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Sony WH1000XM3 Noise Cancelling Headphones, Wireless Bluetooth Over the Ear Headset – Black (2018 Version)

4.6 out of 5 stars 21,588 ratings

Black
Brand Sony
Model Name WH-1000XM3/B
Color Black
Form Factor Over Ear
Connectivity Technology Bluetooth

About this item

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  • DIGITAL NOISE CANCELING: Industry leading ANC lends a personalized, virtually soundproof experience
  • PHONE CALL: A built-in mic enables you to take hands-free calls.
  • VOICE ASSISTANT: Alexa enabled for voice access to music, information and more. Activate with a simple touch
  • QUICK ATTENTION MODE: Cover the right ear cup to turn down your music for instant, easy conversation
  • PERSONAL NOISE CANCELLING: Adjusts ambient sound to your activity for the best noise cancellation
  • TOUCH CONTROLS: Control music tracks and volume, activate your voice assistant and take phone calls
  • LONG BATTERY LIFE: A single charge provides up to 30 hrs of playtime for reliable all day listening

Important information

Legal Disclaimer

This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm. For more information go to www.P65warnings.ca.gov

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From the manufacturer

1000xm3
WH1000XM3

ONLY MUSIC. NOTHING ELSE.

Industry-leading noise canceling headphones with mic and Alexa voice control.

work from home
30 hr

Extra-long battery life with quick charging

Up to 30 hours of battery life on a single charge keeps you listening instead of charging. Low on battery? No problem – 10 minutes of charge time gives you an amazing 5 hours of playback.

Sony Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones

WH-1000XM3

WH-1000XM3

WH1000XM4

WH-1000XM4

xb910n

WH-XB910N

ch710

WH-CH710N

Type
Over-ear Over-ear Over-ear Over-ear
Noise Cancelling
Premium Noise Canceling Industry-leading NC Digital Noise Cancellation Digital Noise Cancellation
Battery Life
30 Hrs 30 Hrs 30 Hrs 35 Hrs
Quick Charge Battery
10 Min charge 5 Hrs playback 10 Min charge 5 Hrs playback 10 Min charge 4.5 Hr playback 10 Min charge 60 Min playback
DSEE Extreme with Edge-AI
Hands-free calling
Yes Yes, with 5 microphones Yes Yes
Touch control
Ambient Sound Mode
Customize Sound with app
Multi Device Connection
Wearing Detection
Foldable design

What's in the box

  • Carry Case
  • Charging Cable USB-C
  • Audio Cable
  • Product guides and documents

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    Product information

    Warranty & Support

    Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here. [PDF ]

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    Sony WH1000XM3 Noise Cancelling Headphones, Wireless Bluetooth Over the Ear Headset – Black (2018 Version)


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    Product Description

    Sony industry-leading noise cancellation evolves to further immerse you in your music. The addition of Sony proprietary HD noise canceling processor Qn1 masterfully eliminates the noise around you. Listen all day with up to 30 hours of battery life. Quick charging gives five hours of playback with just a 10-minute charge. Cord Length: Headphone cable (approx. 3.94 ft, OFC strands, gold-plated stereo mini plug); Frequency Response: 4 Hz-40,000 Hz; NFC: Yes; Cord Type: Single-sided (detachable); Volume Sensor: Touch Sensor. Diaphragm - Aluminium-coated LCP.

    Customer reviews

    4.6 out of 5 stars
    4.6 out of 5
    21,588 global ratings

    Top reviews from the United States

    Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on September 24, 2019
    Color: BlackVerified Purchase
    Customer image
    Ben
    4.0 out of 5 stars Great Performer with Few Shortcomings
    Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on September 24, 2019
    Quick Summary: (4/5)

    The Sony WH-1000XM3 is a great pair of headphones that hold their own against the tenured Bose. The Sony's provide a fun and full listening experience to a wide array of music genres that will make most perfectly content with their purchase. Bose's QC headphones will provde a more refined and pleasent listening experience especially for the discerning listener and will provide a stronger noise cancelling performance in a home or office setting. The stronger sound signature of the Sony will hold out better in a lounder atmosphere such as a plane, train, or automobile with its stronger bass performance. The Sony's lack the grace and balance of the QCs, but will provide a more familiar experience to the majority of listeners and will appeal more to someone who likes the sound of Apple's Beats, but is looking for a more professional or subtle design.

    Full Review:

    For the Sony WH-1000XM3 ($350), I will primarily compare it to the Bose Quiet Comfort (QC)($350) since even though they are all in the same relative price range, they are technically closer in price and age. I will also provide a little comparison to Bose's NC700 ($400) and Sennheiser's Momentum ($400) in the summary. Also, I will primarily discuss the pair of headphones in question and how it relates feature-wise to the Bose's Quiet Comfort (not QCII) headphones while refraining from giving too many details about the others, since you can read more specifically about those pairs individually in the review posted under their respective products. The reason for that is mainly to keep the review from becoming a master's thesis in subjective preferences. :)

    Initial Impression:

    Starting with the packaging. Simple and straight forward. The outer shell has a nice texture to it, but sliding out the insert with the headphones in it reveals a very simple package structure made up of just the case holding the headphones inside a box. However, the case itself feels really nice and has a sleek color palette. Very appealing to feel and look at in my opinion. Although the case is a touch bigger than the one for Bose's QC, it does a better job of holding its headphones. The QC's case always feels uncomfortably tight when putting them away. Sony's case neatly holds everything comfortably (without having to squish them in to zip it closed). The case is stiff, but not really hard. The inside is the same as the QCs with a soft microfiber feel to it. The headphones fold up inside with three little slots to the right for (inside to outside) the airplane adapter, 3.5mm aux cord, and USB Type-C charger cable.

    The Headphones:

    When I first picked them up out of the case, they felt nice. Soft plastic with a good feel to them. The plastic has a sparkle to it with a matte finish that resists fingerprinting decently. The band of leatherette on top is soft and has good cushion. Similarly around the ear cups. Very soft and nice to the touch. Not as stiff as the QCs. The click of the band when expanding it is satisfyingly stiff. At the top of both ear cups, you can see one of the microphones in a rose gold finish. Some other smaller holes are hidden around more subtly for the NC array. I feel this is a minor plus for the Sonys. The QC's microphones are a little more prominent and pick up wind a lot more outside. The USB Type-C port is at the bottom of the right cup with an indicator light. The left cup has the power button along the bottom back with the button for toggling the noise cancelling level just above it. Inside the ear cups, there is microfiber layer covering the drivers over a layer of foam. Overall the Sony's feel a little lighter than the QC's but also feel just slightly more flimsy when handling them. But the design is also more appealing and fluid and frankly more premium.

    When comparing the headphones while putting them on, the QC again feel more snug and naturally isolating before turning them on. The cups feel like they form a better seal given the stiffer covers and the QC also have angled drivers that leave natural room for your ears inside the cup, making the headphones not feel like they are sitting on your ears, but rather around them. The Sony are by no means uncomfortable, but may tend to be less comfortable for longer wear times and might make your ears prone to getting hotter.

    Sound Quality:

    For starters in this section, I will compare the noise cancelling. Upon turning the Sonys on, you are greeted by a woman's voice that sounds like it is in a tin can or cave when she speaks. When the NC kicks in, it does a darn good job of removing ambient sound and muffling people talking somewhat. It feels very close to the NC of the QCs, but I would still give them a leg up because the Sonys have a much more noticeable white noise factor playing whereas the QC feel more like they just sucked the sound out of the atmosphere around you. For the traveling folk (I primarily wear them in a typical office setting which any of these work plenty well for), I would say given the more aggressive, forward, pronounced sound stage with the Sonys, you will find them blocking sound better in a car or plane without the sound (especially on the lower, bass end) being washed out. The QCs have better NC, but the sound is softer in general so the sound still gets overwhelmed in a car/plane. I am not saying the NC is not doing its job, just that what you are left with is weaker with the QCs because the sound itself is subtler and more refined so you have to turn them up louder to make up for this.

    Now, it is difficult to judge sound since it is so subjective, but I will try to give my own impression of what each headphone may be better for. I listen to a wide range of genres, so I can appreciate many styles of music and how they are represented by different types of headphones and speakers. First, the Sonys bring a more forward sound. The sound stage isn't as wide as the QCs. Instruments get mixed together and lost in the fray. The sound of the Sonys feels more akin to that of Beats Studio. The bass is more pronounced and punchy which may be more appealing to some. If you prefer a balanced and clean representation, the QCs will serve you better. As you turn the volume up, the Sonys also lose more of their balance and can become muddy. The QCs give more of an impression that the music is playing around you, while the Sonys just feel like they're playing music. (if you really want to feel like you are on stage with the music, Sennheiser's HD800S is king. The HD700 or HD660S do a good job too at a better price, but these are all studio headphones, so totally different use case to begin with.)

    Where I really felt more of the performance shining through came in the Rap, R&B, or even some EDM/House area. I can definitely appreciate Sony more for some 2pac, Destiny's Child, Infected Mushroom, or Daft Punk. They are little too aggressive for music you may want a finer touch with such as jazz or opera. When listening to some Kenny G, David Benoit, or Keiko Matsui, you get that groove, but the fine details and intricacies of the instruments are sacrificed. Also, the sharp trills of the piano keys and saxophone are a bit much at higher volumes. The visceral in-your-face nature of the sound also makes them pretty fun for bands in the vein of Disturbed, Five Finger Death Punch, Pantera, and Metallica. Going a bit further that direction, with the likes of Eluveitie and Slayer it will be more likely to give you a headache from the unsubdued highs and thrashing sounds. Taking a couple steps back and going for some more classic rock like the Eagles, Journey, Gerry Rafferty, etc., the QC will perform better, but they are fine with Sony's headphones. Finally, when listening to music with a gentler atmosphere like Norah Jones, Ray LaMontagne, Ludovico Einaudi, or Celtic Woman, I would have to give it to Bose's QCs again but the Sony did liven them up a bit in a way.

    Features:

    Both Sony and QC have three levels of NC. High, Ambient sounds, and off. The QC handle this a lot better. The mid level for the Sony feels worthless and clumsy without audio playing. It almost sounds better being turned off. On the QC, the mid level provides a good balance and allows you to wear them outside on a windy day with reduced noise from the wind in the NC microphone. However, in the case of the QC (instead of the QCII), you need the app to change the NC level.

    The QC claim 20 hours of battery, which I have thoroughly proven to be true in the years I have owned them. Sony's claim 30 hours, which I have also found to be true, but I haven't had them nearly as long to see how they hold up over time. Also having had the QCs for longer, I have had to replace the ear pads after about 2 years. This process was easy and made them feel and sound new again with the better seal of fresh pads. The process for both headphones appears to be the same.

    Call quality is great for both headphones. I also use them for Skype calls from my laptop at work where they work great. However, this is one of those places the Sony completely dropped the ball. Bose's QCs allow two devices connected at the same time, and you can switch seamlessly between them which makes them great for the office. I have them on the laptop and my phone at the same time. I can listen to music while working. When its meeting time, I just join the Skype call and it immediately picks up. If I get a call on my phone, it switches back over. When I am done, music is ready to go. I don't have to touch anything. Next time I turn them on, it picks backup to the laptop and my phone immediately.

    Both charge fast. Just a few minutes will give me a couple hours of use in a pinch. Both also have apps. The Bose app is laid out better and more useful, but neither are really great or even necessary except in the case of the Bose being able to sync two pairs of Bose headphones to play the same music or audio through both. This may be a good deal for a couple seeking to both watch a movie on a plane or something. I have done this a couple times and it works well once setup. It is a nice feature in favor of Bose, but I haven't really found a lot of use for it in reality.

    For the Sonys, you have the features with the right cup having touch controls. This is fairly slick and works better than I expected. It only took a couple attempts to get the hang of it and it is responsive. Swipe up and down for volume. Swipe left and right for skipping tracks. Double tap to play and pause. And finally, if you hold your fingers on the right ear cup, it will turn the volume down and turn on the external microphone to catch ambient sound if you need to talk to someone really quick without stopping your music. A nice feature, but I personally haven't found much use for it. Might be useful for people in a bigger city like NYC walking around with the headphones constantly and you don't want to take them off every time you need to listen for a moment.

    Conclusion:

    Sony's WH-1000XM3 are no slouch and stand up for themselves at this price range. For someone looking for a pair of headphones with solid noise cancelling, flexible and diverse performance across genres and premium features, you won't go wrong with these. I dock them to 4/5 stars simply because in my own opinion, they fall short of Bose's QC series at the same price range in the overall quality and balance of the sound, noise cancellation ability, and the ability to connect to two devices at once and seamlessly hand off between them which is extremely handy for business people in today's multi-device world. Now, for my brief mention of the slightly more expensive options in the Bose NC700 and Sennheiser Momentum. If you are willing to step just a bit further up to the $400 mark, you will get even better quality, better noise cancelation, more premium feel and just overall better devices. However, I will propose that with the Sony or Bose QCs, you would not go wrong. For the majority of people, I would not say the extra money is worth it for the marginal increase over these headphones. It will mostly come down to your preference in sound.

    I will try to keep these reviews updated as time goes on and if anything comes up. Feel free to ask any questions and I will give a response when I can.
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    Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on December 4, 2019
    Color: SilverVerified Purchase
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    5.0 out of 5 stars Very good for the Money
    Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on December 4, 2019
    All right. I figure it's about time to write up a review of these headphones, seeing as I've spent some decent time with them and the Christmas sales should be happening and some of you may be wondering if you should spring for these - OR - wait it out until the next model Mk IV eventually shows up.

    The most frequent question I get is "How long do these last with Noise Cancellation on?"

    With the ANC (active noise cancellation) function ON - I've seen about 22-24 hours or so of Bluetooth-connected operation with these. The noise cancellation operation / ambient sound mode of these headphones are run entirely by the internal charged battery.
    Someone asked me a while back if with the headphones connected to your phone via the headphone cable, if they would still have noise cancellation / ambient sound mode even if the battery was dead and the answer is no, no they will not. You can still listen to music through the 3.5 mm physical cable with a depleted battery, but noise cancellation will not be available. Actually, you also can't use Bluetooth / noise cancellation when even in the process of charging these headphones… (see "gripes" towards end of review).. so I guess it's good Sony decided to bestow a quick-charge 5-hour use time after a 10-minute charge function into these (using a wall receptacle USB adapter of course).

    Basically how it works is if you have an energized battery in the headphones you can use the noise cancellation and the Bluetooth connection - which also serves to activate the right ear cup touch-pad to perform functions on the headset.
    If you have an energized battery and decide to use the direct 3.5mm headphone cable to connect to your phone or computer instead, you can still use the noise cancellation, but the touch-pad will not be available to utilize as the cord now takes over for Bluetooth to serve music (and as it depends upon the Bluetooth connection to "talk" to the paired device for functions, the touch-pad is disabled).
    If you have a depleted battery you cannot use noise cancellation or the touch-pad but you can still get sound out of them like a regular pair of headphones by using the 3.5mm cable plugged into your phone or computer.

    The connectivity through Bluetooth seems really robust. I have had only one minor issue since owning these where the sound of what I was listening to hiccupped out for a fraction of a second a couple times, but I think it had more to do with my phone not behaving at that moment and not the headphones themselves causing the problem. Walking around inside or outside or for traveling, the connection has remained stable since.

    How "Good" the active noise cancellation works in any pair of headphones is somewhat subjective... but I can say these work really well, bearing a few things in mind and that we've not quite reached the technological level yet of producing truly silent headphones the quiets absolutely everything. Not for $350 dollars anyway.

    The headphone Manual itself states that "Noise Cancellation" works primarily in the low frequency band and that although noise is reduced, it is not completely cancelled.

    I can best equate the effect with just the active noise cancellation mode on and with nothing playing through them, to having a good set of hearing protection earplugs in your ears.
    Everything sounds reduced, especially things like dronning, humming, knocking and footsteps...there is a general quieter sound you experience, but you're not left completely oblivious to some noise coming through a little.
    These headphones will not surround you in a magical protective vacuum bubble when you have them on.
    However:
    The real magic happens when you start playing music through these headphones or listening to a movie or such. With the active noise cancellation diminishing the outside sound pretty well all on its own, the sonic enjoyment of what is playing through the headphones is not restricted at all... you get full volume, clarity and bass and that simply causes the outside world to melt away, leaving you with a little comfort-cocoon that really does impress.

    I have had very good success with these headphones canceling out unwanted noises and / or being able to enjoy what I want to listen to across a range of scenarios: Noisy Neighbors next door doing noisy things, kids pounding around upstairs in the house, traveling in the car (as a passenger of course - not driving!), a couple bus commutes, and so forth.

    As for the sound quality, I will say that they are very good. These are not high-end audiophile reference headphones costing thousands of dollars, but there is definitely high-quality audio out of these with a nice sound stage and separation with additional tweeking you can do through Sony's Headphone Connect application to adjust equalization and bass.
    These are not the loudest headphones I've ever used... I've had models that are almost obnoxious in their power delivery, to the point of being painful to listen to with the volume all the way up. I am the type of listener who likes a bit of punchiness in their music, but also appreciates nuances over ham-fisted bass slamming into my ear canals at the expense of everything else...and I will say that with the noise cancellation feature turned on, I'm actually enjoying music at a lower volume level than I'd need with other headphones. The WH-1000XM3's ability to effectively mute the outside distractions allows me to concentrate on what I'm listening to, and I don't need the volume cranked up to enjoy a range of music.

    I did have to tweek a few things with the app to suit my preferences, but I am left very happy with what these can deliver. Of note, you can set two "Custom" EQ settings in the app, so one you might use for punchier bass and the other for higher treble or vocal listening.

    The weight of these is impressively light. I might have been initially expecting them to have a weightier feel... maybe because I was thinking that with the added components necessary for noise cancellation, those would increase the headphone weight by several ounces. I'm happy to report that these headphones are able to be worn comfortably for extended duration with no feeling of pinched ears or sore spots. The ear cups on the WH-1000XM3's are of a more oval design than circular as found on my older Sony MDR-XB950BT headphones, and this makes them very comfortable to wear even laying back on a pillow or car seat. The thick padded circular ear cups on other headphones tends to press up against the back of a pillow or seat, and causes some pressure and discomfort against the back of my ears if worn too long when reclined.
    No such issues with these.

    I have seen a few complaints online about people reporting that their ears get warm after wearing these for a while. Having spent some time with these, I personally think it's the effect of just wearing a pair of closed-back headphones with snug-fitting padded ear cups causing this. Every pair of closed-back headphones I've worn with padding that encapsulate your ears will get to feeling a little warm after extended sessions with them on. For me personally, I have not had discomfort with these on even after a few hours of listening to music and watching a movie with the noise cancellation activated.

    The Phone Call microphone is something that many people seem to have initially hated on these headphones - many comments about how "it's garbage" and so on, reside on the internet.
    I am not sure where the hate is coming from, as I've had no issues making or taking phone calls with these, and nobody has complained about the call / microphone quality. Maybe Sony updated something in later production runs, but for whatever reason, the microphone seems fine on my pair. Certainly no worse than other headphones I've used. I will note that I did update the firmware to version 4.2.2 when I first fired-up the Sony App and when I used the headphones for the first time, so possibly that update may have corrected previous microphone problems.

    I have tested charging the WH-1000XM3's using an Anker PowerCore II 20000 battery bank and with a longer Anker USB-C to USB-A type cable than what Sony provides (see quibbles below), and they work together fine. The Anker battery bank will certainly output a 1.5 A current or more easily, which is what these headphones require for standard charging times.

    In conclusion, I am very happy with the Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones.
    Some people may consider these to be really expensive at $350 dollars US, but I don't think thats necessarily true. They're about $100 dollars more than other good quality headphones with similar performance sans active noise cancellation.
    Is the extra $100 bucks for having ANC worth it? To me, Yes. Definitely.
    The noise cancellation ability of these has allowed me to enjoy quiet time and listening pleasure that otherwise I wouldn't be able to have with regular headphones.
    You'll have to decide for yourself, but in a world with an ever increasingly loud and invasive noises you have to contend with daily, I've really really gotten to love using these, despite a few issues I don't really like.

    ****************************************************
    Some minor quibbles:

    A literally 6-inch long USB-C to USB-A power cable, Sony?
    I just shelled out $350 bucks for a set of your headphones and you stuck me with a barely-useable power cable, never mind no included USB power adapter?
    You couldn't get the bean counters to authorize even a foot of cable? Jeeze.
    If you buy these headphones you are going to for sure want a longer USB-C to USB-A cable to charge these with. Anker has some nice ones you can get right here on Amazon.

    The right-hand ear cup touch-pad is novel, and it has worked for me fine.
    My only little grumble about it, is the function to pause the music or accept a phone call requires you to do a quick double-tap with your finger on the center of the ear cup touch-pad. Problem is, my ear is in there and the sound of my finger quickly tapping it makes a loud "Thump-Thump!" sound I find annoying. I would have MUCH preferred a physical button instead.

    I picked the "silver / grey" model color of these headphones, simply because they looked a bit different than the boring ol' black every other headphone comes in. I have noticed that depending on the color temperature of the surrounding light, they can appear to look anywhere from a silver / grey coloration to more of a champagne / very light tan in color. It's not off-putting, and I do like the color of the headphones... but some of you may not appreciate the reactive effect these have in either cool or warm colored light. Figured I'd mention it.

    My big gripe: You cannot CHARGE these headphones and at the same time, listen with them using Bluetooth or with the ANC on. That seems backwards as Hell to me, considering I probably own at least 10 other electronic devices that CAN be used WHILE they are charging. My Smart Phone, yup. DSLR camera, sure. Voice Recorder, indeed. Graphing Calculator, Uh-huh. Sony MiniDisc Player from literally 15 YEARS ago? YES.
    So why is it that with these modern $350 headphones, you can't plug them into a usb wall adapter, laptop, or battery bank with a USB-C cable and keep enjoying ANC and Bluetooth connection and listening enjoyment while charging? The moment you plug the USB-C charging cable into these, you lose all Bluetooth and ANC, and the sound shuts off until you stick the physical corded 3.5mm cable into the audio source…which at this point means you're now using a pair of regular headphones because again: No Bluetooth, no Active Noise Cancellation going on.
    Very very strange, and although with 20+ hours of listening on tap with a full charge, I still question if this isn't something that really should be improved upon with version Mark IV.

    Wishes for FUTURE: Improved ANC with better elimination of higher pitched / sharp noises, maybe an available headphone stand that can provide the headphones with some type of inductive charging might be nice. Oh, and let us be able to charge AND listen to these with Bluetooth / ANC active at the same time please, Sony.
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    Top reviews from other countries

    Ashley
    3.0 out of 5 stars Love them.
    Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on September 5, 2018
    Color: BlackVerified Purchase
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    Ashley
    3.0 out of 5 stars Love them.
    Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on September 5, 2018
    Coming from the 1000XM2 there are some differences. The M3's are a lot more comfortable for long periods of listening, the ANC is better but I dont think its 4X better and the over all sound is improved but not by much (M2's were already very good). The M3's have better separation with the high, mids and lows, sound stage and imaging improvement is minuscule. The biggest and main reason I upgraded was USBC no more switching between Micro USB and USB C, fast charging is also amazing. Well worth it IMO.

    Edit 09/07/2018:
    After having used the M3's in different environments near construction sites, public transit, malls and in the busy city, I can confidently say that the noise canceling is A LOT better on the M3's maybe even 4X better as Sony states.

    Edit 02/27/2019:
    After a few months of using the 1000XM3 its hard to recommend these. They sound fantastic. But if you're living in a place where its 0°C/32°F or below for almost half the year you may want to skip these, or wait until Sony finds a way to fix the phantom touch issues where your touch pad triggers play/pause, assistant, noise canceling, volume and quick attention at random, making these headphones very annoying to use.

    Sony's fix:
    Turn your headphones OFF and ON again — this simple act of rebooting resets certain parameters within the device and will solve any unpredictable product behavior.
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    Jeremy
    3.0 out of 5 stars