Updated: Sep 2, 2020
My new noise-cancelling headphones were purchased out of necessity, with an important purpose: to put a stop to my noisy neighbors living above me. My neighbors of 7 years were awesome. They were quiet, considerate, and friendly. Then they moved and this recent nightmare moved in. Everything my former neighbors were they are not.
Not only was my sleep and day-to-day living disrupted by their self-absorbed activities, but my creativity was hindered. Not only was the noisy neighbors an issue, but I suffer from Anxiety, Depression, and PTSD. My stress levels were through the roof. Feeling trapped in my own home now exasperated all of these things. It was horrible.
Since my landlord proved to care less (if you’re ever considering moving into apartments in Vancouver, WA, contact me. I’ll be happy to tell you where NOT to move to), I needed a solution until my lease ran out. My adult son suggested noise-cancelling headphones. I was desperate for a remedy. I began my search for something that would put me in a Maxwell Smart Cone of Silence.
After a couple of weeks of thorough research on the web, I eventually found my nirvana: the Sony WH1000XM3 Wireless Bluetooth Noise Cancelling Headphones.
How exactly do noise-cancelling headphones work and what do they do? They were first introduced to airplane pilots to help them have better flight experiences on longer trips. According to The Guardian newspaper, the technology, known as active noise-cancellation (ANC), works by using microphones to pick up low-frequency noise and neutralize it before it reaches the ear. The headset generates a sound that’s phase-inverted by 180 degrees to the unwanted noise, resulting in the two sounds canceling each other out.
After combing through everything I had found about noise-cancelling headphones, I found these to be the cream of the crop. Bose had been the Big Man on campus for many years, but these were touted as dethroning the king. Getting an excellent pair of noise-cancelling headphones was something I wasn’t willing to skimp on. What was at stake was much too important to me.
Most times when making a purchase, I look for “the best bang for my buck.” There are those rare occasions that just isn't good enough. You get what you pay for.
The Sony WH1000XM3 noise-cancelling headphones are over-the-ear headphones that are so comfortable I can wear them for hours and hours at a time. To be honest, there hasn’t been a time I’ve needed to take them off because of discomfort, including wearing them to bed.
When I first took them out of their fancy carrying case (they fold up nicely for easy mobility), put them on, and turned them on, it was a bit shocking. I had never tried noise-cancelling anything prior to this. Everything around me shot into total silence. I wondered if having severe hearing loss was like this.
I downloaded the mobile app, which allows for a lot of cool personalization settings, including a smart ambient noise control), paired it up to the Bluetooth on my computer, and turned on some music from my SiriusXM. The music came through beautifully while any other noise did not. I was floored by what I was (and was not) hearing!
The Sony WH1000XM3 noise-cancelling headphones boast a 30-hour battery life. I can listen to my music, podcasts, watch movies, TV, videos, play games, or whatever else for long periods of uninterrupted time. I love listening to ambient sounds, especially when I sleep. Things like oceans waves, streams, birds, crickets, white noise. I can plug them into a USB port or into the wall with the included AC adapter and have it fully charged again in 2 hours. I will do that when I plan on going out for a while so, by the time I return, I’m ready for another 30 hours of listening pleasure or silence.
Getting the headphones paired to the Bluetooth on my phone or computer is super simple and, within seconds, I’m up and running. The controls are easy and intuitive, too. On the bottom of the left headphone cup are two buttons. One is the on and off toggle button. If that same button is pushed quickly, a soothing female voice will let me know what percentage of battery is left. The other button controls access to the built-in assistant of my choice: Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant. Since I have an Android smartphone, I use Alexa. A push of the button activates the built-in microphone and I can control and ask things of Alexa the same way I would use an Amazon Echo or other Amazon device.
“Alexa, play soft relaxing music from iHeart Radio.”
“Alexa, what’s the weather forecast?”
“Alexa, add coffee to my shopping list.”
You get the idea. ;)
The right headphone cup is where the volume and music track control happens. I simply swipe up on it to increase volume, down to decrease volume, forward to move a track forward, and back to move back a track. If I cup my hand over the right headphone cup, it allows in ambient noise, so I can have a conversation with someone without having to remove the headphones. That’s all there is to controlling these things. Very easy. And all of this is done without having to take the headphones off.
The Sony WH1000XM3 noise-cancelling headphones have been a real God-send. If you are dealing with anything that I am and do, I cannot recommend these highly enough. If someone you know suffers from Anxiety, Depression, PTSD, nosy neighbors, or just simply wants a quiet place to spend time wherever they are, these would also make an absolutely perfect gift. I have read that noise-cancelling solutions are something that artists use to help their creativity and concentration and people use to shop with. No more having to hear screaming children in the store is pretty awesome.