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Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017)
Audio-Technica SonicFuel ATH-AR3BT (2016)
See Top Ranked Closed-Back Headphones

Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) vs Audio-Technica ATH-AR3 (2016)

Analysis:

The Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) is a great Closed-Back Headphone for its $279 asking price.

The Audio-Technica SonicFuel ATH-AR3BT (2016), however, while a reasonable product for $103, doesn't stack up against its competitors quite as well. If you're considering Closed-Back Headphones in the $120 range, you might want to check out some better options.

The Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) got praised by SoundGuys and Tom's Guide - two highly trusted sources that perform in-depth hands-on testing. It was awarded the "Best All-around" title from SoundGuys and "Great noise cancellation meets even greater sound" from Tom's Guide in their respective Closed-Back Headphone roundups.

Taking a look at the Audio-Technica SonicFuel ATH-AR3BT (2016), it got featured in roundups from two reliable sources that conduct their own testing - TrustedReviews and Tech Advisor - but it fell short of earning a top spot in either.

When we thoroughly analyzed their review scores, we learned that all of the sources that tested both Closed-Back Headphones, including TrustedReviews, preferred the Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) over the Audio-Technica SonicFuel ATH-AR3BT (2016).

We also took a look at which sources they managed to impress the most. The Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) was liked best by Digitaltrends, which gave it a score of 10, while the Audio-Technica SonicFuel ATH-AR3BT (2016) got its highest, 9, score from TrustedReviews.

Lastly, we averaged out all of the reviews scores that we could find on these two products and compared them to other Closed-Back Headphones on the market. We learned that both of them performed far better than most of their competitors - the overall review average earned by Closed-Back Headphones being 7.4 out of 10, whereas the Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) and Audio-Technica SonicFuel ATH-AR3BT (2016) managed averages of 8.9 and 9.0 points, respectively.

Due to the difference in their prices, however, it's important to keep in mind that a direct Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) vs. Audio-Technica SonicFuel ATH-AR3BT (2016) comparison might not be entirely fair - some sources don't take value for money into account when assigning their scores and therefore have a tendency to rate more premium products better.

Comparison of expert ratings
Highly Recommended
Recommended
Mentioned
Not Mentioned
SoundGuys
Tom's Guide
HomeTheaterReview.com
Rtings
PCmag
Techradar
CNET
TrustedReviews
The Verge
Head-fi
Tech. Specs Comparison
Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017)
$279
Audio-Technica SonicFuel ATH-AR3BT (2016)
$103
Significantly higher than average expert review score
7.5
Overall Avg. for Closed-Back Headphones
9.0
Avg. Review Score
Score
Highly recommended by trusted experts
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best headphones at Target: Trust the red polo shirts” 
Last updated: 17 Oct 2018
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Great noise cancellation meets even greater sound
in “Best Sony headphones 2020: Top wireless and wired Picks” 
Last updated: 21 Aug 2019
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best headphones
in “Headphones, speakers, and soundbars: the best audio tech we heard at IFA 2019” 
Last updated: 7 Sep 2019
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best audio gifts for grads 2018” 
Last updated: 5 May 2018
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #3 out of 10
in “The best Sony headphones 2020: 10 models to appeal to your inner audiophile ” 
Last updated: 27 Jan 2020
Good Housekeeping
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best Wireless Headphones for Quality Sound” 
Last updated: 22 Aug 2018
Recommended by trusted experts
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