Sony WH-1000XM4 vs Bose ANC 700 | Which headphone reigns supreme?

by birtanpublished on November 4, 2020

with all the buzz going on right now around true wireless noise canceling earbuds it might be easy to forget that true wireless noise canceling headphones are still a thing and a much needed one at that but which one should you get and why welcome back everyone i'm caleb dennison and today we are going to compare the sony wh-1000xm4 against the bose noise canceling 700. these are both excellent headphones they both have strengths and weaknesses

And i would say that each one is well positioned for a different kind of user so let's dig into the differences and the similarities and figure out which one might be best for you let's start with design and comfort which i think kind of go hand in hand with the sony you're looking at a familiar set of headphones i mean they look exactly like the xm3 before them but moreover they're kind of a classic looking headphone whereas with the bose it's a much more modern aesthetic

Especially with these two poles coming down along the ear cups kind of mounted on the outside like that and then definitely a more modern looking headband as well with a grippy silicone touch to it which right there starts playing into comfort now when i compared the xm3 versus the bose a little while ago i actually gave the bose the edge up on comfort and i stand by that i think i was on a really long flight and i went back and forth between the two headphones and i found that the bows

Definitely seemed to exert less pressure on my crown when i wore them for long periods of time otherwise they felt fairly similar to the xm3 that's changed though with the xm4 they changed the radius on the headband a little bit and they made the earcups slightly larger and the effect that has is that it spreads out the clamping force a little bit more but definitely around the ears and less on the crown and the result is a much more comfortable fit

For long-term use so when it comes to comfort i'm going to hand it to the sony next i want to talk about battery life with the bose you're going to get about 20 hours of performance and it's going to take about two and a half hours of charging from dead to fully charged however you can get about two hours of performance with just 15 minutes of charging compare that to the sony which is going to offer you 30 hours of total performance time and if you want to quick charge these guys you're going to get

5 hours out of just 10 minutes of charging which means that if you can plug in for just a little bit you're definitely going to be able to rock these for quite some time so when it comes to battery life again the sony take it next let's talk a little bit about controls how you use the headphones this is something that has occurred to me only after using the headphones for quite a period of time one of the quirks with the sony is that when you want to turn them on you press the power button and you have to hold it for a while in

Order for it to power up whereas with the bose you press the power button real quick just a quick tap and they're instantly coming on so it takes a little bit longer to get the sony up and running another frustration is that if you want to get into bluetooth pairing mode to pair to a different device with the sony you're going to have to once again turn them off then turn them back on but keep holding the button for quite some time and then they'll ultimately go into

Pairing mode with the bose it's again just a really quick touch on the bluetooth pairing button and they go into pairing mode so in terms of ease and speed of use the bose are a little bit better there there's some other interesting sort of user features that i like about the bose as well for instance when they power up it tells you how much play time you've got in terms of hours with the sony what you get is a little voice telling you that you have say 35 well what does that mean in terms of total hours

Again for convenience i think that the bows are just a little bit better but then you take into account some of the features that you get with the sony that you don't get with the bose and a lot of those can be enabled in the app so if you take a look at the sony app there are a few features here that you won't find on the bose one of them is sort of an adaptive sound technology you can actually tune the headphones to work well in whatever your situation happens to be so if you're on a noisy street or you're

Actually flying in a plane and more and more people are starting to do that these days then they'll optimize the noise cancelling for that particular environment you don't get that with the bose also there's a few other tricks up its sleeve you can actually measure your ears and get sort of a 3d sound effect out of these headphones also you can turn on sort of an upscaling feature that takes low bitrate music and makes it sound a little bit better

So in terms of total features the sony outweigh the bose but in terms of a user experience the bose are a little bit more friendly and then finally in terms of just straight up on headphone control the sony have this sort of swipe feature going on so that you can turn up down answer calls with a tap hang up on calls with a tap that sort of thing with the bose it's a more conventional experience where you're going to be pressing physical buttons around the ear cup

That goes for launching google assistant or whatever your smart assistant of choice is so a little bit more advanced on the sony one other convenience feature that the sony have that the bose do not is this little wear sensor that's inside this basically pauses the music and turns off noise cancelling when you remove them and then reinstates everything when you put them back on and the final thing i want to talk about is the sort of talk through feature so it used to be with the xm3

If you wanted to talk to somebody you could hover your head over the ear cup it would disable noise canceling and actually pipe outside noise in so that you could hear who you were talking to that feature is now automated so you don't have to hover your hand over the right ear cup you simply start talking and that sounds really great but the only problem is when you get into noisy environments the headphones don't do a good job of understanding whether it's your voice or just some really loud noise for instance the other day i was mowing

The lawn and the lawnmower was loud so it kept triggering that talk feature and turning off my music it was really annoying now you can go into the app and you can turn that feature off but that's a little bit heavy-handed i mean i don't want to have to pop into the app every time i want to turn that off i wish it just worked still it does at least have that feature where it disables noise cancelling and you can talk to other people whereas the bose don't have that at all

now i want to talk a little bit about call quality which i think is very important to a lot of people in fact i didn't talk about it a lot with the xm4 review and you guys definitely let me know in the comment section my bad sorry about that but i'm definitely going to cover it here with the sony xm4 the call quality is very good up to a point it does not handle wind very well i actually tested this out by putting my head right next to a fan while on a call with somebody

And it was basically drowning me out more to the point i heard the wind in the headphones and it was extremely distracting so it's very good so long as you're not in a windy situation and i know that can be a problem for a lot of folks the bose on the other hand are absolute rock stars when it comes to phone calls the voice quality is fantastic for both parties and on top of that it can handle almost any kind of background noise including wind and completely cancel it out so that it's

Always clear you could be in a very very busy bustling new york city street and the person on the other end of the line would never know you were there another really important feature is noise cancelling obviously that's one of the reasons you get noise cancelling headphones in the first place right bose has always been very well rated in this regard and that's because they invented noise canceling so they've really got a handle on the technology and with the noise cancelling 700 it is absolutely outstanding especially

On airplanes where it very successfully drowns out the sound of airplane noise but that's not the only noise that we deal with in our lives and sony knows that and they've tried to address that by improving some of the higher frequency noise canceling in the xm4 and it is a little bit better but since i can't get on a plane i had to kind of jerry rig a little test scenario so i turned on an air conditioner went outside and stood next to it that's going to have a lot of that high

Frequency stuff that the noise cancelling headphones would want to try and cancel out that's also going to be representative of noises like buses people talking in the office that sort of thing and while the xm4 have gotten much better in that regard i'm sorry the noise canceling 700 are still the noise cancelling kings next up let's talk about sound quality which is a very important factor yet how important it is to you is going to be different than the next person so when it comes to sound quality the

Sony are very much my bag they have a little bit of a boost in the bass but they have very clear and even mid-range and trouble it's just a really enjoyable overall experience whereas with the bose the bass is a little bit more anemic i mean it's certainly present but it doesn't have a ton of presence it's not particularly deep or tuned full bo seems to like to accentuate the upper mid-range or lower treble band which gives it kind of a zingy quality

But it also feels kind of synthetic or maybe even sterile so while it's very good in the bows and i think that most folks will enjoy it very much if sound quality is a really important factor to you then the sony xm4 are definitely the way to go a couple other little things that i wanted to mention and when i say little i mean little this is the sony charging cable and it's practically useless this is the bose charging cable and this

Makes way more sense it's far more practical i've never found this to be particularly useful unless i'm using like a portable battery pack or something and even then it's just come on put a bigger cable in the packaging i know that usb-c cables aren't hard to come by but come on next thing i want to mention is that neither of these headphones will operate while being charged that is it shuts down the wireless connectivity it shuts down the noise cancelling you can still listen to audio if you hook up a headphone

Cable but even though that's a feature that i'd very much like to see enabled neither one of these headphones do it so which one of these headphones wins this battle well i think that depends a little bit on who you are and what you're going to use them for if you are a business person who makes a lot of phone calls maybe takes a lot of zoom meetings maybe even used to travel a lot and hope to do so again in the near future the bose noise canceling 700 are going to be the better bet the call quality is just outstanding and

Even zoom calls will be better with this particular set of headphones also when you do get back on a plane the noise canceling is more effective for canceling out plane noise which is a very important factor they're also very comfortable and they sound very good however for most of the rest of us the sony are going to be the better choice they're just a better rounded out headphone they've got better battery life slightly superior comfort the noise canceling is very very good and the sound quality

Is outstanding overall they're just the better headphone thanks as always for watching everyone do you think i made the right call for this headphone comparison leave me a comment down below like subscribe hit that notification bell and as always visit digitaltrends.com for the latest tech news and reviews

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