Tag Archives: Sony WH-1000XM3

Sony PG Tec Facility Will Close By September 2021!

Sony has decided to close their PG Tec factory, which manufactures audio products like WH-1000XM3 headphones!

Find out what’s going on, and what this means for their 3,400 employees and Sony fans!


Sony PG Tec Facility Will Close By September 2021!

Sony has decided to close their PG Tec manufacturing facility, which spans a land area of 172,000 m², with a total built-up area of 95,000 m².

Based in the Prai Industrial Zone, the Sony PG Tec facility produces audio products like the WH-1000XM3 and WP-SP900 headphones, wireless speakers, home theatre systems and Blu-ray players.

It is also the home of a local Sony R&D team that designed the Sony MHC-V81D sound system, amongst other audio products.


Penang Gov Confirms That Sony Will Close PG Tec Facility

Dato’ Haji Abdul Halim, the Penang Trade, Industry and Entrepreneur Development Exco, confirmed the decision, stating that the Penang state government will hold a press conference to address the matter.

According to him, the decision to close this high-tech manufacturing facility was due to “internal restructuring due to fierce market competition”.

The 3,400 or so employees at the Sony PG Tec facility will be offered a severance plan, or relocation to the Sony EMCS factory in Bangi, Selangor.

Some 1,800 employees are local, while another 1,600 are foreigners.

The Sony EMCS PG Tec facility is still operating at the moment, and will close in stages, fully ceasing operation in September 2021.


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Edifier W860NB Active Noise Cancelling Headphones Review!

Are you looking for an affordable pair of active noise cancelling Bluetooth headphones? The Edifier W860NB might just be what you are looking for.

It is one of the few Bluetooth headphones in the market that offers active noise cancellation capabilities at an affordable price point.

Read our in-depth review of the W860NB active noise cancelling Bluetooth headphones, and find out why we gave it our Reviewer’s Choice Award!

Updated @ 2019-01-02 : Updated the review with additional points and information. Corrected several minor mistakes.

Originally posted @ 2018-12-02


Why Active Noise Cancellation?

One of the most important gadgets any frequent traveller must have is a good pair of headphones with active noise cancellation (ANC) capability.

Whether you want a good night’s sleep, listen to music or watch a movie during a flight or a road trip, active noise cancellation is the way to go.

Passive noise cancellation using over-ear headphones or in-canal earphones may be sufficient for use in an office, but is quite useless onboard a flight. You can turn up the volume to hear through the noise, but that could damage your hearing.

The best way to listen to music or a conversation in a movie is to use active noise cancellation to literally “erase” the ambient noise. Then you can hear without actually turning up the volume!


Edifier W860NB Specifications

Let’s kick this review off with a quick look at its key specifications :

SpecificationsEdifier W860NB
TypeOver-Ear Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones
Ergonomic FeaturesAdjustable headband (up to 6 cm longer)
Padded headband and ear cups, with faux leather covers
Noise CancellationYes, Active Noise Cancellation
Connectivity OptionsWireless : Bluetooth 4.1
Wired : 3.5 mm audio cable
Touch ControlsSkip Forward / Backwards
Volume Increase / Decrease
Pause / Resume Track or Call
NFC SupportYes
Bluetooth CapabilitiesBluetooth v4.1 with support for :
- Qualcomm aptX
- A2DP SBC (sub-band coding)
Bluetooth Range10 meters / 30 feet
Audio Drivers40 mm Neodymium Driver
Frequency Response20 Hz ~ 20 kHz
Sensitivity97 dB
Battery1,400 mAh lithium-ion battery
Rated Battery LifeStandby : 1,500 Hours
Music Without ANC : 45 Hours
Music With ANC : 25 Hours
Rated Charging Time4 Hours (5 V @ 1 A)
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Edifier W860NB Price + Availability

The W860NB has a recommended retail price of US$ 119.99 in the US, and RM 499 here in Malaysia. Here are some direct purchase links for your convenience :


Unboxing The Edifier W860NB

The Edifier W860NB (US | UK | AU | SG | MY) comes in a large premium cardboard box. Let’s unbox it and see what we find inside!

Once you fully unbox it, this is what you will find inside :

  • One pair of W860NB active noise cancelling headphones
  • Storage case and usual manual
  • USB Type A to micro-USB 2.0 charging cable
  • 3.5 mm audio cable with aircraft plug adaptor

Next Page > The Edifier W860NB Up Close + Key Features


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The Edifier W860NB Up Close!

The W860NB (US | UK | AU | SG | MY) is an elegant-looking pair of wireless headphones.

We like how Edifier chose to use a very nice smooth matte surface that is fingerprint smear resistant.

The W860NB is also very well-built, with a good blend of quality plastics, metal and faux leather. It has a good heft, and feels like a premium pair of cans.

Nestled in both ear cups are 40 mm neodymium drivers with titanium dome diaphragms, designed to deliver strong bass with a wide soundstage.

Despite its modest price point, the W860NB boasts touch controls, as well as a very nice storage case and all the accessories you’ll ever need.

Overall – this is a nice hassle-free buy-and-enjoy package, but let’s delve deeper and see what we find, shall we?


Touch Control + Buttons

The W860NB (US | UK | AU | SG | MY) has two Power buttons on the right ear cup.

The Power button turns on its Bluetooth connectivity and touch controls, while the ANC switch turns on its active noise cancellation circuitry.

Note that they work independently of each other. You can actually turn on the active noise cancellation capability without “turning on” the W860NB.

In fact, you can also listen to music using the 3.5 mm audio cable without, yes, “turning it on” using the Power button.

The W860NB has Bluetooth touch controls on the right ear cup as well. They only work when you are connected to your smartphone or music player using Bluetooth.

The touch controls allow you to change tracks and volume, or accept and end calls, without touching your smartphone or music player.

Just swipe right or left to skip ahead or backwards, and swipe up and down to control the volume. Tapping the centre twice pauses and resumes your music, or accepts and ends a phone call.


Audio + Charging Ports

On the left ear cup, you will find the 3.5 mm audio port. It allows you to connect the W860NB directly to your smartphone or music player, or the airline’s audio jack, using the provided aircraft port adaptor.

Hidden under a rubber cover is a micro-USB port that serves as a charging port. Edifier did not include a USB charger, only a USB cable which you can connect to your computer, your smartphone’s USB charger or even a power bank.

They quote a charging time of 4 hours with a 5 watt charger or USB 3.0 port. If you are recharging it using an older USB 2.0 port though, it should take twice as long.

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How Comfortable Is The W860NB?

The W860NB (US | UK | AU | SG | MY) has an adjustable headband that is padded at the top, and wrapped in soft faux leather.

The headband can be extended by 3 cm on each side, in 9 steps. When fully retracted, it is small enough to fit a child of about 8-9 years of age.

Its ear cups are also padded and covered in faux leather. Being designed for travel, the ear cups are on the small side. They hug your ears, preventing slippage even when you shake your head to the music.

On the other hand, faux leather does not breathe like real leather. So it will get humid inside the smaller space pretty quickly if you are wearing them in warmer weather.

Incidentally, the ear cups can be folded inwards, for a more compact form factor. It won’t fit the provided storage case, but it will be easier to store in your bag!

Next Page > Noise Cancellation Performance | Qualcomm aptX


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Active Noise Cancellation

Active noise cancellation is conceptually simple. One or more microphones pick up ambient noise, which is used to generate opposing sound waves that cancel out the noise before it reaches the user’s ears. However, it has not been easy or cheap to implement.

For one thing – noise detection and the generation of its opposing sound waves happens in real-time. It is complicated by the need to mix the noise-cancelling sound waves with the actual audio output (of your song or movie).

The W860NB (US | UK | AU | SG | MY) is one of the few affordable wireless headphones to boast active noise cancellation. It has an ANC microphone at the side of each ear cup, pointing backwards.

From what we can tell, the W860NB uses analogue negative feedback circuitry to generate up to 97 dB of noise cancelling sound waves. Analogue noise cancellation is simpler and cheaper to implement, but limits its active noise cancellation to the lower frequencies.

For active noise cancellation of higher frequencies, they would need to add a fast digital signal processor to handle the complex noise cancellation algorithms.


Noise Cancelling Performance

We tested the W860NB (US | UK | AU | SG | MY) on eight flights, and many road trips.

We tried to record the effect of its noise cancellation capability using a cardioid microphone, the best examples of which you can see in this video.

Before you watch it, please keep in mind that it was quite impossible to fully isolate our microphone in the ear cup. So the actual effect is more pronounced than what you’ll hear in this video.

In the airplane cabin clip, you can distinctly hear how the W860NB cuts out the low-frequency rumble, but the higher-frequency sound of the air-conditioning is still audible.

In the car cabin clip, when active noise cancellation is turned on, the low-frequency road noise is cut out. But you can still hear the higher-frequency wind noise, and even the radio music in the background.

Turning on active noise cancellation will markedly reduce low-frequency noise. This gives you a better appreciation of whatever you are listening to. However, this includes voices of people around you. In fact, airline announcements were clearer with ANC turned on, than turned off.

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Edifier W860NB vs. Sony WH-1000XM2

This is a grossly unfair comparison, to be sure. But this is something quite a few of our readers will want to know – how does the W860NB (US | UK | AU | SG | MY) compare against a premium ANC wireless headphone that costs 3X as much – the much vaunted Sony 1000XM2 (US | UK | MY)?

Based on our subjective tests using the awesome Sony ZX300 Walkman (US | UK | MY), here is how the W860NB compares in active noise cancellation performance to the Sony 1000XM2, in our opinion :

  • about 80% as good in the lower frequencies, and
  • about 50% as good in the higher frequencies.

This is very good performance. Impressive actually, when you consider their large price difference.


Qualcomm aptX Support

The W860NB (US | UK | AU | SG | MY) supports the proprietary Qualcomm aptX audio codec. When used with smartphones, music players and other devices that support aptX, it can deliver lower latencies and better audio quality.

The aptX audio codec is more efficient than the default SBC (Sub-Band Coding) Bluetooth audio codec, delivering a higher bit rate with lower latency.

The lower latency is especially important when you watch a movie with wireless headphones, because nothing is more distracting than a movie with unsynchronised audio!

However, make sure you enable aptX on your smartphone or player, or you will end up using SBC. Most smartphones, for example, default to SBC, even if they officially support aptX. In fact, you may need to make the change in Developer Options.

The W860NB does not support the newer and more advanced aptX-HD, which delivers HD Audio over Bluetooth; or aptX Low Latency, which promises a very low latency for better video and gaming performance.

This is something for Edifier to look into adding into the next version.

Next Page > Our Verdict + Award | Where To Buy?


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Edifier W860NB : Our Verdict + Award

Anyone who has ever tried using headphones with active noise cancellation on a flight will appreciate what a difference they make.

They will also realise just how useful noise cancellation can be in other applications – better audio clarity at lower volumes, concentrating better in a noisy office, sleeping better, etc.

The key impediment for the widespread adoption of active noise cancellation can be summed in one word – COST.

Headphones with active noise cancellation are generally much more expensive than regular headphones, and some are prohibitively so.

That is how the W860NB stands out above its competitors. Its affordable price point allows you to literally equip a family of three with W860NB wireless headphones for the same price you would pay for a single pair of Sony 1000XM3 (US | UK | MY) headphones!

But just how effective is its noise cancellation capabilities?

The W860NB (US | UK | AU | SG | MY) is best at cancelling out low-frequency noise. At higher frequencies, it is limited to passive noise reduction courtesy of its over-ear design and padding.

That means it will effectively cut out most of the annoying rumble of jet engines and road noise; leaving voices quite audible.

If you really need to cut out the higher frequencies, then you need to splurge on headphones that perform digital noise cancellation like the Sony WH-1000XM2 (US | UK | MY) or the latest Sony 1000XM3 (US | UK | MY) headphones.

The ability to block voices may or may not be a good thing, depending on your point of view. It may be nice to cut out annoying chatter and crying babies, but that may mean you won’t be able to hear important announcements or alerts

The W860NB also impressed us in other ways. it has very useful touch controls on its right ear cup, and a large battery with enough battery life to last even the longest flight and then some. We also like its classy matte finish, and excellent build quality.

Overall, the W860NB (US | UK | AU | SG | MY) offers a great combination of features, at a great price point. It really punches above its weight.

We are so impressive with its value proposition, we gladly award it our Reviewer’s Choice Award! Great job, Edifier!


Where To Buy The W860NB?

The W860NB has a recommended retail price of US$ 119.99 in the US, and RM 499 here in Malaysia. Here are some direct purchase links for your convenience :


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The New Sony WH-1000XM3 Headphones Are Here!

The Sony WH-1000XM3 wireless noise-cancelling headphones have just been unveiled. Discover what Sony’s latest noise-cancelling wireless headphones offers!


The New Sony WH-1000XM3 Headphones Are Here!

The new Sony WH-1000XM3 Headphones with Next-level Noise Cancellation was just unveiled! This headband-style around ear headphone model offers features from the previous WH-1000XM2 (US | UK | MY) model while adding multiple key improvements.

Next-level Noise Cancellation

The Sony WH-1000XM3 (US | UK | MY) features a new HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1, a processor with approximately four times better performance than its predecessor.

This feature can negate transport noise and cancel out daily background sounds such as street noise and human voices.

It also features Dual Noise Sensor technology that captures ambient noise with dual microphones and cancels the noise through the processor.

Superior Sound

These headphones deliver high-resolution audio based on a 40mm driver unit with a Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP) diaphragm that handles heavy beats and can reproduce a full range of frequencies up to 40kHz. This enables you to listen to your music the way the artist intended.

The HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1 works not only for noise cancelling but also for delivering sound quality with 32-bit audio signal processing. This offers high sound quality, best-in-class signal-to-noise ratio and low distortion for portable devices.

Smart listening

The activity recognition feature—Adaptive Sound Control—automatically detects your physical situation and adjusts to changes. With Adaptive Sound Control, you can hear ambient sounds together with music when walking, announcements while waiting, and be immersed in music with noise cancellation when traveling..

This smart listening experience is enabled by the SENSE ENGINE. Personal preferences can be customized with the Sony Headphones Connect App.

User Control

Quick Attention Mode lets you hear what is going on around you without taking your headphones off.

Placing the right hand over the earcup decreases music volume instantly and allows you to hear and quickly respond to those around you.

Other ways of controlling the sound includes swiping the touchpad on the right earcup to turn the volume up/down or to change track.

Another improvement is the addition of the Customizable Automatic Power Off function on the Sony Headphones Connect App. It enables the headphones to stay on and in noise-cancellation mode without being connected to a device. This feature is very suitable for passengers of long-haul flights requiring a much needed rest in-flight.

Comfortable And Practical

The Sony WH-1000XM3 (US | UK | MY) headphones have a new, slimmer silhouette and weigh less than their predecessor.

The deeper earcup and thicker headband cushion add comfort. They also come with a stylish fabric case that as well as new color options of black or platinum silver with gold highlights.

The headphones also offer up to 30 hours of battery life with Bluetooth connectivity, the 1000XM3 headphones have an upgraded Quick Charging function that provides up to five hours of wireless playback after a mere 10 minutes of charging3 5 via a contemporary USB type-C port.

Voice calls are also made clearer with the introduction of multiple microphones and are totally hands-free.

“We are proud to deliver the third generation of our industry-leading noise cancelling headphones,” said Yang Cheng, head of video and sound at Sony Electronics. “Our latest model takes noise cancelling to the next level with Sony’s innovative QN1 processor to deliver only your favorite music and nothing else.”


Sony WH-1000XM3 Price And Availability

The Sony WH-1000XM3 (US | UK | MY) headphones comes with a Recommended Retail Price (RRP) of RM 1,599 / US$ 349.99 / £ 329 and is now available from Sony Stores and authorized retailers.


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