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Sony’s new true wireless earbuds do one thing your AirPods can’t – active noise cancellation

I’m sure Apple is taking notes for its next earbud release.

Sony true wireless noise-canceling earbuds
Image: Sony

If you’ve been wanting some sweet headphones with active noise canceling (ANC) but don’t like over-ears, Sony has what you need. Coming on Aug 5, Sony’s WF-1000XM3 buds are true wireless earbuds that pack in the ANC of their bigger brother, the “Bose-killers” or WH-1000XM3 headphones.

As you might expect, they’ll be more expensive than AirPods, with a $230 MSRP. You do get a ton of more features for that extra cash, and probably better sound as Sony has what it takes to challenge any headphone manufacturer.

The Sony WF-1000XM3 bring noise-canceling to true wireless earbuds

Sony wf 1000xm3 earbuds in case

Image: Sony

The first few waves of true wireless headphones are behind us, and now it’s time for the form factor to mature. Gone are the issues with drop-outs, disconnections, and mediocre battery life. Now the race is on to bring value to the base level of specs and from what I can see, Sony is coming hard with this set:

  • Active Noise Canceling is a great addition to the true wireless form factor. It’ll work for music or even for phone calls
  • Sony says you’ll get six hours of listening with ANC on, and eight if it’s turned off. That’s bolstered by three more charges in the case
  • The earbuds have 24-bit audio processing, with AAC and SBC codecs. Unfortunately, that means no aptX or Sony’s own higher-res LDAC
  • They’re compatible with Siri and Google Assistant, and have touch controls
  • Sony’s awesome Quick Attention mode from the bigger over-ears made it into these buds. That means you can hold your finger over the left earbud and you’ll hear what’s around you for as long as you hold your finger down

The one feature missing? Some level of IP-rating for water/sweat-proofing. With true wireless earbuds being perfect for the gym, it’s beyond me why Sony decided to omit this. Sony told The Verge that they “did not hear any complaints from the previous model for breaking from using at the gym,” but it’s still a black mark against the otherwise awesome-looking buds.

What do you think? Do these buds from Sony interest you? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere. His hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.

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