Airpods Max Vs Sony XM5

Airpods Max Vs Sony XM5 – Check Which One Is Best & Why?


Both Airpods Max & Sony XM5 share many similarities, but there are also important differences such as sound quality, performance, features, design, and connectivity. If you want the best one between them, I Would recommend the Sony XM5 rather than Airpods Max.

Why Do I Recommend Sony XM5? 

  • The Sony WH-1000XM5 supports high-resolution audio streaming through the LDAC codec, capable of transmitting three times more data than standard Bluetooth audio. Sony also enhances audio with its DSEE Extreme which upscales compressed music in real time, aiming to provide a more detailed audio experience compared to Airpods Max.
  • The WH-1000XM5 is equipped with Sony’s Integrated Processor V1, enhancing its noise-canceling capabilities compared to the Airpods Max Noise Canceling Processor.
  • Sony’s WH-1000XM5 offer a clearer and more detailed sound, especially in the high frequencies, compared to the slightly warmer bass profile of the Airpods Max.
  • The XM5 uses 30mm drivers which are optimized for better high-resolution audio, whereas the Airpods Max uses Dynamic 40mm drivers.
  • Both headphones feature spatial audio for immersive experiences, which lets you lower the volume and let ambient sound in by covering the right ear cup. However, the WH-1000XM5’s response is quicker and more sensitive due to the Quick Attention Mode and improved touch sensors.
  • Speak-to-Chat Introduced in the WH-1000XM4 and refined in the WH-1000XM5, this feature automatically pauses the music when you start talking. The WH-1000XM5 improves on this with quicker recognition of the user’s voice and more natural resume playback. On the Other hand Airpods Max features Siri integration; Audio Sharing with Apple devices only.
  • The WH-1000XM5 supports Bluetooth 5.2, offering potentially more stable connections and greater efficiency than the Airpods Max Bluetooth 5.0.
  • The XM5 improves call quality with four beamforming microphones, a bone-conduction sensor and AI noise reduction, but Airpods Max features three microphone to voice pickup for clearer calls and voice assistant interaction.
  • The Sony XM5 features more sensitive touch controls, allowing for swiping gestures to control volume, which is absent in Airpods Max .
  • The WH-1000XM5 features a redesigned headband that distributes weight more evenly and reduces pressure points compared to the Airpods Max. The ear cups are also reshaped for a better seal and improved acoustic insulation.
  • The materials used in the WH-1000XM5 are selected to enhance comfort for extended wear, potentially featuring softer, more breathable fabrics.

Maybe the Airpods Max price can make you comfortable because it’s a little bit cheaper than the Sony XM5. But you have to compromise all the above-mentioned features. Now the Decision is Yours. I hope it was helpful to choose the right one.


Side By Side Comparison

Feature Sony WH-1000XM5 Apple AirPods Max
Sound Quality High-resolution audio with LDAC support High-fidelity audio with computational audio
Noise Cancellation Industry-leading ANC with Auto NC Optimizer Active Noise Cancellation with Transparency mode
Controls Touch controls for volume, play, pause, skip, ANC control; Custom button for NC/AMB mode Digital Crown for volume, play, pause, skip, answer calls; Noise control button
Weight 250 grams 384.8 grams
Battery Life Up to 30 hours of listening time Up to 20 hours of listening time
Bluetooth Version Bluetooth 5.2 Bluetooth 5.0
Release Date May 2022 December 2020
Driver Size 30mm Dome type Dynamic 40mm
Spatial Audio Supported Supported with dynamic head tracking
Auto Pause/Play Wear detection sensor Optical sensors for wear detection
Multi-Device Pairing Seamless switching between two devices Requires manual switching between devices
Codec Support LDAC, AAC, SBC AAC only
Charging Port USB-C Lightning connector
Battery Charging Time Approximately 3 hours to full charge Approximately 2 hours to full charge
Quick Charging 3 minutes for 3 hours of listening 5 minutes for 1.5 hours of listening
Colors Available Black, Silver Silver, Space Gray, Sky Blue, Pink, Green
Microphone Quality Four microphones focused on voice pickup Nine microphones total; Three for voice pickup
Comfort Lightweight design with soft fit leather Breathable knit mesh canopy and memory foam ear cushions
App Support Sony Headphones Connect app for detailed settings customization Apple device integration; limited settings customization
Additional Features Speak-to-chat; Quick Attention mode; DSEE Extreme upscaling; Adaptive Sound Control Siri integration; Audio Sharing with Apple devices
Price Check Sony XM5 Price Check Airpods Max Price

What Common Both Can Do?

The Apple AirPods Max and Sony WH-1000XM5 share several common functionalities that make them appealing choices for consumers looking for high-end headphones. Here’s a rundown of their shared features:

  1. Active Noise Cancellation (ANC): Both models offer advanced active noise cancellation that effectively reduces background noise, providing an immersive listening experience ideal for travel, work, or leisure.
  2. High-Quality Sound: Each set of headphones is designed to deliver superior audio performance, emphasizing rich, clear, and detailed sound. Both are well-regarded for their sound quality, with technologies aimed at enhancing the listening experience.
  3. Spatial Audio Support: Both headphones support spatial audio, which offers a more immersive sound by creating a three-dimensional audio space. This feature is particularly useful when watching movies or playing games that support spatial audio content.
  4. Wireless Connectivity: The AirPods Max and Sony WH-1000XM5 connect to devices via Bluetooth, providing the convenience of wireless listening without the hassle of cords.
  5. Integrated Microphones: Both models are equipped with multiple microphones that not only support noise cancellation but also enhance call clarity and voice assistant interactions.
  6. Battery Life: Both headphones offer long battery life suitable for extended use on a single charge, with quick charging capabilities that provide several hours of playtime from just a few minutes of charging.
  7. Touch and Button Controls: Each headphone features intuitive controls for managing playback, calls, and noise cancellation settings. The AirPods Max uses a unique Digital Crown and button, while the Sony WH-1000XM5 uses touch-sensitive pads.
  8. Voice Assistant Access: Users can access voice assistants directly through the headphones—Siri through the AirPods Max and Google Assistant or Alexa through the Sony WH-1000XM5.
  9. Comfort Features: Both models are designed with premium materials and comfort in mind, featuring plush ear cushions and headbands meant to reduce ear fatigue during long listening sessions.
  10. App Integration for Customization: Both headphones can be adjusted and customized via their respective apps, though the level of customization differs. Sony’s Headphones Connect app allows for detailed sound adjustments, while Apple’s integration is more streamlined within its ecosystem.

Common Features

Feature Sony WH-1000XM5 Apple AirPods Max
Bluetooth Range Up to 10 meters (33 feet) Typical 10 meters (33 feet)
Water Resistance None None
Type Over-ear Over-ear
Spatial Audio Supported Supported
Warranty One year standard warranty One year standard warranty
Price Check Sony XM5 Price Check Airpods Max Price


Apple AirPods Max FAQs

Q1: How long does the battery last on the AirPods Max?

A1: The AirPods Max offers up to 20 hours of high-fidelity audio, talk time, or movie playback with Active Noise Cancellation and spatial audio enabled.

Q2: Can the AirPods Max connect to non-Apple devices?

A2: Yes, the AirPods Max can connect to any Bluetooth-compatible device, but some features like spatial audio and automatic switching are exclusive to the Apple ecosystem.

Q3: Are the AirPods Max waterproof?

A3: No, the AirPods Max are not waterproof or water-resistant, so care should be taken around liquids.

Q4: Does the AirPods Max support fast charging?

A4: Yes, a 5-minute charge provides around 1.5 hours of listening time.

Q5: Can I use Siri with the AirPods Max?

A5: Yes, Siri is fully integrated and can be activated using the noise control button or voice command.

Q6: What is the battery life of the Sony WH-1000XM5?

A6: The Sony WH-1000XM5 provides up to 30 hours of battery life with noise canceling on, and a 3-minute quick charge can offer up to 3 hours of playback.

Q7: Do the Sony WH-1000XM5 support multiple Bluetooth connections?

A7: Yes, the WH-1000XM5 supports pairing with two devices simultaneously, allowing easy switching between devices without reconnecting.

Q8: Are the Sony WH-1000XM5 waterproof?

A8: No, similar to the AirPods Max, the Sony WH-1000XM5 are not waterproof or particularly water-resistant.

Q9: What audio codecs does the WH-1000XM5 support?

A9: The Sony WH-1000XM5 supports SBC, AAC, and LDAC, which allows for high-resolution audio playback over Bluetooth.

Q10: Can I customize sound settings on the WH-1000XM5?

A10: Yes, the Sony Headphones Connect app allows you to customize many settings including EQ, ambient sound control, and speak-to-chat features.

These FAQs provide a good starting point for understanding the features and functionalities of both the Apple AirPods Max and the Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones, helping users make informed decisions based on their specific needs and device compatibility.


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