The WF-1000XM3 will last around six hours with noise canceling, and eight hours without the feature. There's also a new case that provides three additional charges. And if you end up draining them completely, you can juice them up in 10 minutes for 90 minutes for listening time. The case is a bit too large for most pockets, unfortunately. But its magnetic latch means you should be able to toss it into a bag without worrying about the buds spilling out (they're also held in place magnetically).
Based on my testing with pre-production units, the WF-1000XM3 feel incredibly comfortable and deliver the best sound quality I've ever encountered from truly wireless buds. I could clearly hear every element of Blood Orange's multi-layered tracks and the full weight of Hans Zimmer's Inception score. For once, I didn't feel like I was missing key aspects of my music, which is more than I can say for every other pair of wireless earbuds I've tried. Jaybird's Run XT are comfortable, but their sound lacks nuance; Jabra's Elite Active 65t practically disappear into my ears, but they sound completely flat; and Apple's AirPod's 2 sound fine, but slip out of my ears far too easily.
While the WF-1000XM3's noise canceling isn't as magical as its over-the-ear siblings, it's still powerful enough to erase most of the clamor from my subway commute. Even with that feature turned off, they offer a tight enough seal to cut out plenty of background noise. And if you want a bit more situational awareness, you can just tap on the left earbud to turn on its ambient mode, which pipes in external noise.
Throughout my testing, I was surprised to find that they never lost reception. That's a first for any wireless earbuds I've tried in New York City's electronically chaotic streets. And try as I might, I couldn't make them budge once I secured them in my ears. They look a bit larger than other wireless buds, but they were easy to wear for hours on end. The only major downside, at this point, is that they're not water resistant. So you probably won't want to take them out for a jog on a rainy day.
I still need to put the WF-1000XM3 through their paces to judge them completely, but at this point I'm impressed. Sony has crafted a pair of wireless earbuds that don't feel like you're compromising sound quality. And while I'm still left with the problem of where to put them in a pinch, at least now I can appreciate the freedom from cables a bit more.
The WF-1000XM3 will retail for $230, and are available for pre-order on Amazon and Best Buy today. They'll start shipping to retailers in August.