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Thread: Sony WH-1000XM3 Vs Bose 35 II Vs AKG 702 Headphones

  1. #1
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Bristol

    Posts: 6,051
    I'm Justin.

    Default Sony WH-1000XM3 Vs Bose 35 II Vs AKG 702 Headphones

    Will post some of the conclusions I have come to this far of these two noise cancelors versus the AKG and a Sound blaster portable E5 headphone amp.

    May take a while I'm not doing it all in one go.

    There's a ton of comparisons on YouTube. Literally loads. But what I will say about the Sony's just hasn't been made so obvious anywhere else I have seen.

    Since I literally really don't give a damn the truth will come to the fore. I am not an online headphone reviewer relying on being sent samples.


  2. #2
    Join Date: Jan 2013

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    I'm Justin.

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    First off the Sony's.

    Now let me clear I am keeping the Sony's. They are good. But there's one thing about them that is utterly ridiculous, and that is the out of the box frequency response.

    To give you an idea, using Sony's app, these are the EQ settings I am using at the moment, just to get them to sound 'normal'.

    The scale isn't in DB but that is still insane.

    What's more, if you use EQ, you use the ability to use LDAC, the high bit rate option that's better than Bluetooth HD.

    That's utterly ridiculous. Brainless, surely. It instantly renders their innovation unusable.

    I wonder why it's the case. Are they worried phone CPUs can't handle.applying the EQ and using the high bit rate LDAC option? Hm.


    Those EQ settings don't make much sense if you go look at FR plots measured by rtings online. I have a real tough time wondering what rtings actually measured.

  3. #3
    Join Date: Jan 2013

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    Or is it that the EQ settings are actually applied in the headphone, and that can't handle both the high bit rate and EQ processing? More likely?

    Certainly, when my wife uses them, she inherits the EQ settings I use with her phone.

  4. #4
    Join Date: Jan 2013

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    So when these EQ settings are applied, or closeish to these, what do the Sony's sound like?

    Well, the answer is pretty good, amazingly. Better than the Bose I would say.

    Which kind of makes me wonder what's going on. I cannot believe the drivers in the Sony are as non-linear as they sound out of the box. So by applying the EQ, are you effectively un-applying it (no, if the phone's chip can't handle applying it by default with LDAC). Or have they just used a very non-linear amp inside the cans?

    But when you use a wired connection, they still sound off. So maybe those drivers are very non-linear.

    Confusing.

  5. #5
    Join Date: Jan 2013

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    Virtually no interest shown in this thread. So I'll wrap it up pretty quickly.

    The AKG 702 plus SoundBlaster easily provide the best sound or at least the most technically correct. They are very good with no EQ whatsoever. As open backs, they are also the most spacious sounding. Applying EQ is usually detrimental. But walking around with the AKGs and the Soundblaster in your pocket plus a wire to your head isn't great.

    The Bose 35MK2 have a comparatively rubbish phone application. They might, just might, be a bit more comfortable but that is up for debate. Compared to the Sony's, they lack dynamics and bass extension. Consequently the sound is laid back and a bit dull. The balance is again bass heavy but the frequency response is way more linear than the Sony's.

    So I have had these wireless phones for a while now and which do I use the most? The Sony's. In fact, I have been using the Sony's more regularly and for longer periods than any other headphone I have used in my life.

    The Sony's are a pleasure to own, superb at work for blocking out excess noise and allowing you to concentrate. Which is essential in my job.

    The freedom to walk around the house, wash the car, take a walk, go shopping etc whilst listening to whatever, including audio books, is brilliant.

    And even better, the wife (who also prefers the Sony's), loves then too. We both use both pairs, and when my hi-fi is up loud, she can just sit there undisturbed on the next floor up on her phone watching You Tube etc etc.

    The price difference isn't great so if you can afford the extra get the Sony's. But you have been warned, you have to use EQ with them. And a lot of it.

    So were What Hi-Fi right with 5 stars? No of course not. I'll give them 3.9 and the Bose 3.6 stars. But I'm an honest bastard who wants perfection, and I just can't excuse the obvious flaws in both. They could have been better.

    That said, I strongly recommend the Sony's. They are a great phone to own.

  6. #6
    Join Date: Jan 2013

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    This dude is worth a watch for stuff I haven't mentioned.


  7. #7
    Join Date: Sep 2008

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    I'm Lucky.

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    Those AKG are great phones for the money. Though I agree that the cable is a pain I haven't yet heard a pair of affordable wireless phones that I like. No doubt these things are improving all the time.... but wired still provides easily the best fidelity in my (very limited) experience.
    If I'm moving around I find a pair of Sennheiser Momentum On Ear to be great for the money, very light weight and the LG phones with their 'quad dac' headphone output drive them really well.
    The only slight issue is that they make one look like a Cyberman....
    The Man with the suit and the pace. Knee deep in the dead.

  8. #8
    Join Date: Feb 2013

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    The nuraphones even on Bluetooth are sonically superb and even better on a cable although I have to say I mostly just use Bluetooth as its so good
    Regards,
    Grant .... ؠ

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  9. #9
    Join Date: Jan 2013

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  10. #10
    Join Date: Sep 2017

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    I'm Pavel.

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    The Sony are simply the best wireless headphones on the market, period.

    Still not good enough for me, though And I really wanted to like them.

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