Sony’s 1000X M3 noise-canceling headphones are a terrific product: they’re comfy, they ship pleasing sound, eradicate outdoors noise, and so they cost by USB-C. I don’t really feel any regrets for dropping $350 on them. However as we’ve moved into winter, I’ve come throughout one vital frustration: these headphones aren’t superb at dealing with chilly climate. A often very good listening expertise might be interrupted — and in some instances, ruined — when the temperature drops and the headphones register contact inputs or quantity adjustments for seemingly no cause.
As a substitute of bodily buttons for quantity and monitor controls, these headphones use faucet and swipe gestures on the outside of the suitable cup to carry out these actions. In latest weeks, I’ve seen the M3s performing erratically outside in chilly temperatures, and I’m not simply speaking about freezing situations right here. I’ve seen days within the excessive 30s or mid-40s (Fahrenheit) are sufficient to provide phantom Siri activations and interrupt no matter I used to be listening to. At different occasions, the headphones ramp the amount up or down all on their very own when my fingers are at my sides and nowhere close to the contact sensors on the suitable cup. The headphones nonetheless reply to my precise faucets and swipes in chilly situations, however they appear to be receiving false instructions from someplace.
Wind can seemingly worsen these glitches. My colleague Cameron Faulkner tells me he’s seen Google Assistant might be triggered on the M3s with a robust gust. As soon as again indoors the place issues are hotter and calmer, the headphones work usually and don’t present any uncommon habits. However individuals use headphones outdoors lots, particularly noise-canceling headphones, so this has the potential to be extraordinarily irritating for anybody in chilly climates. I really feel for you, Canada.
There are quite a few posts throughout social media, Reddit, and on Sony’s assist boards detailing the problem, with further customers chiming in to say that sure, they’ve additionally skilled it:
A pair of $350 headphones ought to be capable to endure colder seasons slightly higher than this. Sony says the M3s are designed to perform “optimally” beginning at zero levels Celsius (32 levels Fahrenheit) on the low finish, however I’m sure that I’ve handled a few of these glitches at temperatures above that.
I’m undecided what the offender is, however I’ve reached out to Sony for extra data on the way it plans to repair this annoyance. The ear cups on the M3s have a clean end in comparison with the textured really feel on Sony’s prior mannequin, so which may have one thing to do with it. Or maybe the mic inlets are letting in an excessive amount of chilly air for the electronics to deal with. However we’ll have to attend for the total story. The corporate has already confirmed that it’s investigating and has instructed clients on Twitter to energy down the headphones and swap them again on to “recalibrate the contact sensor” every time they discover odd habits.
Hi there Chris, we apologize for not replying sooner. As a workaround, merely flip the headphones off and again on: doing this can recalibrate the contact sensor, permitting it to work within the chilly situation. Regards, Erin
— Sony Assist USA (@SonySupportUSA) December 20, 2018
Assuming that this is merely a bug with the outside contact sensor, a easy on / off toggle in Sony’s companion app for the headphones can be one answer. Having to allow and disable the gesture controls ceaselessly wouldn’t be ultimate, however it’d nonetheless be higher than the unpredictable efficiency these headphones at the moment exhibit within the chilly. But when the issue is one thing deeper than that, effectively, it’s most likely time that Sony tells us as a lot. I nonetheless suppose the 1000X M3s are the perfect noise-canceling headphones round once they’re working correctly, however we’d like some solutions. In the event you personal them and care to share your first-hand experiences, please accomplish that within the feedback.