Apple has managed to put all the rumors to rest with its latest release last week – AirPods Max. Twitter has been going crazy over the new headphones (don’t get me started on the memes that followed). MKBHD and a few other tech vloggers (iJustine, CNET, Your Avg Consumer) did manage to get a hands-on experience on the device and have shared their first impressions on their YouTube channels.
AirPods Max are being referred to as the best noise-canceling premium headphones by the company itself. We thought to compare them with two of the best noise-canceling headphones in the market today; Sony WH-100XM4 and Bose 700. Get your popcorns and lay your head back; this is going to be a lengthy comparison.
Apple AirPods Max vs. Sony WH-1000XM4 vs. Bose 700 Face-off
Apple AirPods Max are pricey and won’t be on discounts anytime soon. Looking at the other two options, Bose 700 is on the expensive side too; but they often sell on discounts across the stores and online so keep looking for the right opportunity.
This means SONY WH-1000XM4 emerges as a winner in the price category, and if you are looking for headphones that do not burn a hole in your pocket, you have a winner right there!
Design and Colors
While Apple AirPods Max has a minimal vintage feel, Bose 700 have stuck to a sleek, ultramodern approach. Sony WH-1000XM4 have been generic while designing their headphones. It won’t be a stretch if I claim that these headphones are easy to spot from a distance, which is also preferred by many buyers.
Talking about the color choices available, Apple has gone wild with its choice of colors. The brand offers five different shades: Space Grey, Silver, Green, Pink, and Sky Blue. Not just that, you can design your unique pair as Apple lets you mix-and-match the ear cushions, making 25 combinations in total. You can get them engraved for free too.
Bose 700 also have a good range of color options to choose from. These babies ship in Black, Luxe Silver, Soapstone shades, and a limited-edition Triple Midnight shade.
Sony has played it safe by keeping color options limited to Black and Silver.
Apple AirPods Max are my preferred options under the Design category because of their vintage feel, giving them a classy look. However, I am a little hesitant about walking out in public with that funny looking case. I look forward to more alternative case options in the future.
Apple promises up to 20 hours of battery life (listening, talk-time, or streaming) even with Noise Cancellation and Spatial Audio enabled.
Sony dominates here, with 30 hours of battery life with active noise cancellation and up to 38 hours of battery life with ANC turned off.
Bose offers up to 20 hours of battery life, which is a little disappointing when compared to the other features it has on its plate.
Talking about their charging capacity, Apple promises 90 minutes of usage with 5 mins of charging (Lightning cable), Sony offers 5 minutes of playtime with 10 minutes of charging (Type-C cable). In contrast, Bose offers 3.5 hours of hearing time with 15 minutes of charging (Type-C cable).
Sony comes out as a clear winner in this category too.
According to iJustine, the popular YouTuber, AirPods Max, give you a phenomenal audio experience. Looking at the sound quality in AirPods and AirPods Pro, I am confident that Apple will not deceive when it comes to the audio quality. The spatial audio is an experience to look forward to. I hope that AirPods Max will surpass their earbuds and deliver a one-of-a-kind experience.
On the other hand, Sony headphones provide the best clarity and an extraordinary musical level; their audio quality is on point. It helps you listen to the tiniest of details with perfect clarity. After all, Sony has been in the industry for so long and keeps getting better with every release.
Bose 700 have a dynamic audio quality; clarity is decent, and users have appreciated the quality so far.
Sony Headphones Connect app offers broader customization of EQ settings than the Bose Music App, but AirPods Max offer pretty much the same settings.
I firmly believe Sony wins under this domain, too. However, no device provides a better user experience than Apple, so I am low-key waiting for the detailed testing reviews to be out.
Active Noise Cancellation
The most anticipated parameter of comparison is here. Before the release, Both XM4 and Bose 700 have been considered maestros under this segment. With Apple’s entering into ANC, buyers are more concerned about which one outruns the other here.
AirPods max comes with eight microphones for noise cancellation. Three of which are placed on the outer side to detect environmental noise, whereas one for the sound reaches the listener’s ear. The first impressions videos have declared AirPods Max as a winner already. To top it up, toggling with the Transparency Mode sounds like a lot of fun.
Sony WH-1000XM4 offers an advanced HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1 that monitors audio and ambient noise. You can also adjust it according to your requirements using their companion app.
I enjoy Bose’s next-generation noise-canceling chip and the adjustments it has to offer. If a pair of headphones offer me different ANC levels, I will surely bring the device back home from full isolation to total transparency. Not only this, but it also has six microphones for noise cancellation and four for your voice clarity.
Could I be making more sense right now?
Apple sure has debuted with a bang. AirPods Max not only look promising but also promises excellent on-paper features that are driving Apple Users crazy, and that the tech vloggers have already started comparing them with the best in the market. This sure leaves buyers in a frenzy and with too high expectations. The overpriced set with a funny-looking bra can be a bummer for some people, but why hesitate to pay for the luxury it caters to?
It is doubtful that Sony Wh-1000XM4 and Bose 700 will have any adverse effects on sales, mostly because both brands focus on a different niche and target audience considering the price gap. I’d suggest not waiting any further, follow your heart, and buy yourself premium headphones; enjoy the luxury and mute the world around you. Isn’t that the idea behind noise cancellation headphones, anyway?
You may also like to read these:
- AirPods Max: First Impression and FAQ (Video)
- Apple M1 Chip FAQs
- AirPods Max vs. AirPods Pro – Which One Should You Buy?
- How to Reset AirPods Max to Factory Settings
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An entrepreneur by heart, I am obsessed with the world of Apple. I survive on Apple products and their updates. Over the last five years, I have been writing all kinds of content that are remotely connected to Apple and sharing across digital platforms. When not writing, you will find me on the court playing basketball or in my room playing the sitar.