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Sony WF-XB700 vs WH-1000XM3 (2021): Which Sony Wireless Headphones Should You Get?

Released in the spring of 2020, the latest addition to Sony’s EXTRA BASS line is the Sony WF-XB700 truly wireless headphones. How will the new WF-XB700 compare to the highly-rated Sony WH-1000XM3 wireless noise-canceling headphones? From aesthetics to price, these two models are vastly different. Our review below gives a rundown of their specs and features to help you decide which Sony headphones better suit your preference and needs. 

Sony WF-XB700 vs WH-1000XM3 Noise-Canceling Headphones Comparison Chart

ModelSony WF-XB700Sony WH-1000XM3
 Sony WF-XB700 EXTRA BASS True Wireless Earbuds Headset/Headphones with Mic for Phone Call Bluetooth...  Sony WH1000XM3 Noise Cancelling Headphones, Wireless Bluetooth Over the Ear Headset – Black (2018...
PriceCheck Price  Check Price
Dimensions4.9″ x 5.2″ x 3″5.5 ” x  6.6 ” x 3.5 “
TypeIn-EarOver-Ear
Special FeatureExtra BassActive Noise Cancellation
ANC LevelsN/A3
Customizable EQNoYes
Runtime

Up to 9 hours

Additional 9 hours from the charging case

Up to 30 hours
Quick Charging10 minutes for up to 1 hour more10 minutes for up to 5 hours more
Water ResistanceIPX4No
BluetoothVersion 4.2Version 4.2
Personal Noise Cancelling OptimizerNoYes
Atmospheric Pressure OptimizationNoYes
Audio CodecsSBC, AACSBC, AAC, aptX, aptX HD, LDAC
Touch ControlsNoYes
Voice ControlsYesYes
App ControlN/ASony Headphones Connect
NFC PairingYesYes

Color Options

Blue, BlackBlack, Silver

Release

April 2020October 2019

Design and Build

The Sony WF-XB700s don’t have the touch controls that the Sony WH-1000XM3s are equipped with

design sony wf-xb700 vs wh-1000xm3 (1)
Both Sony wireless headphones are designed with the utmost comfort and fit in mind

Right off the bat, you will see the vastly different profiles of the Sony WF-XB700 and the WH-1000XM3. The WF-XB700s are in-ear truly wireless earbuds that can compete with the likes of the Bose SoundSport Free and the Powerbeats Pro. Sony highlights its Ergonomic Tri-hold design that promises a secure fit, making the WF-XB700 great headphones for those who want maximum freedom of motion. The earbuds house a multi-function button that works well with a gentle press.

Meanwhile, the WH-1000XM3s are over-ear wireless noise-canceling headphones. Its earcups are made of plush material that makes them light and comfortable to wear. Slightly bending the 1000XM3s will reveal just how sturdy this pair of headphones is. Whereas the WF-XB700s and their charging case fit easily in most pockets, the WH-1000Xm3s are bulkier. To make them more portable, the earcups of the 1000XM3s can be folded flat and inward and tucked in perfectly in their accompanying slim hard case.

Noise Cancellation

The Sony WH-1000XM3s offer superb active noise cancellation

sony wf-xb700 vs wh-1000xm3 (2)
Equipped with Atmospheric Pressure Optimization, the WH-1000XM3 can block out the hum of a plane almost completely

A major difference between the Sony WF-XB700  and the WH-1000XM3 is active noise cancellation. The Sony WH-1000XM3s are packed with top-of-the-line active noise-canceling features such as Atmospheric Pressure Optimization and Personal Noise Cancelling Optimizer. These features allow the WH-1000XM3s to adjust noise-cancellation depending on your sonic features and surroundings. They work well with drowning out conversations, vehicle sounds, and other background noise. Should you need to hear your surroundings, you can turn on the Ambient Mode. 

While the new WF-XB700s are not active noise-canceling headphones, their earbuds allow for a secure fit that can passively block out external noise. In addition, they come with different sizes of ear tips to ensure better fit and seal for passive cancellation. When it comes to voice calls, the WH-1000XM3s outperform the WF-XB700 as they have active noise cancellation. With that said, the XB700s provide decent call quality when used in a quiet environment, just don’t expect the same quality you get from the 1000XM3s. 

Audio Quality

The Sony WF-XB700s boast EXTRA BASS, and they deliver, while the WH-1000XM3s have a more neutral sound profile

audio quality
Pop, EDM, and hip-hop will sound amazing with the WF-XB700 with EXTRA BASS

The main selling point of the WF-XB700, along with the rest of the Sony XB headphones, is the extra bass. Their bass is punchy and prominent, making them one of the best pair of wireless earbuds for those who like EDM, rap, hip-hop, or pop music. It’s impressive how loud the bass can get in these earbuds without distorting the sound. They also deliver clear highs that work well with their deep bottom-ends. The downside to the XB700s is they cannot be connected to the Sony app, thus their EQ settings are not customizable.

If you feel you’ll get listening fatigue from the loud bass, the Sony WH-1000XM3s are the better fit for you. Unlike the Sony WF-XB700s, the WH-1000XM3s can be connected to the Sony Headphones Connect app. The app comes with pre-installed presets,  but you can also adjust the EQ settings as you see fit. At default settings, the 1000XM3s deliver excellent sound separation and clarity. The bass is not as heavy as the XB700’s, but adjusting the app can do the trick. 

Set up and Controls

Both Sony headphones are a breeze to pair, but the WF-1000XM3s offer more control features 

set-up and controls
The WF-XB700s (left) only have remote and voice controls while the WH-1000XM3s (right) also have touch and app control options

Pairing any iOS or Android device with the Sony WF-XB700 and the WH-1000XM3 is quick and straightforward. Both wireless headphones are equipped with Bluetooth 4.2 and don’t have latency issues. Both wireless headphones are further compatible with voice assistants that you can prompt by using the multi-function button housed in their earbuds and earcups. 

Where the new XB700s are lacking is in the app connectivity. For some reason, these true wireless earbuds cannot be connected to the Sony app, thus all their controls are in the multi-function button on each earbud. As for the WH-1000XM3s, their earcups house a touchpad and physical buttons. While the touch gestures need some getting used to, the touchpad is responsive and works well.  

Battery Life and Additional Features

The Sony WF-XB700s can run for up to 18 hours while the WH-1000XM3s offer up to 30 hours of usage; the XB700s are water and splash-resistant. 

battery life and additional features ipx4 wf-xb700
Breaking a sweat or getting caught in the rain while wearing the XB700 earbuds won’t be an issue

The Sony WF-XB700s promise a battery life of up to 9 hours on the earbuds and an extra 9 hours through their portable charging case. This is great battery life as far as wireless earbuds go, but not as impressive as the 30 hours of usage that the WH-1000XM3s can deliver on one charge. In addition, charging the WH-1000XM3 headphones for 10 minutes will give you an extra five more hours of battery life. Charging the WF-XB700 earbuds for the same time will only yield an hour more of extra usage. 

Where the WF-XB700 earbuds beat the WH-1000XM3s is in their IPX4 rating. This means the XB700s can withstand splashes, moisture, and sweat, making these earbuds a solid option for those with an active lifestyle. The WH-1000XM3s do not have an IP certification, thus moisture and sweat may cause damage to these headphones in the long run. 

 

Verdict

The Sony WF-XB700 earbuds are best for those with an active lifestyle and want a bass-heavy sound profile while the WH-1000XM3s are more for casual, everyday usage

While the Sony WF-XB700 and the WH-1000XM3 are both high-quality headphones, they are designed with different types of users in mind. Thus, it will all come down to your preferred sound profile and whether you need active noise cancellation. The mid-tier WF-XB700s offer great value for their price. They can easily compete with current best-selling wireless earbuds such as the Bose SoundSport Free or the Jabra Elite Active 75t.

Meanwhile, the Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones are best for users who need the impressive active noise cancellation that the WH-1000XM3s deliver. Frequent flyers and travelers will benefit from how effectively the XM3s can block out sound. The premium build, customizable EQ, and stunning audio quality of the WH-1000XM3s justify their hefty price tag. 

Last update on 2021-06-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Rhodaline Escala-Phelps

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