Sony’s answer to AirPods boasts one big advantage

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But they’re not cheap.
Photo: Sony

Sony’s new wireless earbuds are ready to take on AirPods.

The horribly named WF-1000XM3 promise the same impressive audio quality as Sony’s best-selling headphones — but in an earbud form factor. And they boast one big advantage.

Here’s why you might want to avoid Apple’s hottest accessory and pick up these instead.

Sony has taken on AirPods before, but its predecessor to the WF-1000XM3 fell short in a number of areas. One of those was the way in which they connected to another device over Bluetooth.

The earlier models required you to pair just the left bud with your smartphone, tablet, or computer, and then that bud would send another channel of audio to the right one.

With the WF-1000XM3, both buds are connected directly to the source — just like AirPods. They also have even better noise-cancellation, which Apple doesn’t offer.

Block out background noise

The WF-1000XM3 buds both have two microphones — up from one each in the previous model — that help block out background noise. Those are paired with a QN1e noise-cancelling processor.

Sony says they’ll deliver the same level of noise-cancellation as its best-selling WH-1000XM3 headphones, which were greeted by glowing reviews from fans and critics when they landed last year.

The WF-1000XM3 also promise improved audio quality during phone calls, and a better “Sound Enhancement Engine” that upscales compressed audio for better sound.

And thanks to that change to Bluetooth connectivity, you will also enjoy a more reliable connection.

The WF-1000XM3 aren’t cheap

When it comes to battery life, the WF-1000XM3 aren’t too spectacular by themselves. You’ll get six hours of music playback with noise-cancellation, or eight hours without.

Thankfully, the buds’ carrying case provides a top-up on the go. You’ll get a total of 24 hours of playback with noise-cancellation, and a total of 32 hours without before the case needs charging.

The WF-1000XM3 also feature touch controls for controlling your music, adjusting volume, answering calls, and triggering the virtual assistant on your phone.

Preorder yours today

The downside to the WF-1000XM3 is that they’re pricier than AirPods.

You can preorder them today from Amazon for $229.99 ahead of their official launch on August 5. AirPods will cost you just $159, or $199 with wireless charging.