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Sony WF-XB700 vs WF-1000XM3 (2020): Comparing Sony’s True Wireless Earbuds

Sony recently launched the Sony WF-XB700, its latest true wireless earbuds that boast EXTRA BASS and water-resistance. With an SRP of 130USD, they come at a more affordable price point than the Sony WF-1000XM3 noise-canceling earbuds. As the flagship 1000XM3s have recently seen price drops, choosing between the Sony WF-XB700 and the WF-1000XM3 can be confusing. Our detailed comparison below will guide you on which wireless earbuds are the better purchase for you.

Sony WF-XB700 vs WF-1000XM3 Wireless Earbuds Comparison Chart

ModelSony WF-XB700Sony WF-1000XM3
 sony wf-xb700Sony WF-1000XM3
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Dimensions4.9″ x 5.2″ x 3″5.6″ x 4.72″ x 2.5″
TypeIn-EarIn-Ear
Special FeatureExtra BassActive Noise Cancellation
ANC LevelsN/A3
Customizable EQNoYes
Runtime

Up to 9 hours

Additional 9 hours more from the charging case

Up to 6 hours

Additional 18 hours more from the charging case

Quick Charging10 minutes for up to 1 hour more10 minutes for up to 90 minutes more
Water ResistanceIPX4N/A
BluetoothVersion 4.2Version 5.0
Auto-PauseNoYes
Ambient ModeNoYes
Audio CodecsSBC, AACSBC, AAC
Touch ControlsNoYes
Voice ControlsYesYes
App ControlN/ASony Headphones Connect
NFC PairingYesYes

Color Options

Blue, BlackBlack, Silver

Release

April 2020October 2019

Design and Build

The WF-XB700s are equipped with a multi-function button while the more premium-looking WF-1000XM3 offer touch controls

design and build quality
Both Sony wireless headphones come with a compact charging case

While both are wireless in-ear headphones designed with Sony’s Ergonomic Tri-hold structure, the Sony WF-XB700 and the WF-1000XM3s have different aesthetics. The WF-1000XM3s and its matte finish look more sleek and elegant than the WF-XB700s’ rounder profile. When worn, the WF-XB700s protrude farther out of the ear than the 1000XM3s. Both earbuds stay secure when worn, just make sure you choose the custom-size ear tips that best fit your ears. 

The Sony WF-XB700s house a physical button at the bottom part of each earbud while the WF-1000XM3s have touch-sensitive earbuds for touch controls. Both wireless earbuds offer two color options. The XB700s come in blue and black while the 1000XM3s are available in black and silver. 

Noise Cancellation

The active noise cancellation of the Sony WF-1000XM3s can block out most ambient noise, but struggle to eliminate sounds with high-frequencies

noise cancellation sony WF
With their ear tips’ secure seal, the WF-XB700 (left) and the WF-1000XM3 (right) offer great passive noise cancellation

Unlike the Sony WF-XB700, the WF-1000XM3s are equipped with active noise cancellation capabilities. However, whether they significantly eliminate external noise compared to the passive cancellation of the WF-XB700 is another story. While they can block out ambient noise such as vehicles and muffled conversations, they cannot completely cancel sounds with high frequencies.  Unlike the WH-1000XM3s, the WF-1000XM3s earbuds don’t have the earcups that add an extra physical barrier to block out noise. 

Where the ANC of the WF-1000XM3s can really work wonders is with voice calls. They work better than the WF-XB700 for audio calls as they can eliminate ambient sound that can affect call quality. When used in quieter environments, the WF-XB700s are usually good enough when used for making calls despite the lack of active nose-cancelation features.

Audio Quality

The Sony WF-XB700s deliver deep, vibrant EXTRA BASS while the WF-1000XM3s offer a more balanced profile

audio quality
Sony provides impressive, detailed audio quality across its entire line of headphones

The ‘XB’ in the WF-XB700 stands for EXTRA BASS, and its bass indeed is extra. Headphone users who like listening to pop, EDM, or rap music will find satisfaction in the punchy, lively bass of the XB700s. Even with deep bottom-ends, their highs are clear and undistorted. 

Meanwhile, the Sony WF-1000XM3s have a more balanced, neutral profile. What’s great about the 1000XM3s is their EQ settings can be customized using the Sony app, a feature not supported by the XB700s. You can use any of the EQ presets, including a Bass Boost preset, or play with EQ settings to achieve the sound profile you like. This makes the WF-1000XM3s the more versatile wireless earbuds.  

Set up and Controls

Both Sony wireless earbuds are compatible with voice assistants, but the WF-1000XM3s offer more control options

wf-1000XM3 auto-pause
The WF-1000XM3s can detect when you remove an earbud and automatically pause the audio

Equipped with NFC connectivity, both the Sony WF-XB700 and the WF-1000XM3s can be paired almost instantaneously with any iOS or Android device. Neither earbuds have latency issues, but the new WF-XB700 earbuds use Bluetooth 4.2 whereas the WF-1000XM3s boast Bluetooth 5.0. The more updated Bluetooth allows the XM3s to connect to two devices simultaneously. 

Both the WF-XB700 and the WF-1000XM3s can be used with smart voice assistants such as Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Overall, the WF-1000XM3s offer more controls. For instance, they can be connected to the Sony Headphones Connect app, a feature that the new XB700s lack. Their earbuds are further equipped with touch panels for convenient playback, volume, and other controls. 

Battery Life and Additional Features

The Sony WF-XB700s offer up to 18 hours of usage while the WF-1000XM3s boast up to 24 hours of runtime; the XB700s are IPX4-rated

charging case sony wf-xb700 vs wf-1000xm3 (6)
Their portable charging cases pack more battery life

The Sony WF-XB700 wireless earbuds can run for up to 9 hours and their tiny charging case packs 9 hours more. Meanwhile, the WF-1000XM3 wireless earbuds only offer up to 6 hours of playtime, but their charging case can add up to 18 hours more. When in a rush, charging the XB700s and the 1000XM3s for 10 minutes can add an extra 60 minutes and 90 minutes, respectively.

Users who are active and intend to use the earbuds for workouts will find the IPX4-rated WF-XB700s the safer choice between the two. The XB700s are protected from sweat and splash, making them ideal for more active use. On the other hand, the WF-1000XM3s are better for more casual everyday use such as at home, work, or while traveling as they are not water-resistant. 

Verdict

The Sony WF-1000XM3s offer more features and look sleeker than the WF-XB700s

Sony provided a more cost-effective alternative to the WF-1000XM3s when they launched the WF-XB700. However, the 1000XM3s have seen considerable price drops since the XB700s were released, making it tougher to choose between the two. If you can get the 1000XM3s on sale (as they are at the time of writing), you’ll get more value for your money as they are noise-canceling, have customizable EQ, look more premium, and offer more advanced features.

On the other hand, if you see yourself using the wireless earbuds for workouts and you often listen to music that will sound better with deeper bass, the WF-XB700s are the better fit for you. For their price, they deliver great audio and reliable functionalities Sony has always been known for. 

FAQs

📌 Which earbuds are better, the Sony WF-XB700 or WF-1000XM3?

If you’re after noise-canceling earbuds for everyday use, the Sony WF-1000XM3 fit you better. The Sony WF-XB700 earbuds are better for those who need earbuds for workout or outdoor use.

📌 Which deliver better bass, the Sony WF-XB700 or WF-1000XM3?

The Sony WF-XB700 have a more boosted bass than the WF-1000XM3s which have a more neutral sound profile.

📌 Are the Sony WF-XB700 water-resistant?

Yes, they are IPX4-rated so they’re safe for use during workouts and activities that may cause you to sweat a lot.

📌 Are the Sony WF-1000XM3 water-resistant?

No, they’re not water-resistant so they’re not recommended for workout use.

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Rhodaline Escala-Phelps
Rhodaline Escala-Phelps

Managing Editor and Team Leader at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about people, product comparisons, culture, and current events.