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Sony WH-1000XM3 Headphones VS WF-1000XM3 Earbuds – Which One to Buy?

Sony WH-1000XM3 Headphones VS WF-1000XM3 Earbuds – Which One to Buy?

by Aiman MaulanaDecember 18, 2019
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Sony WH-1000XM3 Headphones VS WF-1000XM3 Earbuds

Sony WH-1000XM3 Headphones VS WF-1000XM3 Earbuds - Which One to Buy?

If you’re a fan of noise-cancelling audio peripherals, then I’m sure you’ve considered getting either the Sony WH-1000XM3 or the WF-1000XM3. Despite some similarities, both products are catered to different people. Question is, which one should you buy? Let’s put the two in a head-to-head competition; Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones VS WF-1000XM3 earbuds.

If you want to see our review of the Sony WH-1000XM3, click right here. If you want to see the review of the Sony WF-1000XM3, click here instead.


Sony WF-1000XM3 Review - The Standard-Bearer of True Wireless Earbuds

I’m sure many of us want good audio but we also don’t want something that’s hard to carry around. While the Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones are portable enough on its own with its foldable design, it still can’t beat the Sony WF-1000XM3 earbuds.

After all, the earbuds (together with the charging case) can easily fit in most people’s pockets. The headphones will either require you to have it around your neck or chuck it in your bag. If you want to travel light, the answer is pretty simple.

Winner: Sony WF-1000XM3 earbuds

Listening Experience

Sony WH-1000XM3 Headphones VS WF-1000XM3 Earbuds - Which One to Buy?

It’s hard to compare technical specifications between the two given that one is a headphone and the other are earbuds. When you factor certain features like LDAC and aptX, which is available on the Sony WH-1000XM3 but not on the WF-1000XM3, it can seem very different.

However, both audio devices have great sound quality regardless. I am thoroughly impressed with both but I tend to lean towards the earbuds for a comfortable experience. This one will ultimately boil down to whether you prefer headphones or earbuds so I’m calling this one a draw.

Winner: Draw

Noise Cancelling

The Sony WF-1000XM3 is the first truly wireless earbuds to offer noise-cancelling. It works surprisingly well and, at least at the time of this writing, you can’t find another pair of earbuds that can offer the same. If you just need something with noise-cancelling technology, this will do just fine.

If you want the best noise-cancelling experience however, the Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones are noticeably better. Not only does it have superior noise cancellation, you can use the headphones just for noise-cancelling and nothing more, which isn’t possible in the previous iteration.

Winner: Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones


There are a number of devices that you can connect to for audio. If you simply want to connect to a device via Bluetooth, the Sony WF-1000XM3 earbuds can do just fine. You can connect to your smartphone, PC, and even the Nintendo Switch if you have a Bluetooth dongle for it.

However, if you ever find yourself needing to connect via wire, the Sony WH-1000XM3 has the capability of doing so. This means that any device that doesn’t have Bluetooth can be used with it. You can even get game audio on the PS4 by connecting it to the DualShock 4 controller. Moreover, Sony included a two-pronged flight adapter for in-flight entertainment use.

Winner: Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones

Battery Life

Sony WH-1000XM3 Headphones Review - Long Live the King

From my own experience, both devices are essentially capable of giving the same battery life that is being touted by Sony. That is a total of 24 hours for the Sony WF-1000XM3 (charging case is 18 hours) and 30 hours for the Sony WH-1000XM3. Just by this alone, the headphones have better battery life.

Battery life is superb on both devices but keep in mind that the earbuds themselves last about 6 hours. Then you need to pop it back into the case to charge it. The headphones can last 30 hours on its own, making it more convenient if you ever need a marathon-level use.

Winner: Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones


Sony WH-1000XM3 Headphones VS WF-1000XM3 Earbuds - Which One to Buy?

While these are great audio devices, they’re not exactly affordable. The Sony WF-1000XM3 earbuds are retailing for RM949 while the Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones are retailing for RM1,599. You might be able to find these at a lower price but the earbuds are definitely more affordable.

Winner: Sony WF-1000XM3 earbuds

Sony WH-1000XM3 VS WF-1000XM3 Final Verdict

Sony WH-1000XM3 Headphones Review - Long Live the King

With a final score of 3 to 2, the Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones is the winner of the comparison. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should avoid the earbuds and go for the headphones. This ultimately boils down to your audio needs.

If you need something that’s easy to bring with you, the Sony WF-1000XM3 earbuds are the better option. If you need versatility or the best noise-cancelling experience possible, then the headphones will be the one for you. There is no “true” better option in this regard.

Overall Winner: Sony-WH1000XM3 headphones

About The Author
Aiman Maulana
Jack of all trades, master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one. YouTuber, video editor, tech head, and a wizard of gaming. What's up? :)

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