Sony WH-1000XM5 vs. Airpods Max vs. Bose 700: Which is the Best Option in 2022? (2023)

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Overview of Sony WH-1000XM5 vs. Airpods Max vs. Bose 700

|#1 Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Closed-Back Over-Ear Noise Cancelling Headphones

Google Users Rating: 4.5/5

  • Bestbuy: $399.99(up to 0.5% cashback)

  • Adorama:$398(up to 2% cashback)

The Sony WH-1000XM5 is the new flagship headphone offered by Sony. There have been a couple of changes in design and performance. The XM5 have a better sound, microphone performance and their ANC is blocks out more mid and treble range noise. Sony equipped its WH-1000XM5 with 30-millimeter audio drivers, which, believe it or not, are smaller than the 40-millimeter units of the WH-1000XM4. Designed for uncompromising fidelity in higher frequencies, the new audio drivers produce a more natural sound that discerning audiophiles will instantly like.The active noise cancellation uses two processors and eight mics to filter out more high and midrange sound. Four of the mics are beamforming and use Precise Voice Pickup technology to better isolate your voice for pristine hands-free calls.

Sony WH-1000XM5 vs. Airpods Max vs. Bose 700: Which is the Best Option in 2022? (1)

Using multipoint technology, you can pair the WH-1000XM5 headphones to two different mobile devices and seamlessly switch between the two. In addition, you can simply say "OK Google" or "Alexa" to connect with others, get information, listen to notifications, and more through your compatible smartphone. On a full charge, the WH-1000XM5 headphones will run for up to 30 hours with ANC on, or up to 40 hours with it off. The most glaring drawback of Sony WH-1000XM5 is that it isn’t fully collapsable… which means the 1000XM5’s have a significantly larger case than all of its predecessors. So if you plan on constantly traveling with these headphones… this case is going to be a big hassle compared to its predecessors and competition. The XM5’s case doesn’t just simply have a larger foot print than their predecessors… its also significantly thicker.

Sensational sonic clarityStill no water resistance
Punchy and precise, agile bassDon't fold away completely
Noise cancellation is some of the best you'll find anywhereNo major upgrades over 1000XM4

App features, including custom EQ

Pairs with two devices at the same time
Support for the Google Assistant (and Alexa) with hotword detection

30 hour maximum battery life

|#2 Apple AirPods Max Active Noise Cancellation Over-Ear Headphone

Google Users Rating: 4.5/5

Assuming you are a keen Apple user, the AirPods Max is the best wireless noise-canceling headphones you can buy. It is ideal for iPhone users wanting seamless integration with iOS devices. The AirPods Max comes with active noise cancellation, superb audio quality, and a design that sets them apart from most noise-canceling headphones on the market. The design and build are solid and unmistakably Apple and they were comfortable too. As with other top-tier noise-canceling headsets, the AirPods Max uses hybrid active noise canceling for optimal noise cancellation. And the AirPods Max supports Adaptive EQ, which adjusts the frequency response in real-time, according to your environment and how the headset fits.

Sony WH-1000XM5 vs. Airpods Max vs. Bose 700: Which is the Best Option in 2022? (2)

The kicker is that because they are baked with Apple's H1 chip, so they have all the same features as AirPods Pro, such as a transparency mode, support for spatial audio and Dolby Atmos, and an easy iPhone pairing. But it lacks support for Hi-Res Audio codecs. The most obvious drawback is the price, Apple has always created luxury tech with a higher-than-average price tag. The AirPods Max is more expensive than the great majority of premium wireless noise-canceling headphones. So for Android users, the AirPods Max is simply a high-performance pair of noise-canceling headphones with an unusual design, as fantastic as they may sound – and for these users, they can't see how the high price is justified.

Luxurious design and feelNo 3.5mm jack

Comfortable ear pads and fabric


Lack of support for Hi-Res Audio codecs
Easy-to-use controlsBelow-par battery life

Terrific, balanced sound qualitySo expensive

Spatial audio for immersive


Very effective noise cancellation
Seamless connectivity with Apple devices

|#3 Bose Headphones 700 Wireless Noise Cancelling Over-the-Ear Headphone

Google Users Rating: 4.4/5

  • Bose: $299 (up to 5% cashback)

  • (up to 1.5% cashback)

The Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 is the long-awaited successor to Bose's QuietComfort 35 II model. Not only does it have a sleek and attractive design, it combines that with excellent sound quality on calls and music. The Bose 700 don't fold into themselves for easy storing like their predecessors, the QuietComfort 35 II, but their stainless steel headband and soft cushioned speakers make them comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. Both its acoustics and digital signal processing have been redesigned. There is an eight-microphone system (six to cancel noise, two for voice pick-up) and you can adjust the level of noise-cancelling control by increments from 0-10. That's a serious level of control that most rivals can't match.

Sony WH-1000XM5 vs. Airpods Max vs. Bose 700: Which is the Best Option in 2022? (3)

Both the silencing effect and the call quality is impressive and definitely an improvement on the QuietComfort range. Voices are more intelligible when phoning and high levels of noise cancelling seem more subtle and less like listening in a vacuum. Even if you're not playing music, just activate the noise-cancelling to block out unwanted noise.Comfort and aesthetics are spot-on too and, sonically, the neutral-to-lean character makes for uncomplicated listening. On top of this you have smart and intuitive touch controls and 20-hour battery life when noise cancelling is switched on.


Slick, attractive design

No folding hinges
Intuitive buttons and touch controlsRivals have better battery life
Precise, balanced audio
Outstanding microphone quality

Great active noise cancelling

Adjustable ANC levels
Can connect to two devices simultaneously

Sony WH-1000XM5 vs. Airpods Max vs. Bose 700: Full Comparison

The following comparison table will give a breakdown of the main features of Airpods Max, Sony WH-1000XM5 and Bose NCH 700. This large amount of summary information is just an appetizer before I get down to business and analyze step by step what characterizes these headphones.

Sony WH-1000XM5Airpods MaxBose 700
Weight250 grams384.8 grams250 grams
Available coloursSilver + BlackSilver + Space Gray + Sky Blue + Pink + GreenBlack + Gray
Dimensions27.6 x 21.6 x 7.5 cm18.7 x 16.8 x 8.34 cm20.3 x 17.9 x 6.2 cm
Touch ControlYesNo
Active Noise CancellationYes
Ambient Sound ModeYes
Spatial AudioYes
MicroprocessorsSony HD Noise Canceling Processor QN1 + Sony Integrated Processor V1Chip H1
Battery Life
30 hours20 hours20 hours
Fast ChargeYes
Charging MethodUSB-CLightning ConnectorUSB-C
Full charge time3.5 hours2.5 hours
CompatibilityAndroid + iPhoneiPhoneAndroid + iPhone
Wireless ConnectivityBluetooth 5.2 + NFCBluetooth 5.0Bluetooth 5.0
Wired Connectivity3.5mm jack2.5mm + 3.5mm
Voice AssistantGoogle + Alexa + SiriSiriGoogle + Alexa

There are significant differences in the design of Sony WH-1000XM5, Airpods Max and Bose 700. The Airpods Max stand out for their mesh headband, although it maintains a more classic style in the union of the headband with the diaphragm unit. Sony WH-1000XM5 keeps the headband to the top of the headphones, while in the Bose 700 the headband extends to integrate with the rest of the body of the headphones.The Bose 700 have a thinner and more stylish headband than the rest. It is designed to ensure comfort, which is perfectly complemented by the smooth oscillation that will allow you to adjust the position of the headphones on your head, thus ensuring a pleasant use. None of these three headphones are foldable which means that when it comes to storing them in a backpack or suitcase it can be uncomfortable or too exposed.

In addition, the Sony WH-1000XM5 and Airpods Airpods Max are circumaural (they rest on the head), which increases the sensation of insulation, essential for noise cancellation, while the Bose 700 are supraural (that is, they rest on the ears). The last point of the design that I would like to mentioned is the colors in which they are available. You'll find more customization options on the Airpods Max.


When it comes to wearing comfort, one of the key factors to consider is weight. The Sony WH-1000XM5 and the Bose 700 are the lightest at 250 grams.The Airpods Max are the heaviest headphones by far, but the ergonomics achieved by Apple places the Airpods Max in the top positions in terms of comfort. The braided metal headband favors a good distribution of support. In a word, all the three headphones offer good comfort fit.

Sound Quality

With no doubt that all the three high-quality headphones have very correct sound. But there are also some differences that exist between each model.The Airpods Max stand out for the computational sound based on the chips it integrates. This consists of processing the files to make corrections that optimize the sound and give it a higher quality point. However, do not expect to extract all its yields if you have a smartphone with an Android operating system.

The WH-1000XM5, on the other hand, are a full and very lively listen. The detail levels are high, the integration is good, the dynamic power is ample and the consistency of the Sony sound is impressive. The Bose 700 sound punchy, but not intimidating, and while they are undeniably attenuated in the high range, the sound is still a little more intense and bright. However, when it comes to dynamism, they allow both quiet and loud music to exist at a sort of middle level. All the three headphones have spatial audio which provides a noticeable degree of immersion, although each brand to name this function differently.

Active Noise Cancellation
Most over-ear headphones are capable of blocking only the mid and high frequencies. Low-frequency sounds, such as the hum of airplanes or the passing of trucks, pass easily when one relies on isolation alone. This is where active noise cancellation comes in. Active Noise cancellation is present in all three headphone models.

The Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones are equipped with fantastic noise cancellation, aided by impressive isolation. The attenuation of noise at frequencies above 1 kHz is higher than that of the AirPods Max by about 10 dB. It is a huge difference. Low frequencies, such as those of trains and street noise, will be reduced to about one eighth of their original perceived volume. This makes it a great choice for commuters.

The ANC performance of the Apple AirPods Max is also fantastic. The ability to cancel noise up to 2 kHz ensures a distraction-free listening experience. However, its isolation performance causes it to lose ground to Sony at higher frequencies.

Bose 700 didn't acquire its noise-canceling reputation by accident, the 11-stage ANC system is exemplary: external sounds are eliminated decisively, leaving you free to enjoy the many positive aspects of the audio quality of the headphones. And in dealing with external sounds, the 700s leave no artifacts, no countersignals and no background noise colors - they simply exclude them.

These three headphones also integrate the ambient sound mode, although there are some differences. For example, the Bose NHC 700 combines this function with noise cancellation, so that the reduction of the latter will in turn increase the ambient sound that reaches your ears.


The Sony WH-1000XM5 and the Bose NHC 700 can be fully used with any type of device (Android or iPhone). Instead, to get the most out of the Airpods Max, it will be an essential requirement to link them to Apple products. All the three headphone have a bluetooth connection, but the Sony WH-1000XM5 integrate the NFC connection system, a short-range wireless communication technology .
In terms of wired connection, the WH-1000XM5 and the Bose 700 allow the use of a 3.5mm Jack cable, which is always appreciated. In the event that you want to use a cable in the Airpods Max, you will need an adapter for the Lightning connector. Of course, all the three headphone have the option to connect them with their respective app to access more customization options, as well as extra features.

Battery Life

Both the Airpods Max and the Bose 700 only have an advertise battery life of around 20 hours s with their ANC turned on, while the Sony WH-1000XM5 allow continuous use of up to 30 hours with their active noise cancellation turned on, which places them well above their rivals.

All the three headphones have the fast charging function, although again Sony stands out. The Sony Wh-1000XM5 can run for up to 3 hours with just 3 minutes of charging. So when it comes to battery life, the Sony WH-1000XM5 is surely the best one. It is worthing mentioned that Sony WH-1000XM5 and Bose 700 use a USB-C connector. Apple goes its own way, using a Lightning connector on the Airpods Max.


Sony WH-1000XM5 vs. Airpods Max vs. Bose 700: Which is the Best Option in 2022?

With no doubt, the Sony WH-1000XM5, AirPods Max and Bose 700 are all great over-the-ear headphones. Arguably, they are the best in this segment of the market, offering improved audio quality, decent to great battery life, and Active Noise Cancelation. So which one should you choose may depend on your demand and budget.

If you're an iPhone user and you're prepared to pay a premium for the best build, design, features and sound quality, look no further than the AirPods Max. They’ll pair more seamlessly to your iPhone, iPad or Mac and support Apple’s excellent Spatial Audio tech and Dolby Atmos which make the listening experience exceptional. They also have a nicer-looking design in lots of colors.

Still, you shouldn't overlook the Sony WH-1000XM5. Whether you have an Android or Apple device, the Sony WH-1000XM5 is a fantastic option. The noise cancelling is amazing, and the ability to change your EQ to your liking is great. In addition, it offers better battery life.In a word, this pair of headphones is worth its price.

If noise-cancelling is your prime concern, Bose's granular approach may well appeal. The Bose 700 also sound very good, have a modern design with plenty of appeal, and can be found cheaper than Sony WH-1000XM5.

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