This post is sponsored by Sony, but as always, all opinions, words, and sass are my own! 😛
Never in a million years did I ever think I would ever have the chance to head to Tokyo with Sony. But this incredible opportunity of attending the Asia Pacific Exclusive Experience Event had me join a group of 50 of the world’s best tech journalists and meet with the head of departments and engineers of Sony HQ that created the WF-1000XM3.
Not only was this chance uniquely special, it was even more so because your girl was the only blogger invited and tbh I felt really honoured. Coming from a blogger perspective, I knew I would be having an entirely different experience to the launch, because I would be covering it differently, and taking it all in for a completely different style of audience than the others (you!). I not only solely use Sony cameras (a6400!) but I also grew up using the brand for other products like TV’s, PlayStation and of course, the Walkman. This made it even more interesting as we’d be spending time at Sony HQ.
I joined a tech journalist from Wellington and after an 11-hour flight on Air New Zealand we made it to Narita, which is Japan’s biggest international Airport. From the second we walked out of arrivals, we were looked after so well I felt like a Queen! I could tell the team had thought of every detail and they really knocked it out of the park with the best hospitality. All of us stayed at the Hyatt Regency in Shinjuku, which I found to be quite close to everything.
The next day we were up bright and early for the Experience Event which was incredible. The WF-1000XM3 is Sony’s latest noise-free, wire-free and worry-free headphones with Industry-leading noise cancellation. We all sat on tables with white cards in front of us with the names of our countries as if it was the UN. It seemed super serious, and I LOVED IT. Different heads of departments spoke to us about the meticulous research Sony had done in order to create the best product possible, and to say I was in complete awe is an understatement. I just couldn’t believe the amount of work that goes into developing a product like this.
After learning all the theory we got to test out the products ourselves, as behind where we sat was a big display of them for us to check out. I walked up to one of the counters and picked the pair up and shoved them in my ears and proceeded to sync it with the Sony Audio app. Really soon after, music was playing so beautifully in my ears, just the way I reckon the artist intended.. I looked to my left and to my right, and everyone was still going about life. My mind was immediately blown. I was so surprised at how the noise suddenly drowned out the second I put them on.
I own the WH-1000XM3 (the over ears version) myself and I use them regularly for my lecture recordings for school. But this was a completely new level. So when I took one out, the left bud in fact, and put it back in – the song stopped, just as the engineer said. But then the song started back up again once I had them back in because of the new detection feature. I did not miss a beat. The noise-cancelling was so great I yelled out, ‘WOAHHH’ and actually forgot it wouldn’t be noise-cancelling for anyone else hahaha.
My initial thoughts were that I was worried it wouldn’t fit my ears, but shortly after I was assured by a staff member of Sony that each kit had extra rows of nodules that I could choose from to fit mine. So although my ears are the same size on the outside, I have a bigger canal for my left ear and one smaller canal in my right ear. Once I went through the row of nodules and tried them on, I was able to fit the right ones on, and it instantly felt like they were tailored to me.
Something I was quite looking forward to was the ‘Engineer Media Interview.’ For an hour we got to meet and chat with quite literally the very engineers who had poured endless hours of hard work into the head phones. It was super interesting to hear what they had to say, especially when it came to addressing concerns from the previous version of this product. It was awesome seeing how proud they were of overcoming issues they had faced, and confidently relaying back the improvements they had made, and asking how we felt about it too.
After all our questions were answered, we went to visit Sony Square in Ginza. It was awesome. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect but I could say that for a lot of us, it brought back memories of our childhood. I LOVED my little Sony Walkman back when I was younger. Turns out this spot was where the old Sony HQ used to be. If you ever have a chance to visit, which I really recommend – make sure to pop down to the basement level, because there is a really buzzy exhibit on the wall of every single walkman that Sony ever made.
After a big day of learning a lot about the WF-1000XM3, we were whisked away to a ‘welcome dinner’ at Happō-en which was a venue so beautiful I would recommend having a wedding there. The restaurant overlooked the traditional Japanese Garden which I later found out has Bonsai trees that are over 100 years old, with one of them over 500 years old. There we were treated to many courses, all of which were incredibly delicious and full of unique ingredients as well as cultural performances.
The next day we prepared early and got to enjoy the Only Music Train Experience. It was so much fun! The concept was that we’d be put in a rather noisy train thus putting them to the first real test. We were all quite impressed to not be able to hear anything and just take in the serene, countryside views which was great!
On the third day we all checked out, and went to Mario Kart. It was such a great final bonding experience between the Australian and New Zealand team. We circled round the Tokyo Tower a few times and enjoyed waving to fellow pedestrians at crossings. Jamie from Sony Australia, who looked after us was so great. If you ever have the chance to try Mario Kart, you must do it!
Honestly I’m so impressed that a product I was impressed by has seamlessly followed me back home and into my life. I now use it for my studies and walks. I’ve really been able to focus since owning this pair and I am so pleased to say that after a full month of usage, that I highly recommend these. Sony have put a tremendous amount of effort into creating an even better version of this product, and if you were thinking of getting them and looking for a sign, this is it.
Whilst the rest of the journalists left back to their countries I stayed in Tokyo for an extra 9 days. This was my time to really test them out as I used the trains everyday. There was stable connectivity no matter where I went underground and any hustle and bustle was dramatically cancelled by the buds – which made it all about the music and this really revolutionised my commute. I also really like that one quick touch of the left bud lowers the volume and allows ambiance so that you can safely walk around, hear cars or for me, confirm the next station stop! And the amount of times I almost started a rave in a Japanese train carriage because of these is too many times to count.
I never would have thought about how well these wireless noise cancelling headphones could fit into my life this well. It really is a life changer.
Along with my keys and my cardholder, I now never leave the house without these earbuds. The other day, I even drove back two suburbs just to get them because the thought of going through a whole day without them was not okay LOL.
Also, if you forget to charge them, just charge them for 10 minutes and then they’ll last 90 minutes.
The headphones are compatible with the Sony Headphones Connect app, where you’ll find customisation features for sound, noise cancellation, touch controls and more.
The WF-1000XM3 will be available in black in New Zealand from this month for $449.95 here.
Over the course of the trip, I learned a lot about the brand Sony itself, and found out that Sony’s corporate mission is to be “a company that provides customers with kando – to move them emotionally – and inspires and fulfils their curiosity.” And in this case, I really felt like they achieved it.
Thank you so much Sony inviting me to your incredible event. You really outdid yourselves! This was an absolute highlight of my year. Be sure to check out more of the trip on my instagram here 🙂