Top positive review
11 September 2018
I could not decide between the B&W PX, the Bose QC35 or the 1000XM2. I knew I would regret not buying the other two if I chose one. So I waited, resisted the temptation to deal on the 1000XM2 price cut a few weeks ago. And then, by chance, came across the new XM3 version. A trip to John Lewis to try for comfort the PX, QC35, 1000XM3 and B&O H9 and I made my decision. I spent all evening playing with them and my biggest reservation, that I might prefer the impressive treble on the QC35, was resolved by the Sony App. You can meaningfully change the music with an effective equaliser on the App. I have owned the Beoplay H4 and found them impressive enough but a bit plasticky, so my teenage son got them. (The sound wasn’t full, my hunch being flat middle; I didn’t have surprises dancing from bottom right cup to top left cup – those little pops of sound almost physically bouncing around your head, whereas the XM3 has plenty) And fat plastic about an inch above the ear made the H4 uncomfortable. I’ve experienced the B&O App and the Sony App is far better. I have no negative issues with the XM3 at all (OK, they’re boxed a bit cheaply...what’s with that cheapo black cardboard ribbon lining….doesn’t matter, the carry case is nice).
I have never been happier with a new headset. And I loved the first version of AKG451, before build quality deteriorated. And the wired B&W P5 sounded fantastic. As an intermediate Bluetooth measure I bought the Srhythm NC25 for a throwaway price (and they are really quite good). But these Sony cups, I want to spend the rest of my life with them. I’ve just come off a phone call with the wife. She heard me clearly, so the phone mikes work. The sound cancelling is eery, it’s that effective, I’ve never heard the sound of silence before. I know the B&W look better, but I didn’t want the weight and I need headphones I can use when they lose charge, just by attaching a wire (apparently the PX can’t be used with no charge and just a wire, so how do you use them for in-flight entertainment….these Sony’s do come with the airplane adaptor.) That copper trim elevates the look very effectively, helping them look understated rather than cheap. Weight saving justifies plastic, instead of B&W metal, and the nifty copper trim softens the aesthetic compromise you have to accept with the XM3 versus the PX.
I was worried that the XM2s were not loud enough. The XM3s are plenty loud (at my desk on half volume or less using the iPhone 8).
The sound reproduction is the same with the NC on or off.
Swipe works very well.
I wear glasses. No issue.
I’ve walked out 15m to the garden with no loss of sound.
Cups are oval long (not round) and deep, so comfortable. The leather does not feel like it will tear easily. The case is as compact as you can hope for. I’ve managed to squeeze it into a Tumi shoulder bag together with a hardback book (a but lumpy, but I can zip it up).
I’ve been writing this while listening to Kate Bush, playing with the trebles happily. To check all-round I’ve just put I’m Not Scared on off the Introspective album. And then to go for bass a bit more, I’ve done Streets of Philadelphia. And then….Galvanise. OMG….BOOM, then tickle!!
Thank you Sony; the people who conceived, designed and built this must love what they do – they have made my world a much better place than I found it. They should be proud.