Sony released the third generation of its premium noise-canceling headphones – the Sony WH-1000XM3. They are more comfortable thanks to the redesigned earpads and they are lighter than the 2nd generation so you can wear them all day (however, this was done by dropping the metal elements in favor of plastic).
The biggest improvement comes from the dedicated QN1 noise-canceling processor. Most NC headphones block out droning noises (e.g. from an engine), but the QN1 can also cancel out voices.
If you do need to hear what people are saying, ‘Quick Attention’ mode reduces the volume when you hold your hand over the earcup. You can also adjust how much ambient noise goes through, so you can walk around and be aware of your surroundings.
Sony finally switched to a USB-C port for the 1000XM3. The headphones also support fast charging – a short 10 minute charge is enough for five hours of listening. Also, the battery charges from 0-100% in three hours (down from four) and can last a total of 30 hours on a charge.
Features returning from the XM2 generation include the assistant trigger – summon either the Google Assistant or Siri (depending on what phone you use). Also, the Atmospheric Pressure Optimizer adjusts the frequency response of the headphone drivers and the microphone to work better at high altitude (or rather at the lower cabin pressure in a plane).