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Sony WF-1000XM5 vs AirPods Professional 2: How do the flagship true wi-fi evaluate?

5 min read

Sony has revealed its WF-1000XM5 flagship wi-fi earbuds, its newest try and dominate the true wi-fi discipline. And as all the time with a brand new entrant out there, we search to check to it one other pair of headphones.

On this case it’s the Apple AirPods Professional 2. When you won’t say that each are direct rivals (Apple is iOS, Sony leans in the direction of Android), for some, selecting a brand new true wi-fi might imply a selection between these two choices, particularly when you’re an iOS consumer.

With that in thoughts, proceed studying on to see how the Sony WF-1000XM5 fare towards the AirPods Professional 2.


The Sony WF-1000XM5 can be found from August twenty fourth for the value of £259 / $299 / €320. 

The AirPods Professional 2 have been out for longer having launched in 2022 for £249 / $249 / €299, however in case you have a go searching you will discover them for £199.

There are apparent financial savings on getting the AirPods Professional 2, although extra usually that not they are often discovered for £239, so the distinction in worth between the 2 wi-fi earphones isn’t as huge as some would possibly hope.


The WF-1000XM5’s design nestles contained in the ear whereas the AirPods Professional 2 utilise a stem-shape that each sits inside with the stem perching subsequent to the ear. Each are comfy to put on with every bud weighing lower than 6g every, although of the 2, the Sony earbuds are simpler to make use of with their contact controls.

AirPods Pro 2 on desk
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We nonetheless discover the AirPods Professional 2’s stem sensor to be fiddly and never all the time probably the most exact, whereas we didn’t have any points with the WF-1000XM5’s controls. Each cowl quantity management so that you received’t must take your smartphone out the pocket to manage quantity ranges.

Each are rated IPX4 to protect towards some water and sweat, and each additionally come packaged with further small ear-tips to assist discover one of the best match and seal for the ear (Sony packs noise-isolation ideas, Apple contains silicone ear-tips). Color choices are black and white for the Sony, whereas the AirPods Professional 2 are available a shiny white colourway which might entice grime extra simply in our minds.

Sony WF-1000XM5 in front of case
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By way of design, we give the win to the WF-1000XM5 primarily as a result of its controls are simpler to make use of. The fiddly nature of the pressure sensor just isn’t a facet we take pleasure in concerning the AirPods Professional 2, however when you’re somebody who’s comfortable with these sorts of controls, chances are you’ll really feel the Apple earbuds are the popular selection.


The AirPods Professional 2 pack Apple’s H2 processor (and the U1 chip within the MagSafe case). The H2 processor goals to energy the noise-cancellation and a extra three-dimensional sound, with an Adaptive EQ that tunes music in actual time to ship clear excessive notes and deep, wealthy bass.

The WF-1000XM5 undertake an identical line of thought. They use the newly developed Built-in Processor V2 and HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN2e, that latter suppresses sounds with larger precision than earlier Sony true wi-fi.

Sony WF-1000XM5 settings

Battery life on the Sony is eight hours per earbud (24 in complete) with noise-cancellation, whereas with the Apple it’s six hours and as much as 30 with the charging case. Quick-charging and wi-fi charging are supported by each.

Noise-cancellation on each these pairs is implausible. The XM5 performs effectively at suppressing normal ambient noises and folks’s voices, and likewise minimises wind noise on the Underground. The AirPods Professional 2 are arguably simply nearly as good with their adaptive ANC and on the tube they successfully quell the racket within the carriage to a lot calmer ranges.

Each include a transparency mode, although the Sony presents extra management over each noise-cancellation and ambient modes, permitting for a finer diploma of management over each. The Apple makes use of adaptive tech, i.e. it adjusts the energy of the noise-cancellation mechanically. One characteristic it has that the Sony doesn’t is that when in Transparency mode it could possibly cut back the influence of loud noises you encounter through the day.

There’s extra customisation accessible with the Sony headphones, which will be discovered within the Headphones Join app. From adjusting the EQ to enjoying with the noise-cancelling modes, switching voice management providers, tweaking the wi-fi efficiency and extra, the WF-1000XM5 provides customers a a lot wider diploma of management over their expertise. Apple is kind of strict by comparability with little or no management over the expertise.

AirPods Pro 2 with iPhone
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The AirPods Professional 2’s Bluetooth efficiency is superb with barely any audio drop outs throughout use. The Sony are somewhat liable to drop outs relying on the mode they’re in, specifically their LDAC mode. The help for LDAC is simply accessible on Android gadgets, in any other case on iOS, each these headphones permit for AAC Bluetooth streaming.

Name high quality on the Apple buds is superb, whereas it’s somewhat blended on the WF-1000XM5, as it could possibly leak in noise whenever you’re talking.

We’d name this one a draw. We reckon the Sony is likely to be higher for noise-cancellation however not by an enormous quantity, and whereas the WF-1000XM5 have longer battery life, the Apple buds have extra in reserve with the charging case. Name high quality can also be higher within the AirPods Professional 2, however you do get a a lot wider vary of customisation over the expertise with the Sony earbuds.

Sound High quality

The AirPods Professional 2 current music with a richer tone however nonetheless provide loads of element and readability to pick with music. They handle bass excellently, guaranteeing that it doesn’t overwhelm the remainder of the frequency vary.

Vocals are heat, easy but in addition very clear in how they’re introduced. They’re a really confident-sounding pair of true wi-fi earphones.

The Sony WF-1000XM5 have adopted a extra balanced method to sound than earlier generations. Tonally they’re extra even, with maybe much less bass output than the AirPods Professional 2, however they sound very clear and detailed with excessive and low frequencies, and vocals are given loads of wonderful element.

On this case, we might say it is determined by what kind of sound you favor. The Sony WF-1000XM5 sound extra balanced, whereas the AirPods Professional 2 have a richer character.


By way of which wi-fi earbud is finest, we’d give it to the Sony WF-1000XM5. Its characteristic depend is massively extra expanded they usually provide an expertise that may be customised to the way you need it. Its ease of use by way of controls is healthier than the fiddly pressure sensor on the AirPods Professional 2.

However the Apple buds provide higher name high quality, and when you’re closely invested within the iOS ecosystem, they’re in all probability the higher selection give the iOS particular options they provide. Each are glorious true wi-fi, although we might say that the Sony WF-1000XM5 have a wider enchantment that the AirPods Professional 2’s extra particular iOS method doesn’t.

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