Comparison: Sony WH 1000XM4 vs Apple AirPods Max – Which One is Better?

Bose and Sony have dominated the gaming headset market for several decades now. Beginning it was Bose, then in 2000, it was Sony. The noise cancellation models came with stunning features embedded in them.

With the release of the WH 1000XM4 unit, Sony took the lead in the race. The headset comes with an all-around experience with design and audio quality. Luckily for gamers and other consumers, there is a new kid in town.

Today, we will be doing a comparison review of the Sony WH 1000XM4 vs Apple Air pods Max gaming headsets. Both these models come with stunning features and price point. You may want to know that the Max comes quite expensive at under $500.

That means they cost almost triple of gaming headsets. This brings us to the all-important question, is the Max unit worth the money. The unit does deliver a premium experience in several ways compared to other models in the form of the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook devices.

Most of you may agree that the Sony and the Apple gaming headsets are the best right now. That is why we have brought them together to compare the features and know the winner. Through this review, we want to know the best wireless noise-canceling headsets in the market.

This is the first gaming headset from Apple. The Air pods Max comes with intense quality and sound performance. Besides the cost of the device, we were not surprised by the quality of the audio and microphone infused in the model.

The noise cancellation headset will cost you close to $500 or more. You will want to know that both the models put up an intense fight for the winning champion. We may not be surprised when the price of the Apple unit may make most of you back out of your initial decision.

You cannot accept the fact that the headset has to be priced so ridiculously high or that the Sony unit comes much cheaper with decent features. Does the Air pods Max price have to be this much compared to the WH 1000XM4 unit?

Let us now read this review to find out.

Sony WH 1000XM4Apple AirPods Max
Sony WH 1000XM4Apple AirPods Max
The design and fit are eloquent.
The app is phenomenal and useful.
It comes with speak to chat and hear through modes.
It has a detailed sound that is engaging as well.
The product has splendid noise cancellation features.
The model is best in class controls.
It is beautiful and luxurious in design.
The unit is wide and spacious.
It provides spectacular connectivity to Apple devices.
The ANC and transparency modes are simply stunning.
It does not have Qualcomm aptX codec support.The gaming headset is very expensive, under $500.
SPECIFICATIONSSony WH 1000XM4Apple AirPods Max
NameWH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise-Cancelling Over-the-Ear HeadphonesAirPods Max
Noise Cancelling (Active)YesYes
Sound ModeStereo
Connection TypeWirelessWireless
Wireless ConnectivityBluetooth, NFCBluetooth
True WirelessNoNo
Built-In MicrophoneYesYes
Carrying CaseYesYes
Microphone FeaturesNoise cancellingNoise cancelling, Voice Activated
Headphone FitOver-the-EarOver-the-Ear
Adjustable HeadbandYesYes
Battery Life30 hours20 hours
Works WithAmazon Alexa, Google Assistant, SiriSiri
Voice Assistant Built-inAmazon Alexa, Google AssistantSiri
Warranty1 Year1 Year


Sony WH 1000XM4 vs Apple AirPods Max

What about the design & comfort? The Sony WH 1000XM4 comes with similar features that are mostly found on the previous headset models designed. The earpads are immense, come with a tweaked design and improvised fitting.

The earpads are sublime in quality and quite comfortable to put on for lengthy periods. Our tester feels that they are comfortable. They are sleek and understated. It is less comfortable than the Max but comes with a portable feature in it.

We do want to mention here that comfort can vary from individual to gamer. While some of you might not feel discomfort wearing it for few hours, wearing it for 6-8 hours might highlight its true capabilities.

The headset can be folded if you want. You can keep them inside the carrying case provided. Sadly, the 1000MX4 does not come with an IP rating. You have to be careful with water and sweat.

The Apple Air pods Max are undoubtedly eye-catching here. The design sadly does not get the job done. The memory foam earpads are comfortable to wear, and they come with an adjustable headband.

You can make use of the earcups that come with the magnet. You can easily remove them and reattach them if you want. We liked the design concept that is digital crown found on the smartwatch of Apple.

You can adjust the volume, call Siri, and control playback. The Sony WH-1000XM4 is the more portable headset. The Max is available in 5 color options, while the Sony comes in silver and black.

You can find most users choosing the black color as the dirt is not visible on them. However, the silver is quite galvanizing in its own way. Those of you thinking that it will be an easy win for Apple Max got it wrong.

The looks certainly does not belong to it. Most users were extremely disappointed with it. Luckily the performance and barrage of features bestowed on it saved the day for it. The Sony model, on the other hand, comes with a charming design.

However, comfort belonged to Apple on it. The material used on it does a great job of protecting the model. Additionally, you may want to use a third-party case as most of us at some time.


Sony WH 1000XM4 vs Apple AirPods Max

Sony WH 1000XM4 is decently lightweight, though, and has a very sturdy plastic build. We liked the way in which the material is nicely used on them. The maker has managed to design some sublime products over the years.

The appearance of the model is quite similar to the other units. Probably, they want to play safe. The unit is quite comfortable and sophisticated. You can touch and feel the controls. These can be charged through the USB Type-C port and used as a wired unit if you want to.

They can be connected using the 3.5mm stereo. It is slightly better than the Apple unit in terms of Bluetooth codec support. The Apple unit supports SBC and AAC Bluetooth codecs. The headset can support the LDAC high-resolution Bluetooth codec.

It is ideal for operation on Android devices as you can work on them eloquently. You can now quickly transfer data on Android devices. You may want to know that the unit can last close to 30 hours.

You will be delighted to know that the headset comes designed from metal. It feels quite sturdy and durable. We think that it can easily handle the wear & tear faced by most gaming headsets.

On the other hand, the Apple Air pods Max makes use of the controls that can be easily reached. They make use of the H1 chip that helps you with stable and quick connectivity. The manufacturer has ensured it comes with opulent design & builds quality.

It gives you lovely, beautiful, and comfortable headsets. The unit is produced from anodized aluminum for the earcups. They are made from soft-form earpads and stainless-steel frames. The knit mesh-shaped headband feels beautiful and bright tones give it character as well.

You can also make use of the model as a wired headset if you want. But you will have to purchase it separately. This is perhaps the major drawback of Apple. You will need to get each and everything yourself.

It works splendidly on most of Apple devices with ease. The Bluetooth is also there for operating it on the tablet, smartphone, and PC. There are several benefits and customization options available for you connected to the Apple device.

Unfortunately, you can use the Apple products only on their devices. On the other hand, you can work on both Android and iOS devices. It also comes with the support of multipoint connectivity for maintaining a simultaneous connection with 2 Bluetooth sources.

The Max can work for 20 hours at the most. It comes with noise cancellation and spatial audio. The build quality of the Sony model and the Apple unit works stupendously. You will be delighted to know that both of them are exceptionally designed and have longevity.


Sony WH 1000XM4 vs Apple AirPods Max

Now we come to the most important of our comparison review, the audio quality. Perhaps, this feature will decide who the winner is, maybe. The Sony WH 1000XM4 gaming headset comes with an astonishing sound performance.

Its audio performance is more composed and poised. Our tester was quite happy with what he heard. You will prefer the timing, too, thanks to the LDAC codec for higher-quality files that can be played wirelessly from a compatible source.

The model does not place a lot of emphasis on the bass note. It results in neutral low-end sound. Additionally, you can use bass-heads getting left out on the punches and kicks of the bass-heavy music.

It lets you accept things like the vocals and string instruments for getting audible. Additionally, users can customize the EQ settings using the headphones connect app. This feature enables you to enhance the bass based on your preferences.

The Apple Air pods Max gaming headset is one of the best headsets we have seen in a long time. It provides intense noise-canceling capabilities. It takes things to a whole new level compared to Sony.

It is an impressive achievement as Sony has been ruling the market for so many years. Now with the production of Air pods Max, you know that they are sublime. It provides you with an intense level of clarity, crispiness, and intense delivery.


Sony WH 1000XM4 vs Apple AirPods Max

The Sony WH 1000XM4 gaming headset comes with a decent microphone on the model. The bass frequencies are quite low, and for some of you, it may not be able to be heard as you want. Our tester thought that this attenuation is required to get rid of the low-frequency noise.

The Apple Air pods Max gaming headset microphone was one of the best in the market, is what we feel. The system effortlessly transports your voice signals to the other side without hassle. Besides, you make use of the Android device; then low quality is quite evident there.

Our tester felt that you might consider using Apple devices like the iPhone, iPad, or iPod for best results. This is for communicating exceptionally well using the numerous Bluetooth devices, as you will sound muffed.

All in all, the microphone capability on the Sony WH 1000XM4 was good. However, the microphone feature on the Apple Max was much better. The quality of your voice is much clearer and natural when compared to most of the headsets that we have reviewed so far.


Sony WH 1000XM4 vs Apple AirPods Max

The compatibility of both Sony and Apple noise cancellation devices is truly stunning. Consumers globally have appreciated the fact that they can provide you with remarkable features.

The Sony WH 1000XM4 headset comes infused a new DSEE Extreme audio processor. This concept makes use of incredible quality along with AI for providing music in real time. You can be assured of opulent sound quality.

It comes with a speak-to-chat feature that pauses the music you listen to when talking to somebody on the gaming headset. While it may not be perfect, it does come in useful when you do not have to remove your headset on the airplane or talking to somebody in your office.

It also comes with the adaptive smart control that finds out about your favorite locations and adjusts the audio accordingly. The wearing detection pauses the music when you remove them, and as soon as you have them on, it resumes the same music track.

These are noteworthy features indeed. The unit also has an atmospheric pressure optimizer that enables you to tweak the audio quality when you are at a high altitude. The Apple Air pods Max headset comes with a barrage of features that you would be excited to use.

There is the H1 chip, spatial audio technology, and adaptive EQ. They have produced their own 40mm dynamic driver. Its neodymium ring magnet can provide audio distortion of less than 1%. This is even at maximum volume, and that is quite a bold statement to make.

Thanks to the H1 chip, you can now use the earcups with 10 audio cores capable of producing 9 billion operations per second. The adaptive EQ operates to adjust the sound to fit and seal the ear cushions by measuring and adjusting sound signals.

It also comes with the transparency mode that allows you to listen to music simultaneously when hearing the environment around you. There is Siri for you to use at any time if you want. You can also share audio with several Apple devices when you require it.

Like most units, they can play and pause automatically when they are removed from the head. They come controlled through the digital crown dial that works when you get familiar with using it. With the smart case, you can make use of the unit in an ultra-low.

It helps in keeping the battery when it is not in use. When you are an avid user of Apple devices, then you look no further and go with the Max. They deliver everything that you want you to want with ease.

However, the Sony model is not bad either because it has received several awards and delivers superb noise cancellation features.


Sony WH 1000XM4 vs Apple AirPods Max

The Sony WH 1000XM4 gaming headset is priced under $350. Our tester felt that the premium model is infused with stunning features besides noise canceling. You can make use of the unit for listening to music, watching videos, and virtual conferences.

The Apple Air pods Max gaming headset is priced under $433. That makes it even more expensive than the Sony WH 1000XM4 unit. This may be a massive financial constraint for many users who are not familiar with Apple devices.

For example, if you own the last model of the Apple smartphone, then it is fine. If you are alright with the less-priced Android smartphones, you will consider the Sony unit. You can find the models on most retailers providing you with different prices.

Sony WH 1000XM4 vs Apple AirPods Max: Verdict

This is the end of our comparison review between the Sony WH 1000XM4 vs Apple Air pods Max gaming headsets. Even though you own the iPhone or not, the former model provides you with a great bang for the money.

They have opulently integrated the sound technology on the unit, speak to chat function, and the software EQ. Though it cannot match Max’s features, it comes with its own set of benefits when you want to own it.

The sound features and ANC are almost similar in both the models, so that should not count. If you do not always want to use a complete headset, then the Sony unit is the better one. You will be delighted to know that the WH 100XM4 unit comes with rate IPX4.

Its battery life is incredible on the model for 30 hours at the most, which is just tremendous. You can work effortlessly on the mobile app and on the smartphone OS that is uniform across the platform.

This is something that cannot be got from the Max. Our tester suggests you not to get the Max when you do not own an iPhone. That is because you may not be able to enjoy it completely. Besides, when you own an Android unit, this headset won’t do justice to the money.

It does come with few cons, like the features are exclusive only to use on Apple hardware. Gamers and users would delight in the fact that the earbuds feature IPX4 rating and are built to come durable than other models present in the market.

Apple had its work cut when it decided to enter this market. Surprisingly, they have delivered. Our tester felt that these headsets are the best in the market apart from the price. Yes, users have to shell out close to $500, but they need to understand that they are getting the best.

When you are particular about using the best unit in the market, you have to pay for it. Having said that, our winner in this review is the Appel Air pods Max gaming headset. It comes with stunning features and should be on your top pick.

It offers you with intense connectivity, the ability to switch different Apple devices, and sublime audio quality. The design is opulent and comes in its own way, as all Apple products have done. But you can give the WH 1000XM4 a try when you want something that is cheaper, durable and provides similar sound performance.

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.