Some of the greatest noise-canceling headphones are made by Sony and Bose. You’ve come to the correct spot if you’re looking for high-quality sound and state-of-the-art wireless technology, but you can’t decide which brand to support.
The year 2020 saw the introduction of Sony’s flagship WH-1000XM4 headphones. The “dynamic, detail-rich sound” and comfortable, lightweight design earned them a five-star review and a What Hi-Fi? 2020 Award (which they later won again at the 2021 Awards). However, after the release of the WH-1000XM5 in May 2022, they are now obsolete. Though just as effective as the other pair, these Sonys are much more costly.
The Bose QuietComfort 45 is equally outstanding, having been released in September 2021. I’m curious, though: which pair of headphones do you recommend? Find out whether the Bose QuietComfort 45 or Sony WH-1000XM4 is the superior product by reading on to learn about their respective designs, prices, features, and batteries.
Overview Our Verdict
Sony’s Wireless WH-1000XM4 Headphones vs. Bose’s Wireless QuietComfort 45/QC45
When compared to the Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless, the Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless offers more personalization options. Sony’s construction is superior, and its ANC technology effectively eliminates ambient noise. Furthermore, they may maintain a charge for extended periods of time. Some users may prefer the Bose since it is more comfortable and offers a more balanced sound profile.
|Triple Black||QuietComfort SE||Amazon.com|
|White Smoke||QuietComfort 45/QC45||Amazon.com|
|Eclipse Grey||QuietComfort 45/QC45||Amazon.com|
|Midnight Blue||QuietComfort 45/QC45||Amazon.com|
|Triple Black||QuietComfort 45/QC45||Amazon.com|
Compared are the Bose QC45 and the Sony WH-1000XM4 in terms of their respective designs.
- Type: Over-ear Over-ear
- Enclosure: Closed-Back Closed-Back
- Transducer: Dynamic Dynamic
- Wireless: Yes Yes
The Sony WH-1000XM4 is built similarly to the Sony WH-1000XM3. Matte in appearance, with generous padding on the ear cups and headband, these over-ear headphones are an excellent choice. Black, silver, and Best Buy-exclusive “Midnight Blue” are the available hues. “Silent White” was a limited edition color released in celebration of Sony’s 75th anniversary in 2021.
In terms of design, the Bose QuietComfort 45 is quite identical to the Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018. Each ear cup has a subtle imprint of the manufacturer’s emblem, contributing to the sleek and understated design. They’re offered in standard black and white that looks like smoke.
|Weight||0.6 lbs||0.52 lbs|
|Clamping Force||1 lb||0.7 lbs|
- Sony: WH-1000XM4 Wireless Comfort Picture
- Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless Comfort Picture
The Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones are very soft and lightweight. Because the foam earpads are so light, they don’t add much pressure to what would otherwise be a lengthy period of usage, allowing you to listen for hours without being too uncomfortable. The Bose.
QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless is more accommodating to big ears, however, they may be too shallow for your comfort. The Bose QuietComfort 45 offers unprecedented levels of comfort. They don’t make a tight seal on your head and don’t weigh a lot. The ear cups and headband have thicker and more comfortable cushioning than the Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless. You probably won’t become too tired if you listen to music for long periods of time.
Pressure, stiffness, weight, and degrees of freedom may all be adjusted. When using headphones for extended periods of time is of paramount importance.
Controls: 7.6. 8.1
Definition: the headphones’ user interface, including factors like the quantity and kind of controls, the buttons’ placement and orientation, how comfortable they are to use, and the quality of the tactile feedback they offer.
When you need to adjust the level, pause the song, or answer the phone without touching the audio equipment.
- 25. 96% Ease Of Use
- 25. 96% Feedback
- 14. 42% Call/Music Control
- 14. 42% Volume Control
- 4. 81% Microphone Control
- 4. 81% Channel Mixing
- 4. 81% Noise Cancelling Control
- 4. 81% Talk-Through
|OS Compatibility:||Not OS specific||Not OS specific|
|Ease Of Use:||Good||Good|
|Noise Cancelling Control:||On/Off||On/Off|
|Additional Controls:||Voice Assistant||Voice Assistant|
A comparison of the sound quality of the Bose QC45 vs the Sony WH-1000XM4.
Neither pair of cans supports aptX, but Sony’s LDAC technology can be used to wirelessly stream high-quality music from a suitable source, such as some Android smartphones. Sony’s trippy 360 Reality Audio files can be played on the XM4.
If you’re looking for a pair of wireless headphones, our vote goes to the feature-packed Sony XM4. If you listen to Bruce Springsteen’s Thunder Road while streaming, you’ll notice that the reflective harmonica develops with more dynamic intensity and sensitivity via Sony’s WH-1000XM4. While this may seem like a minor gripe, the Bose QC45’s gradual build—that is, the rise and fall of each note—come out as a little rough when compared to the competition.
When comparing the XM4 to the QuietComfort 45, the XM4 is faster. For example, on the song “Belly Danza” by Don Omar and Beenie Man, the various hype men, Cuban salsa riffs, and bite through Beenie Man’s considered juicy lower registers are all present in the QC45, but the Sony product does a better job of holding these musical strands together in a cohesive, foot-tapping mix.
The Sony WH-1000XM4 = is the victor.
Comparing the Bose QC45 and Sony WH-1000XM4 in terms of noise canceling
Isolate yourself from the outside world so that nothing may distract you from your music.
We found that the noise-canceling technology from Sony and Bose was among the finest available to consumers.
Sony’s state-of-the-art HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1 is included inside the WH-1000XM4, and it makes fine-tuned changes 700 times per second to maximize the headphones‘ noise-canceling performance. It’s really efficient, and the intensity can be tweaked using Sony’s companion app.
The Bose QC 45 has two noise-cancellation modes—”Quiet” and “Aware”—that allow in some ambient noise so you can keep tabs on what’s going on around you when necessary. The more expensive Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 provides 11 different degrees of noise reduction for its users.
Despite the inability to adjust the volume, we recommend the new Bose QC45 over the Sony WH-1000XM4 if you only want to block out background noise in the workplace. Take a time to let that sentence register.
Those additional external mics enhance speech pickup and really isolate and concentrate on your voice, supported by Bose’s noise-rejecting technology to filter out unnecessary background noise, resulting in industry-leading call clarity from the Bose QC45, according to our testing. We took calls on a noisy street corner, and Bose delivered as promised; our callers said they could clearly hear us over the background noise of the phone.
Bose QC45, the = Winner
Power consumption of the Bose QC45 and the Sony WH-1000XM4
The Sony WH-1000XM4s have a 30-hour battery life (38 hours if you switch off noise-canceling). Impressive.
The Bose QuietComfort 45 promises to last for 24 hours, but it falls short of that performance on paper. However, we discovered in our tests that the battery life race was a closer-run affair than those claims imply.
Trying to get there quickly? While the Sony XM4 can play for five hours after just ten minutes of charging, the Bose quick-charge mode only allows for 2.5 hours of playing time.
The Bose headphones offer respectable battery life (and we’d bet they may have undersold themselves a little bit in terms of endurance), but the Sony headphones just cannot be beaten.
Conclusion: Bose QC45 or Sony WH-1000XM4?
The Sony WH-1000XM4 noise-canceling headphones have a lot going for them, thanks to their excellent sound, many features, and (slightly) longer battery life. We consider them to be, along with the WH-1000XM5 siblings, the greatest headphones available for the price, and the Bose hasn’t changed our minds. Sony emerges victorious in the end.
Bose has been fighting noise pollution for decades, and its headphones are among the best at filtering out ambient noise. If you’re a lover of Bose headphones, you’ll be happy to know that the QuietComfort 45 improves upon the QC 35 II in a number of ways. According to our assessment, the Bose QC 45 “has the advantage over most of the competitors at the price if you want a pair of wireless over-ears you can put on, deploy noise-canceling on your commute or at your workplace, and essentially extinguish the outside world for up to 24 hours.”
The Sonys, on the other hand, have a more refined, unified, and confident sound. Despite Bose’s impressive noise-canceling and frequency-neutrality abilities, we found the QuietComfot 45 to fall short of the XM4 in terms of timing and dynamics in a head-to-head comparison.