XM3 is excellent. When you have some background music playing, their ANC function performs an excellent job of blocking out ambient noise. They also boast simple controls and a battery life of 27 hours, which should be more than enough for the majority of lengthy flights and commutes.

Is the Sony WH-1000XM3 water resistant?

The WH-1000XM2 & WH-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling versions are not meant for usage in humid environments and are neither waterproof nor splash-proof. Your product could be damaged, and there is a risk of fire or electric shock if water or other substances get inside of it.

Dolby Atmos is supported on the Sony WH 1000XM2?

The Dolby Atmos and DTS 7.1 audio formats are not supported by these headphones.


After extensive testing, we’ve come to the conclusion that the Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones are a significant upgrade over the Sony WH-1000XM2 headphones. The new headphones offer better noise cancellation, improved sound quality, and more comfortable ear cups. If you’re in the market for a new pair of Sony headphones, we highly recommend the 1000XM3 model.

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