Sony WH-1000XM5 vs Bose QuietComfort 45: Compare Noise Cancelling Headphones

Sony WH 1000XM5 vs Bose QuietComfort 45

Pros and Cons

Sony WH-1000XM5Bose QuietComfort 45
App features, including custom EQBest-in-class noise cancellation
27-hour continuous battery lifeLightweight and comfortable
Outstanding microphone21 hour continuous battery life
Excellent adaptive ANCClear and balanced audio
Don’t fold away completelyCan’t turn off noise-cancelling entirely
Very expensiveNo aptX codec support


WH-1000XM5QuietComfort 45
Fit StyleOver-the-earOver-the-ear
Earcup TypeClosedClosed
Bluetooth Version5.25.1
Mic For Taking CallsYesYes
Amazon AlexaYesNo
Google AssistantYesYes
4.4mm balancedNoNo
Frequency Response4-40k Hz
Sensitivity100 dB
Impedance16 Ohms
Weight250 g235 g
Fast Charging3 Minutes for 3 Hours15 Minutes for 3 Hours

If you’re looking for headphones that make noise disappear, read on. We’ll compare the Sony WH-1000XM5 vs the Bose QuietComfort 45 Headphones. You’ll discover both models have their strengths and weaknesses so it will be hard to not find something you love.

Sony WH-1000XM5 has a more aesthetically pleasing design

When looking to purchase noise cancelling headphones, Sony and Bose have some of the best options available. The differences between the two headphones are as follows:

Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones: The way to experience true silence, these headphones have high quality audio, noise cancelling features, and a wide range of frequency. They are a bit more expensive than other similar products. Noise-cancelling headphones that offer a comfort level like none other, The Bose QuietComfort 45 sound cancelling headphones work well in noisy environments for a lower price than the Sony WH-1000XM5 wireless noise cancelling headphones. They do, however, not have as wide a frequency range or sound quality as the Sony WH-1000XM5 wireless noise cancelling headphones.


The Sony WH-1000XM5 offers superior noise cancellation compared to the Bose QuietComfort 45.

The Bose QuietComfort 45 has a slightly lighter weight and is more comfortable for extended wear.

The Sony WH-1000XM5 has a longer battery life of up to 30 hours compared to the Bose QuietComfort 45’s 25-hour battery life.
The Sony WH-1000XM5 supports USB-PD charging, allowing for faster charging times.

The Bose QuietComfort 45 does not have the ability to turn off its noise cancellation, unlike the Sony WH-1000XM5.

The Sony WH-1000XM5 offers features like adaptive noise cancellation and LDAC streaming for high-resolution audio.

The Bose QuietComfort 45 has a more compact and foldable design, making it easier to travel with.

Design Comparision

The Sony WH-1000XM5 has a more aesthetically pleasing design, especially when considering the color options. It features a commercial and young feel, while the Bose QuietComfort 45 has a more conventional design.

With the Sony XM5 over-ear headphones, Sony made some changes from the Sony WH-1000XM3 and Sony WH-1000XM4 models. While others may find the more understated, abs-covered device boring and uninteresting, some will find it elegant and stylish.

Unlike its predecessor, the XM5 is no longer collapsible, and the transport box has a new design. The XM5 is a top pair of headphones, but you have to be able to afford them.

The 250 gram weight of Sony’s headphones allows them to stay in place for extended periods of time. The headphones have some articulation to help reduce the size of the carrying case, but they aren’t the most compact like some other headphones.

Bose QuietComfort 45 weighs just 238 gram and collapses by itself

For those of you who travel frequently, the Bose QuietComfort 45 weighs just 238 gram and collapses by itself, making them an even more appealing option. Additionally, we would characterise the design of these boxes as functional. While they won’t win any awards for a new design, the Bose headphones are a solid competitor to Sony regarding comfort, stability, and durability.

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Key Specs and Features

Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones can connect to two devices simultaneously via Bluetooth 5.2 wireless. They’re also compatible with SBC, AAC and LDAC codecs, delivering sounds with 30mm full-range dynamic drivers. There’s no aptX though, which is still a bit of a disappointment.

Utilize the spatial algorithm of Sony 360 Reality Audio and take a picture of your ears. Sony Headphones Control can then use this information to alter the audio playback.

Unlike Sony, Bose hasn’t shared any detailed spec lists that compare the QuietComfort 45 headphones in terms of drivers and connectivity.

The QuietComfort 45 doesn’t have the voice assistant option you can find in the WH-1000XM5. Bose relies on physical buttons rather than touch controls like Sony; both options are executed well, so it mostly comes down to preference.

Audio Performance

Sony WH-1000XM5: Anyone who can afford such an expensive model should use a high-quality music format such as FLAC. Because that’s the only way, you can use LDAC/HiRes Audio! There is a 5-band equalizer and extra bass control in the app. We can therefore adjust the sound individually. Incidentally, that was already possible with the XM3 and XM4.

The bass is generally pleasant, strong, and deep, even when the controller is in the middle position. However, the XM5 is set in the standard tuning so that the treble is somewhat reduced and the bass comes into its own, probably because that’s what the majority prefers.

Despite the driver’s size, the XM5 delivers an impressive audio performance. They’re punchy but also controlled in the lower frequencies, while the higher tones hit with perfectly judged bite. Rhythmic expression is satisfying, and there are various dynamic pitch options for when you want to crank up the volume.

Bose QuietComfort 45: The app has no equalizer, so much in advance. If you want that, you have to grab the Bose Headphones 700, for example. We cannot switch off the ANC in Bluetooth mode! I.e., we always hear the counter noise. It is therefore entirely unsuitable for audiobooks in Bluetooth mode. What we can do, of course, is to connect it by cable and not turn it on. Then it does not need a battery, and the ANC is off. With the QC25, the ANC counter-noise is significantly quieter if you wind it up in silence. The sound of the QC 45 is good but rather high-pitched with a more subtle bass. 

What no amount of EQ finesse can do, however, is restore the subtle details of songs – details that Bose suggests allowing to slip through the cracks. At the same time, Sony provides a much more informative listening experience.

Audio Controls

Sony WH-1000XM5: The fast connection is exciting here because when we switch on the XM5, it is recognized immediately, and a popup appears on the smartphone, confirm, install the app, and set up is done.

The media control for a player or Spotify is done via the touch field on the outside. It responds well, and most importantly, there is sound feedback when a touch gesture is successful. 

  • Double tap for play/pause.
  • Swipe up or down to increase or decrease the volume.
  • If we swipe forward, a song will be skipped; if we swipe backward, a song will be skipped back.
  • Put your whole hand on the touch-field and hold it there; it activates the transparency mode as long as your hand is there.
  • But there is also the power button and the ANC button. If you press the power button once while it is switched on, a woman’s voice announces the battery level.
  • The NC button turns noise cancellation on, off, or activates transparency mode. “Switch off” must first be activated in the app!
  • There is a new Spotify quick access feature via the app, and double or triple tap opens Spotify. But the app has to be running! Otherwise, a voice prompt will sound.
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But we can also control phone calls because the headphones are ideal for making calls. By the way, there is also a 3.5 mm jack connection.

  • Double-tap to answer or hang up the call.
  • Press and hold to toggle between headset and phone.
  • Hold on to an incoming call to reject.

Sony WH-1000XM5 Audio controls

Bose QuietComfort 45: The on/off switch is on the outside of the right ear cup. In addition, the media control with a plus and a minus button is also located here, and in the middle, we have a multifunction button, MFT for short.

Media key functions

  • Press the multifunction button: Play/Pause
  • Press multifunction twice: Skips forward. (It doesn’t work in VLC on my Redmi 9S phone, but it does in other players.)
  • Press MFB three times: Jumps back
  • Increase or decrease volume via plus and minus. Press and hold to increase or decrease the volume quickly.
  • Press MFB for 2 seconds to open the mobile phone’s language assistant


  • Press multifunction: Answer an incoming call or end call.
  • Press and hold multifunction 1 second rejects an incoming call.
  • multifunction Press while a call is in progress: Answer the incoming call and hold the current one.
  • multifunction during a call, on an incoming second: press and hold 1 second rejects the incoming one.
  • Two calls are active: Press MFB twice to switch back and forth.
  • Conference call: Two calls are active; press and hold the MFB button for 3 seconds to activate conference mode.
  • Mute/Unmute a call: Press the action button twice.

Bose QuietComfort 45 Audio controls

The action button is next to the 2.5 mm jack connection on the left ear cup. We switch between the Aware mode and the silent or ANC mode with the action button. Speech output “perceivable” and “quiet.” Turn off the ANC completely? Unfortunately, there is no way to do this in Bluetooth mode!


The Sony WH-1000XM5 weighs 250 grams according to my scale, and it offers a comfortable fit. The ear cups have a spacious inner surface, measuring 6 cm in height and 4 cm in width at the center. The soft ear pads, made of memory foam, provide excellent protection and adapt well to the ears. The headphones have hinges that allow for horizontal and vertical adjustment, and the ear cups can rotate 90° backward and approximately 45° forward. The headband is adjustable in height and offers infinite variability.

On the other hand, the Bose QuietComfort 45 weighs around 235 grams. It features comfortable soft leatherette ear cushions with memory foam on the inside. The ear cups can rotate 90° backward and have good flexibility for forward rotation. The inner surface of the ear cups measures 6 cm in height and 4.5 cm in width at the middle. The adjustable headband is reinforced with metal and provides noticeable and secure clicking adjustments. A soft synthetic leather pad is present on the inside of the headband. The headphones come with a convenient hard-shell transport case.

In terms of design, the QC45 resembles the QC25. Both models are highly comfortable to wear.

Noise Cancellation

Choosing between the Sony WH-1000XM5 and the Bose QC45 can be difficult due to their excellent noise cancellation capabilities. However, there are key differences to consider.

The Sony WH-1000XM5 outperforms the Bose QC45 in noise cancellation thanks to its four microphones, effectively canceling a wider range of frequencies.

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The Bose QC45 is lighter and more comfortable for extended wear. It also offers the convenience of a USB-C charging port, compatible with newer smartphones.

Both headphones excel in noise cancellation, but the Sony WH-1000XM5 provides a more seamless experience, effortlessly eliminating external sounds. Similarly, the Bose QC45 can cancel out all but the loudest ambient noises, even airplane engines.

The Sony WH-1000XM5 includes adaptive noise cancellation, which adapts to common environments and adjusts accordingly. In contrast, Bose lacks a similar feature, but both headphones offer surround sound or awareness modes. Sony’s mode amplifies surrounding sounds when necessary, while Bose simply turns off noise cancellation.

In summary, the Sony WH-1000XM5 and the Bose QC45 offer exceptional noise cancellation, but the Sony model provides a more comprehensive and adaptive experience, while the Bose model focuses on lightweight comfort and convenience.

Apps and EQ

The Sony WH-1000XM5 and Bose QuietComfort 45 both come with companion apps that enhance the user experience, but their functionalities and user interfaces differ slightly.

The Sony WH-1000XM5 features a dedicated app called “Sony | Headphones Connect.” This app offers a wide range of customization options, allowing users to adjust noise cancelling levels, equalizer settings, and even choose specific ambient sounds to hear. The app also provides access to firmware updates and battery status information.

Sony WH-1000XM5 and Bose QuietComfort 45 both come with companion apps

On the other hand, the Bose QuietComfort 45 utilizes the “Bose Music” app. While it offers a simpler interface compared to Sony’s app, it still enables users to control important features such as noise cancelling levels. Additionally, the app provides access to firmware updates and the ability to manage multiple Bose devices.

In terms of app preference, it ultimately depends on your personal preferences and the level of control you desire. If you value extensive customization and the ability to fine-tune various sound settings, the Sony | Headphones Connect app may be more suitable. However, if you prefer a straightforward and user-friendly interface without overwhelming options, the Bose Music app might be a better fit.

It’s recommended to try out the apps yourself or explore their user interfaces through online demonstrations to determine which one aligns better with your preferences and needs.

Battery Life

Both the Sony WH-1000XM5 and the Bose QuietComfort 45 offer excellent battery life and comfort. The Sony WH-1000XM5 can last up to 30 hours on a single charge, and it supports USB-PD charging, which allows for three hours of power in just three minutes. It takes a little over three hours to fully charge them. With noise cancellation enabled, they provide 30 hours of battery life, and with it turned off, they can last up to 40 hours.

On the other hand, the Bose QuietComfort 45 has a battery life of around 25 hours, which is slightly less than the Sony headphones. While it’s still a respectable duration, it falls short compared to the Sony WH-1000XM5. Charging convenience is an area where the Sony WH-1000XM5 shines. With USB-PD charging, it can provide three hours of power in just three minutes, allowing for quick top-ups when you’re in a hurry.

On the other hand, the Bose QuietComfort 45 lacks this fast charging capability, requiring a longer charging time.

Which is better

There are a few key differences between the Sony WH-XM and Bose QuietComfort noise cancelling headphones. The Sony WH-XM headphones are slightly lighter and more comfortable to wear for long periods of time. They also have a longer battery life, with up to 30 hours of playtime on a single charge. The Sony headphones also have a better overall sound quality, with clearer highs and tighter lows.

The Bose QuietComfort headphones have some advantages as well. They have a more sophisticated noise cancelling system that does a better job of blocking out external noise. They also come with a hard carrying case, which is great for traveling. And, the Bose headphones are compatible with the Bose Connect app, which gives you more control over the sound of your headphones.

So, which pair of headphones is better? It really depends on your needs and preferences. If you need a pair of headphones that can block out a lot of noise, then the Bose QuietComfort headphones are a good choice. If you want a pair of headphones with great sound quality and longer battery life, then the Sony WH-XM headphones are a better option.