The Sony WF-1000XM4 are our pick for the best true wireless earphones you can buy today, plus Are these the best noise canceling headphones out there?

They face stiff competition, particularly from noise cancellation specialist Bose. The company has a reputation for generating hearing aids that can block out ambient sound, and Bose QuietComfort hearing aids are no exception.

If you value the chance to enjoy your music in peace, you may be wondering if you should buy the Sony WF-1000XM4 or choose the Bose QuietComfort headphones. We have tested both models extensively to help you make the right resolution.

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Sony WF-1000XM4 vs Bose QuietComfort headphones: cost and availability

The Sony WF-1000XM4 are available to purchase now for €279 / €250. This makes them somewhat more expensive than their predecessors, the Sony WF-1000XM3 which cost €230 / €220.

Bose QuietComfort headphones cost about the same in the US and UK, at €279/€249. Nonetheless, they are considerably more affordable than Sony headphones in Australia.

Since the Bose Buds are a bit older than the Sony WF-1000XM4You're more likely to find them at a discount, but don't expect big cost cuts.

Sony WF-1000XM4 vs Bose QuietComfort headphones: design

The Sony WF-1000XM4 and Bose QuietComfort headphones come in very, very different designs. Sony headphones are smaller than their predecessors with rounded cases and a slim charging case, which you can charge using the USB-C port or via a wireless charging pad.

In the box, you get a selection of polyurethane ear cushions, which should give you a comfortable fit and an acceptable seal against your ear canal, helping with passive rumble cancellation.

The surface of each earbud is tactile, allowing you to monitor music playback. You can also assign multiple commands via the Sony Headphones app, including "volume up / down", "play / brake / skip face forward / skip face back / invoke voice assistant" and "enable / disable on / off / adaptive cancellation of audio. noises.

Bose QuietComfort headphones are larger than the Sony WF-1000XM4 with large oval-shaped housings and stabilizing fins designed to hold them firmly in place. They come with a selection of cone-shaped ear pads (with fins attached), which we found to be very comfortable in our tests.

Like the Sony WF-1000XM4, the outer shell of each earbud is tactile, allowing you to monitor music, noise cancellation and phone calls with the touch of a finger. You can also hold down a headset to perform a "bundle," assigning this action to advance your music or to target remaining battery life.

(Image credit: LaComparacion)

Sony WF-1000XM4 vs Bose QuietComfort headphones: which noise canceling headphones are suitable for? 1

The Bose charging case is heavier than the Sony WF-1000XM4, but it also offers the option of being powered by USB-C or a wireless charging pad.

Sony WF-1000XM4 headphones in front of Bose QuietComfort: audio performance

Both Sony and Bose have a great reputation for creating high-quality headphones that sound amazing, and the WF-1000XM4 and QuietComfort headphones continue that legacy.

The Sony WF-1000XM4 more or less outperforms QuietComfort headphones in audio performance, thanks to richer bass frequencies and great levels of detail and rhythmic agility.

They also come with DSEE Extreme audio upscaling technology that was introduced in the Sony WH-1000XM4 in-ear headphones (also known as the best headphones you can buy for twenty-one). This technology is developed to extract high resolution sound from standard definition digital audio files, although we have never been fully convinced of its success. Either way, Sony hearing aids accept high-resolution audio files thanks to the company's proprietary LDAC codec. However, there is no support for aptX.

They may not be as deep as the Sony WF-1000XM4, but the Bose QuietComfort headphones still provide a beautiful soundscape and make listening really enjoyable.

Bose Active EQ technology also automatically boosts bass or treble, depending on volume levels. As such, the music is active at any volume, the treble is never loud or shrill, and the bass vibrates pleasantly.

In contrast to Sony headphones, there is no way to change the EQ settings in the Bose Music app, but we wouldn't claim that this omission is a definite factor. The Sony WF-1000XM4 and Bose QuietComfort headphones accept spatial audio in one way or another; Sony can handle Dolby Atmos and Sony's XNUMX Reality Audio, while the QuietComfort headphones accept Spatial Audio content from Apple Music.

one of the bose quietcomfort headphones in front of its charging case

(Image credit: LaComparacion)

It's also worth mentioning that Bose QuietComfort headphones deliver what we think is the best call quality of any and all true wireless headphones we've tested. The WF-1000XM4 also gives clear calls, but they don't outperform Bose in that regard.

Sony WF-1000XM4 vs Bose QuietComfort headphones: noise cancellation

When it comes to noise cancellation, the Bose QuietComfort headphones are the winners. Simply by putting the headphones in your ears you get high passive noise cancellation, but raise the ANC to level ten and they will block practically all sound except high frequencies.

The whirring of a ferry engine, motorcycle engines turning, little ones screeching, all drowned out as the ANC was set to the maximum level in our tests. Even in the middle of level 5, it will be difficult for him to perceive a large part of what is going on around him.

However, if you need to perceive your environment, you will have to go down to level zero, which is the perfect transparency / environment mode in the quality control heads.

That's not to say that the Sony WF-1000XM4's aren't great at blocking out external booms; They're certain better noise-canceling headphones for a reason.

With your permission, the WF-1000XM4 can know where you are using geotagging access and apply your preferred level of noise cancellation or ambient sound transmission, depending on where you are. So, for example, at home you might prefer a totally muted rumble mode, while at the office you might still want to be able to hear voices.

While adaptive noise cancellation is a nice feature, it doesn't achieve the level of control seen with Bose QuietComfort headphones and the ability to switch between a plurality of ANC settings.

a man makes a call wearing Sony WF 1000MX4 wireless headphones

(Image credit: Sony)

Like the Bose headphones, the Sony WF-1000XM4 include a transparency mode, which Sony calls Ambient Sound Control.

Sony WF-1000XM4 headphones in front of Bose QuietComfort: battery life and connectivity

Neither Sony headphones nor Bose headphones offer top-notch battery life, but the Sony WF-1000XM4 offers somewhat longer playback time.

The headphones Sony offer between eight and twelve hours of playback (depending on whether active noise cancellation is on or off), plus certain ancillary charges through case.

Meanwhile, the Bose QuietComfort headphones offer 6 hours of playback from the headphones themselves, with twelve auxiliary hours from the charging case.

When it comes to connectivity? The Sony WF-1000XM4 supports Bluetooth fifty-two codecs and LDAC, SBC, and AAC. Meanwhile, Bose headphones come with Bluetooth fifty-one a bit older, although you probably won't appreciate the difference between the two; none of the models suffered bothersome dropouts throughout the tests.

a woman with Bose QuietComfort hearing aids

(Image credit: Bose)

Unfortunately, neither the Bose earbuds nor the Sony earbuds let go of multipoint pairing like the Apple AirPods Pro. Not having to go back to pair with different devices all the time is a useful feature that feels like a slight undoing of those 2 buttons.


The Sony WF-1000XM4 may be the best wireless headphones of 2021 overall, but the Bose QuietComfort headphones are hands down the best noise-canceling headphones you can buy today. The ANC on offer is simply unusual and the ability to switch between different levels is highly recommended.

However, the Sony WF-1000XM4 are also very good at blocking out external booms, apart from offering superior audio performance, such as slightly longer battery life.

So if rumble cancellation is the most essential feature for, you're going to be better off with in-ear headphones from Bose. If you are an audiophile who prioritizes sound, try the Sony WF-1000XM4.

If we had to choose between the 2 headphones in Australia, it would be obvious to go for the considerably more affordable QuietComfort headphones. Unfortunately, the choice is not that simple in the US and UK, where Bose and Sony headphones are on par in cost.

If you are not sure, our advice is to take a look at the designs of the two models and determine which one is more interesting to you. If you like the safety of the stabilizer fins, go for the Bose QuietComfort headphones. Do you prefer a cleaner look and a lighter charging case? The Sony WF-1000XM4 could be your best option.

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