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

Sony has revealed its WF-1000XM5 flagship wi-fi earbuds, its newest try and dominate the true wi-fi discipline. And as at all times 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. Whilst you won’t say that each are direct rivals (Apple is iOS, Sony leans in the direction of Android), for some, choosing a brand new true wi-fi could 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 worth of £259 / $299 / €320. 

The AirPods Professional 2 have been out for longer having launched in 2022 for £249 / $249 / €299, however if 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 typically that not they are often discovered for £239, so the distinction in worth between the 2 wi-fi earphones isn’t as large as some may 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 snug 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 at all times 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 should 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 additional small ear-tips to assist discover the perfect match and seal for the ear (Sony packs noise-isolation ideas, Apple consists of 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 filth extra simply in our minds.

Sony WF-1000XM5 in front of case
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When it comes to 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 isn’t a facet we take pleasure in in regards to the AirPods Professional 2, however when you’re somebody who’s comfortable with these forms of controls, you could 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 analogous line of thought. They use the newly developed Built-in Processor V2 and HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN2e, that latter suppresses sounds with better precision than earlier Sony true wi-fi.

Sony WF-1000XM5 settings

Battery life on the Sony is eight hours per earbud (24 in whole) 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 basic ambient noises and other people’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 gives 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 routinely. One function it has that the Sony doesn’t is that when in Transparency mode it will probably cut back the impression of loud noises you encounter through the day.

There’s extra customisation out there with the Sony headphones, which could be discovered within the Headphones Join app. From adjusting the EQ to taking part in with the noise-cancelling modes, switching voice management companies, tweaking the wi-fi efficiency and extra, the WF-1000XM5 offers 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 a bit susceptible to drop outs relying on the mode they’re in, particularly their LDAC mode. The help for LDAC is just out there on Android gadgets, in any other case on iOS, each these headphones enable for AAC Bluetooth streaming.

Name high quality on the Apple buds is superb, whereas it’s a bit combined on the WF-1000XM5, as it will probably leak in noise once you’re talking.

We’d name this one a draw. We reckon the Sony could 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 supply loads of element and readability to select 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 offered. 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 effective element.

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


When it comes to which wi-fi earbud is greatest, we’d give it to the Sony WF-1000XM5. Its function rely is massively extra expanded they usually supply an expertise that may be customised to the way you need it. Its ease of use when it comes to controls is best than the fiddly pressure sensor on the AirPods Professional 2.

However the Apple buds supply higher name high quality, and when you’re closely invested within the iOS ecosystem, they’re most likely 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.