Sony just announced $230 wireless earbuds to take on Apple's AirPods — here's what they can do


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  • Sony unveiled new $230 wireless noise-cancelling earbuds called the WF-1000XM3.
  • The WF-1000XM3 are essentially the wireless earbud version of its “Bose-killer” WH-1000XM3 headphones. 
  • They’re more expensive than Apple’s AirPods, but they come with more features, and maybe better sound.
  • They’re available for preorder starting Friday, July 5, with a full release in the first week of August.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Sony just announced its new $230 WF-1000XM3 wireless earbuds on Friday, and they beat Apple’s $160 AirPods on almost all fronts — at least on paper. 

At $230 — $70 more than Apple’s cheapest AirPods, and $30 more than Apple’s most expensive AirPods — that should be expected. But the WF-1000XM3 come with features that could make that extra cost worthwhile.

And the WF-1000XM3 are in the same series as Sony’s WH-1000XM3, the “Bose-killer” headphones that compete with Bose’s QC 35 headphones that have been considered the gold-standard in wireless noise-cancelling headphones. 

Read more: I kept hearing about these ‘Bose-killer’ headphones, so I finally tried them out — and they’re seriously good

I briefly tried Sony’s new WF-1000XM3 wireless earbuds, and I came away wishing that Sony just left me with the demo pair. (I’ll be getting my hands on a pair to review soon, though, so watch out for that.)

Check out all the details on Sony’s new WF-1000XM3 wireless earbuds: 

SEE ALSO: I kept hearing about these ‘Bose-killer’ headphones, so I finally tried them out — and they’re seriously good

Sony’s WF-1000XM3 earbuds have an in-ear design, which immediately makes them more secure in the ear than Apple’s AirPods.

Sony’s earbuds boast some meaty specs and features.

Sony’s WF-1000XM3 come with 24-bit audio processing, which sounded great during my demo. I didn’t have a pair of AirPods with me to compare them in audio quality, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Sonys sound better. 

The WF-1000XM3 also have noise-cancelling, whereas Apple’s AirPods have nothing of the sort. Combined with the in-ear design on the WF-1000XM3, the noise-cancelling chip did a great job of hushing ambient noise.

Noise-cancelling can work during phone calls, too, and can be enabled while you’re on a call, which was a frequently requested feature from Sony fans. Sony says the WF-1000XM3 can also cancel out some of your ambient noise for the other person on the call. 

Sony said its new Bluetooth chipset improves connectivity over the previous model, too. 

Sony boasts eight hours of listening time, compared to the five hours you get with AirPods.

I’ll have to test Sony’s claim when I try the WF-1000XM3 for a meaningful amount of time, but if the claims hold true, the WF-1000XM3 will beat the AirPods in battery life.

Sony told me the WF-1000XM3 get eight hours of listening time with noise-cancelling turned off, and six hours with noise-cancelling turned on. 

The charging case can store enough charge to give the WF-1000XM3 24 hours of battery life, a similar claim that Apple makes for its AirPods. The case can also quick-charge the WF-1000XM3: 10 minutes of charging can deliver 90 minutes of battery life.

The earbuds themselves also magnetically snap into the case, which is pretty nifty. 

The WF-1000XM3 are compatible with Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant, and come with touch controls.

The WF-1000XM3 are available for preorder now, with a full release in the first week of August.