Bose QuietComfort Earbuds vs Sony WF-1000XM4

The best true wireless earbuds don’t have to charge you hundreds of pounds or dollars, but it’s true that if you’re on a big enough budget, you have some truly sensational pairs to choose from. Today’s best premium models boast great build quality, advanced features, excellent noise cancellation, and sound quality right out of the top drawer.

This makes choosing between them difficult. But don’t worry, we’re here to help. On this page, we’re comparing two of the arguably most popular models currently available the all-new Sony WF-1000XM4 and the five-star Bose QuietComfort earphones to see which one comes out on top. Both boast great sound quality, excellent noise cancellation, and more features than you can shake a charging case at.


Both pairs of tops are equally durable and feature both hard plastic and IPX4 water / sweat resistance. However, the WF-1000XM4 is more attractive and fits better. Sony’s oval design, along with striking details like the protruding touch panel and gold-plated ANC microphone housings, give these gems a sophisticated presence. The charging case is lighter and smaller than the previous version.

We also like to wear tops for reasonably long stretches (3 hours straight) before fatigue sets in. The memory foam tips mold to the ears and create an airtight seal for proper stability on the ear. Sony’s Optimal Earbud Tips test can provide positive feedback for an optimal fit. The QuietComfort Earbuds 2 have received a significant makeover. It is 30 percent smaller than the original, more practical to wear and very stylish.

The combined glossy and matte finish is a nice touch. The materials are solid to ensure the exterior does not crack when dropped onto hard surfaces. Even these buds won’t take up all the ear space, like the latest generation QC earbuds. Note that the charging case is also thinner, smaller and more pocketable this time around.


The previous generation product was quite bulky, but with the new WF-1000XM4, Sony has managed to pack the same great features into a much smaller package. The case has also been updated, now able to charge wirelessly via Qi-compatible pads. The Sony WF-1000XM4 is also equipped with three sizes of polyurethane foam pads that adapt to the shape of the ear. The Sony Headphones Connect app also features an earphone fit test to ensure an ideal fit.

Although Bose has reduced QuietComfort since its first attempt with true wireless earbuds, these earbuds stick out even more from the ear than the Sony WF-1000XM4. A sturdy charging case houses the earbuds and shares the same matte black or white exterior as the earbuds. The StayHear Max tips that Bose includes with QuietComfort earphones are made of silicone, with small lugs to ensure a snug fit.

While they don’t provide as tight a hold as the foam tips, most people won’t have major problems fitting with them, especially once the right size is selected from the three included options. Both earphone sets have an IPX4 rating for sweat and water resistance, so you can wear both earbuds in the gym or out in some rain.


What about connectivity? The Sony WF-1000XM4 supports Bluetooth 5.2 and LDAC, SBC and AAC codecs. Meanwhile, the Bose earbuds feature the ever-slightly older Bluetooth 5.1, though you probably won’t notice the difference between the two; neither model suffered from annoying dropouts in testing. Unfortunately, neither Bose nor Sony earbuds allow multipoint pairing like the Apple AirPods Pro. Not having to repeat pairing with different devices all the time is a useful feature that feels like a slight oversight on both of these buds.

Noise cancelling

The Sony WF-1000XM4 is better at blocking out ambient noise than almost every other earbud we’ve tested so far. Memory foam earbuds provide an incredible seal for passive isolation, effectively blocking or reducing accidental noises such as peer chattering and the chatter of a subway platform or city street. It does this better than the Bose QC earphones. When the ANC is activated, buzzes from 50Hz and beyond will sound roughly a quarter to a sixteenth louder. To muffle ambient sounds, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds also do their job very well.

Bose’s earbuds do more to affect low-frequency sounds, albeit with less consistency than Sony’s. The silicone tips don’t block accidental noise as much, although they do allow for better hearing in the transparency modes. You can’t go wrong with either headset and it depends on the kind of noise you want to block out the most. Both sets of earphones allow you to set the amount of ANC within the software or with touch controls.

Audio Quality

Only a handful of wireless earbuds come close to the sonic prowess of the WF-1000XM4. QuietComfort Earbuds 2 is not one of them, but it is a well-designed product that calibrates the sound frequency profile to the unique properties of your ear via CustomTune technology.

A three-band manual equalizer and four bass / treble presets are accessible in the app. Bose’s soundstage balances frequencies extremely well, giving you a nice blend of bass, mids and highs with emphasized bass. Unfortunately, these earphones lack 3D sound (spatial audio), as well as the fidelity enhancement features to stream music wirelessly at the highest level.

As for the WF-1000XM4, you get a vibrant and robust sound that complements all genres of music, along with 360 Reality Audio support for compelling 3D effects on supported tracks. Sony’s soundstage features a great stereo image for listening to instruments with precision and delivers powerful bass a little more docile than what you heard in the previous version, but still impactful.

Call quality

QC headsets were considered the best wireless headsets for calling and video calling and its successor follows suit. Bose’s microphone array captures loud and clear voices, while also making speech prominent against background interference. Strong noise cancellation minimizes accidental noises.

Self Voice is useful for feeling louder during conversations when you are stuck in noisy environments. While Sony’s call quality improvements have been made, the WF-1000XM4 still doesn’t live up to its potential. The muffle and poor wind resistance continue to hamper performance.

Battery life

According to our tests, the Sony WF-1000XM4 lasted the longest in normal use, lasting around 7 hours and 43 minutes. On the other hand, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds lasted 5 hours and 29 minutes, about two hours shorter. Our tests run with Active Noise Cancellation set on the highest setting, so you could get more miles by limiting the intensity of the noise canceling or turning it off entirely.

In addition, the Sony earphones charge in just an hour and 30 minutes, while the Bose earphones take a full two hours to recharge. Both earphone cases can be charged wirelessly or via USB-C and both quickly charge the earbuds. With Bose, just 15 minutes in the case produces 120 minutes of playback; Sony earbuds only take 5 minutes in the case for 60 minutes of playback, which is slightly faster than Bose’s charging speeds.

Final Words

The Sony WF-1000XM4 are easily one of the best earbuds out there, although this comparison to the Bose shows they aren’t necessarily the best in all categories. In terms of noise cancellation, the Bose are slightly better in our estimates, with the fit seal a little more suited to a wider range of ears. But Sony’s are sleeker, contain a lot more features, and sound extraordinarily good.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!


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