Sony aims shrink ray at noise-canceling headphones with its WF-1000XM3 earbuds

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Over the past several years, Sony has become a big player in the world of noise-canceling headphones, with its WH-1000XM3 over-ears easily ranking as our favorite pair of headphones ever since its launch. Today, the company has announced it will take a shrink ray to that tech, putting their acclaimed noise-canceling chip inside a brand new pair of true wireless earbuds, the WF-1000XM3 (we know, confusing name).

The new headphones are packed with compelling features, including six hours of battery life with noise-canceling on (eight hours with it off) and a 24-hour charging case, and touch controls. Like Sony’s bigger over-ear model, you can touch the left earbud to quickly pipe in some ambient sound from the outside world, making it so you don’t have to remove a headphone to hear an announcement or have a quick conversation with a flight attendant.

In terms of aesthetics, these don’t appear to be the most compact true wireless headphones you’ll find, but they don’t look as bulky as the earhook-style Powerbeats Pro either. The WF-1000xM3 are pill-shaped buds that look like tiny versions of the Bluetooth headsets you may have used a decade ago.

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A big thing Sony is touting about the new headphones is their sound quality. The headphones feature the company’s Digital Sound Enhancement Engine HX (DSEE HX), which has the ability to upscale compressed audio formats to make them sound of higher quality, and they also feature the ability to play 24-bit audio, which is the same bit depth at which it is typically recorded in the studio.

Another thing that the company has addressed explicitly in the WF-1000XM3 is video latency. Because older chips were slower, we’ve often seen true wireless models that simply don’t sync up with YouTube or Netflix on your phone. Sony says it has solved this problem with the WF-1000XM3, thanks to improved processors.  Call quality should also be excellent, with the company stating that it will employ both noise-canceling and specialized microphones to make sure you come through crystal clear on the phone.

We have yet to hear Sony’s latest pair of true wireless headphones, but we certainly look forward to spending some time with them in the coming days: We should be getting a pair in-house shortly, and will put them through their paces as soon as possible.

At least on the surface, these headphones seem as though they could be among the best on the true wireless market, which has yet to feature a great pair of noise-canceling headphones.  The WF-1000xM3 will be available for pre-order on Amazon starting today, and will ship to customers in August. They will cost $230.

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