The Sony WH1000XM3 and the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 are fitting noise cancelling headphones for those seeking to eliminate needless distractions. In many ways, they offer the same features, but in others they differ. Each provides a different experience for users. The Sony WH1000XM3 end up being the better pair of headphones in our opinion as it matches the Bose in many features while upsetting it in others.
Breaking it down
Here's how the Sony WH1000XM3 and Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 stack up against each other and why we ultimately selected Sony's headphones.
|Product||Sony WH1000XM3||Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700|
|Battery Life||30 Hours||20 Hours|
|Quick Charge||5 hours with 10 minutes of charge||3.5 hours with 15 mintues of charge|
|Dedicated App||Headphones Connect App||Bose Music App|
|Weight||9 ounces||8.8 ounces|
|Dimensions||7.3 x 2.9 x 10.4 inches||6.5 x 2 x 8 inches|
Cancel the noise
Up until the release of the Sony WH1000MX3, Bose was easily dominating the noise cancelling headphone market with its Quiet Comfort line. But with Sony stepping up its game and in many regards surpassing Bose, the old stalwart went back to the drawing board with a completely revamped new pair of noise cancelling headphones that get close to topping Sony. Unfortunately, they don't quite achieve the feat.
Much of that has to do with feature sets and how even both phones are. In the noise cancelling section, you may as well call it an even draw. Each boasts an impressive array of microphones with proprietary algorithms that eliminate noise completely.
The Sony WH1000MX3 come with a dedicated noise cancelling/ambient button that adjusts the level of noise cancellation the headphones deliver. You can use the Headphones Connect App to adjust the level of noise cancellation to the granular leve you want. Whether you are sitting at your desk or taking a walk, this will let you create your own immersive experience.
Each boasts an impressive array of microphones with proprietary algorithms that eliminate noise completely.
Bose delivers a similar experience with its Noise Cancelling Headphones 700. You can completely personalize the headphones through 11 levels of noise cancellation depending on your situation, which can be done through the Bose Music App. It also offers a very customizable experience.
Other areas where the two headphones deliver a similar experience is with USB-C charging (with Quick Charge), voice assistant support, and comfortable fit. Unfortunately, both share finicky and annoying touch controls too.
So noise cancellation and other aspects aside, how does Sony take the edge over Bose? It's in the little things. For one thing, the Sony WH1000XM3 costs $50 less than the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700. The price difference is exacerbated when you consider battery life.
The Sonys deliver a class-leading 30 hours of battery life. That makes them perfect for long flights or something as simple as charging less in day to day use. On top of that, Quick Charge is much more robust with Sony's headphones. Ten minutes of charging gets you 5 hours of battery life. Bose trails behind in both sections with only 20 hours of battery life and 3.5 hours with 15 minutes of charging.
The Sonys deliver a class-leading 30 hours of battery life.
It might seem like the Bose don't have anything going for it, but that is not the case. If you choose them, you won't regret purchasing them. One the reasons you may choose to buy them is their unique modern design. Where as the Sony WH1000XM3 (and old Bose QC35 II) feature a classic, more understated design, the new Bose headphones offer a futuristic finish with a smaller band and unique adjusting mechanism. It might not appeal to everybody, but it is definitely something different certain people crave.
While on that note, the new design is left to be determined how comfortable it is. The QC35's design was super comfortable and as years on the market displayed, they were quite durable. This new pair still needs to prove it can hold up as well over the course of days, weeks and even years.
Even though the Sony WH1000XM3 earn our pick, we are also aware of its shortcomings that you should be aware of too. One issue plaguing the headphone is a cold weather effect. If you wear the headphones in subzero weather, around 20 degrees, the touch pad registers phantom touches. Music with play and pause, tracks will skip and volume will be randomly readjusted.
Though this issue can be annoying, it's worth noting most people won't be affected by this given they will use the headphones in doors. However, if that is an issue you are worried about, you may as well go with the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 and just save yourself the trouble.
Which one should I buy?
Our pick is the Sony WH1000XM3 as it delivers everything consumers want from a great pair of noise cancelling headphones such as its best-in-class battery life of 30 hours. And better yet, you'll save $50 in the process.
That isn't anything against the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700. They're fantastic in their own right and might be the right pick for you. We've laid out the pros and cons, it's up to you to decide that.
The best noise cancelling headphones
Sony is still the king of noise cancelling headphones with its WH1000XM3 taking our pick. From its amazing noise cancellation to its long-lasting battery life, there really isn't much more you'd want froom a pair of noise cancelling headphones.
The Stylish Option
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
Eliminate noise and look good doing so
The Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 just missed out on dethroning Sony, but they are still an amazing option for a lot of people. Want something with more style or more assistant options, this could be the right choice for you.
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