AirPods Pro 2nd Gen vs. Sony WF-1000XM4: True Wireless Showdown

AirPods Pro 2nd Gen vs. Sony WF-1000XM4: True Wireless Showdown

  • AirPods Pro 2 offer balanced sound, while Sony WF-1000XM4 are more customizable with a bass emphasis. Choose AirPods Pro for clarity, Sony for bass.
  • AirPods Pro 2 might be better for airplane noise, but Sony WF-1000XM4 have superior passive isolation due to memory foam tips. ANC is slightly stronger on AirPods Pro.
  • AirPods Pro 2 are lighter and smaller, but fit is crucial. Sony WF-1000XM4 have memory foam tips (good seal but may cause fatigue) and offer longer battery life.

The battle for audio dominance in the true wireless earbud market rages on. Two titans, Apple with the AirPods Pro 2nd Gen and Sony with the WF-1000XM4, vie for your attention. But which one reigns supreme? This showdown dives deep into their features, sound quality, noise cancellation, and more to help you choose the perfect companion for your ears.

AirPods Pro 2nd Gen vs. Sony WF-1000XM4: Specs Compared

Here's a table comparing the features of AirPods Pro 2nd Gen and Sony WF-1000XM4:


AirPods Pro 2nd Gen

Sony WF-1000XM4

Sound Signature

Balanced, clear highs, neutral bass

Customizable (warmer, bass-heavy)

Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)

Excellent for midrange noise

Very good, slightly less effective for midrange

Passive Noise Isolation


Great (memory foam ear tips)


Lightweight, smaller design

Bulkier, may not fit all ears


Comfortable for some with the right ear tip size

May cause fatigue for some users

Battery Life (ANC On)

Up to 5.5 hours

Up to 8 hours

Battery Life (ANC Off)

Up to 7 hours

Up to 12 hours

Charging Case Battery Life

Up to 34 hours total listening time

Up to 36 hours total listening time

Special Features

Seamless Apple integration, Personalized Spatial Audio, Find My

EQ customization, Speak-to-Chat, Multipoint connection

AirPods Pro 2nd Gen vs. Sony WF-1000XM4

Below, we’ve broken down the features, performance, and prices of AirPods Pro 2 and Sony WF-1000XM4.

Sound Quality

AirPods Pro 2

Boasts a balanced soundscape with crisp highs and clear mids. Bass is present but not overpowering. May favor clarity over raw power.

  • Focus: Balanced and detailed sound signature.
  • Strengths: Crisp highs deliver clear vocals and instruments. Accurate mids ensure a natural listening experience. Tight and controlled bass maintains punch without muddying the overall sound.
  • Possible Considerations: Bass response might feel less impactful compared to bass-heavy options.
  • Ideal for: Listeners who prefer a clear and accurate representation of the audio, particularly those who enjoy genres like classical, acoustic, or vocals.

Sony WF-1000XM4

Offers a more customizable sound experience with their app. Bass is richer and more prominent. Ideal for bass-heavy genres.

  • Focus: Customizable sound with a warmer and bassier profile by default.
  • Strengths: Built-in EQ allows for personalized adjustments to suit your listening preferences. Richer bass provides a more powerful and immersive listening experience, especially for bass-heavy genres like hip-hop or electronic music.
  • Possible Considerations: Default sound signature might be too boomy for those who prefer a neutral sound.
  • Ideal for: Bass enthusiasts who enjoy a more powerful and dynamic sound profile. Listeners who want the flexibility to tailor the sound to their liking.

Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)

AirPods Pro 2

Delivers impressive ANC, effectively blocking out midrange noise like airplane hum. May struggle slightly with high-frequency sounds.

  • ANC Technology: Utilizes advanced microphones and software to analyze and cancel out external noise.
  • Strengths: Particularly adept at blocking out low-frequency sounds like airplane rumble, engine noise, and constant background hum.
  • Weaknesses: May struggle slightly with higher-pitched noises like traffic, human voices, or sharp sounds.
  • Passive Noise Isolation: Average passive isolation due to the silicone ear tips.

Sony WF-1000XM4

ANC is excellent, though slightly less effective than AirPods Pro 2 at midrange noise cancellation. Memory foam ear tips provide great passive isolation.

  • ANC Technology: Employs a similar approach with microphones and processing to reduce external noise.
  • Strengths: Offers very good ANC performance, effectively quieting a wide range of noise, though slightly less effective than AirPods Pro 2 for midrange noise.
  • Weaknesses: Might allow some higher-frequency sounds to pass through compared to AirPods Pro 2.
  • Passive Noise Isolation: Excellent passive isolation thanks to the included memory foam ear tips that conform to the ear canal for a tighter seal, further enhancing noise reduction.

Fit and Comfort

AirPods Pro 2

Lighter and smaller design, comfortable for extended wear for some users. Finding the right ear tip size is crucial for a secure fit.

  • Design: Lightweight and compact earbuds with a universal fit.
  • Comfort: Can be comfortable for extended wear for some users due to the lighter weight and smaller profile. However, finding the right ear tip size is essential for a secure and comfortable fit. Improper fit can lead to slipping out or feeling uncomfortable.
  • Considerations: The one-size-fits-most approach might not be ideal for all ear shapes. Users with smaller ears may find them more comfortable, while those with larger ears might experience some discomfort.

Sony WF-1000XM4

Bulkier design may not fit all ear shapes comfortably. Memory foam tips create a good seal but may cause fatigue for some users.

  • Design: Bulkier design compared to AirPods Pro 2.
  • Comfort: The larger size may not conform as naturally to all ear shapes, potentially causing discomfort for some users during extended listening sessions.
  • Ear Tips: Memory foam ear tips provide a good seal for passive noise isolation and a more secure fit. However, the denser material might cause some users to experience ear fatigue during longer use.
  • Considerations: Finding the right fit can be crucial for comfort. Experimenting with different ear tip sizes (if available) or using after-market memory foam tips that mold to your specific ear shape might be necessary for optimal comfort.

Battery Life

AirPods Pro 2

Offers up to 5.5 hours with ANC on, with the case providing up to 34 hours of total listening time.

  • ANC On: Up to 5.5 hours of continuous listening time with Active Noise Cancellation engaged. This is suitable for most commutes or workouts, but frequent travelers might need a mid-trip top-up.
  • ANC Off: Battery life extends to up to 7 hours without ANC, ideal for situations where noise cancellation isn't necessary.
  • Charging Case: The case provides an additional 34 hours of total listening time. With multiple charges in the case, you can extend your listening experience for days without needing a wall outlet.
  • Considerations: Users who rely heavily on ANC throughout the day might find the battery life a bit limiting.

Sony WF-1000XM4

Outshines AirPods Pro with 8 hours with ANC on and 12 hours with it off. The case provides up to 36 hours of total listening time.

  • ANC On: The WF-1000XM4 boasts a clear advantage with up to 8 hours of playback time with ANC activated. This makes them ideal for long flights or extended commutes where noise cancellation is a priority.
  • ANC Off: Battery life jumps to a substantial 12 hours with ANC deactivated, perfect for situations where external noise isn't a concern.
  • Charging Case: The case offers up to 36 hours of total listening time, putting it slightly ahead of the AirPods Pro case.
  • Considerations: While the battery life is superior, some users might not require such a long playback time on a single charge.

Special Features

AirPods Pro 2

  • Seamless Integration with Apple Devices: Designed to work effortlessly within the Apple ecosystem. Offers features like automatic pairing with Apple devices, quick switching between connected Apple products, and Siri voice assistant integration for hands-free controls.
  • Personalized Spatial Audio: Creates a 3D audio experience that adjusts the soundstage based on your head movements. This can provide a more immersive listening experience for movies, music, and even games that support Spatial Audio.
  • Improved Find My Functionality: Locates misplaced AirPods Pro 2 with greater precision using Apple's Find My network. This can be helpful for users who tend to misplace their earbuds frequently.

Sony WF-1000XM4

  • Extensive EQ Customization Options:  The Sony WF-1000XM4 comes with a dedicated app that allows users to tailor the sound signature to their preferences. This includes a variety of EQ presets and the ability to create custom EQ profiles.
  • Speak-to-Chat: A convenient feature that automatically pauses playback when you start speaking. This can be useful for taking calls or having quick conversations without needing to manually fumble with controls.
  • Multipoint Connection: Allows you to simultaneously connect the WF-1000XM4 to two devices at once. This is a significant advantage for users who switch frequently between phones, laptops, or tablets. You can seamlessly switch between the two devices without having to disconnect and re-pair.

The Verdict

The winner depends on your priorities.

  • Choose AirPods Pro 2 for: A comfortable, compact design, superior ANC for midrange noise, and seamless Apple ecosystem integration. You can buy your AirPods Pro 2 at Phone Daddy at a reasonable price.
  • Choose Sony WF-1000XM4 for: Longer battery life, extensive sound customization options, and multipoint connection.

Remember: Both earbuds excel in different areas. Consider your listening preferences, device compatibility, and desired features before making your final decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do AirPods Pro 2 have better sound quality than Sony WF-1000XM4?

Sound preference is subjective. AirPods Pro 2 offer a balanced sound, while Sony WF-1000XM4 allows for more bass customization. Choose AirPods Pro 2 for clarity, Sony WF-1000XM4 for bass emphasis.

2. Do AirPods Pro 2 have better noise cancellation than Sony WF-1000XM4?

AirPods Pro 2 might be better for midrange noise cancellation on airplanes. Sony WF-1000XM4 offers great passive noise isolation with memory foam tips, but ANC itself is slightly weaker.

3. Are Sony WF-1000XM4 more comfortable than AirPods Pro 2?

Comfort is subjective. AirPods Pro 2 are lighter and smaller, but finding the right fit is crucial. Sony WF-1000XM4 may not fit all ears perfectly. Their memory foam tips provide good seal but might cause fatigue for some users.

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