I kept hearing about these 'Bose killer' headphones. So I finally tried them out, and they're seriously good.


sony wh1000 xm3

  • Sony’s WH-1000 series of headphones are often said to be comparable to the stalwart of wireless noise cancelling headphones — the Bose QC35 series.
  • The WH-1000 XM3 headphones are very good, and do a couple things better than Bose.
  • But there’s a potential deal-breaker in the Sony headphones for some people.

I’ve heard a lot about these “Bose killer” headphones from Sony, the WH-1000 XM3, so I wanted to see what all the hype was about. 

Indeed, Bose QC35 and Sony’s WH-1000 series headphones are among the most common I see in New York City. I know the Bose are good, so it’s no surprise that a lot of people use them. And after trying Sony’s, it’s no surprise they’re popular, either.

The Sonys are undoubtedly one of the closest competitors to Bose’s heralded QC35 series of headphones, at least in the $350 range. But they’re not exactly the same.

Check out how Sony’s WH-1000 XM3 headphones stack up against the Bose QC35 II:

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Design is up to you. The Bose QC35 II have a classic Bose design that’s perhaps a little too classic these days. The Sony XM3s have a sleeker modern and minimalist look.

The Bose QC35 II are slightly more comfortable.

The QC35 II feel lighter on your head and have softer ear and headband pads than the Sonys, and they’re more comfortable as a result. The Sonys are still comfortable, though. 

Anyone and everyone will be happy with the sound produced by both these headphones, but the Bose sound better out of the box.

Both headphones deliver great sound that anyone would be happy with, but I personally had to make a few adjustments with the Sonys to get the sound I wanted.

Out of the box, the Bose sound a little better than the Sonys, at least in the way that I like music to sound. I like clarity and brightness, as well as ample bass, and the Bose deliver. The Sonys sound slightly more muffled out of the box, but you can thankfully change the way they sound with the Sony headphones app, and it makes a world of difference.

In Sony’s app, I change the equalizer to the “Bright” setting. Indeed, a “bright” sound is exactly what I like, and the Sonys nail it. 


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