If you’re looking for advanced and sophisticated wireless headphones, and active noise cancellation is important to you, you’re in luck! In this article we take a look at two models that fit the bill and are also the latest in their range. We’re talking about the Sony WH1000XM5 vs Bose 700, both leading brands in the field of sound technology. Do you want to discover all their differences and similarities? Let’s get to it!
- 1 Sony WH1000XM5: clear improvement in noise cancelling
- 2 Bose 700: high-quality sound technology at an affordable price
- 3 Sony WH1000XM5 vs Bose 700: main differences
- 4 Sony WH1000XM5 vs Bose 700: these are their similarities
- 5 Sony WH1000XM5 vs Bose 700: Which one should we choose?
Sony WH1000XM5: clear improvement in noise cancelling
The first thing we want to point out is that the WH1000XM5 is the most recent model that Sony has launched, updating the previous model. And it has done so by advancing in those aspects where it lagged behind its rival, such as sound quality or noise cancellation itself. This is mainly due to the new V1 integrated processor, which strengthens the headphones in terms of noise cancellation technology.
The sound quality has also evolved with the addition of 8 microphones in total that can pick up your voice and isolate it from the outside world in a clearer and clearer way. In addition, the adaptive sound control allows the sound settings to be adjusted and varied according to the characteristics of the environment.
Autonomy is one of Sony’s greatest strengths, and it is clearly reflected in the WH1000XM5. These headphones can play music for 30 hours if you turn ANC on, and 40 hours if you turn it off. If you are going to use them for conversations, the battery life would be reduced to 24 and 32 hours respectively.
In terms of design, Sony has opted for a different line. The Sony WH1000XM5 has a bulkier and thicker design than its previous model, in order to better support the technological improvements it has implemented in terms of sound quality. In this case, you can choose between black and silver. Finally, it maintains functionalities inherited from the WH1000XM4, such as Precise Voice PickUp, Speak-to-Chat, Fast Pair or Swift Pair technology.
Bose 700: high-quality sound technology at an affordable price
The Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 are wireless headphones with integrated Bluetooth and a total of 11 levels of noise cancellation. If we look at the battery life, it amounts to up to 20 hours of music on a single charge.
The sound quality is very natural, with crisp, clear details and deep, rich bass. It has a four built-in microphone system for clearer calls. It also picks up your voice very well, isolating it from outside noise and adapting to noisier environments.
In terms of control, there are intuitive, hands-free touch buttons so you can activate the most important features, including voice control via Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant.
Aesthetically, they feature slanted earcups for the best fit for the shape of your head. The stainless steel headband is comfortable, so you can wear them for hours without discomfort. And if colour is important, you can choose between black, white and silver.
Sony WH1000XM5 vs Bose 700: main differences
To give you a clearer idea of the advantages and disadvantages of each, here are the most notable differences between the two headphones:
Design and shape
The first thing that stands out is the aesthetics of each model, and this is the first area where we notice the differences. The Bose 700 has a rounder, thicker ear cup, and the headband is slightly narrower than the Sony headset. For some people, this may put a little more pressure on the headset. In the case of the Sony headphones, a design change from the previous model, the WH1000XM4, is evident. In this case, the WH1000XM5 has a bulkier aesthetic, with thicker ear cushions, although with a more elongated shape than the Bose 700.
The Bose headphones offer very high sound quality, although Sony is slightly better when it comes to the balance between bass, midrange and treble. It is worth noting that it has two processors, which also improves its performance in this respect. It also features DSEE Extreme, which uses Artificial Intelligence to restore frequencies that have been lost in the conversion of digital audio files, resulting in clearer quality.
Battery life is also another difference between the two models. The Bose 700s can run for around 20 hours uninterrupted, while the Sony WH1000XM5s get up to 30 hours of music playback with ANC, which is reduced to 24 hours if used for calls instead of music. By deactivating the noise-cancelling option, the battery life can be increased to 40 and 32 hours respectively. Sony is therefore ahead of Bose in this respect.
When it comes to connectivity, Sony also has an advantage over Bose. The WH1000XM5 supports Bluetooth version 5.2, in contrast to the Bose 700, which remains at version 5.0. In addition, the Bose headphones only support the Bluetooth codecs SBC and AAC. The only high-quality codec is AAC, which offers reliable audio quality for iPhone users. In contrast, Sony’s headphones support slightly better codec options, such as SBC, AAC and LDAC.
When it comes to the control system offered by both headphones, there are some differences. The Sony WH1000XM5 has touch buttons for all settings, while the Bose 700 combines some touch controls with traditional buttons. On this model, the touch controls are reserved for changing volume, song, answering calls and a customisable shortcut.
In this respect, it should be noted that the Bose headphones were launched a couple of years ago, while the Sony WH1000XM5 is a recent addition to the market. This is a major factor in the price, as new models are always more expensive. Thus, the price difference between the two is quite pronounced, although the practical differences are less so.
Sony WH1000XM5 vs Bose 700: these are their similarities
Finally, we finish our review by talking about the points they have in common:
Active Noise Cancelling
This is one of the most complex aspects to analyse. One of Bose’s most outstanding strengths is precisely how good its active noise cancellation is, something that, until now, Sony couldn’t beat. With the WH1000XM5, the company has actually managed to match the Bose thanks to the optimised Noise Cancelling HD QN1 processor that has been incorporated into this functionality.
In addition, both models exercise an adaptive control system, so that the level of noise cancellation adjusts according to the outside acoustic level, regulating itself to provide the best sound experience.
In terms of microphones, both headphones have a total of 8 microphones. The Sony WH1000XM5 has four multi-directional microphones in each ear cup, which can not only adjust the external sound but also calibrate your voice to give you the best call quality.
The Bose 700 also has eight microphones. Of these, six are dedicated to active noise cancellation. On the other hand, four microphones are designed to pick up your voice, two of which are also combined with noise cancellation. As you can see, they’re pretty evenly matched in this respect.
Connecting with an app
Both the Bose and Sony headphones can be synced with their corresponding app, both of which are available for both iOS and Android operating systems.
Another common factor between the two wireless headphones is the quick charge option, which is useful if you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to fully charge your device. In the case of Bose, you’ll get up to 3.5 hours of battery life from just 15 minutes of charging. Sony, on the other hand, is able to recharge for up to 3 hours of battery life in just 3 minutes, but you must have the optional USB-compatible adapter.
Pairing with other devices
If you want to pair the wireless headphones with another device, you can do so on either model.
The ability to connect the headphones with the voice assistants Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri is present in both of the two protagonists of our review. So you can control any functionality directly by voice.
Neither of the two wireless headphones we reviewed can be folded, something that is striking in the case of Sony, as the previous model did have this functionality. So you won’t find any differences in this respect. In fact, their weight is the same, around 250 grams.
Sony WH1000XM5 vs Bose 700: Which one should we choose?
It is very difficult to choose which of the two models we have analysed is better, since both are really equal, both in terms of design and performance. Sony has evolved significantly from the previous model in some areas where Bose stood out more clearly, such as active noise cancellation and the sound technology itself. The result is a much more evenly matched pair in most areas of performance.
It is true that Sony is slightly ahead of Bose in battery life, as well as in the full presence of touch controls. Also, while Bose’s sound quality is really good, Sony’s DSEE Extreme functionality makes it play back converted digital files more clearly. On the other hand, the headband of the Sony headphones moulds better to the shape of the head than that of the Bose headphones.
The downside is that they are considerably more expensive. However, the price is likely to come down over time, as the Sony WH1000XM5 is very new, while the Bose 700 has been on the market for some time.
In our view, if you have other devices from the Sony range, we would recommend trying this model, which also promises to be an improvement on the previous version. If you don’t have a clear preference, the decision is more complicated. In any case, you’re sure to get it right.