Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) vs Sony WF-1000XM4 – Which One to Buy?

Though Apple and Sony manufacture some of the best wireless earphones in the business, we wanted to find out, which has a slight edge over the other.

There is no denying that earbuds or earphones as we call them have something charming in them. They are slim, compact, and fit inside our ears easily offering us astounding audio performance.

Combined with active noise cancelation (ANC), they are a gem to use. According to a market study, the global earphones and headphones market size in 2021 was $34 billion and is predicted to be $126 billion, by the year 2030. Isn’t that amazing?

In today’s post, we have decided to compare two of the most popular earbuds or earphones in the market. They are the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) vs Sony WF-1000XM4 earphones. The second-generation AirPods Pro was released on September 23, 2022.

This model came with an updated H2 chip with Bluetooth 5.3 connectivity. Besides, coming from Apple, they came with an enhanced audio performance, noise cancellation, and have a better battery life.

On the other hand, the Sony WF-1000XM4 earphones were launched on June 8, 2020. This already gives the upper hand to the Apple model for being the latest model. But as we have seen in many of our comparison posts, it does not necessarily have to be the winner.

The AirPods Pro is obviously the first choice for any iPhone owner. However, what about Android smartphone users? They consist of more than 70% of the smartphone market. So, can the Apple model dominate the market with it?

A major headline was the model released along with the popular iPhone 14 lineup. However, can it put it to the show of the powerful Sony model? Sony as of late, has been on a role producing stunning earbuds and headphones as well.

This is when we want to compare the two to see which one is a better fit. Can Sony continue to hold its own, when put with the new kid on the block? Let us check them both out and find out, which of these top-notch earphones fits into your life best.

Apple AirPods ProSony WF-1000XM4
Apple AirPods ProSony WF-1000XM4
A comfortable fit.

An impressive ANC.

Wireless charging.

Best true wireless earbuds for iOS users.

A water-resistant package.
Opulent fit.

Amazing build quality.

Great ANC.

IPX4 rating.

360 Reality Audio.
We can only point out the pricing.An expensive choice.


The first factor that we are going to compare is the price. As you already know they are top-end models and are going to burn a hole in your pocket. So, you have to be prepared to spend more no matter, which option you go for.

The Apple AirPods Pro 2 is priced under $250. You can find the model on popular retailers like Amazon and on the Apple store as well. You will be delighted to find out that the Apple model is cheaper than the Sony unit by $30.

Though the price difference does not necessarily have to hold much value, we can’t assure you that this argument will remain intact until the end of the article. The Sony WF-1000XM4 earphones are priced under $280.

Both earphones can be found at a cheaper price at retailers during the sales period. For example, the Sony unit can go as low as $198 during Amazon Prime Day. We feel that the Sony unit provides a lot more value for the pricing.

They are undoubtedly very expensive options, but their performance can make either one worth the splurge.

Winner: The Sony WF-1000XM4 earphones are the winner here because it comes with more features than the Apple AirPods (2nd Generation) earphones, providing you with a brand-for-value product.

Design & fit

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) vs Sony WF-1000XM4

Now, we will read about the design & fit of the models. The earbuds or earphones should have a comfortable fitting. Even a $50 can provide us with a sublime fitting, and it is only fair that these top-end models come with extraordinary fitting.

The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) comes with some serious comfort and fit. You can be assured of that from a maker like Apple. Their R&D is way ahead of the others. However, we did note that they have made use of the same cheap plastic.

But the major change would be in the charging case of the model. The maker has integrated the speaker unit and the lanyard loop, which is present at the bottom of the model. It is able to send out a tone about the charging status, which is quite helpful.

The Sony WF-1000XM4 earphones on the other hand come with a stupendous comfort & design. It comes in a traditional form, having a sleek oval shape for opulent comfort. Users have also commended on the stability of the earphones.

This is in comparison to the earlier model, the Sony WF-1000XM3. Both earbuds are water-resistant, and they do come with exceptional details designed on them, giving them a distinctive appearance, along with a smaller charging case.

Winner: We felt that the winner in this segment has to be the Sony WF-1000XM4 earphones. Though the Apple model was good, there was a bit of slack in the fitting, especially for large ears. We thought that the Sony unit was a good fit despite the size of your ears.

SPECS COMPARISONApple AirPods ProSony WF-1000XM4
NameAirPods Pro (2nd generation)WF1000XM4
Model NumberMQD83AM/AWF1000XM4/B
Noise Cancelling (Active)YesYes
Connection TypeWirelessWireless
Wireless ConnectivityBluetoothBluetooth
True WirelessYesYes
Built-In MicrophoneYesYes
Carrying CaseYesYes
Headphone FitIn-EarIn-Ear
Battery Life6 hours6 hours
Works WithSiriGoogle Assistant, Siri, Amazon Alexa
Ear Tip Sizes IncludedExtra small, Large, Medium, SmallSmall, Medium, Large


Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) vs Sony WF-1000XM4

The controls on the earphones are a crucial factor. We feel that this feature is more important than the audio quality infused with ANC. The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) comes with a sublime control scheme.

We felt that the force sensor is the best input for wireless earbuds. Besides, it is also able to add some smooth volume control. We liked the manner in which the slide gestures worked and operated, as they did quite well.

Users have preferred the hey Siri feature because it is opulent in design. As you speak, you can notice that the wake phrase can execute the voice commands with immense precision. However, Apple could have made digital assistants operational with Android devices.

The Sony WF-1000XM4 earphones come with a top-notch set of controls. There is both the Google Assistant and Alexa integration, that allows you to work on them when speaking their respective phrase.

A special mention is the microphone capability of Sony as it provides you with a splendid voice command execution. You can make use of Siri and Bixby with these buds as well. The advanced signal processing recognizes your voice to pause the music.

Winner: The winner in this segment is the Apple AirPods (2nd Generation) as Sony’s model is not as responsive to Apple’s force sensors. However, the Sony unit was quite smooth and the best, after the Apple model.

Sound performance

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) vs Sony WF-1000XM4

The main use for owning earphones is because of the sound performance. We can say that the audio quality of both the earbuds is fantastic. But one model sounded better than the other. The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) comes with an improved sound quality.

We are not confident about its ability to meet the expectations of the audiophile community. It has a new low-distortion driver, and a custom amplifier to provide you with better, and richer sound content.

There are some underrated features including headphone accommodations to be able to contain the range and balance. It does come with a personalized profile that helps you to optimize 3D effects using the Dolby Atmos sound quality.

The Sony WF-1000XM4 earphones have a stupendous sound performance. That is possible with the help of the LDAC codec support than the wireless Bluetooth 5.2. There is also the stereo imaging, which according to some users were spectacular, and instruments accurately placed.

We felt that the bass was reduced, giving you with impactful lows, crisp mids, and amazing highs. We find the EQ pretty good, hosting several well-engineered presets. A notable feature here would be the 360 Reality Audio & the Digital Sound Enhancement Engine (DSEE).

Winner: This was a closely fought battle, with the Sony WF-1000XM4 earphones emerging as some of the best on the market. Its top-notch audio quality is combined with eloquently designed ear tips, there is an improved noise isolation.

Active noise cancellation

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) vs Sony WF-1000XM4

The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) earphones do not come with a proper active noise cancelation feature. This is despite, Apple’s claims that they have nailed the ANC feature, in comparison to the earlier AirPods Pro model.

This model can be used in a noisy environment, and it does a decent job. Besides, you can enjoy the songs, and music, or have a peaceful chat with somebody. It helps in the ambient listening though, in the Adaptive Transparency mode.

Not to mention, it provides you with other ambient listening options including the conversation boost for enhancing your vocals for listeners with hearing issues. There is also the Live Listen feature that is able to capture the audio using the iPhone microphone and sends them back.

The Sony WF-1000XM4 earphones have an opulent active noise cancelation feature in them. This is courtesy of the R&D work from Sony. The device can manage the sound volumes from the frequency spectrum easily.

However, a slight sound is heard once in a way. The unit has 20 levels of ambient listening, offering you with complete control of the noise level that you want to allow and block out from your earphones.

We may want to say that the microphones do have the ability to pick up the sounds from the lanes, streets, and roads. So, you may want to make use of the Automatic Wind Noise Reduction setting to adjust the ANC for reducing the wind noise.

The good news is that the Sony WF-1000 XM4 earphones can be connected to the Apple iPhone.

Winner: The Sony WF-1000XM4 earphones are the winner here. The ANC feature designed on the unit is one of a kind. We were in true awe of the capability to cut out the rest of the background sound when switched on.

Battery life

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) vs Sony WF-1000XM4

Now, we come to the battery life of the earphones. Since earphones are wireless devices, they need to have a decent battery working life. You do not want to find yourself having to keep them for a charge every few hours of using them.

Since they are top-end models, we can expect a decent battery life. The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) earphones come with good battery life. Tests have shown that the battery life can work up to 5 hours 45 minutes with the ANC and a little longer with the ANC switched off.

You may want to know that it uses a Lightning cable, Mag Safe, or wireless Qi pad to charge the case. The unit has its lighting port next to the speaker. When you are able to use the “find my earbuds” feature, then it produces a sound.

On the other hand, the Sony WF-1000XM4 earphones have a battery life of 7 hours 45 minutes with the ANC turned on. Though the Sony unit is longer by two hours, you may want to know that, in the long run, it drains quicker.

This was a complaint that we found out during our research. On the whole, they both come with a similar total playback time, but the Sony unit needs lesser top-ups, which is a good solution, to decrease the charge cycles for the earbuds.

Winner: We felt that the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) is the winner in this battle of battery life.


Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) vs Sony WF-1000XM4

The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) earphones come with a stupendous microphone. In fact, the main reason why many users like to choose this unit is because of the astounding clarity that it provides them with.

The unit can catch your voice and provide the listener with clear, detailed audio quality. However, the Sony WF-1000XM4 earphones offer you with an average microphone capability. Though they are good for making calls, with friends, loved ones, and clients, you wish that they were able to block the outside noise.

When you are speaking in a closed room, all by yourself, then it is fine. However, when you are traveling, and have to attend an important phone call, then you might as well forget about it. Sadly, both models may not be suitable for making calls during windy conditions.

Winner: The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) earphones are the clear winner here. You can easily speak into the microphone which enables the person at the other end to hear every word you are saying clearly. Sadly, the same can’t be said about the Sony WF-1000XM4 earphones.


Our winner in this comparison post between the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) earphones vs the Sony WF-1000XM4 earphones is the Apple AirPods Pro model. It was a closely fought battle, and Apple just won by a slight margin.

The AirPods come with some incredible features like a comfortable design, good ANC, and an incredible microphone. The usage depends on whether you own the Apple iPhone or the Android smartphone.

If you use an iPhone, then the obvious choice would be the AirPods Pro. Besides, we liked the flexibility it gave us when we wanted to use it for speaking to someone, listening to music, and so on.

The water-resistant feature on both units is great. The Sony WF-1000XM4 earphones are a decent choice for those owning an Android smartphone. It won’t disappoint you. We liked the addition of the copper ANC microphone providing it with more glamour.

We may want to mention here that the earphones work equally well with any OS. A good alternative would be the MOMENTUM True Wireless 3 for a cheaper price. The unit comes embedded with a barrage of features and competes well in noise canceling capabilities.

As many of you may purchase depending on the smartphone that you own, we may suggest that you get flexible. You see, these days, makers are producing earphones aimed for a specific operating system and hardware, that make sense with your smartphone.

Can you work out with the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation)?

Yes, you can do your workouts using the AirPods (2nd Generation). They come with the IPX4 water-resistant feature in them, that protects you against sweat. However, we suggest that you get the best ear tips for proper fitting.

You do not want the earbuds to fall off when you are exercising or jogging around the park. Besides, they are very difficult to track when running around because they are wireless. We suggest that you use them for physical activities indoors.

How do you clean Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation)?

We have been asked this question often, and here is the answer to that. You can clean the AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) with ease. They are similar to the other earphones from Apple. You can make use of dry cotton cloth, swabs, and isopropyl alcohol, to clean them.

We may suggest that you read the instruction manual properly. You do not want anything untoward happening with your expensive purchase. It costs, after all, $250, and you may want to use it gently.

Does the Sony WF-1000XM4 have fast charging?

When you are somebody who is constantly using earphones, then you will be glad to know that the model does have a quick charging ability. By recharging the unit for 5 minutes, you can get close to 60 minutes of playback.

Does Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) have fast charging?

Likewise, the Apple unit also comes with fast charging. You can get close to 60 minutes of playback or talk time, with a charge of 5 minutes. Isn’t that great, Is this coming from an Apple product?

Does the Sony WF-1000XM4 have a multipoint feature?

Sadly, the Sony model does not come with the Bluetooth multi-point feature. But the manufacturer has announced that they will bring about an update on the recent models. We have to wait.

James Smith has always been intrigued by electronic products since his childhood. After his post graduation in electronics from a popular university, he decided to pursue a career in the electronics sector. But his calling for writing about these marvellous pieces of work got the better of him. That is how UBG was started. With a writing career spanning more than 12 years, James has worked on several hundred product reviews. During his free time, he like to spend time with his pet dog and relax in the swimming pool.

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