Bose QuietComfort 45 vs Sony WH-1000XM4

Sony and Bose accept dueled over the top spot in the racket cancelling space for years, and while Sony has held onto the crown in contempo years, the Bose QuietComfort 45 is angling to accept it dorsum. For the price, the Sony WH-1000XM4 is nonetheless 1 of the all-time pairs of dissonance cancelling headphones on the market place.

How practise the two stack up?

Editor’s note: this versus commodity was updated on April 21, 2022, to include bombardment testing results for the Bose QuietComfort 45, mention that the Bose Music app now has an EQ for these headphones with the latest firmware installed, and update the table of contents.

Sony WH-1000XM4 vs Bose QuietComfort 45: Design and build

A photo of the Bose QuietComfort 45 resting on a wooden table.

Encounter the new QuietComfort 45, a very similar model to the QuietComfort 35 Ii.

True to its name, the Bose QuietComfort 45 is a fleck more comfortable than the Sony WH-1000XM4. Bose’s headset is lighter than Sony’southward (240g compared to 254g), and with that lighter weight comes a slightly smaller footprint. While the Bose QuietComfort 45 and Sony WH-1000XM4 wait very different from each other, they have something in common—both headsets look almost identical to their respective predecessors.

The Bose QC 45 swaps in a USB-C charging port, just looks otherwise the same as the QuietComfort 35 II. The WH-1000XM4 does fifty-fifty less to distinguish itself from Sony’s previous headset, with slightly thicker ear pads and a visible sensor within the left ear cup. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, both the WH-1000XM3 and QC 35 2 are easy to utilize and comfy to wearable, and that’south withal true for the newer headphones.

The QuietComfort 45 is congenital mainly of plastic, with a foldable pattern that makes for a meaty, portable pair of headphones. The headphone hinges also rotate to let it lay apartment. The QC 45 features on-ear controls in the course of physical buttons and they’re adequately intuitive. There’s an array of three buttons on the dorsum of the right headphone—governing volume and playback control—and a button for toggling noise cancelling on the back of the left headphone. Here’southward what everything does by default:

One press 2 presses Three presses Hold

Height push button (right)

I press
Two presses
Three presses
Hold

Volume upwardly

Heart Push button (right)

1 press

Play/pause, answer/finish phone call

Two presses

Next track

3 presses

Previous track

Agree

Decline call

Bottom push button (right)

One press
Two presses
Iii presses
Hold

Volume downwards

Activeness button (left)

I press

Toggle ANC fashion

Ii presses

Mute call

Iii presses

N/A

Hold

Vocalisation assistant

The Sony WH-1000XM4 also features a plastic build with a frame that folds up, and hinges that rotate to lay apartment. Like its predecessor, its on-ear controls are a mixture of buttons and bear upon commands. There are buttons for ability and toggling through the agile noise counterfoil and transparency modes on the dorsum of the left headphone, and the side of the right headphone is touch on sensitive—various taps and swipes handle playback and book control. Here’south what everything does by default:

Control Music Calls
Control

Swipe up

Music

Book up

Calls

Volume upwards

Control

Swipe down

Music

Volume down

Calls

Book down

Control

Swipe forward

Music

Skip song

Calls
Control

Swipe back

Music

Skip back

Calls
Command

Double tap

Music

Play/pause

Calls

Answer call/hang up

Control

Palm over touch on panel

Music

Ambient audio passthrough

Calls
Control

Multi-function push

Music

Toggle ANC/Transparency/ Regular audio or activate virtual assistant

Calls
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What Bluetooth codecs practise the Sony WH-1000XM4 and Bose QuietComfort 45 support?

Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones next to magazines on a wood bench

The headphones take hinges so you tin can fold them to toss in your handbag and the earcups tin can rotate ninety degrees.

The Bose QuietComfort 45 and Sony WH-1000XM4 feature largely like connection options, with a couple of differences. The QC 45 connects to your device of choice using Bluetooth 5.i, and supports the default SBC and AAC codecs. The WH-1000XM4 connects using the slightly older Bluetooth five.0, simply it also supports Sony’s own high-quality LDAC codec, in addition to AAC and SBC. Neither headset uses Bluetooth v.two, and then in that location’southward no risk either volition support Bluetooth’southward upcoming LC3 codec.

If y’all’re an iPhone user, either headset should nowadays virtually the same connection forcefulness and audio quality, due to the AAC back up. Nevertheless, if you use devices outside of Apple’s ecosystem, simply the Sony headphones offer a reliable high-quality audio codec—AAC tin can be a little inconsistent on Android devices.

Both the QC 45 and WH-1000XM4 also offering Bluetooth multipoint and each headset has a headphone jack for wired, lossless listening.

Does the Sony WH-1000XM4 or Bose QuietComfort 45 take ameliorate active noise cancelling?

Both the Bose QuietComfort 45 and Sony WH-1000XM4 offer big improvements over their predecessors in the active noise cancelling (ANC) department, simply how do they compare to each other?

The Sony WH-1000XM4 features better passive isolation from 200-1000Hz than the Bose QuietComfort 45, merely the Bose’south ANC outstrips it in that range—reaching near 40dB of attenuation, which means noises in that range volition sound 1-sixteenth as loud. With frequencies higher than 1000Hz, the superior isolation of the QuietComfort 45 further widens the gap.

A man uses the control cluster on the back of the Bose QuietComfort 45.

Both headsets handle the kinds of sounds that ANC affects near very well, and very similarly. However, the reduction in loftier-cease, incidental noise—what passive isolation affects the about—is considerably more significant with the Bose QuietComfort 45. Something to note: turning off ANC on the Bose QC 45 immediately turns on aware manner, whereas with the Sony WH-1000XM4, y’all can disable both modes for a standard listening experience.

To achieve a consequence similar to what our ANC charts indicate, you must become a proper seal with the headphones around your ear. If gaps form between the padding and your skull, then external dissonance volition make it through the concrete barrier of the headset and render both passive isolation and ANC far less effective. Both headsets accept ovalesque ear pads that should arrange most ear sizes, and so getting a proper fit should exist fairly unproblematic.

Does the Bose QuietComfort 45 audio better than the Sony WH-1000XM4?

The Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones on a yellow couch.

The Sony WH-1000XM4 doesn’t look too different from the originals except for a few slight tweaks.

The Sony WH-1000XM4 and Bose QuietComfort 45 have largely pretty similar frequency responses, with a couple of cardinal differences. For starters, the Sony headphones add together considerably more than bass emphasis than the QC 45. However, while both headsets sport more high-end accent than our business firm curve (pink), the Bose QuietComfort 45 starts adding emphasis at a considerably lower frequency—around 2000Hz.

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While neither of these kinds of audio profiles are ideal, you’re probably going to take less upshot with Sony’s headphones. The increased bass response isn’t then overbearing that it volition cause too much auditory masking, and the increased mid-range audio ways vocals should come through nicely. Conversely, the over-emphasized highs of the Bose QC 45 tin sound pretty unpleasant, even if your volume isn’t that high.

A frequency response comparison chart for the Bose QuietComfort 45 and Sony WH-1000XM4 bluetooth headphones, which shows more bass range emphasis from Sony and more high range from Bose.

The QC 45 (cyan line) has a piddling drop-off in the sub-bass range, just otherwise its low end is closer to our target curve than the WH-1000XM4 (yellow dashes).

You can EQ the WH-1000XM4’southward frequency response from the Headphones Connect app, and the QuietComfort 45’s frequency response in the Bose Music app with the latest firmware installed. Sony’s multiband equalizer is very constructive, while the Bose EQ is a chip more limited, though it’s nevertheless somewhat granular.

Does the Bose QuietComfort 45 have improve battery life than the Sony WH-1000XM4?

Close-up of 3.5mm input on Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones

The WH-1000XM4 has a ton of Bluetooth codec options but thankfully all the same has a place for a standard 3.5mm audio cable as well.

According to Sony, the WH-1000XM4 headphones can last thirty hours of consistent playback on a single charge. However, at a consistent output of 75dB(SPL), we found the headset lasted ane minute shy of 20 hours. Again, this is a very solid result, but hardly the stellar ane advertised. On the other hand, the Bose QuietComfort 45 lasted 24 hours, 49 minutes—surpassing Bose’s official 24-hour battery life for the headset.

Both headsets charge over USB-C, and they both offer varying fast charging operation. A 15-minute charge yields 180 minutes of playtime for the Bose QuiteComfort 45. Yet, that pales in comparison to the Sony WH-1000XM4, which grants 5 hours of listening time after a mere x minutes of charging. Of course, you tin also listen over either headset over a wired connection with the included 3.5mm cords (or 2.5mm-3.5mm cord, in Bose’s instance).

Is the Bose Music app or Sony Headphones Connect app better?

A man holds up a smartphone with the Bose Music app open, showing the controls for the Bose QuietComfort 45.

The app doesn’t offer much in the way of features, so those looking to EQ their headphones will be disappointed.

Both the Bose QuietComfort 45 and Sony WH-1000XM4 bring companion apps to unlock additional features, but the options are far from equal.

The Sony Headphones Connect app brings options for customizing i of the buttons on the headphones—y’all can fix it to either toggle between noise cancelling modes or turn on your virtual assistant, and you tin determine between Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa as the default virtual assistant. Additionally, the Sony Headphones Connect app also brings the ability to optimize noise cancelling and prepare Sony’s 360 Reality Audio. This is a new standard for mastering music in surround sound, and available through Deezer, Amazon Music, and Tidal Hello-Fi. Oh yeah, and y’all can do more than mundane things like customize the headphone EQ, prioritize connection stability over sound quality, and access firmware updates.

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In comparison, the Bose Music App asks you to share a lot of information: your location, phone call and message history, and in return it gives you admission to firmware updates and an blaster. There’s a lilliputian more to it than that, as you need to app to get virtual assistant integration set upward and cull the name of your headset. This could eventually modify—Bose has fabricated a habit of putting out pretty significant features in updates after launch, with the EQ being a recent case.

Does the Sony WH-1000XM4 or Bose QuietComfort 45 have a better microphone?

The Bose QuietComfort 45 sits on a easter island head-style headphone stand.

This is an embedded microphone, and so the quality is limited.

Neither the QC 45 nor the WH-1000XM4 have what you’d call a high-cease microphone. They’re both loud, and clear plenty to handle whatever your phone call needs are, merely don’t expect anything budgeted studio quality. Neither 1 really sounds better than the other, so you won’t need to worry most making this sort of trade-off at to the lowest degree.

Heed for yourself:

Bose QuietComfort 45 mic sample (platonic):

Sony WH-1000XM4 mic sample (ideal):

Sony WH-1000XM4 vs Bose QuietComfort 45: Which headset should you lot buy?

Close-up of 3.5mm input on Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones

The WH-1000XM4 have a ton of Bluetooth codec options but thankfully yet have a place for a standard iii.5mm sound cable as well.

The WH-1000XM4 has a ton of Bluetooth codec options, but thankfully still has a place for a standard 3.5mm audio cable as well. The Bose QuietComfort 45 may be the newer option by far, merely that doesn’t necessarily brand it a slam dunk. Sure, information technology’s cheaper by almost $20 USD, just in saving that money, you lose out on a fully-featured app, vastly superior quick charging, and a more than pleasant default sound contour.

The ANC functioning of the WH-1000XM4 may have lost a bit of its luster in the last little while, merely it’due south still among the all-time noise cancelling headphones on the market place, and keeps pace competitively with the QC 45. The real standout improvement of the QC 45 is its noise cancelling, but given all the other things, it’s just not a large plenty difference to brand this an like shooting fish in a barrel decision.

The Sony WH-1000XM4 noise cancelling headphones in black against a white background.

Sony WH-1000XM4

All prices listed in USD unless otherwise specified. Prices may modify over time, and vary by region. Unfortunately, we cannot list Amazon prices on the site, as they vary greatly past currency.

All the same, both headsets are very proficient, and you likely won’t be disappointed with either. If your budget is a little restricted, the Bose QuietComfort 45 will still get you from A to B, and Bose often adds new software features downwards the line, with the EQ being a notable recent improver. If you’re an Android user and still vacillating between the 2, remember that simply the Sony headphones include a high-quality audio codec for you. Since neither headset uses Bluetooth five.2, LC3 isn’t coming—what you lot get is what you go.

Product shot of Bose QuietComfort 45 headset from the side.

Bose QuietComfort 45

All prices listed in USD unless otherwise specified. Prices may change over time, and vary by region. Unfortunately, nosotros cannot listing Amazon prices on the site, as they vary greatly by currency.