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Sony and Shure are two brands synonymous with noise-cancelling headphones. However, discriminating customers desire headphones that do more than just play music. In this comparison, we pit the Sony WH-1000XM4 against the Shure AONIC 50 to see which of these two strong ANC headphones is the better option.
This clash between two industry titans, Shure and Sony, promises to be an intriguing and in-depth comparison. Both firms are known for producing high-quality audio equipment, and the Shure Aonic 50 and Sony WH-1000XM4 are their flagship offers in the headphone industry.
These headphones have sparked heated debate among users regarding whether one actually reigns supreme.
In this post, we’ll delve deep into the features, performance, and nuances of the Shure Aonic 50 and Sony WH-1000XM4, providing you with vital information to help you make an informed decision about which headset best meets your needs and interests. So, without further ado, let’s get started on our in-depth comparison.
Shure Aonic 50 vs Sony WH-1000XM4: A Comprehensive Guide
|Feature||Sony WH-1000XM4||Shure Aonic 50|
|Form Factor||Over Ear||Over Ear|
|Frequency Response||4 Hz – 40000Hz||20 Hz – 2200Hz|
|Driver Unit size||40mm||50mm|
|Charging Time||3 h||Unknown|
|Color||Black, Blue, Silver||Black|
|Check Details||See More||See More|
What’s in the box
|Sony WH-1000XM4||Shure Aonic 50|
|Carrying Case||Protective Carrying Case|
|Connection Cable||3.5mm Audio Cable|
|User Guide||User Guide|
Fit & Comfort
Both the Shure Aonic 50 and the Sony WH-1000XM4 strive to deliver comfort during long listening periods, however their approaches differ slightly. The Shure Aonic 50 has a beautiful and quality feel to it, with a synthetic leather headband and ear pads that are not only exquisite but also long-lasting.
The replaceable ear cushions make it simple to keep them clean, assuring long-term comfort. However, at 334 grams, the Aonic 50 can feel a little heavy, and it doesn’t fold for compact storage, which may limit portability.
The Sony WH-1000XM4, on the other hand, has a somewhat different design that is nevertheless pleasant. Its ear cushions are composed of thick, foamed urethane, providing comfortable cushioning for longer usage.
However, some users may discover that the headband lacks padding, perhaps resulting in pressure spots during prolonged wear. Because of its folding design, the WH-1000XM4 is 83 grams lighter and thus more portable.
Finally, comfort is a subjective concern, and both headphones give a comfortable listening experience, but your choice may depend on whether you favor a premium feel or greater portability.
Shure Aonic 50
Design & Build
The Shure Aonic 50 exudes refinement in terms of design and construction, befitting its $400 price tag. The synthetic leather headband and ear pads are expertly sewn, adding longevity and elegance to the headphones. Furthermore, the ear cushions are removable, making them easy to clean and maintaining a long-lasting exquisite feel.
However, the majority of the construction is made of plastic, which contributes to a more manageable weight of 334 grams. Although not the most portable alternative, the Aonic 50’s ear cups may be flattened for packing in a backpack or the supplied bag.
The Sony WH-1000XM4, on the other hand, has a sleek design with foamed urethane ear pads that provide a pleasant fit.
However, the headband lacks the same level of padding, which could result in pressure spots on the head after prolonged use. Unlike the Shure Aonic 50, the WH-1000XM4 can be folded thanks to its folding hinges, making it more travel-friendly.
It is also 83 grams lighter, which improves portability. Both headphones are comfortable for people who wear glasses or earrings, but the Sony WH-1000XM4’s foldable shape makes them a better alternative for people on the go.
Shure Aonic 50
When it comes to sound quality, the Shure Aonic 50 and Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones take distinct approaches. The Aonic 50 has a neutral frequency response with a little increase in the 70-300Hz region to improve vocal clarity.
A tiny dip in the 2-4kHz range aids in preventing unwanted resonances in your ears. Shure increased the sub-bass region in firmware version 0.4.9, resulting in a more accurate and polished sound profile.
The Sony WH-1000XM4, on the other hand, closely follows a consumer-friendly frequency response curve, giving precise sound reproduction and overall clear, detailed music.
Both headphones allow you to alter their sound profiles using EQ settings in their respective applications. However, it’s worth noting that EQ adjustments for the Shure Aonic 50 are confined to playing within the app, which may be a disadvantage for some users.
In this sound quality comparison, the Sony WH-1000XM4 wins by a slim margin. Your decision may be determined by whether you like a more neutral and polished sound signature, such as the Aonic 50, or a consumer-oriented sound profile with customization options, such as the WH-1000XM4.
Shure Aonic 50
Both the Shure Aonic 50 and the Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones excel at noise cancellation, making this a tightly contested match.
Both headphones have good passive isolation thanks to their thick ear cups, and they have impressive active noise cancellation (ANC) that can be adjusted to different intensity levels. In objective testing, the Shure Aonic 50 surpasses the Sony WH-1000XM4 by only 0.2 points, with ratings of 7.5 and 7.3, respectively.
The Shure Aonic 50 excels in combating low-frequency disturbances between 60 and 200Hz, making it useful for reducing the sounds of air conditioners and traffic. It also outperforms the WH-1000XM4 in attenuating upper-midrange frequencies, which contain many human voice frequencies for speech intelligibility.
The Sony WH-1000XM4, on the other hand, has excellent noise canceling, particularly in the low-midrange frequencies, making it excellent at blocking out conversations and voices. Furthermore, it efficiently combats low-frequency sounds below 60Hz, making it excellent for minimizing the rumbling of huge engines during airline or train travels.
In conclusion, both the Shure Aonic 50 and the Sony WH-1000XM4 provide top-tier noise-canceling qualities, making them standout alternatives for individuals looking to immerse themselves in music or experience tranquility in noisy surroundings. Other aspects such as design, comfort, and other features may eventually determine which one you choose.
Shure Aonic 50
Microphone or Call Quality
The Shure Aonic 50 and Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones have various qualities when it comes to microphone and call quality. When opposed to the XM4, the Aonic 50 has a microphone system with a less harsh high-pass filter.
While this improves the Aonic 50’s ability to capture the voices of people with deeper voices, it also runs the danger of introducing the proximity effect, which can distort bass notes when the speaker is very close to the microphone. This reduction in the proximity effect can improve speech intelligibility by emphasizing high-frequency sounds.
The Sony WH-1000XM4, on the other hand, features a microphone array that excels at noise isolation, effectively blocking out background noise and focusing on the speaker’s voice.
This innovative technology gives Sony an advantage, especially for those who frequently accept calls in noisy outside areas, providing clearer and more comprehensible interactions.
Shure Aonic 50
Both the Sony WH-1000XM4 and the Shure Aonic 50 include USB-C charging capabilities, guaranteeing simple and modern charging alternatives.
In terms of battery life, the Sony WH-1000XM4 has a minor advantage, with a longer playback period of 19 hours and 59 minutes compared to the Shure Aonic 50’s 19 hours and 46 minutes. In addition, the Sony WH-1000XM4 has quick charging, allowing consumers to get five hours of playback from a 10-minute charge.
This fast-charging functionality is especially useful when you’re in a rush and need a quick power boost for your headphones. In contrast, the Shure Aonic 50 does not support rapid charging, so users must plan for lengthier charging periods to attain a full battery.
While both headphones have decent battery life, the Sony WH-1000XM4’s combination of longer listening time and fast charging may be an attractive aspect for people who value quick and effective recharging choices.
Shure Aonic 50
The control systems for the Shure Aonic 50 and Sony WH-1000XM4 take different methods for user engagement. The Sony WH-1000XM4 has a simple design with only two physical buttons for power and customization, while the custom button may be customized for voice assistant access or ANC toggling.
The majority of additional controls, such as volume changes and media playback, rely on touch-sensitive surfaces. However, users have noted that these touch controls register taps inconsistently, causing many to rely on the auto-pause and auto-resume feature, which recognizes when the headphones are removed or worn and adjusts media playback appropriately.
Furthermore, the Sony WH-1000XM4 has a novel feature in which cupping your hand over the left earcup reduces media volume while amplifying outside noise, improving communication in busy circumstances.
The Shure Aonic 50, on the other hand, uses a more typical tactile button layout for controls. While it lacks the futuristic touch-sensitive earpads of the Sony WH-1000XM4, the physical buttons on the Aonic 50 consistently respond to user interaction.
The headset has separate noise cancellation and ambient sound options, a power button, and volume controls. It also has a multifunction button that allows you to pause/play media and access a smart assistant. In terms of control responsiveness, the Shure Aonic 50 delivers a dependable and straightforward experience.
While the Sony WH-1000XM4 has a more small and lightweight design as well as an ambient sound passthrough capability, the Shure Aonic 50 shines in terms of control system responsiveness and allows customers to easily change noise cancellation and access their smart assistant.
Shure Aonic 50
The Shure Aonic 50 and Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones both have strong connectivity features. When paired with various devices, they provide strong wireless connections that are dependable and seamless.
The Shure Aonic 50 employs Bluetooth version 5, one of the most recent generations of Bluetooth technology. This ensures a reliable connection with few interruptions.
Shure has implemented a variety of Bluetooth codecs, including SBC, AAC, LDAC, aptX, aptX HD, and aptX Low Latency, providing high-quality audio streaming and compatibility with a variety of source devices.
The Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones also have Bluetooth version 5, which provides a strong and dependable wireless connection. Sony supports codecs such as SBC, AAC, and LDAC, ensuring compatibility with a wide range of devices.
In addition to Bluetooth, these headphones enable NFC pairing, which streamlines the connecting procedure, especially for Android users, who may connect with a single tap.
Both headphones deliver a seamless and dependable wireless experience, catering to consumers who need high-quality audio and connectivity simplicity.
Shure Aonic 50
Support for Bluetooth Codec
Both the Sony WH-1000XM4 and the Shure Aonic 50 use Bluetooth 5.0 firmware and include Bluetooth multipoint capabilities, allowing for seamless transitions between devices such as computers and smartphones. These headphones both support the SBC and AAC audio codecs.
The Shure Aonic 50, on the other hand, goes a step further by supporting aptX, aptX HD, and aptX Low Latency codecs in addition to SBC and AAC. This extended codec compatibility may be especially appealing to Android users, as it provides a broader selection of high-quality audio streaming options.
It’s worth mentioning that while using Bluetooth multipoint with the Sony WH-1000XM4, you’re limited to streaming over the AAC codec, whereas the Shure Aonic 50 permits multipoint with any of its supported codecs, giving users more options.
Both headphones have a headphone port for consumers who prefer wired connectivity. The Shure Aonic 50 has a 2.5mm input, whilst Sony has a conventional 3.5mm input.
Regardless of connector type, this capability allows listeners to experience high-fidelity audio from sources such as FLAC files at their highest quality even when the headphones’ batteries are depleted.
Furthermore, Shure offers USB-C passthrough audio, making the Aonic 50 an excellent alternative for users looking for USB-C headphones that will work with a variety of modern devices.
Shure Aonic 50
The Shure Aonic 50 and Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones come with a variety of supplementary features, each with its own set of advantages. The Shure Aonic 50 excels at sound customization, with an adjustable equalizer included in the ShurePlus PLAY software.
This allows users to fine-tune their audio settings to fit different genres and listening environments. Furthermore, the Aonic 50 supports USB-C passthrough audio, making it one of the best USB-C headphones.
Sony’s WH-1000XM4 on the other hand, features unique touch controls on the ear cups, allowing users to easily handle music, volume, and calls using intuitive motions. It also has features like Speak-to-Chat, which automatically pauses playback when you start speaking and resumes when you stop, improving convenience during chats.
The WH-1000XM4 supports LDAC for high-quality wireless music streaming and includes atmospheric pressure adjustment for effective noise cancellation during flights.
In conclusion, both headphones offer supplementary functions that cater to diverse user preferences. The Shure Aonic 50 excels in sound customization and USB-C passthrough audio, making it an excellent choice for audiophiles and people with USB-C devices.
The Sony WH-1000XM4, on the other hand, concentrates on simplicity with touch controls, unique modes, and LDAC support, making it suited for those who value seamless interaction and high-quality music streaming.
Shure Aonic 50
Which is the Winner?
The decision between the Shure Aonic 50 and the Sony WH-1000XM4 comes down to your personal needs and money. While these headphones have many similarities in terms of functionality and performance, there are some important distinctions to consider.
If you value sound quality, a very effective ambient mode, and long battery life at a reasonable price, the Sony WH-1000XM4 is a fantastic choice. These headphones have excellent audio, noise cancellation, and practical functions, making them an excellent value proposition.
If you want superior sound and microphone quality, as well as a premium and luxury construction, and are ready to invest a little extra, the Shure Aonic 50 is an appealing option. These headphones provide a rich audio experience and a high-end feel that appeals to individuals who value both style and substance.
The decision ultimately comes down to your preferences and budget, since both the Shure Aonic 50 and Sony WH-1000XM4 are excellent challengers in the premium headphone market, offering varied qualities to fit diverse user needs.
While the Shure Aonic 50 and Sony WH-1000XM4 are fantastic choices in the premium noise-canceling headphones category, there are some alternatives worth considering based on your unique needs.
The Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 are a good alternative for people who value brand reputation and top-tier noise cancellation. Bose has a long history of noise-canceling technology, and these headphones give great ANC performance. They also include touch controls and a clean, modern look.
The Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless is a good pick if you value portability and a reasonable price. These headphones have excellent sound quality, good noise cancellation, and fold up for simple storage. Sennheiser’s audio expertise shines through in the sound characteristics.
Another option is the Apple AirPods Max, which is suitable for users of the Apple ecosystem. They provide easy connectivity with Apple devices, high-quality audio, and ANC. They do, however, come at a charge.
Finally, the choice between the Shure Aonic 50, and Sony WH-1000XM4, and these competitors will be determined by your personal tastes, like as sound quality, design, and compatibility with your devices. Consider your considerations while choosing the headphones that best suit your demands and budget.
Sony WH-1000XM5 vs Bose QC45 – FAQs
Which headphones have better noise cancelling, the Shure Aonic 50 or the Sony WH-1000XM4?
The Shure Aonic 50 and Sony WH-1000XM4 both have outstanding noise cancellation. The ANC of the Shure Aonic 50 is slightly greater in some frequencies, making it particularly effective against low-frequency sounds like traffic and machinery. However, the Sony WH-1000XM4 is equally excellent and has an advantage in blocking out middle frequencies, which are frequently associated with human voices.
What are the main differences in sound quality between the Shure Aonic 50 and the Sony WH-1000XM4?
The Shure Aonic 50 features a neutral sound profile with modifications for accurate sound reproduction, and firmware updates have increased its sub-bass capabilities. The Sony WH-1000XM4 adheres to the consumer curve, offering a balanced and detailed audio experience. Both headphones provide EQ settings for sound modification, but the Sony WH-1000XM4 has more options.
What headphones have the best microphone and call quality?
The Sony WH-1000XM4 features an array of microphones that excel in canceling out background noise and focusing on the speaker’s speech. The Shure Aonic 50 features a good microphone system, although it may be ineffective in noisy outside conditions.
Do both headphones support multipoint Bluetooth connections?
Yes, both the Shure Aonic 50 and the Sony WH-1000XM4 enable multipoint Bluetooth, letting you to connect them to several devices at the same time. The Shure Aonic 50, on the other hand, provides greater flexibility with its codec support, which includes aptX, aptX HD, and aptX Low Latency.
What is the pricing difference between the Shure Aonic 50 and the Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones?
The Shure Aonic 50 headphones are often more expensive than the Sony WH-1000XM4. However, the price difference may vary depending on promotions, discounts, and local availability. Check current pricing to make an informed decision based on your budget and desired features.
Both the Shure Aonic 50 and the Sony WH-1000XM4 are excellent headphones that cater to distinct interests and priorities. There is no clear winner here because it ultimately comes down to your personal needs and what features are most important to you.
Sony’s WH-1000XM4 combines excellent sound quality, an effective ambient mode, and a long battery life at a cheap price point, making it a popular choice among consumers.
For those prepared to invest a little more, the Shure Aonic 50 offers greater sound and microphone quality, a premium design, and a sumptuous feel.
When making your decision, it is critical to examine your priorities, money, and which characteristics of headphones are most important to you. Rest certain that each of these headphones provides top-tier performance in their respective categories, assuring a wonderful listening experience.
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