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The Sony WH-1000XM5 and the Bose QC45 are two highly acclaimed premium noise-cancelling headphones. These headphones appeal to the exacting needs of audiophiles and regular travelers, guaranteeing excellent sound quality and effective noise cancellation.
In this comparison, we’ll look at the essential elements of both models, including their design, comfort, sound performance, noise-canceling capabilities, and other features.
By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision about which headset best suits your interests and listening habits, whether it’s Sony’s flagship WH-1000XM5 or Bose’s revolutionary QC45.
Sony WH-1000XM5 vs Bose QC45: A Comprehensive Guide
|Feature||Sony WH-1000XM5||Bose QC45|
|Form Factor||Over Ear||Over Ear|
|Frequency Response||4 Hz – 40000Hz||4 Hz – 4000Hz|
|Impedance||48 Ohms||47 Ohms|
|Driver Unit size||30mm||40mm|
|Charging Time||3. h||2.5h|
|Color||Black, Midnight Blue, Silver||Black, Silver|
|Check Details||See More||See More|
What’s in the box
|Sony WH-1000XM5||Bose QC45|
|Carrying Case||Protective Case|
|User Guide||User Guide|
Fit & Comfort
Both the Sony WH-1000XM5 and the Bose QC45 emphasise comfort and wearability, allowing you to listen to music or make calls for lengthy periods of time without pain. The QC45 has a tried-and-true design that provides a comfortable fit for most wearers.
It’s built for long listening sessions, with velvety ear pads and a well-balanced weight. The headphones also weigh roughly 240 grams, which is average and will not create undue strain during extended wear.
The WH-1000XM5, on the other hand, takes a somewhat different design approach, pulling inspiration from Apple’s aesthetics with its arm shape and lack of folding hinges.
While it maintains a comfortable fit with enough of ear room, it weights somewhat more at 250 grams. This difference is barely perceptible, however if portability is important to you, the QC45 is more compact thanks to its folding hinges.
However, both headphones come with a sturdy hard carrying case for safe storage and travel, ensuring they remain comfy and well-protected whether you’re at home or on the move. Ultimately, the choice between the two will come down to your personal design tastes and whether portability is important to you.
Design & Build
Both the Sony WH-1000XM5 and the Bose QC45 have designs that expand on the popularity of their predecessors. In terms of design, the WH-1000XM5 has a sleek and modern appearance with little branding, whilst the QC45 has a more clearly branded and button-centric design.
The Bose QuietComfort 45 is built to last with impact-resistant glass-filled nylon in the headband and reinforced metal components.
While mostly constructed of plastic, it is well-crafted and effectively distributes its 240g weight, giving comfort through plush ear pads and a pleasant headband fit.
The WH-1000XM5, which weighs slightly heavier at 250g, has a design that differs from its predecessor, drawing inspiration from Apple with its arm shape and lack of folding hinges.
The QC45, on the other hand, has folding hinges that improve its portability. Both headphones, however, lack an IP classification, making them best suited for use in mild temperatures or inside.
Despite minor design variances, both headphones prioritize user comfort and come with sturdy carrying cases for secure travel. Finally, your choice may come down to personal preferences for branding, button placement, and folding possibilities, as both models are well-constructed and give a comfortable listening experience.
Both the Sony WH-1000XM5 and the Bose QuietComfort 45 have distinct audio profiles when it comes to sound quality.
The Sony WH-1000XM5 has a bass-heavy sound profile that can sometimes overshadow the mids and vocals. Furthermore, there is a distinct spike in the treble frequencies between 3-6kHz, which can compete for your attention in the higher range.
However, Sony’s Headphones Connect app includes a six-band EQ that allows you to fine-tune the music to your preference, helping to offset the bass emphasis and treble spike. It may take some tweaking to reach your desired sound profile with these headphones.
The Bose QuietComfort 45, on the other hand, comes with a more balanced sound profile by default, with well-rendered bass and mids. However, it stands out with an accentuated treble that can be overbearing at times.
The QC 45 also has an EQ in its app, which, while not as detailed as Sony’s, allows you to customize the sound to your liking. Which one you choose depends on your audio preferences and how much fiddling you want to do to reach your ideal sound.
Both headphones have the potential to offer exceptional sound quality, but they begin with contrasting characteristics – the Sony WH-1000XM5 with a bass focus and the Bose QuietComfort 45 with a more balanced approach but noticeable treble.
When it comes to noise cancellation, both the Sony WH-1000XM5 and the Bose QuietComfort 45 deliver excellent results, but their methodologies differ slightly.
The Sony WH-1000XM5 outperforms the QuietComfort 45 in passive noise isolation when compared to its predecessor, the WH-1000XM4. The WH-1000XM5 excels at blocking out high-frequency noise, particularly above 1kHz.
It also delivers significant noise reduction in the low-frequency region, with almost 30dB attenuation at 100Hz. However, its noise suppression efficiency drops dramatically below 70Hz.
The Bose QuietComfort 45, on the other hand, provides outstanding noise cancellation, particularly in the sub-bass frequencies, where it filters out 25dB of noise at 100Hz.
However, its performance is slightly less constant between 100 and 200Hz, where attenuation drops to roughly 12dB. While the WH-1000XM5 has a little advantage in total isolation performance, the QuietComfort 45 nevertheless offers remarkable noise suppression.
In conclusion, both headphones provide excellent active noise cancellation, but the Sony WH-1000XM5’s greater passive isolation, particularly in the high-frequency region, gives it a tiny advantage in providing a more immersive noise-canceling experience.
Microphone or Call Quality
In terms of microphone quality and call performance, both the Sony WH-1000XM5 and the Bose QuietComfort 45 provide adequate results for common call requirements.
The Sony WH-1000XM5 has a microphone array that effectively records sounds with a pretty true-to-life portrayal. It maintains good clarity in the upper frequencies, only slightly fading off at 6kHz, which is often suitable for most voices.
One significant strength is its noise attenuation, particularly when it comes to decreasing wind noise, where it shines. This results in slightly more natural and clear voice quality during calls.
In contrast, the Bose QuietComfort 45 provides acceptable call quality, albeit it may under-emphasize lower ranges of voices. The QC 45, like the WH-1000XM5, filters out wind noise well, but it may not eliminate all ambient noises, notably higher-pitched street sounds.
Overall, both headphones have adequate microphone performance, ensuring clear and comprehensible talks during calls, with the Sony WH-1000XM5 having a modest advantage in terms of natural voice representation and wind noise reduction.
Both the Sony WH-1000XM5 and the Bose QC45 have an amazing battery life, allowing you to enjoy music and active noise cancellation for extended periods of time without the need for frequent recharging.
When using active noise cancellation, the battery life of the Bose QuietComfort 45 is roughly 24 hours and 49 minutes. This estimate was achieved through testing with real music at a consistent output level of 75dB(SPL).
In addition, the QC45 supports quick charging through USB-C, delivering 180 minutes of playback time after only 15 minutes of charging. This fast charging feature means that you can quickly top up the battery when you’re in a rush.
The Sony WH-1000XM5, on the other hand, has an even longer battery life, boasting up to 30 hours of continuous usage. In our tests, the WH-1000XM5 outperformed expectations, lasting 31 hours and 53 minutes on a single charge.
Furthermore, the Sony headphones feature quick charging through USB-C, with just three minutes of charge giving an amazing 180 minutes of playback duration. If you prefer a wired connection, you can use the provided headphone cable to extend the life of your WH-1000XM5.
In summary, both headphones have outstanding battery life, but the Sony WH-1000XM5 has a little advantage in terms of both overall battery life and the speed of its quick charging capability, allowing you to listen to music for longer periods of time.
The control systems of the Sony WH-1000XM5 and Bose QuietComfort 45 cater to diverse preferences and provide distinct features.
The Bose QuietComfort 45 only has tactile buttons for features like accessing your virtual assistant, controlling playback, managing calls, adjusting volume, and switching between listening modes. These buttons provide tactile feedback with each press, ensuring a positive user experience.
In comparison, the Sony WH-1000XM5 has a combination of touch controls on the right ear cup and two buttons on the left. Touch controls enable users to do many functions by using intuitive movements, albeit there may be a modest learning curve.
Notably, the WH-1000XM5 includes a fast gesture that allows you to rapidly hear ambient sounds by resting your palm over one ear cup, a feature that the Bose headphones lack.
Both headphones come with companion apps, with the Bose Music app providing a more streamlined experience, featuring updates, listening modes, equalization presets, and a three-band EQ.
The Sony Headphones Connect app, on the other hand, offers a greater selection of EQ presets, a customized six-band EQ, updates, and a “Find my headphones” option.
Furthermore, Sony’s app features 360 Reality Audio optimization, which adjusts the music to your ear anatomy for a superior audio experience, providing you have access to suitable streaming services like Deezer.
Finally, the decision between these headphones may be influenced by your desire for physical buttons or touch controls, as well as your interest in advanced sound customization choices. Both companion applications are free to download from the main app stores.
Both the Sony WH-1000XM5 and the Bose QC45 include a variety of connectivity options, some of which are similar while others distinguish them. To begin, both headphones have an optional cable connection, allowing you to utilize them as standard wired headphones as necessary. However, neither of them supports USB audio.
In terms of Bluetooth connectivity, both headphones support the AAC and SBC Bluetooth codecs, guaranteeing compatibility with a wide range of devices. AAC is the recommended codec for Apple customers, and Sony and Bose accommodate to this choice.
The Sony WH-1000XM5 offers an additional Bluetooth codec, LDAC. LDAC is very useful for Android users because it sends more data and can dramatically improve latency, especially when streaming video.
This codec improves audio quality, but keep in mind that the quality of the audio source and the quantity of compression it undergoes will also influence the overall sound experience.
Both headphones use Bluetooth 5.1 technology and offer multipoint connectivity, allowing users to connect to and switch between various devices easily.
This adaptability allows switching between audio sources simple. So, whether you’re an Apple or Android user, the Sony WH-1000XM5 and Bose QC45 both provide extensive connectivity choices to meet your demands.
Support for Bluetooth Codec
When it comes to Bluetooth codec support, both the Sony WH-1000XM5 and the Bose QC45 provide a variety of options to accommodate different devices and tastes.
Both headphones support AAC, an important codec for Apple customers that assures high-quality wireless audio when linked to iPhones and other Apple devices.
However, the Sony WH-1000XM5 goes a step further by including the LDAC codec, which is especially useful for Android users.
LDAC may transport more data than AAC, resulting in improved sound quality, lower latency, and a more seamless listening experience, especially when streaming high-resolution music.
LDAC compatibility on the WH-1000XM5 can make a big difference for Android users, especially when watching material that requires higher data rates.
While the Bose QC45 lacks LDAC support, it nevertheless covers the necessities with AAC and SBC codecs, enabling compatibility with a wide range of devices.
Finally, your option may be determined by your smartphone or device, as LDAC can provide a substantial improvement in audio quality for Android users, whilst AAC support caters to Apple users.
Both headphones provide strong wireless performance, and your pick for codec support will most likely be compatible with your device ecosystem.
Both the Sony WH-1000XM5 and the Bose QC45 include a number of added functions that improve the overall user experience. Starting with the Sony WH-1000XM5, these headphones stand out for a variety of reasons.
They have two processors and eight microphones for immersive listening, as well as industry-leading noise cancellation. The WH-1000XM5’s sound quality is also exceptional, thanks to its revolutionary Integrated Processor V1.
For crystal-clear hands-free calls, it boasts four beamforming microphones and advanced audio signal processing. Furthermore, its 360 Reality Audio optimization takes audio personalisation to a new level by altering sound based on your ear anatomy.
The Bose QC45, on the other hand, is not wanting in supplementary features. It provides effective active noise suppression in comparison to its competitors. The headphones also have an easy-to-use touch control mechanism for playing, calls, and changing listening modes.
The Noise Rejecting Dual-microphone System from Bose offers clear call quality even in noisy surroundings. While it does not offer LDAC like the WH-1000XM5, the QC45 has a quick charge feature that provides 180 minutes of listening after only 15 minutes of charging.
Finally, both headphones include a remarkable assortment of supplementary functions that appeal to a variety of preferences and demands.
Whether you value industry-leading noise cancellation, LDAC support, or seamless interaction with your favorite device ecosystem, these headphones have you covered. Your choice will be determined by your personal needs and how much you value the distinctive features that each model offers.
Which is the Winner?
The decision between the Sony WH-1000XM5 and the Bose QuietComfort 45 is ultimately determined by your personal preferences and priorities. To help you decide, here’s a breakdown:
Device Compatibility and Use Case: If you prefer LDAC support and 360 Reality Audio optimization, the Sony WH-1000XM5 is the best choice, especially for Android users.
If, on the other hand, you like a straightforward experience with minimal app engagement and don’t mind the lack of LDAC, the Bose QuietComfort 45 is a decent option.
Touch Controls vs. Button Controls: If you prefer touch controls, the Sony WH-1000XM5 has intuitive touch-sensitive controls on the ear cups. The Bose QuietComfort 45, on the other hand, is entirely dependent on tactile buttons.
If portability is important, the QC 45’s folding hinges make it easy to pack. However, both headphones come with a durable carrying case for protection when traveling.
Consider your budget. The QuietComfort 45 normally costs roughly $70 less than the WH-1000XM5, making it a more cost-effective option.
Noise Cancellation: In terms of noise cancellation, the WH-1000XM5 has a little advantage in isolation performance, but both headphones give comparable ANC performance.
Sound Customization: If you prefer a simple and already balanced sound profile, the QC 45 has a more simpler EQ configuration. However, if you prefer additional bass or a completely tailored sound, the WH-1000XM5 offers more options but may necessitate more tuning.
Android users may benefit from the WH-1000XM5’s LDAC codec, which provides higher-quality audio streaming. Apple users will find AAC support on both headphones, which is suitable for iPhones.
Finally, your decision is influenced by considerations such as pricing, preferred sound profile, device compatibility, and specific capabilities like as LDAC and 360 Reality Audio. Both headphones give outstanding performance, thus it comes down to your preference and priorities.
Both headphones provide a luxury experience while catering to distinct demands, so when making a purchase, it’s critical to establish your objectives.
There are a few interesting alternatives to the Sony WH-1000XM5 and Bose QuietComfort 45 to consider:
Apple AirPods Max: If you’re deeply ingrained in the Apple ecosystem, the AirPods Max offers seamless interaction with iOS devices, as well as outstanding noise reduction and spatial audio capabilities. They come highly recommended for iPhone users and cost roughly $424.99 on Amazon.
Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 Wireless: Sennheiser’s MOMENTUM 4 Wireless headphones provide exceptional sound quality with no tinkering. While their ANC performance isn’t as strong as the QC 45 or WH-1000XM5, they nevertheless provide excellent noise cancelling.
They distinguish themselves by supporting the aptX and aptX Adaptive Bluetooth codecs. The microphone quality is acceptable, and these headphones are reasonably priced, now at $283 on Amazon.
Sony WH-1000XM4: If you’re searching for a more affordable choice with comparable features, consider the Sony WH-1000XM4. While the WH-1000XM5 improves noise cancellation, sound quality, and microphone performance, the WH-1000XM4 remains a good pick.
It has 360 Reality Audio, an equalizer, and Google Fast Pair support. With the arrival of the WH-1000XM5, the WH-1000XM4’s price, which is now at $348 on Amazon, may become even more enticing.
These options have varied features and price points, so your pick should be based on your unique needs and preferences, whether it’s seamless Apple integration, superior noise cancelling, or budget constraints.
Sony WH-1000XM5 vs Bose QC45 – FAQs
What are the main differences between the Sony WH-1000XM5 and the Bose QC45?
There are numerous distinctions between the Sony WH-1000XM5 and the Bose QC45. To begin, the WH-1000XM5 supports LDAC for high-quality audio streaming, whereas the QC45 does not. Furthermore, the WH-1000XM5 provides 360 Reality Audio optimization for a more tailored audio experience, whereas the QC45 does not.
The WH-1000XM5 includes touch controls and can be used without noise cancellation, whereas the QC45 depends entirely on button controls and lacks this capability. Finally, the WH-1000XM5 is often significantly more expensive than the QC45.
Which headphones have greater noise cancelling, the Sony WH-1000XM5 or the Bose QC45?
Both the Sony WH-1000XM5 and the Bose QC45 feature exceptional noise-cancelling capabilities. However, in terms of overall noise isolation, the WH-1000XM5 has a modest advantage due to enhanced passive isolation, which works in tandem with active noise cancelation to produce better results. Having said that, the QC45 is also quite good at minimizing ambient noise and gives a superb noise-cancelling experience.
Do the Sony WH-1000XM5 and Bose QC45 offer programmable sound profiles?
Yes, both headphones allow you to customize sound profiles to some extent. The Sony WH-1000XM5 includes a six-band equalizer (EQ) in its Headphones Connect app, allowing you additional control over sound settings. The Bose QC45 also has EQ settings, allowing you to fine-tune the sound to your satisfaction. However, as compared to Sony’s app, the customizing choices in the Bose Music app are fairly limited.
Which headphones are more comfortable for extended use, the Sony WH-1000XM5 or the Bose QC45?
Although comfort is subjective, both headphones are designed for long-term use. The Sony WH-1000XM5 offers soft cushioning on the ear cups and headband for a comfortable fit. The QC45, on the other hand, has plush ear pads and uniform weight distribution over the headband. Some users may find the QC45 slightly more portable due to its folding hinges, which might be a factor when considering comfort during travel.
Are there any alternatives to the Sony WH-1000XM5 and Bose QC45?
Yes, there are alternatives to explore. The Apple AirPods Max are a wonderful alternative for iPhone users, providing seamless connection inside the Apple ecosystem as well as top-tier noise reduction. Another option is the Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 Wireless, which is noted for its excellent sound quality and support for aptX and aptX Adaptive Bluetooth codecs.
Furthermore, if you’re searching for a more affordable choice, the Sony WH-1000XM4 delivers many of the same capabilities as the WH-1000XM5 at a lower price point, making it an attractive alternative.
Finally, the Sony WH-1000XM5 and Bose QC45 are both excellent noise-cancelling headphones, each with its own distinct qualities.
The WH-1000XM5 stands out for its LDAC support and 360 Reality Audio optimization, making it an ideal choice for audiophiles and Android users who value high-quality audio streaming. Touch controls, configurable sound profiles, and better passive isolation all add to a well-rounded package.
The Bose QC45, on the other hand, provides a more comfortable fit, simple tactile controls, and a more affordable price point. Its noise-canceling effectiveness is comparable to the WH-1000XM5, and it appeals to individuals who value simplicity and dependability.
The choice between these two headphones ultimately comes down to your personal needs and tastes, whether you choose complex audio features and customization (WH-1000XM5) or basic functionality and comfort (QC45).
Both headphones are outstanding in their own right, providing excellent options for those looking for a premium listening experience.
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