I wasn't a big fan of sony's first and second generations of anc cans. While they made a great point in noise-canceling, the sonic characteristics of 1000x didn't convince me. Particularly disappointed with 1000xm2 (note: xm1 and xm2 sound different by a significant margin). Uneven response and overly emphasized mid were definitely a deal-breaker. xm1 had the same weirdness but to much less degree. To me, xm1 was sound-wise a better pair of headphones, although xm2 a bit outdoes xm1 in NC. Aside from rave reviews of pro shit-makers, which might be partly explained by Sony's money power, I heard many good things (about the sound) from some reliable friends. I finally get my hands on xm3. Here are my findings after experiencing xm3 for nearly one-week. 1. ANC Bose has been a king of ANC. Many companies have challenged but none of them achieved the level of bose qc35 regarding anc ability imo. Sony's progress was very impressive. Even the first generation of 1000x was already close to bose anc cans. xm2 reduced this gap, and showed equivalent performance. Now Xm3 outperforms bose qc35ii. Improvement is very noticeable in cancelling dynamic and transient noise, such as human voice. Pink-noise measurements usually don't capture this effect.. so perceived anc performance of xm3 is way, way better than existing noise measurements suggest. Of course this might be an overkill for most. But more is always better in the context of anc. 2. Sound There is no more weirdness in midrange and treble. Midrange and treble are fairly smooth unlike previous generations. I also like Sony-ish sparkling top end. Potential problem is bass, as already indicated by many. I thought qc35ii was slightly bassy.. xm3 is even much bassier. It's not like "Beats by Dr Dre" in their notorious days.. but far more than I would like. Think of "somewhat lesser" version of nighthawk bass. Fortunately, sony has a nice app to control tonal balance (as an aside, their app "headphone connect" is one of the best anc control apps I've ever seen). Be aware that wired connection and non-smartphone connection cannot benefit from this app. Details and dynamics were decent for anc wireless headphones. Overall, xm3 is very good for causal or non-critical listening purposes. 3. What I didn't like Touch control is hit-or-miss. Swipe volume control works well. But double tap (to pause) sometimes failed. There is some learning curve. Moreover, gloved fingers hardly activate sensor.. potentially inconvenient in winter. Power-on takes too long. 14-15 seconds (14.8 seconds on average; based on 10 measurements) are needed until bluetooth established (with my old iPhone 6s plus). By contrast, bose qc35ii takes only less than 3 seconds (2.65 seconds on average; based on 10 measurements) to be fully connected. This point is very annoying when I try to answer a call with (turned-off) xm3. 4. Others Comfort is much improved. Clamping is a bit stronger than qc35 but very acceptable. I like xm3's headband and ear pads -- looks and feels premium-ish. Qc35 and 35ii still win in overall wearing comfort mainly due to larger inner space around ears. But the gap between sony and bose has been significantly reduced. Depending on your head sizes and ear sizes YMMV. Build quality is superb. Sony has been always good at this aspect (even in some epic failure products). Measurements to come..