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Sony WF-1000XM3: Masterclass in noise cancellation

Unheard of quality for truly wireless earbuds

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I could probably copy-paste a lot of what I wrote on the WH-1000XM3 hands-on and still be mostly accurate. When Sony said that most of what those cans offer can also be found on the WF-1000XM3, I was excited. But I also had my doubts. Those doubts though, were completely shattered.

Before we go on to how good it sounds, let me show you how pleasant it is on the eyes. Looks are always subjective and the Sony WF-1000XM3 in particular I like very much.

Sexy AF

The black variant has some gold highlights and that’s as sexy and elegant as it can get.

Looks boil down to preference and my eyes gravitate towards the Sony WF-1000XM3 more than the Apple Airpods

What I really l love is its size. It sits right in between the Apple Airpods and the Galaxy Buds. I think the Airpods protrude too much while the Galaxy Buds are a bit too tiny for my stubby fingers. The WF-1000XM3 is neither too long nor too small. It’s just right. 👌🏽

The magnetic case is also fantastic. It sucks the buds right in. Even if you turn it upside down, there’s no risk of it falling so easily unlike yours truly. Oddly enough, the case itself won’t stand right side up since the flat surface is the lid. Weird design choice, but nothing too bothersome.

I need to take “not-falling” lessons from these earbuds

The fit boils down to preference. You do get a number of eartips included in the box but for some people, earbuds just aren’t for them. And that’s fine. But if you’re into earbuds, I’m confident you’ll find something here that will work for you.

Tap to control

Similar to most wireless earbuds, both the left and right buds have a small touch panel. Tap the right bud once to pause and/or play, twice to go to the next track, and thrice to go to previous track.

The left bud controls the ambient sound. Tapping once turns ambient sound on/off. Holding the left bud pauses your music and turns on the ambient sound. It’s perfect for when you’re about to get your coffee.

I looked like a douche ordering coffee like this, but I swear I’m nice

The left bud also triggers the voice assistant. Press and hold to gain access to the assistant of your choice. Currently the WF-1000XM3 works with Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa.

Pairing, by the way, looks a little funky. You need to hold both touch panels on the right and left earbuds for about seven seconds for these to go into pairing mode. Once done though, the pairing is fast and smooth.

 

You can customize all these controls by whipping out your phone and going on the Sony Headphones Connect app. However, I don’t see anyone needing to tinker with this as much.

One thing you’ll need your phone for (or laptop if that’s where these wireless buds are connected) is volume control. There’s no way to adjust the volume on the buds so you’re left with having to reach for your device to do so.

I didn’t have a problem with this since that’s how I usually control the volume anyway. However, some people might find this to be an issue.

Masterclass in noise cancellation 

This is where these wireless earbuds truly shine. When the WF-1000XM3 was announced, Sony said it’ll bring a noise cancellation level that’s close to the WH-1000XM3. They weren’t lying.

One day I had a bunch of scripts to finish but it was pretty noisy in the GadgetMatch HQ since my colleagues were shooting something. I sat myself in our writing corner, put the earbuds on, and fired up my Animé Soundtracks playlist.

I was super zoned in that I didn’t realize one of my colleagues was calling my attention. It wasn’t until he tapped my shoulder that I noticed him.

Mood

But unlike the WH-1000XM3 ( I swear to goodness, Sony needs to come up with better names), the noise is just significantly reduced instead of cancelled when you’re not playing anything. However, when you turn on the music, that is all you will hear.

It was so much easier to get lost in all the emotion of RADWIMPS’ Nandemonaiya from the movie Your Name or get pumped to BURNOUT SYNDROMES’ Fly High from the series Haikyuu!!  Because the WF-1000XM3 just isolates you from your surroundings letting you take the music all in.

In fact, the music and noise cancellation is so good that I don’t recommend you turn it on when you’re out on the streets. I drew the ire of a motorist one time I was walking home because I wouldn’t get out of his way. But that’s more a commentary on the lack of actual sidewalks where I usually walk more than anything else.

Be mindful when you’re out on the streets

My advice is to always be aware of your surroundings when you have these earbuds on.

Superb sound quality 

That said, when you have the luxury of actually tuning everyone out without worrying too much about what’s around you, these babies work like absolute magic.

It’s fantastic for long commutes. When I know I’m gonna be on the road for over an hour, I usually turn to podcasts. Give She Said, He Said, a listen if you want more tech fix.

For more pop culture stuff try this. I usually listen to sports podcasts so for NBA stuff I’ve been listening to The Ringer NBA Show a lot lately. If you’re into women empowerment and female athletes there’s this relatively new one called Go Hard Girls.

Been listening to Gravity a lot lately

Whatever you decide to listen to, it’s guaranteed to sound great on the WF-1000XM3. I find the audio to be perfectly balanced. I was never really the type to be all about that bass, but if you are, the settings can be tweaked on the app.

If you’re all about the music, I find that the nice evened out sound that these earbuds produce lend nicely to any genre. On any given day I switch from Fall Out Boy to TWICE and when I’m in the mood to dwell in my recurring existential dread, I just put John Mayer’s Gravity on repeat.

Probably not a gym partner 

It’s important to note that these earbuds are not IP-rated. While Sony says there hasn’t been any reports so far of it breaking from exposure to sweat and/or moisture, it’s probably wise to go with something else when you’re on your fitness journey.

That’s about the only major concern. If you tend to move around a lot, you don’t have to worry about these falling off. Once you find the tip that’s right for you, they’re pretty snug without being uncomfortable and you don’t have to worry about these falling from your ears.

Great battery life, okay for calls 

I’ve had these earbuds for a week and charge it was the first thing I did. I haven’t plugged it even once during the entire testing phase and I’ve used it a lot for listening and video editing.

6-8 hours on a single charge with two full charges provided by the case

I have also taken a few calls with these on. I got zero complaints from the person on the other line about how I sound. However, I still won’t record anything using these mics. For things like that, it’s best to still go for something wired.

Is the Sony WF-1000XM3 your GadgetMatch? 

As of writing, I’ve yet to test the earbuds that people say are in direct competition with the Sony WF-1000XM3. But if you’re looking at this against the likes of the Apple Airpods, Samsung Galaxy Buds, or even the Jabra Elite 65t, I can confidently say these blow those out of the water.

You probably won’t use the app a lot but it’s nice to have

The extra cash you’re paying for is worth the level of noise cancellation and sound quality that you’ll get from these beautiful earbuds. Speaking of which the WF-1000XM3 is available in the Philippines for PhP 12,999. In Singapore it retails for SG$ 349 (US$ 257). You can check your local Sony websites for pricing elsewhere in Southeast Asia.

The noise cancellation, sound quality, battery life, and even design that the Sony WF-1000XM3 offer adequately matches its price point. Sony’s ahead of the pack in the noise-cancellation department and the WF-1000XM3 — while it badly needs a new name — is a testament to that.

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AirPods 3 Unboxing and Review

Watch before you buy!

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If you’ve been holding your money for so long just to buy the new AirPods 3 (also called the AirPods 3rd Generation), this is your chance to finally get one.

But with the absence of removable ear tips and Active Noise Cancellation from the AirPods Pro, would you still consider buying the pair?

Head over to our AirPods 3 Unboxing and Review to help your impulsive self.

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New MacBook Pros, AirPods 3 now for pre-order in Singapore

Time to splurge!

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MacBook Pros

Following Apple’s October event that saw the reveal of new AirPods and the much anticipated new MacBook Pros, the aforementioned devices are now up for pre-order in Singapore!

AirPods 3

The latest addition to Apple’s AirPods family features Spatial Audio and Adaptive EQ. Both features contribute to a more immersive and more surround sound experience as you enjoy your favorite tunes from Apple Music or your favorite podcasts.

It retails for SG$ 269. Delivery begins on October 26. That’s also when it’ll be available in Apple Stores.

MacBook 14″ and 16″

These 2021 MacBooks are the biggest update to Apple’s notebooks in years. Other than sporting the brand spanking new and super powered M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, the 14″ and 16″ MacBook Pros also got significant upgrades elsewhere.

Firstly, Apple has brought back the ports. Instead of just two Thunderbolt 3 ports, there are now three (3) Thunderbolt 4 ports, an HDMI port, and a must for pros — an SD Card slot. The 3.5mm jack also gets an upgrade allowing support for high grade headphones.

The display also gets an upgrade promising 1,000 nits of sustained brightness, as well as Promotion for that oh so smooth 120Hz refresh rate.

Pricing are as follows:

MacBook Pro 14″, M1 Pro, 512GB SSD — SG$ 2,999

  • 8-Core CPU
  • 14-Core GPU
  • 16GB Unified Memory
  • 67W USB-C Power Adapter
  • Comes in Space Grey or Silver

MacBook Pro 14″, M1 Pro, 1TB SSD — SG$ 3,749

  • 10-Core CPU
  • 16-Core GPU
  • 16GB Unified Memory
  • 96W USB-C Power Adapter
  • Comes in Space Grey or Silver

MacBook Pro 16″, M1 Pro, 512GB SSD — SG$ 3,749

  • 10-Core CPU
  • 16-Core GPU
  • 16GB Unified Memory
  • 140W USB-C Power Adapter
  • Comes in Space Grey or Silver

MacBook Pro 16″, M1 Pro, 1TB SSB — SG$ 4,049

  • 10-Core CPU
  • 16-Core GPU
  • 16GB Unified Memory
  • 140W USB-C Power Adapter
  • Comes in Space Grey or Silver

MacBook Pro 16″, M1 Max, 1TB SSB — SG$ 5,249

  • 10-Core CPU
  • 32-Core GPU
  • 32GB Unified Memory
  • 140W USB-C Power Adapter
  • Comes in Space Grey or Silver

Delivery begins on October 26. That’s also when it’ll be available in Apple Stores.

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Apple quietly launched a polishing cloth worth $19

Yes, it’s a piece of cloth

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All eyes were on the new MacBook Pro during Apple’s Unleashed event this week. With a new processor inside, it’s no surprise. However, behind all the glitz and glamor, Apple launched a more surprising product behind closed doors. For arguably its most premium product so far, the company launched the Apple Polishing Cloth for US$ 19.

Launched quietly on Apple’s online store, the Polishing Cloth (yes, that’s its official name) can reportedly clean any Apple display with its “soft, nonabrasive material.” In terms of appearance, the new accessory has an incredibly simple design: a white square cloth with a subtle Apple logo.

If you’ve ever cleaned a device before, you might find the Polishing Cloth a bit familiar. Yes, it’s basically any nonabrasive microfiber cloth available on the market today. And it’s worth around ten times a non-branded one. With an exorbitant price relative to others, the accessory might have the most premium price for an Apple product.

However, despite the intense price, the new accessory is already sold out. Currently, the store page pegs the next earliest shipping date at six to eight weeks from now. Some of Apple’s products do require a more rigorous cleaning, according to Apple.  If you have such a device, you might find use for the expensive cloth. If not, well, there are cheaper alternatives.

SEE ALSO: Apple iPhone 13 mini Review: STILL My Favorite!

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