WH-1000XM4 and BOSE 700: which one is to buy

Samuel Alekseeva

Samuel Alekseeva

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September 9th 2020

   In the noise-canceling headset market, the two brands Sony and BOSE can be said to be equal in strength, and each has a representative product favored by users. Sony’s 1000X series of noise-canceling headphones has launched the fourth generation ( WH-1000XM4 ) this year . When I was evaluating this product some time ago, I gave it "small changes, big upgrades"; although the appearance is There is basically no change, but the noise reduction, sound quality, and functions have been upgraded, and the price still maintains the same price as the previous generation 1000XM3.

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 On the other hand, BOSE launched a new generation of head-mounted noise reduction headphones last year-700. The response after the launch of this product is also good. The brand-new design, new operating experience, and excellent noise reduction performance as always have made BOSE 700 a lot of fans. Therefore, when the Sony WH-1000XM4 goes on the market, it is estimated that many consumers will eventually choose between it and the BOSE 700; and this time we also specifically found these two products to compare and see their respective advantages and disadvantages. Where, I hope to bring a little help to your purchase.

Wearing and operating experience

    In terms of wearing, in terms of my personal experience, the wearing comfort of Sony WH-1000XM4 and BOSE 700 is good, and the weight of the two headphones is also the same (about 254g); but in some details, I think Sony WH-1000XM4 Still slightly better than and BOSE 700, let's talk about it in detail below.

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BOSE 700

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Sony WH-1000XM4

First of all, the headrest and earmuffs of Sony WH-1000XM4 have been improved. The "top" fits well and the earmuffs are well wrapped; and the headrest of the 1000XM4 is very soft, while the headrest of the BOSE 700 The beam leather pad is relatively hard, so the comfort of wearing it for a long time is slightly worse.

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Sony WH-1000XM4 earmuffs

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BOSE 700 earmuffs

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Sony WH-1000XM4's scalp pad is very soft

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The headrest of BOSE 700 is slightly harder

 If you hang the earphones around your neck, you will find that the earmuffs of the Sony WH-1000XM4 are flipped inward (panel facing outwards); while BOSE 700 is flipped outwards (panel facing inward). I think the first problem is that it affects the appearance. , The second is a little pinching of the neck; in addition, if the head is tilted back when wearing, the earmuffs of the BOSE 700 are easy to loose (the earphones are easy to fall), and the 1000XM4 has no such problem. In addition, the head beam of BOSE 700 supports horizontal rotation and vertical adjustment, but unfortunately does not support folding storage, so there is no advantage in portability for 1000XM4.

  The symmetrical adjustment of the left and right ears of the BOSE 700 is based on eyesight (without scale marks), which is slightly inconvenient to use; while the head beam of the Sony WH-1000XM4 has no scale marks, but there will be an obvious jagged feeling when adjusting, making the left and right ears easy Adjust to a symmetrical position. Although it is a small detail, it still makes me think that the design of Sony WH-1000XM4 is more humane.

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Sony WH-1000XM4 head beam can be folded for storage, not supported by BOSE 700

In terms of operation, both Sony WH-1000XM4 and BOSE 700 support gesture touch operations. Through different gestures such as double-tapping, sliding up and down/forward and backward, and long press, you can control music playback/pause, adjust volume, and cut songs. It should be said that this is also a standard feature on many Bluetooth headsets.

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Sony WH-1000XM4 touch panel on the right ear

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The touch panel of BOSE 700 is concentrated in the front half of the right ear

However, it should be noted that the entire right ear panel of the Sony WH-1000XM4 is a touch area with a large operating range; while the touch panel of the BOSE 700 is concentrated on the front half of the right ear (Logo position), and the operating range is a bit cramped , And sometimes will be affected by the head beam and increase the false touch rate. Although the gesture touch sensitivity of the two headsets is very high, in terms of ease of use and false touch rate, the actual measurement is that the Sony WH-1000XM4 has a better experience.

Active noise reduction effect comparison

    The noise reduction effect can be said to be of great concern to everyone, and in this regard, Sony WH-1000XM4 and BOSE 700 are undoubtedly the head products in the current head-mounted noise reduction headphones camp, and both have very good noise reduction effects. , And all support adjustable noise reduction levels (Sony WH-1000XM4 is 20 levels, BOSE 700 is 11 levels).

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BOSE 700

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Sony WH-1000XM4

As a new generation upgrade product, Sony has upgraded the HD noise reduction processor QN1 for WH-1000XM4, using a new generation algorithm to sense the collected music, voice and noise signals more than 700 times per second, and optimize real-time noise reduction . In addition, WH-1000XM4 is equipped with front and rear dual feedback microphones in both earphones, which can sensitively capture ambient noise in different frequency bands around it and accurately convey it to the noise reduction processor. Compared with WH-1000XM3, the noise reduction performance is further improved. Promote.

WH-1000XM4 upgrades the HD noise reduction processor QN1, with the multi-microphone system, the noise reduction effect is further improved

    In addition, thanks to the adaptive sound control function, the Sony WH-1000XM4 can automatically detect the user’s activity status and location, and use the AI ​​system for intelligent learning, identifying the user’s resident locations such as offices, gyms or coffee shops, and thus automatically Switching the preset environmental sound and noise reduction scheme to create a convenient noise reduction experience can be said to be very user-friendly.

    BOSE 700 uses 3 microphones for noise reduction and supports 11 levels of noise reduction adjustment in mobile phone applications. The button on the left earmuff of the headset can customize 3 noise reduction levels to facilitate the user's quick operation (the default setting is level 10-level 5-level 0). Level 0 is almost the same as not wearing headphones, you can hear outside sounds very clearly, and level 10 achieves the best noise reduction effect. Although the operation is easy to get started, there is basically no intelligent attribute, and manual adjustments are required each time.

BOSE 700 supports 11 levels of noise reduction, which requires manual adjustment

 According to the actual measurement, the noise reduction effect of Sony WH-1000XM4 and BOSE 700 can be said to be the best level in the current industry. In terms of the author's personal subjective experience, I wear these two headphones and walk on noisy streets and subway cars respectively. Here, low-frequency noise and surrounding environmental noise can be eliminated well. At this time, the music playback volume can be controlled at about 50% to enjoy music quietly.

    I feel a little bit more obvious in daily use. The negative pressure feeling of the two Sony WH-1000XM4 and BOSE 700 headphones in noise reduction mode is still different. After using it, myself and my colleagues feel that the noise reduction of BOSE has a certain sense of pressure. Turn on Noise reduction will feel uncomfortable after a period of time; Sony is relatively better, there is no obvious sense of pressure, and it will not feel uncomfortable after long wearing.

    In fact, for the overall noise reduction style, the noise reduction effect of Sony WH-1000XM4 is more balanced. In addition to the noise of the vehicle itself, it can also eliminate noisy human voices and noise near the intermediate frequency; and for BOSE The 700 is more focused on the low-frequency noise of vehicles. Although it uses 3 microphones to collect external environmental noise, because the high frequency and human voice frequency are relatively fast, the reverse sound waves produced cannot be accurately cancelled; but also Because BOSE 700 does not have a special noise reduction chip for high-frequency and vocal noise reduction, the noise reduction effect of this part is weaker than that of Sony WH-1000XM4.

 [Smart Hands-Free Dialogue] is a new feature added to WH-1000XM4 this time. Its core function is to automatically pause the music and receive ambient sound when the headset detects the user’s speech; about 30 seconds after the end of the speech (or Operate the headset), this mode will be turned off. So the advantage of this feature is that as long as you speak, you can talk to others with headphones on without any other operations.

    Under the actual test, this function is still very useful. When I speak, the music is immediately paused and switched to the ambient sound mode. At this time, the external sound is collected into the earphone and I can talk easily. In the APP, users can also set the sensitivity of voice detection and the time to automatically turn off this mode, bringing a smarter experience.

    In contrast, it is almost impossible for a user to talk to others directly while wearing BOSE 700 in noise reduction mode, because you can't hear what the other person is saying; at this time, either take off the headphones or press the earmuffs twice. The noise reduction control key on the switch is adjusted to the ambient sound mode, but it is obvious that the latter is not as convenient as taking off the headphones.

Sound quality comparison

In terms of sound quality, Sony WH-1000XM4 uses the same 40 mm sound unit as 1000XM3, and supports SBC, AAC and its own LDAC encoding in Bluetooth encoding. The blessing of LDAC technology can be said to have added a lot of points to the sound quality of 1000XM4. We know that LDAC is a high-resolution Bluetooth audio code developed by Sony. It can transmit about 3 times the data of ordinary Bluetooth audio (the maximum transmission speed is about 990 kbps ), to achieve Hi- Res high-quality listening.

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The BOSE 700 did not find the specific drive unit parameters. It supports SBC and AAC formats in Bluetooth encoding. However, it is a pity for Android phone users not to support aptX. This means that you can only use the most basic SBC encoding, and the sound quality is The loss is more obvious than LDAC.

There is basically no suspense in the sense of hearing. The sound quality and details of the Sony WH-1000XM4 are better than those of the BOSE 700, so I don’t need to sell it here, so I will just draw a conclusion first. Sony WH-1000XM4 continues the sound style of 1000XM3, the tri-band is still relatively balanced, the overall sound characteristics are relatively loose, the music is full of lines, and the playback of various instruments is very real.

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Sony WH-1000XM4

 In contrast, the mid-to-high frequency of the BOSE 700 is obviously dim, and the sense of hearing in the previous comparison is also a bit duller than that of the 1000XM4. In addition, the vocal position of the BOSE 700 is too far behind, which I mentioned as early as when I reviewed this headset last year. This problem will cause the distance between the vocal and the instrument to be too far, making the whole The sound field also sounds a bit strange.

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BOSE 700

In the low-frequency part, the low-frequency dive of Sony WH-1000XM4 is good, and it will not be loose and messy in large dynamics. This is more solid than the low-frequency of BOSE 700. Of course, the low frequencies of these two headphones are not in the style of "moving times and hitting times", and there is not so much sense of volume; and in terms of flexibility and diving, the advantages of 1000XM4 are also more obvious, especially when listening to rock music. The texture and density of the product are immediately up, and the transient response can also be achieved quickly, without removing the mud and water.

Tips: Two devices are online at the same time, multi-point connection is easily and seamlessly switched

   Nowadays, we use Bluetooth headsets that are not limited to one device. For example, mobile phones and tablets, mobile phones and computers, and even two mobile phones may need to connect to Bluetooth headsets. For such scenarios, Sony WH-1000XM4 introduced a multi-point connection function. From this point of view, both the WH-1000XM4 and BOSE 700 headsets support the simultaneous connection of two devices, which also means that you can seamlessly switch between two different Bluetooth devices.

 Take two mobile phones with different systems as an example. After connecting to the Sony WH-1000XM4 via Bluetooth, you can see that the two devices are online at the same time in the Sony application software ; at this time, as long as one mobile phone pauses the music, Directly use another mobile phone to play music, easily achieve seamless switching, and basically no waiting time, very convenient. The same is true for BOSE 700, so I won’t repeat it here.

  In short, the function of connecting two devices at the same time is really very practical in my opinion. There is no need to re-pair when switching devices, which saves a lot of time virtually. Of course, I also hope to support the connection of three or more devices in the future. I believe that with the rapid development of Bluetooth technology, this function will be realized soon in the future.

Battery life comparison

    In terms of battery life, the gap should be clear at a glance. Sony WH-1000XM4 has a battery life of up to 30 hours when fully charged, and supports fast charging. It can play music for 5 hours after charging for 10 minutes. BOSE 700 also supports fast charging, but the efficiency that can be used for 3.5 hours in 15 minutes is still lower than 1000XM4; and the total battery life of 20 hours is 10 hours less than 1000XM4.

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Although 20 hours of battery life is enough in my opinion, battery life is not too long. A small battery life of 30 can meet the needs of heavy users for playing games, chasing dramas, and long-distance travel. Don't worry about insufficient battery life for daily use. The problem. In addition, in terms of daily use, the extra 10 hours of battery life means that 1000XM4 may allow you to use it for three or four days.

To sum up:

    This time we compared the Sony WH-1000XM4 and BOSE 700 headphones, I personally recommend the Sony WH-1000XM4. This headset has a more comfortable and stable wearing experience, and a more convenient operating experience; for noise reduction, a better noise reduction effect can actually bring better sound quality (especially in noisy environments). The Sony WH-1000XM4 with better overall noise reduction performance can also guarantee the listening experience to the greatest extent. In contrast, BOSE 700 is still quite good in noise reduction performance, but it is obviously not satisfactory in terms of wearing experience, sound quality and battery life. In addition, the BOSE 700 released two years ago is still priced at 379 US dollars, while the latest WH-1000XM4 is priced at 348 US dollars. In the current environment of rapid changes in digital technology, Sony’s ingenuity and sincerity, I believe Can bring you a better experience. Therefore, in terms of purchasing opinions, I personally tend to recommend Sony WH-1000XM4 for everyone.

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