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Gen 1 Sony WH-1000x sounds better than gen 3 ..?

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by abmwinnoch, Sep 11, 2019.
  1. abmwinnoch
    I usually trust my ears fairly well, but I was wondering if anyone else had noticed this as I can't find any reviews online that stray from the standard belief that every generation of these headphones is better than the previous one.

    I bought the 1000xm3 but reluctantly returned them after a couple of weeks because I quite simply preferred the sound quality of the original 1000x that I have. I say reluctantly, because I really wanted to like them; they are much more comfortable and they fit my head better and the noise cancelling is also slightly better.

    But to my ears the gen1 version is far more tonally balanced with a lovely crisp, punchy detailed sound (for a closed back n/c design). The gen3 sounds muddy, with exaggerated bass in its non-EQ'd form. But perhaps that's what passes for 'improved sound' amongst many reviewers; more bass= better? Perhaps they are trying to match the sound signature of Beats :anguished:

    Anyone else with me on this, or is there near universal agreement that Sony have improved the sound of these headphones with every generation?
  2. SilverEars
    Looking at Rtings, they are definately more linear response than the later ones.

    abmwinnoch likes this.
  3. abmwinnoch
    Yes, I feel somewhat vindicated!; From the above site at https://www.rtings.com/headphones/reviews/sony/wh-1000xm3-wireless "However, their bass is a little bit overpowering and on the heavy side, and their treble lacks a bit of detail and is on the warm side. Overall, the sound of these headphones is bass-heavy and veiled, which fans of heavy bass may like (it is one of the best headphones for bass that we've tested), but they may not be the ideal choice for those who prefer clear and present vocals and a neutral sound profile like that of the Bose QuietComfort 35 II or the AKG N700NC. Compared to the older MDR-1000X and WH-1000XM2 models, the XM3 have a similar sound signature, but with a little bit more bass."

    The thing is; with the 1000x I could still enjoy their sound when I needed portability and N/C, even though I'm used to the sound of my more 'serious' heaphones the AKG K712 and more recently, Focal Clears. However I just could not stand the XM3 sound signature. I would say the increase in bass level was more than 'a bit more'.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
  4. SilverEars
    Don't concern too much with Rtings subjective impressions. It's not all that agreeable. Trust your ears not other impressions.

    Perceptually, XM3 will seem more significant bass. It's because the dipped upper-mids treble area of XM3 and overall greater quantity bass. Warmer tilt.
  5. bedlamite
    XM3s on the stock sound signature are quite unbearable because of the muddy bass. It seems the XM3s respond to EQing much better than the 1, though. Not that the 1s needed much EQing in the first place, but doing so would knock the cans down to using the SBC codec.
  6. abmwinnoch
    Yes indeed; I had a quick play about with the presets and EQ on the Sony headphone app, but none of them set my ears alight. And I strongly beleive that if you need to EQ a headphone to be able to bear its sound, then it's the wrong headphone for you. The gen1's just sounded great to my ears out of the box.

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