The Bose QuietComfort 45 targets the Sony WH-1000XM4 in this noise cancelling headset showdown. I m sorry headphones deserve your ears?
by Sam MooreOctober 29, 2021

Sony and Bose have dueled over the top spot in the noise cancelling room for years, and while Sony has held top top the crown in current years, the Bose QuietComfort 45 is angling to take it it back. Because that the price, the Sony WH-1000XM4 is still among the finest pairs of noise cancelling headphones top top the market.

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How do the 2 stack up?


Meet the brand-new QuietComfort 45, a very comparable model come the QuietComfort 35 II.

True to its name, the Bose QuietComfort 45 is a bit much more comfortable than the Sony WH-1000XM4. Bose’s headset is lighter than Sony’s (240g contrasted to 254g), and with that lighter load comes a slightly smaller sized footprint. While the Bose QuietComfort 45 and Sony WH-1000XM4 look an extremely different from every other, they have something in common—both headsets look almost identical to their particular predecessors.

The Bose QC 45 swaps in a USB-C charging port, but looks otherwise the exact same as the QuietComfort 35 II. The WH-1000XM4 does also less to differentiate itself indigenous Sony’s vault headset, through slightly more thick ear pads and a visible sensor within the left ear cup. This isn’t necessarily a poor thing, both the WH-1000XM3 and also QC 35 II are simple to use and also comfortable to wear, and also that’s still true because that the newer headphones.

The QuietComfort 45 is constructed mainly that plastic, v a foldable design that renders for a compact, portable pair of headphones. The headphone hinges additionally rotate come let the lay flat. The QC 45 functions on-ear controls in the type of physical buttons and also they’re relatively intuitive. There’s selection of three buttons top top the earlier of the right headphone—governing volume and playback control—and a button for toggling noise cancelling on the earlier of the left headphone. Here’s what whatever does through default:

One pressTwo pressesThree pressesHold
Top switch (right)Volume up
Middle switch (right)Play/pause, answer/end callNext trackPrevious trackDecline call
Bottom switch (right)Volume down
Action switch (left)Toggle ANC modeMute callN/AVoice assistant

The Sony WH-1000XM4 additionally features a plastic construct with a framework that crease up, and hinges that rotate to put flat. Choose its predecessor, that on-ear controls are a mixture of buttons and also touch commands. There space buttons for power and also toggling through the energetic noise cancellation and also transparency modes on the ago of the left headphone, and the next of the ideal headphone is touch sensitive—various taps and swipes take care of playback and volume control. Here’s what whatever does through default:

Swipe upVolume upVolume up
Swipe downVolume downVolume down
Swipe forwardSkip song
Swipe backSkip back
Double tapPlay/pauseAnswer call/hang up
Palm end touch panelQuick transparency mode
Multifunction buttonToggle ANC/Transparency/ regular audio or activate online assistant

The headphones have actually hinges so you deserve to fold them to toss in your bag and also the earcups deserve to rotate 90 degrees.

The Bose QuietComfort 45 and Sony WH-1000XM4 attribute largely comparable connection options, with a pair of differences. The QC 45 connects to your device of an option using Bluetooth 5.1, and also supports the default SBC and also AAC codecs. The WH-1000XM4 connects utilizing the slightly older Bluetooth 5.0, yet it additionally supports Sony’s very own high-quality LDAC codec, in enhancement to AAC and also SBC. Neither headset supplies Bluetooth 5.2, for this reason there’s no opportunity either will support Bluetooth’s upcoming LC3 codec.

If you’re an iphone phone user, one of two people headset should current virtually the same link strength and audio quality, as result of the AAC support. However, if you use devices outside of Apple’s ecosystem, only the Sony headphones offer a trusted high-quality audio codec—AAC can be a small inconsistent on Android devices.

Both the QC 45 and also WH-1000XM4 likewise offer Bluetooth multipoint and also each headset has actually a headphone jack because that wired, lossless listening.

Does the Sony WH-1000XM4 or Bose QuietComfort 45 have much better active noise cancelling?

Both the Bose QuietComfort 45 and Sony WH-1000XM4 offer large improvements end their precursors in the energetic noise cancelling (ANC) department, but how carry out they to compare to every other?

A worthy upgrade to the Bose QuietComfort 35 II, the Bose QuietComfort 45 has superb ANC system.
Among the ideal in that class, the Sony WH-1000XM4 offers very an excellent noise cancelation and isolation.
The Sony WH-1000XM4 features much better passive isolation indigenous 200-1000Hz 보다 the Bose QuietComfort 45, but the Bose’s ANC outstrips the in that range—reaching nearly 40dB the attenuation, which method noises in that selection will sound one-sixteenth as loud. V frequencies higher than 1000Hz, the premium isolation that the QuietComfort 45 more widens the gap.


Both headsets manage the kinds of sounds the ANC affect most really well, and really similarly. However, the reduction in high-end, incidental noise—what passive isolation affect the most—is significantly more far-reaching with the Bose QuietComfort 45. Something come note: turning off ANC top top the Bose QC 45 immediately turns on aware mode, whereas through the Sony WH-1000XM4, you deserve to disable both settings for a typical listening experience.

To attain a an outcome similar to what our ANC charts indicate, girlfriend must obtain a appropriate seal v the headphones roughly your ear. If gaps kind between the padding and also your skull, then external noise will survive the physical barrier of the headset and also render both passive isolation and also ANC far less effective. Both headsets have ovalesque ear pads that have to accommodate most ear sizes, so obtaining a proper fit must be reasonably simple.

The Sony WH-1000XM4 doesn’t watch too various from the originals other than for a few slight tweaks.

The Sony WH-1000XM4 and Bose QuietComfort 45 have largely pretty comparable frequency responses, with a pair of key differences. Because that starters, the Sony headphones include considerably much more bass emphasis than the QC 45. However, while both headsets sport more high-end focus than our residence curve (pink), the Bose QuietComfort 45 starts adding emphasis in ~ a considerably lower frequency—around 2000Hz.

While neither of these kinds of audio profiles space ideal, you’re more than likely going to have less issue with Sony’s headphones. The raised bass an answer isn’t for this reason overbearing that it will reason too lot auditory masking, and also the boosted mid-range audio way vocals need to come with nicely. Whereas the over-emphasized highs of the Bose QC 45 deserve to sound pretty unpleasant, also if her volume isn’t the high.


The QC 45 (cyan line) has a little drop-off in the sub-bass range, but otherwise its low finish is closer to our target curve than the WH-1000XM4 (yellow dashes).

You have the right to EQ the WH-1000XM4’s frequency response from the Headphones connect app, something that the Bose Music app doesn’t however offer. Sony’s multiband equalizer is very effective and allows a an excellent deal that granularity that various other headphone apps lack.

Does the Bose QuietComfort 45 have better battery life 보다 the Sony WH-1000XM4?

Currently, it’s a tiny hard to to compare the battery life that the Bose QC 45 and also the Sony WH-1000XM4, because our battery experimentation for the QC 45 isn’t done. We’ll be sure to upgrade this when testing is completed. However, follow to Bose, the QC 45 deserve to last 24 hours at 50% volume, and also we didn’t run right into anything egregiously different from that throughout the testimonial process.

The WH-1000XM4 has actually a ton that Bluetooth codec choices but very sewing still has a ar for a typical 3.5mm audio cable as well.

On the other hand, Sony’s headphones us absolutely had time come test, and while the outcomes are fixed bad, the WH-1000XM4 isn’t walking to be winning any marathons. Follow to Sony, the headphones deserve to last 30 hrs of continuous playback top top a single charge. However, in ~ a continual output the 75dB(SPL), we found the headset lasted one minute shy that 20 hours. Again, this is a an extremely solid result, yet hardly the stellar one advertised, and also not most likely any much better than what you’ll find with the QC 45.

Both headsets charge over USB-C, and they both offer varying fast charging performance. Bose says that 15 minute of charging with obtain you 2 and fifty percent hours of hearne time v the QC 45. However, that pales in comparison to the Sony WH-1000XM4, which sponsor 5 hours of listening time after a mere 10 minute of charging. That course, girlfriend can likewise listen end either headset over a wired link with the consisted of 3.5mm cords (or 2.5mm-3.5mm cord, in Bose’s case).


The app doesn’t offer much in the method of features, for this reason those looking come EQ their headphones will certainly be disappointed.

Both the Bose QuietComfort 45 and also Sony WH-1000XM4 lug companion apps to unlock additional features, but the choices are far from equal.

The Sony Headphones Connect application brings alternatives for tailoring one of the buttons on the headphones—you can set it to either toggle between noise cancelling modes or turn on your online assistant, and also you can decide in between Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa together the default virtual assistant. Additionally, the Sony Headphones connect app likewise brings the capacity to optimize noise cancelling and set up Sony’s 360 truth Audio. This is a brand-new standard for mastering music in surround sound, and available through Deezer, Amazon Music, and Tidal Hi-Fi. Five yeah, and also you deserve to do much more mundane things like customize the headphone EQ, prioritize connection stability over sound quality, and accessibility firmware updates.

In comparison, the Bose Music app asks you come share a many information: your location, call and message history, and also in return it offers you… access to firmware updates. There’s a little an ext to it 보다 that, together you require to app to gain virtual assistant integration set up and choose the name of her headset, but there’s no alternative for adjusting headphone EQ or personalizing the controls. It’s basically a visual controller for your headphones (which already have on-ear controls). This might eventually change—Bose has actually made a habit of placing out pretty far-reaching features in updates after ~ launch—but right now it’s nice lackluster.

Does the Sony WH-1000XM4 or Bose QuietComfort 45 have a far better microphone?

This is an installed microphone, so the high quality is limited.

Neither the QC 45 no one the WH-1000XM4 have what you’d call a deluxe microphone. They’re both loud, and clear sufficient to handle every little thing your phone speak to needs are, yet don’t mean anything pull close studio quality. Neither one really sounds far better than the other, so you won’t need to worry around making this sort of trade-off in ~ least.

Listen because that yourself:

Bose QuietComfort 45 mic sample:

Sony WH-1000XM4 mic sample:

Sony WH-1000XM4 vs Bose QuietComfort 45: i m sorry headset need to you buy?

The WH-1000XM4 has actually a ton of Bluetooth codec options, however thankfully still have actually a place for a standard 3.5mm audio cable together well.The Bose QuietComfort 45 may be the newer option by far, yet that doesn’t necessarily do it a slam dunk. Sure, it’s cheaper by around $20 USD, however in saving that money, you shed out on an application that actually brings value, vastly superior quick charging, and a more pleasant default sound profile (which you have the right to EQ).

The ANC performance of the WH-1000XM4 may have lost a bit of that luster in the last little while, yet it’s still among the ideal noise cancelling headphones top top the market, and keeps pace competitively through the QC 45. The real standout advancement of the QC 45 is that noise cancelling, but given every the other things, it’s just not a big enough distinction to do this straightforward decision.

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all prices noted in USD unless otherwise specified. Price may change over time, and also vary by region. Unfortunately, we cannot list Amazon price on the site, together they vary considerably by currency.

All the same, both headsets are really good, and also you most likely won’t it is in disappointed v either. If your spending plan is a tiny restricted, the Bose QuietComfort 45 will certainly still gain you native A to B, and also Bose frequently adds new software attributes down the line, so you might see EQ customization and more eventually. If you’re one Android user and also still vacillating between the two, psychic that just the Sony headphones include a high-quality audio codec for you. Because neither headset supplies Bluetooth 5.2, LC3 isn’t coming—what you gain is what girlfriend get.

all prices provided in USD uneven otherwise specified. Price may adjust over time, and also vary through region. Unfortunately, we cannot list Amazon price on the site, as they vary considerably by currency.