The third generation of the Sony 1000X series is arguably got the most significant increase over its predecessor. First of all, the design has been refined even though it still looks similar. Sony claimed that their latest headphone to be slightly slimmer and lighter but the ear cushions and head are even thicker in order to increase comfort.
The biggest improvement is a separate processor labeled QN1 which is specifically the brain of the noise canceling-performance. Sony said the sound blocking performance was four times better than before, and it was also helped by a pair of microphones that were tasked with capturing sound from outside, before finally being forwarded to the processor to be eliminated.
This processor, combined with DAC (digital-to-analog converter) and integrated amplifiers, is able to handle audio files up to 32-bit resolution. The driver unit itself is 40 mm in diameter and is assisted by a diaphragm made from liquid crystal polymer (LCP), capable of providing a frequency response of 4 – 40,000 Hz.
Sony also adding a number of smart features in 1000XM3. The first one is Adaptive Sound Control, where headphones are claimed to be able to detect physical situations automatically, then adjust their performance.
Secondly, Quick Attention Mode allows users to listen to the sounds around them without having to take off headphones. Simply cover the right earcup by hand, then the volume will drop instantly. For information, 1000XM3 does rely on gesture-based operations on the earcup.
Finally, the Customizable Automatic Power Off feature allows users to activate the noise canceling function without having to play songs or connect headphones to the cellphone. Headphones are pretty worn, so the sound from outside will be blocked, and users can rest quietly without having to be accompanied by music.
There is also NFC integration to facilitate the pairing process, as well as Google Assistant support. The battery is believed to be able to last up to 30 hours of use with active noise canceling, and the device also supports fast charging features via USB-C. Even if the charging can’t be done, 1000XM3 can still be used with a standard audio cable.