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Sony WF-1000XM3 Review: From A Runner’s Perspective


I’ve had the Sony WF-1000XM3 for over half a year now. As a big fan of Sony headphone gear, as you can tell from my unboxing of the Sony WH-1000XM4 and also how I managed to get those headphones for £105 cheaper than anywhere else, I am really putting Sony’s top product lines to the test.

Since there are already so many reviews out there for these headphones, I thought I’d give my perspective based on how I use it mostly. I generally ever only use these headphones for running as my XM4’s definitely would not be as ideal — given they cover your ears entirely and therefore would build up condensation quite quickly.

The cost of the Sony WF-1000XM3s generally range these days at around £150 (correct as of 10/01/2021) on Amazon (vs £220 on Sony directly), though there are deals online where you can get the headphones for as little as £128 *checkout

Here’s what you need to know.


Sony’s WF-1000XM3 wireless noise headphones look sleek, designed for business and generally I think they make you look good when wearing them. I’d give the design a 10/10 versus what’s out there in the market.

It comes with a battery pack which does kind of represent the Duracell battery colours with the nice sheen of rose gold and black, of course if you go with these colours. It’s really lightweight and packs a punch in charging capability too without compromising on design or weight.

However, one thing I’ve found is that the material on the face of the case is really, really easy to scratch. Be sure not to put the case and your keys in the same pocket; otherwise, you’ll end up with scratches all over the surface.

Key Features

  • Noise cancelling
  • Headphones have 6 hours of battery time, and the charging case offers an additional 24 hours. With noise cancelling off, you get about 32 hours of airtime
  • Hands-free calling
  • 360 reality audio
  • Bluetooth to connect to your phone or laptop


Here is where you can run into problems. Exercising and running with these on can be problematic. When I’ve done my 5Ks, I’ve generally had to constantly push the earphones in to ensure they don’t fall out after a couple minutes of running. They will fall out. Coupled with the fact that by touching the earphones in a certain way, you also stop any music you’re playing and you typically have to constantly tap your earphones until the music comes back. It can be really annoying.

I’m not too much a fan of Apple’s approach to their latest wireless headphones, but I know they work well functionally when running as my partner wears them whilst running. This is not to say that you can’t run with the XM3 on, but it might just be a little problematic. So I’d go as far as not recommending them for running.

At The Gym

Since the lock down, it’s been fairly difficult to go to the gym, but I can say for sure that these will work in a gym setting where your movement isn’t as heavy. Unless you’re doing Zumba classes where your movement levels can be quite high — having these on whilst doing bench presses, arm curls or any of the machines will not be a problem.

Call Quality & Mic

The call quality is very good — and I have no issues with anyone that I speak to and I always have come across clear. It does a great job, and the ambient sound is great and removing any background noise. Whilst I have not had issues, it does seem those on the official Sony forum have had issues:

I called Sony Support today and they kept asking me to repeat myself because they couldn’t hear me when I was using their earbuds

Final Thoughts

I really like the earbuds, and they work really well on walks out, low level exercise (they don’t unfortunately pass the ‘jump test’), but they are definitely great for all intents and purposes anything business related or for personal use with friends.

For a runner, I’d go with another pair of wireless earbuds that are purpose built for exercise, and that are waterproof too.

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