Video: Sony's New WF-1000XM4 Earbuds vs. Apple's AirPods Pro

Apple's AirPods Pro are the flagship earbuds in the company's lineup, but there are plenty of other third-party truly wireless earbuds out there on the market. Sony is one of the main contenders in the space, so MacRumors videographer Dan took a look at the brand-new WF-1000XM4 earbuds to see how they stack up.


The awkwardly named WF-1000XM4 buds are priced at $279, just a bit higher than the ‌AirPods Pro‌ at $249, although we've been regularly seeing discounted pricing on ‌AirPods Pro‌ in the $200 range (including $189.99 for Prime Day), so that's one factor in favor of the ‌AirPods Pro‌, at least for now.

When it comes to performance, the XM4s offer solid audio quality that can be tweaked to find the perfect balance using Sony's Headphones Connect app for iOS and Android, something Apple doesn't offer. The XM4s also offer excellent active noise cancellation (ANC), but ‌AirPods Pro‌ also perform well in that regard.

While fit is a very personal aspect, Dan found that both sets of earbuds fit well for him, with the XM4s offering a very snug fit that seals well in the ear while the ‌AirPods Pro‌ might be a bit more comfortable over the long term.

Both sets of earbuds are strong performers overall, but where the ‌AirPods Pro‌ really set themselves apart for Apple users is the H1 chip and the capabilities it brings. Instant pairing and automatic switching across devices are very convenient, and the ‌AirPods Pro‌ deliver several other Apple-specific features like Find My integration and audio sharing for connecting multiple sets of earphones to one device simultaneously.

Check out Dan's video for his full thoughts on these aspects and more when it comes to comparing the ‌AirPods Pro‌ and the new Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds.

Related Roundup: AirPods Pro
Tag: Sony
Buyer's Guide: AirPods Pro (Neutral)
Related Forum: AirPods

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Top Rated Comments

JamieLannister Avatar
39 months ago
I have BOTH.

Sound quality: WF-1000XM4

Fitment: TIE - but winner is the WF-1000XM4 due to the foam inserts I prefer over the silicone ones from APP

Adjustments: no competition here, winner: WF-1000XM4

Battery life: WF-1000XM4; however, I don't listen more than 3-4 hours tops. So I would say for the money it's value is there

Codec support: easy winner: WF-1000XM4 (LDAC)

Range: TIE

Ease of sharing between devices (multipoint+): no contest, APP!

Which ones I use most? Due to the microphone quality being better, much better than the WF-1000XM4, the APP is the one I actually use most. But for quality NC, my goodness, these WF-1000XM4's are just astonishingly good. I would say they rival my WH-1000XM3's (due to the foam fitment in the ear).

Both don't fall out of my ears but this is subjective since everybody's ear is different. Overall I am pleased with the APP due to the ease of use and connection quality and microphone but those WF-1000XM4's are just amazing sound quality/NC vs the APP. If you can afford, get both!
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LeadingHeat Avatar
39 months ago
Next up: EU launches investigation against Apple for not opening up the instant pairing to Android and PC users. Claims the monopoly on the technology is bad for consumers.

/s
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WestonHarvey1 Avatar
39 months ago
I buy Apple products because of their integration. Nothing else comes close and no other company seems to even value that. So the AirPods would have to be vastly inferior in major ways for me to consider something else.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Maconplasma Avatar
39 months ago
Sorry Sony. No H1 chip no sale.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
levitynyc Avatar
39 months ago
I just gave my XM3 earbuds to my wife yesterday. They wouldn't stay in my ear during anything semi strenuous.

Sounded amazing though.

I just bought the XM4 over ears and they sound and feel incredible. Half the cost of the Airpods Max.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DeepIn2U Avatar
39 months ago

Sorry Sony. No H1 chip no sale.
sry you have no idea what you’re talking about. 1 simple feature of convenience over so many wins. Love H1 chip simplicity but a entire chop just for that seems quite wasteful
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)