Sony WF-1000XM4 vs AirPods Professional Comparability

Sony WF-1000XM4 vs AirPods Professional Comparability

It’s a battle between the 2 titans within the TWS house – one from the Android aspect of the world and the opposite from the Apple aspect. Cue the Sony WF-1000XM4 and the AirPods Pro – probably two of probably the most sought-after really wi-fi earphones since they launched again in 2019-2020. It’s a testomony to the sheer high quality of those earphones that they’re nonetheless probably the most revered earphones within the TWS house even a yr or two submit their launch. 

On one finish, the Sony WF-1000XM4 boasts glorious app options and high-quality codec assist, and on the opposite finish, the AirPods Professional introduces novel options comparable to spatial audio with head monitoring and handsfree Siri assist (unique to Apple customers). Each have overlapping options comparable to Energetic Noise Cancellation, Transparency Mode, and wi-fi charging – all of that are fairly commonplace amongst flagship really wi-fi earphones in 2022. Whereas each earphones look glorious on paper, there could be just one overarching winner on this comparability. So, let’s discover out which TWS takes the crown.

AirPods Professional vs Sony WF-1000XM4: Construct and design

The Sony WF-1000XM4 and the AirPods Professional are flagship TWS from their respective firms, so each buds are constructed meticulously with unbelievable consideration to element. The supplies used are top-notch on each units, nevertheless, the AirPods Professional has the sturdier case hinge as a consequence of metallic reinforcement. The magnets contained in the charging case are stronger on the Sony WF-1000XM4. We dropped each instances a few occasions and the Sony earphones stayed put inside their case extra usually than the AirPods Professional earbuds.

Sony WF-1000XM4 vs AirPods Pro Comparison

The Sony WF-1000XM4 have a traditional, rounded earbud design with round copper accents that look implausible and premium. The AirPods Professional, alternatively, are white, shiny, and include angled stems. Whereas the Sony WF-1000XM4 look extra fascinating, there’s a case to be made for the AirPods Professional’s clear and basic look. 

The Sony WF-1000XM4’s case is well-built and feels sturdy sufficient however the AirPods Professional’s case is way extra pocketable. Each Sony’s earbuds and case look cumbersome when in comparison with the AirPods Professional which presents a much more smooth and streamlined look. Nonetheless, we choose Sony’s matte texture over the shiny texture of the AirPods Professional. The shiny texture seems extra commonplace and is unquestionably a fingerprint magnet.

Shifting on to controls, the Sony WF-1000XM4 options capacitive contact controls on the rear panel of the earbuds whereas the AirPods Professional options pressure-sensitive controls on the stem. We discovered the AirPods controls to be barely extra exact, however the Sonys contact controls are far improved compared to their predecessor and work with out virtually any hitches or misreadings. 

Construct and design winner – Tie

AirPods Professional vs Sony WF-1000XM4: Consolation and match

Whereas which pair of earphones has the higher design is up for debate, the AirPods Professional are unequivocally superior on the subject of consolation and match. Now, the Sonys do redeem themselves a bit right here as a result of bundled foam ear suggestions. The polyurethane foam ear suggestions can be found in three sizes – small, medium and enormous. You merely have to compress the froth suggestions earlier than inserting them into your ears and the guidelines will develop to suit the contours of your ear canal.

Whereas the froth suggestions do present a much more superior match than silicone ones would have on the Sony WF-1000XM4, there’s nonetheless no denying its cumbersome kind issue that does hamper consolation, particularly after lengthy intervals of utilization. The AirPods Professional present silicone ear suggestions, however the match remains to be far safer for the reason that earbuds are lighter and sleeker. The AirPods simply latch on to your ear and really feel safe by reasonable and intensive actions comparable to strolling, jogging, and figuring out. Moreover, Sony’s cumbersome earbuds additionally begin hurting your ears after longer listening classes whereas the discomfort is minimal on the AirPods Professional for a similar length. 

Credit score the place it’s due although – Sony has significantly shrunk down the scale of the WF-1000XM4 compared to its predecessor, the WF-1000XM3. The case is 40 per cent smaller whereas the earbuds are 10 per cent smaller, which is not any small feat. Nonetheless, we’re hoping that with the Mark 5s, Sony continues to shrink down the scale of the earphones, particularly the earbuds, to offer a safer and cozy match. For now, although, the AirPods Professional undoubtedly knock it out of the park for consolation and match.

Consolation and match winner – AirPods Professional

AirPods Professional vs Sony WF-1000XM4: Sound high quality

So, a very powerful query of all – how do the Sony WF-1000XM4 and the AirPods Professional evaluate within the sound high quality division? To know this, let’s go into the {hardware} these earbuds sport. The Sony WF-1000XM4 pack 6mm drivers with assist for SBC, AAC and LDAC codecs. With LDAC, you possibly can take heed to hi-res music as much as 32-bit/96 kHz over Bluetooth at as much as 990 kbps. The earphones are powered by Sony’s V1 chip which helps with Sony’s DSEE function that upscales music to near-lossless high quality.

Powering the AirPods Professional is Apple’s H1 chip that can also be constructed into the second and third-gen AirPods. Apple additionally brings spatial audio expertise with head monitoring. The earphones assist SBC and AAC codecs with AAC offering secure and dependable audio when the earphones are used with iPhones. If you happen to had been to make use of the Sony Mark 4s with an iPhone, the codec would default to AAC since Apple doesn’t assist codecs comparable to LDAC and aptX.

Sony WF-1000XM4 vs AirPods Pro Comparison

Uncompensated frequency response graph – Sony WF-1000XM4 (Blue), AirPods Professional (Inexperienced), Impartial (Grey)

Now, each earphones are sonically sensible with Sony including some extra meat to the bass division. The bass response is barely extra pronounced on the AirPods Professional however the Sony WF-1000XM4’s bass packs rather more element and character with glorious assault. The AirPods lack a number of the readability supplied by the Sony earphones with LDAC lively.

The mids are pristine on each earphones with close-to-neutral sonic signatures. Because of this, vocals and lead devices have virtually unmatched readability (within the TWS house), nevertheless, the Sony has a barely wider soundstage which provides a layer of finesse to the audio. The imaging can also be barely higher on the Sony WF-1000XM4 when in comparison with the AirPods Professional. However for those who take heed to tracks with spatial audio assist on the AirPods, the tides flip in Apple’s favour, however there are solely a handful of tracks that assist this function on Apple Music. 

The highs are barely extra sparkly on the AirPods Professional however the Sony is not any slouch on the subject of reproducing highs as properly. Cymbals and hi-hats sound clear and detailed on each earphones. One other level in Sony’s favour is the truth that you possibly can customise the EQ by way of the app, so for those who choose a extra impartial sound, you possibly can tweak it throughout the app. The identical just isn’t true for the AirPods Professional. 

Spatial audio on the AirPods Professional is a magical and immersive expertise although, particularly when used with head monitoring turned on. Apple Music has a bunch of playlists that assist spatial audio you could take heed to. Total although, the Sony WF-1000XM4 nonetheless gives a extra detailed and refined sonic expertise.

Sound high quality winner – Sony WF-1000XM4

AirPods Professional vs Sony WF-1000XM4: Microphone

The Sony WF-1000XM4 options beamforming microphones and a bone conduction sensor to choose up your voice and relay it. The AirPods Professional additionally options beamforming microphones and an inward-facing microphone for noise cancellation, transparency mode and calls. Whereas the microphones on each earbuds don’t come near exterior increase mics or desktop microphones, they’re among the finest cash should buy within the TWS kind issue. Each earbuds include their very own type of wind-reduction expertise as properly.

In our expertise, the AirPods Professional’s microphone is superior in additional methods than one. The microphone picks up the speaker’s voice whereas eliminating most ambient noises. The sound picked up is evident and distortion-free as properly. It additionally sounds extraordinarily pure, preserving the tonality and intricacies of a speaker’s voice with extra precision than the Sony WF-1000XM4 does. The Sony WF-1000XM4’s microphone additionally relays clear and loud voices on calls and through recordings. Nonetheless, they don’t sound almost as pristine as on the AirPods. Moreover, Sony picks up rather more ambient sound in noisy environments in comparison with the AirPods Professional.

Microphone winner – AirPods Professional

AirPods Professional vs Sony WF-1000XM4: Energetic Noise Cancellation

On the coronary heart of the Sony WF-1000XM4’s noise cancelling skills is the corporate’s built-in V1 chip and the array of microphones. The AirPods Professional has two microphones on every bud; one on the skin to detect incoming ambient noise and one on the within to detect noise that makes it by the seal. This sound detected by each earphones is then cancelled out utilizing anti-noise which is bolstered by their respective AI algorithms. The AirPods Professional, the truth is, adjusts noise cancelling 200 occasions per second, one thing that’s solely matched by the AirPods Max.

Sony WF-1000XM4 vs AirPods Pro Comparison

Because of this, what you get on each the Sony WF-1000XM4 and the AirPods Professional is very efficient noise cancelling that simply dims out fixed, low-frequency sounds comparable to an AC’s hum, an airplane’s drone, and extra. Nonetheless, the place the Sony Mark 4s shine is in cancelling out human voices and extra high-pitched sounds. Whereas the AirPods Professional additionally do a good job at cancelling out these troublesome frequencies, the Mark 4s deal with them with a way of confidence that’s unparalleled within the TWS house. So, even in noisy workplace environments, you’re a stable 60-70 per cent of perceived noise discount in mid and excessive frequencies. In distinction, the AirPods Professional struggles a bit right here – particularly with human voices – which it lets by fairly simply. 

Each earphones additionally include pressure-relieving air vents that assist keep away from the sensation of air being sucked out of your ears that some discover uncomfortable.

Energetic Noise Cancellation winner – Sony WF-1000XM4

AirPods Professional vs Sony WF-1000XM4: Transparency Mode

We’ve mentioned it for some time now – nobody does Transparency Mode in addition to Apple, interval. Whereas the Sony WF-1000XM4 are markedly improved on this division over their predecessors, they don’t come near how pure the AirPods Professional’s Transparency Mode sounds. The H1 chip on the AirPods Professional works alongside the microphones to energy this expertise. This mode helps customers be extra conscious of their environment in public areas to listen to oncoming site visitors or bulletins in practice stations or airports. Or, simply to have a fast dialog with somebody with out having to take off your earphones totally.

Exterior sounds are amplified so you possibly can hear them although your music, nonetheless, the sounds by no means get into the territory of sounding jarring or unnatural. Whereas Transparency Mode on the Sonys sounds fairly respectable, it might probably get a bit jarring and unnatural due to how loud the playback is.

Transparency Mode winner – AirPods Professional

AirPods Professional vs Sony WF-1000XM4: Options

The Sony Headphone Join app is probably one of the crucial utilitarian and versatile companion apps we’ve ever used with TWS earbuds. The app has nifty options comparable to a 5-band customisable EQ, sound presets, charging standing, and customisable controls. Except for that, the earbud’s app permits customers to entry options comparable to Adaptive Sound Management, DSEE Excessive, Earbud Match take a look at, and extra. 

Adaptive Sound Management is a helpful function that makes use of AI smarts to find out your exercise (staying, strolling, working, or transport) and applies noise-cancellation settings accordingly. DSEE Excessive is a function that makes use of AI to upscale compressed lossy recordsdata. The Earbud Match take a look at is handy and it lets you understand if the ear suggestions you’ve used are supplying you with seal. 

Considered one of our favorite options of the Sony WF-1000XM4 is the Fast Consideration mode function. Merely urgent and holding the left earbud will activate Ambient Sound and switch down the media quantity so you possibly can have a fast dialog with out having to pause your music. The earbuds are IPX4 water-resistant and assist Google’s Quick Pair and Microsoft’s Swift Pair as properly.

Sony WF-1000XM4 vs AirPods Pro Comparison

The AirPods Professional is not any slouch on the subject of options as properly, however most of those are unique to customers with Apple units solely, which is a large limitation. The settings display screen permits customers to entry options comparable to an Ear Tip Match Take a look at, and Spatial Audio with Head Monitoring. The ear tip match take a look at permits you to discover the most effective ear suggestions to your ears, like on the Sony Mark 4. The spatial audio function is one thing we’ve already raved about above. 

One function the AirPods sport that the Sonys don’t is handsfree assistant assist, on this case, handsfree Siri. Merely saying ‘Hey Siri’ will invoke the voice assistant who you can provide instructions to for varied actions. It’s a particularly nifty function that takes out the bodily ingredient of getting to manually set off assistant each time you have to use it.

Regardless of this, the Sony WF-1000XM4 takes house the Options crown since not solely does it have a significantly bigger function set compared to the AirPods Professional but it surely additionally isn’t platform unique. So, you should use a lot of the Mark 4s options on an iPhone as properly by downloading the Headphones Join app.

Options winner – Sony WF-1000XM4

AirPods Professional vs Sony WF-1000XM4: Battery life

On the face of it, each the AirPods Professional and the Sony WF-1000XM4 appear to have related battery life with 24 hours of whole playback time supplied with the earbuds and charging case. What makes all of the distinction in Sony’s case is that it lasts a whopping 8 hours on a single cost (ANC turned on), whereas the AirPods Professional solely lasts 5 hours on a single cost (ANC turned on). So, you have to to juice up the Sony Mark 4s far lesser than AirPods Professionals, which is a vital benefit. Moreover, with ANC turned off, the Sony WF-1000XM4 can present 32 hours of battery life. In our assessments, the Sony WF-1000XM4 lasted 7 hours and 52 minutes with ANC turned on whereas the AirPods Professional lasted 4 hours and 42 minutes with ANC on.

Sony WF-1000XM4 vs AirPods Pro Comparison

Each earbuds additionally include quick charging assist. Cost the Sony for simply 5 minutes and also you’ll get an hour’s value of utilization and charging the AirPods Professional for 10 minutes gives the identical playback time, so the Sonys win right here. Each earbuds additionally assist Qi wi-fi charging for the case, which is handy, however slower than wired charging. 

Battery life winner – Sony WF-1000XM4

AirPods Professional vs Sony WF-1000XM4: Worth

The Sony WF-1000XM4 is priced at Rs 19,990 in India whereas the AirPods Professional, which launched at Rs 24,990, can now be bought for round 20.5 – 21K on e-commerce websites. The worth distinction between the 2 is negligible sufficient at this level however not on the time of launch. Each even have an unlimited function set and glorious efficiency to justify the asking worth. Whereas we’d have given the win to the Sony WF-1000XM4 for worth at launch, because it stands in the present day, it finally ends up being a tie.

Worth winner – Tie

AirPods Professional vs Sony WF-1000XM4: Verdict

Sony WF-1000XM4: 5 factors

AirPods Professional: 4 factors

So, there you’ve got it! It was an extremely shut race with the Sony WF-1000XM4 scrapping with the win by incomes 5 factors as in comparison with the AirPods Professional’s 4 factors. Whereas the Sony WF-1000XM4 doesn’t fairly run circles across the AirPods Professional, it does beat them in key areas comparable to sound high quality, lively noise cancellation, and battery life – all of that are integral to a person’s finish expertise. Sony additionally makes its function set extra accessible to the plenty by way of the Headphones Join app, one thing that the AirPods Professional lack. Nonetheless, for those who an embedded into the Apple ecosystem, we’d nonetheless ask you to solid away the additional factors Sony acquired and go for the AirPods Professional regardless as a result of seamless connectivity, integration with Apple units, and distinctive function set.

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