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Sony WF-1000XM5 vs Apple AirPods Pro 2: Showdown

In the realm of true wireless earbuds, Sony WF-1000XM5 vs Apple AirPods Pro 2. Apple and Sony engage in a heated battle, with the spotlight now on Sony’s latest XM5s.

Sony WF-1000XM5

Sony WF-1000XM5 earpods

Pros:

Cons:

Apple AirPods Pro 2

Apple AirPods Pro 2

Pros:

Cons:

The highly anticipated Sony WF-1000XM5 earbuds have finally hit the audio scene, marking a significant release this year. The burning question: how do they stack up against the top-tier true wireless earbuds, notably challenging the noise-cancelling prowess and stellar sound quality of the latest AirPods Pro? In this comparison, we delve into the showdown of Sony WF-1000XM5 vs Apple AirPods Pro 2.

While the WF-1000XM4 earbuds were long-standing favorites, the newer WF-1000XM5 models boast a compelling on-paper upgrade. Smaller and lighter, they maintain the high-quality sound signature of their predecessors. Despite the XM4s securing our top spot, the AirPods Pro 2 outshine them in certain aspects during our rigorous testing, particularly in active noise cancellation (ANC) capabilities and sound quality.

With our comprehensive, star-studded Sony WF-1000XM5 review now available, the stage is set for a head-to-head comparison against the AirPods Pro 2. Eager to determine the superior choice between Sony WF-1000XM5 and Apple AirPods Pro 2? Dive into the details below.

Break down the Sony WF-1000XM5 vs Apple AirPods Pro 2 in terms of price and release dates.

Sony’s WF-1000XM5 was officially revealed on July 24, with a global release set for August 2023. Priced at $299 in the US, £259 in the UK, and AU$499 in Australia, it’s a logical progression from the XM4s, which launched at $279.99 / £250 / AU$449.95.

In comparison, the Apple AirPods Pro 2 hit the market on September 23, 2022, with an initial cost of $249 / £249 / AU$399. While it’s rare to find significant discounts, occasional deals may shave off around $30 / £30 / AU$57.

With both earbuds sitting in a similar price bracket, a fair and pertinent comparison emerges. Will the Sony WF-1000XM5, being newer, outshine Apple’s offering? Or do the Apple AirPods Pro 2 remain the go-to choice for seamless integration within the Apple ecosystem? Let’s explore.

CriteriaSony WF-1000XM5Apple AirPods Pro 2
Release DateJuly 24, 2023 (Global availability in August)September 23, 2022
Price$299 (US), £259 (UK), AU$499 (Australia)$249 (US), £249 (UK), AU$399 (Australia)
Previous ModelXM4s ($279.99 / £250 / AU$449.95 at launch)AirPods Pro
DiscountsN/AOccasional reductions of $30 / £30 / AU$57

Comparing the Sony WF-1000XM5 vs Apple AirPods Pro 2: features, and noise cancellation capability.

Sony introduces enhanced ANC in the XM5s, leveraging a new driver unit, integrated processor, and three mics per earbud, a step up from the XM4s. Our review acknowledges improvements in audio richness and vocal clarity, although some low-level frequencies persist, like the hum of an office AC unit.

For top-notch noise cancellation, the Bose QCE II earbuds are a worthy alternative; explore more in our Sony WF-1000XM5 vs Bose QCE 2 guide.

The AirPods Pro 2 maintains commendable ANC months post-launch, described as world-fading during our testing. One team member lauds the AirPods Pro 2’s noise-canceling prowess, requiring a mental adjustment.

Connectivity challenges mar the XM5s, evident in music streaming drop-outs, a concern absent in our control earbuds and the AirPods Pro 2.

Notably, the Sony WF-1000XM5 boasts multi-point pairing, enabling seamless device transitions. While the AirPods Pro 2 lacks explicit multi-point pairing, Apple users can effortlessly shift music between multiple devices.

FeaturesSony WF-1000XM5Apple AirPods Pro 2
Noise CancellationEnhanced ANC with new driver unit, processor, and three micsCommendable ANC, world-fading, lauded for effectiveness
ConnectivityExperienced drop-outs during music streamingStable connectivity, no drop-outs observed
Multi-Point PairingSupports multi-point pairing for seamless device transitionsNo explicit multi-point pairing, but smooth music transfer between Apple devices

Sonic realms of Sony WF-1000XM5 vs Apple AirPods Pro 2.

The WF-1000XM5 earbuds boast a well-balanced, exciting sound, courtesy of the new driver unit. Our review labeled them a “zealous, exciting listen,” especially commending their “crisp bass weight and clout.” If you’re into bass but prefer earbuds over bulky headphones, the WF-1000XM5s should make your shortlist.

Sony enriches the audio experience with Spatial Audio, high-res audio support, LDAC, and DSEE Extreme upscaling. Spotify tracks benefit notably, while Tidal’s 360 Reality Audio reaches new heights.

Apple’s AirPods Pro 2 impresses with their audio quality, excelling in separating track elements, delivering robust bass, and presenting vocal crispness. Combined with Spatial Audio and noise cancellation, they create a truly exceptional listening journey.

For iPhone users, the AirPods Pro 2 is slightly edge ahead. Others might find Sony’s proposal compelling—though, it’s a close call.

Sound FeaturesSony WF-1000XM5Apple AirPods Pro 2
Sound QualityBalanced, exciting, with crisp bassImpressive separation, robust bass, crisp vocals
Spatial AudioSupportedSupported
High-Res AudioLDAC, DSEE Extreme upscalingSupported
Special Audio Playback360 Reality Audio supportSpatial Audio support
Noise CancellationYesYes
RecommendationBass enthusiasts and non-iPhone usersiPhone users and those seeking an exceptional overall experience

The design aspect of Sony WF-1000XM5 vs Apple AirPods Pro 2

Sony’s WF-1000XM5 showcases key upgrades, featuring a glossy texture, a 25% reduction in size, and a remarkable 20% weight reduction, hitting around 5.84g per bud. Noteworthy is the inclusion of four ear tip sizes, including an “ultra-small” SS model, catering to smaller ears. During testing, we found them to be “among the most stable and comfortable.”

Distinctively, the AirPods Pro 2 sport a unique design with visible stems, a departure from Sony’s buds. Personal preference plays a role here. Despite the visual difference, we noted the AirPods Pro 2’s commendable comfort, offering extra small tips akin to the XM5s for those with smaller ears.

Design FeaturesSony WF-1000XM5Apple AirPods Pro 2
TextureGlossyNot specified
Size25% smallerNot specified
WeightApproximately 20% lighter (around 5.84g per bud)Not specified
Ear Tip SizesFour sizes, including “ultra-small” SS modelExtra small tips included
ComfortAmong the most stable and comfortableIncredibly comfortable, especially for smaller ears

Battery comparison between Sony WF-1000XM5 and Apple AirPods Pro 2.

The WF-1000XM5 delivers eight hours per earbud and a total of 24 hours with the case. A quick 60-minute charge grants three hours of playtime.

While this stands decent against rivals, a day’s listening at work exhausts the battery, necessitating a recharge in the case.

AirPods Pro 2 offers six hours with ANC on and a substantial 30 hours in the case, surpassing Sony’s case capacity.

For extended battery life, consider factors like over-ear designs or true wireless buds with less power-hungry noise-canceling tech.

Battery FeaturesSony WF-1000XM5Apple AirPods Pro 2
Earbud Battery LifeEight hoursSix hours (with ANC on)
Total Battery with Case24 hours30 hours
Quick Charge60 minutes for three hours of playtimeNot specified

Let’s wrap up the Sony WF-1000XM5 vs Apple AirPods Pro 2 showdown.

Both earbuds excel, providing comfort, extra small tips, good battery life, stellar sound, and robust ANC. The choice is a win-win.

Sony claims improved ANC, but the impact is subtle, with AirPods Pro 2 edging in maximum immersion.

Ultimately, personal preference guides your decision. Apple loyalists benefit from seamless integration, making AirPods Pro 2 a sensible choice. For versatility across devices and added perks like 360 Reality Audio, Android users and Tidal enthusiasts might lean towards the WF-1000XM5.

CriteriaSony WF-1000XM5Apple AirPods Pro 2
ANC PerformanceSubtle improvementSlightly better for maximum immersion
CompatibilityAll devices, Android-friendlySeamless integration with Apple products
Additional Features360 Reality Audio, DSEE upscalingSeamless switching with Apple devices

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