Rebecca Khan

Audio, Bluetooth Headphones, Electronics, Headphones

Sony WF-1000XM3 Vs Apple AirPods: Which Are The Best?

Apple’s best-selling AirPods are a pair of solid wireless earbuds. For one thing, they are true wireless earbuds. They offer great iOS connection, decent sound, and probably the best charging case on the market. That explains its growing appeal among users. Lately, though, several contenders for your wireless earbud purchase have come out in their droves. The Sony WF-1000xM3 is one of those.

When Sony’s full-sized MDR-100X first dethroned the Bose Quiet Comfort 35, it was seen as a real coup. But, it was no fluke. They tightened their grip on the crown with two more iterations. The wireless marketing has proved a bit more challenging, until you plant Sony’s second-generation wireless in-ear beauties in your ear. The noise cancellation, fantastic sound, and superior battery life, are all at a premium level. The WF-1000xM3 is surely one of the favorites on the market now. Would you rather purchase, though?


  • Design and Fit

Sony hasn’t come to sell an AirPod knock-off. The unique WF-1000xM3 comes with a flat, oblong design, available in black copper trims or silver with gold accents. It does its best to stay in the background while delivering true hi-fidelity in-ear experiences.

The wireless earbud landscape is still goofy, and the WF-1000xM3 is not exempt. They’re still less chunky than the Bose SoundSport Free, however. While the AirPods rest in your ear, the Sony’s peanut-shaped buds fit snugly in your ear canal, thanks to six nice eartips in three different sizes.

The charging case is not comparable to the flip-top charging case of the AirPods, as it is less convenient to carry around in a pocket, though copper-colored top sits properly on flat surfaces.

Be sure to check below for price drops between retailers:

  • Features

The original AirPods certainly had the most features on the market, and this remains the case, to a large extent. Hardly surprising, considering Apple was a pioneer of true wireless earphones. You’re guaranteed 24 hours of listening time (with the charging case), five hours of listening time, and built-in touch controls. There are also sensors that alert the headphones that are in your ears (works only for iOS!) and excellent pairing, relying on Apple’s H1 chip.

Apple’s advanced features won’t intimidate the WF-100XM3. The Sony model offers in-ear sensing and touch controls too. But, they offer noise-canceling – a feature the AirPods lack inexplicably. Two microphones sit outside the earbuds to quench sounds from the outside world. You can even pipe in sound when you hold the touchpad on the left earbud.

They provide superior battery life than AirPods even with noise-canceling on. Six full hours when blocking out sound and eight hours when not; and 24 full hours in the case if noise-canceling is active, and up to 30 hours without it. A quick-charging feature allows up to 90 minutes of playtime with around 10 minutes of charging.

The Sony Connect app adds more functionality to the WF-1000xM3, permitting equalization, specific levels of noise reduction, and enable or disable Sony’s proprietary DSEE-HX engine, which plays music at the highest possible quality.

Sony WF-1000xM3 definitely wins on this ground.


  • Sound Quality

Sony wins this one hands-down, with its silicone eartips, adjustable EQ, and superior processing. The AirPods are not totally on the back foot, though. The bass response is massive for earphones without the ability to tune out the outside world.

But, Sony’s sound processing competes breathlessly with models like the Beats PowerBeats Pro and Sennheiser Momentum, which are more expensive.

Be sure to check below for price drops between retailers:

  • Wrapping Up

The Sony WF-1000xM3 is the obvious winner in all categories. There are still reasons to choose the AirPods though. If you’re price-conscious, Apple’s AirPods cost $160 for the non-wireless charging case option. This is significant savings considering the Sony’s $230 price tag.

Also, the fact that the AirPods pair excellently with iOS devices will lure many buyers to it. Yet, if you want the best true wireless headphones between the WF-1000xM3 and the AirPods, the Sony would take the crown effortlessly. This is due to their supreme sound, excellent battery life, and noise-canceling capability.