Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds vs. Sony WF-1000XM4

By Tinh Lee, September 25, 2023

If you're trying to decide between Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds and Sony WF-1000XM4. They are both great ANC TWS earbuds with 3D surround support. There are a few major factors you should consider: Design, comfort, build quality, sound quality, ANC performance and voice call quality.

 Bose QuietComfort Ultra EarbudsSony WF-1000XM4
Release yearOct, 2023Jul, 2021
Photo Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds Sony WF-1000XM4
Bluetooth versionBluetooth 5.3Bluetooth 5.2
CodecAAC, aptX Adaptive, SBCAAC, LDAC, SBC
Battery lifeRated up to 6.00 hoursRated up to 8.00 hours
Weight6.24 grams7.40 grams
DriverN/Aø6mm Dynamic Driver
Noise reduction Tech6 mics3 microphones (2 for NC and 1 for voice call)
Fast charging20min = 2 hours5 mins = 1 hour
Wireless charging caseYes, Qi Wireless ChargingYes, Qi Wireless Charging
Transparency modeYesYes
Personalized hearingYesNo
Spatial AudioBose Immersive AudioSony's 360 Reality Audio
HR Tracking
Dynamic head tracking
Pros Excellent noise cancellation Top-notch build quality, Excellent bass performance
Cons No multipoint connectivity May be a bit big, bulky, Expensive

Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds vs. Sony WF-1000XM4: Fit and Comfort

In terms of design, the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds feature sports design with stability bands and short stems so they offer a more secure fit. Bose also provide Earbuds Fit Kit (sold separately). The stability bands work as a support that fit the contours of the outer parts of your ear, keeping earbuds in place. 

The Sony WF-1000XM4 have neither stems nor stability barnds. They are heavier (7.40 grams vs 6.24 grams) and larger, but offer better noise isolation, especially with foam tips. 

Winner: Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds for slimmer, housing, more secure and more comfortable fit.

Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds vs. Sony WF-1000XM4: App and Control

The touch controls on Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds are the same on both sides, basically you can do like, to adjust the volume swipe up/down, tap to play/pause/accept an incoming call, double tap to skip forward/decline an incoming call, triple tap to skip back. Tap and hold to toggle back and forth between ACN modes. 

Sony offers the customization for touch control on their Sony | Headphones Connect like tap, tap and hold, double tap and triple tap. But you can only Play/pause/skip tracks on the left and switch ANC/Ambient Sound on the right.

Winner: Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds

Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds vs. Sony WF-1000XM4: Call quality

The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds works quite well for calls in quiet environments, but when increasing the background noise, like it gets a bit more windy, the caller will start to hear a bit more cracking sound, bit it's still fine. Sony claimed XM5 have bone conduction sensors that can pick up the vibration of your voice directly from your skull bones. It means it can identify and isolate your speech from surroundings for clear calls.

Call quality is an improvement for Sony WF-1000XM4 compared to their Bose QC earbuds II. This improvement also helps Bose to top Sony for calls. 

Winner: Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds

Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds vs. Sony WF-1000XM4: Sound quality

In terms of sound quality, the sound signature of Sony WF-1000XM4 is tonally warm with strong bass. The XM4 are equipped with ø6mm and more advanced codecs (LDAC) and the sound become a bit feel more room for soundstage.

You may like the Sony WF-1000XM4 for its airy sound, clean highs and a lot of bass. Put everything together, we feel the XM4 having better soundstage and better sound. Well, the XM4's sound is easily to be characterized. 

Winner: Sony 

Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds vs. Sony WF-1000XM4: Battery life

The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds provide up to 6 hours of listening time, while you get 8 hours of listening time for Sony WF-1000XM4. A note that the Sony WF-1000XM4 have a known issue for battery after updating firmware.

Winner: Bose

Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds vs. Sony WF-1000XM4: Codecs

The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds support AAC, aptX Adaptive, SBC while Sony WF-1000XM4 support AAC, LDAC, SBC

Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds vs. Sony WF-1000XM4: Immersive Sound

The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds supports spatial audio that applies to any content (well the spatial audio isn't that very... wow-ing). While the Sony WF-1000XM4's 3D surround does require compatible content mixed, mastered with Sony's 360 Reality Audio in order to take effect and it seems Sony did a better job for immersive sound than Bose. 

Winner: Sony

Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds vs. Sony WF-1000XM4: Noise Cancelling Performance

After conducting some test in harsh conditions (intense noise background) we can conclude that the Bose's ANC is superior to Sony. Bose earbuds also don't require the adjustment for proper fit in order to get the optimum performance. They just fit right and ANC is consistant no mater how they fit into your ears.

Winner: Bose

Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds vs. Sony WF-1000XM4: Which pair should you buy?

It depends on your priorities, if you need strong ANC performance, more comfortable fit (also secure fit), better call quality, you can go for $279 Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds, if you value the sound quality (Sony supports LDAC), multipoint you can go for $93 Sony WF-1000XM4.