Apple AirPods Max vs Sony WH-1000XM4

For a very long time, Sony and Bose competed to provide one of the best premium wi-fi over-ear headphones with lively noise cancellation. With the wonderful WH-1000XM4 headphones, Sony lastly took the lead within the race. The Sony WH-1000XM4 gives a healthful all-round expertise in the case of design, sound high quality, lively noise cancellation, and battery life, and is priced at Rs. 29,990 in India. Many will agree that this is without doubt one of the greatest pairs of wi-fi headphones you should purchase proper now.

Sony’s undisputed dominance within the house didn’t final very lengthy although; a challenger emerged within the type of the Apple AirPods Max in late 2020. Priced at Rs. 59,900, the AirPods Max prices twice as a lot right here. Nonetheless, it delivers a extra premium expertise in some ways, and gives connectivity and ease-of-use advantages for iPhone, iPad, and Mac customers.

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Though there’s a appreciable value distinction between the Apple AirPods Max (Review) and the Sony WH-1000XM4 (Review), they’re at the moment one another’s greatest competitors, for my part. Which one is value shopping for, then? Discover out on this detailed comparability between these two premium wi-fi lively noise cancelling headphones.

Apple AirPods Max vs Sony WH-1000XM4: Value and availability

At Rs. 59,900, the Apple AirPods Max is twice the worth of the Rs. 29,990 Sony WH-1000XM4, and this alone will probably be an enormous barrier to many individuals. Nonetheless, the AirPods Max isn’t meant for most individuals; if you happen to just lately purchased an Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max (Review) for Rs. 1,29,900 or extra, you in all probability received’t be too fazed by the worth.

Patrons utilizing Android smartphones or just unable to fathom such a value for wi-fi headphones can be higher off contemplating the Sony WH-1000XM4 for Rs. 29,990. Each headsets can be found throughout e-commerce portals, the respective firms’ on-line shops, and offline retailers throughout the nation. Whereas the AirPods Max is accessible in 5 color choices together with some somewhat vibrant tones, the Sony WH-1000XM4 is barely obtainable in black and silver.

Apple AirPods Max vs Sony WH-1000XM4: Design and specs

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As with all its merchandise, Apple has paid shut consideration to the design and construct high quality of the AirPods Max, and this has resulted in an extremely stunning, luxurious, and cozy pair of headphones. The liberal use of anodised aluminium for the ear cups, the tender foam ear pads, chrome steel body, and knit-mesh headband make the headphones appear and feel stunning, and the brilliant colors give it some character as effectively.

The controls are glorious and really simple to get used to, and the AirPods Max additionally makes use of its customized Apple-made H1 chip to allow fast, steady, and seamless connectivity with Apple supply gadgets. When you’ve got an iPhone, Mac pc, and iPad, the AirPods Max nearly magically switches between every of them, sensing precisely which one’s sounds it’s good to hear. It’s also possible to use it as a wired headset with a Lightning-to-3.5mm audio cable, although that is an costly non-obligatory buy.

There are some shortcomings with the AirPods Max, significantly the somewhat strange-looking Sensible Case, the shortage of an influence button, and Apple’s continued use of the proprietary Lightning charging port. The headset is primarily meant for use with Apple supply gadgets, and though it really works simply high quality over Bluetooth with most different smartphones, tablets, and computer systems, a lot of its advantages and customisation choices are solely obtainable when related to an Apple gadget.

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Sony, then again, has gone with a secure and acquainted search for the WH-1000XM4; it appears to be like similar to its predecessors within the 1000X vary. That stated, it stays snug and complex, with controls which might be simple to get used to and work effectively. Charging is thru a USB Kind-C port, and you should use it as a wired headset by connecting the included 3.5mm stereo cable.

The place the Sony WH-1000XM4 actually beats the AirPods Max is by way of Bluetooth codec assist. Whereas the latter helps solely the SBC and AAC Bluetooth codecs, the Sony headset goes a step additional with assist for the LDAC high-resolution Bluetooth codec as well as. This significantly fits use with Android gadgets, because it permits for extra information to be transmitted, and subsequently makes for a extra detailed and gratifying sound. There may be, nevertheless, no assist for the Qualcomm aptX Bluetooth codec.

The Apple AirPods Max are clearly meant for use with Apple supply gadgets, however the Sony WH-1000XM4 doesn’t discriminate on this division. It really works equally effectively with each Android and iOS gadgets, and in addition helps multipoint connectivity to take care of a simultaneous reference to two Bluetooth sources.

Apple AirPods Max vs Sony WH-1000XM4: App and battery life

Most of the customisations and tweaks you may get with fashionable wi-fi headphones require the usage of a companion app or comparable implementation, which is the case with each the Apple AirPods Max and Sony WH-1000XM4. Whereas the Sony headphones have a devoted app for iOS and Android, controls for varied points of the Apple headphones are built-in into iOS and macOS.

Sony’s app gives much more customisation choices and the flexibility to set the headphones up the best way you need, together with the equaliser settings, the speak-to-chat function, adjustable ranges for ANC and hear-through, and extra. Most choices can be found on each iOS and Android, making for a largely constant utilization expertise whatever the supply gadget in use.

When you can pair and use the AirPods Max with any Bluetooth gadget, it’s solely doable to change settings and customise controls when the headphones are paired with an iOS gadget reminiscent of an iPhone or iPad. These settings might be accessed by way of the Bluetooth menu, and there are solely primary toggles and orientation choices for the controls, somewhat than detailed settings or the flexibility to tweak the equaliser or ANC. On an Android gadget, you received’t see any of those choices, and should use the default or final used controls and settings on the headset.

Battery life is significantly totally different between the Apple AirPods Max and Sony WH-1000XM4, with the latter providing higher efficiency. As per my testing, the AirPods Max can run for round 13-14 hours per cost in typical situations, whereas the Sony WH-1000XM4 ran for twice as lengthy at round 28 hours per cost.

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A part of it is because the Apple AirPods Max doesn’t have an influence button and by no means actually powers down; it’s all the time on and able to shortly hook up with a supply gadget. Naturally, Sony’s strategy is objectively higher, and is beneficial for anybody searching for dependable and long-lasting battery instances.

Apple AirPods Max vs Sony WH-1000XM4: Efficiency

The Apple AirPods Max and Sony WH-1000XM4 are the best-sounding wi-fi headphones you should purchase immediately, due to a mix of fine {hardware} and software program. Lively noise cancellation is efficient and class-leading on each of those headphones as effectively. Nonetheless, Sony’s superior Bluetooth codec assist does imply that when used with the appropriate supply gadget and with high-resolution audio, the WH-1000XM4 sounds noticeably higher than the Apple AirPods Max.

That stated, when utilizing the AAC Bluetooth codec – as can be the case if you happen to used the Sony WH-1000XM4 with an iPhone or iPad – there’s little or no distinction in sound high quality between the 2. Each pairs of headphones provide detailed sound, a versatile and energetic sonic signature, and the flexibility to carry probably the most out of your audio tracks.

What additionally stands out concerning the two headsets is that the sound isn’t meant to be analytical or impartial; it’s gratifying, and meant for the on a regular basis listener somewhat than the discerning audiophile. Sony does go a step additional than Apple in providing a bit extra element with out dropping out on the ‘enjoyable’ factor, whereas the AirPods Max is a little more versatile and able to adjusting its sound to totally different genres.

Lively noise cancellation on each pairs of headphones could be very efficient, however Sony’s vary of customisation choices provides it an edge right here. I usually discovered the starkness of the AirPods Max’s lively noise cancellation to be unnerving, and I preferred that I might regulate this on the Sony WH-1000XM4. Moreover, the Sony WH-1000XM4 will assist the default voice assistant in your smartphone, whereas the AirPods Max expectedly solely permits Siri for use with Apple gadgets.

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Verdict

Regardless of the massive distinction in value between the Sony WH-1000XM4 and the Apple AirPods Max, these two pairs of headphones have each put up a robust struggle for the crown. The value distinction will truly assist many individuals make their choices – you both can not wrap your head round what Apple is charging, and will choose the Sony WH-1000XM4 for that cause, or it doesn’t matter to you in any respect.

For those who’re among the many latter set and if you happen to personal a number of Apple gadgets that you just intend to make use of as your main supply(s), the AirPods Max ought to positively be your prime choose. The seamless connectivity, means to modify shortly between totally different Apple gadgets, good sound high quality and lively noise cancellation, and exquisite design makes this a premium listening expertise in each approach.

Nonetheless, if you happen to’re searching for what’s objectively the better-sounding pair of headphones, that title goes to the Sony WH-1000XM4. Higher codec assist, extra spectacular options, and loads of customisation choices for each iOS and Android by way of the app make this the higher value-for-money possibility. Glorious battery life is a reasonably large issue as effectively.


Will iPhone 12 mini turn out to be the reasonably priced iPhone we’ve been ready for? We mentioned this on Orbital, our weekly expertise podcast, which you’ll subscribe to through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or simply hit the play button beneath.

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