Buying guide: Sony WH-1000XM4 vs Bose QuietComfort 45 vs Bose 700 and Sony WH-XB910N vs Beats Solo3 vs Sony WH-CH710N

Shopping for headphones can be tricky, because the options out there are seemingly endless. Thankfully, if you’re in a need for a buyer’s guide (some headphones buying advice), you’re in the right place.

Below we’ll do a specs comparison of some of the most popular headphones from Sony, Bose and Beats to see which pair would be best for you to buy. Particularly for this buyer’s guide we’ll take a look at the sound they promise, their battery life, drivers, design and materials, comfort, and perhaps most importantly – value. Let’s go!

Sony WH-1000XM4 vs Bose QuietComfort 45 vs Bose 700

If you’re looking for help choosing between those three pairs of headphones, let’s see how they measure up to each other, starting with Sony’s XM4s.

The Sony WH-1000XM4 normally cost $349.99, and for that price you’ll be getting some of the best active noise cancelling (ANC) you can have on over-hear headphones. Sony rightfully calls it industry-leading. They’re made out of plastic and come in three colors – black, blue and silver. And they use touch controls, as the flat, outer side of each earcup is touch-sensitive. With generous earcup swivel and the fact that they can fold up, the Sony XM4s are pretty portable too. Their battery life is rated for up to 30 hours on a single charge, and just a 10-minute quick charge via their USB Type-C port can get you 5 hours of playback, which is quite impressive.
The Bose QuietComfort 45 cost $329, so a tiny bit cheaper than the XM4s, yet still boasting a “perfect balance of quiet, comfort, and sound.” Once again, the build is plastic, but nicely foldable for easy carry. The QuietComforts come in black or white, so again – not spectacularly fancy color options here, just the basics. For controlling your playback, the QuietComforts 45 have actual buttons though (volume up, down, etc), so if yo prefer those as opposed to touch controls, that’s important to keep in mind. Their battery can last up to 24 hours, and a 15-minute charge gets you 3 to go.

Lastly, the Bose 700 are priced at $379, usually. So most expensive of the three, and for thinning your wallet extra you’re getting a more minimalist design that can’t fold. But, Bose does promise some great things, such as powerful noise cancelling, 11 whole levels of it at your leisure. In addition, Bose claims crisp, clear details, and of course – deep, full bass. The Bose 700 colors are silver and black, so there’s a trend here, with all three of these headphones. Like the QuietComforts, the Bose 700 have actual clicky buttons for controlling your volume and skipping songs, but last a bit less – up to 20 hours of playback on a single charge.

Sony WH-XB910N vs Beats Solo3 vs Sony WH-CH710N

These three pairs of headphones are more affordable than the previous trio we looked at, so if you’re looking for headphones buying advice but also wish to save a buck, let’s see if one of them can entice you.

The Sony WH-XB910N (as usual, “great” naming, Sony) retail for $249.99, and sport a plastic build, only in black color. Their defining feature would be Sony’s EXTRA BASS branding, which promises “impressively deep, punchy sound.” They can fold, which is always welcome for travel, and feature ANC and touch controls. The Sony WH-XB910N’s battery life is rated for up to 30 hours, which is equal to, or above what we usually see in this price range, so that’s great. And, a 10-minute quick charge gets you 4 and a half whole hours of playback.

The Beats Solo3 would be the ones to get if you wear your headphones as a fashion statement, more so than for critical music listening. They cost $199.95 and have a plastic build in either red, black or rose gold. Like the Sonys above, these can conveniently fold up for travels. The left earcup serves as a button for controlling your volume and music playback. There’s noise cancelling on board, and – Apple fans would be happy to know that these support Apple’s Spatial Audio, which makes music sound more punchy and wide. Plus the Beats Solo3 are rated to last up to 40 whole hours on a single charge, making them the headphones with the best battery life, among those we’ve looked at so far. But unlike the other headphones, these use the older USB A port to charge, not USB Type-C.

As for the Sony WH-CH710N, their retail price is $149.99, making them most affordable of the three. Nonetheless, they feature metal sliders, noise cancelling and, according to Sony, up to 35 hours of audio on a single charge. Although they swivel generously, they can’t fold, and come in black and blue. For controlling music playback, these sport clicky buttons as opposed to touch controls.

Which should I buy?

With Amazon Prime Day 2022 just around the corner, and the fact that we’ll be getting some seriously great Prime Day deals on headphones, now might be the perfect time for you to choose your desired pair! By the way, some early Prime Day headphones deals are already available, and will vanish pretty quick after the shopping event finishes, so yeah!

Let’s summarize what we have in this buyer’s guide, and which pair might be the one for you.

If you’re planning to work out with your headphones, you may want to go with either the Bose 700 or Beats Solo3, as they’re both quite slim and lightweight, at about 252 grams and 213 grams respectively. Both also feature noise cancelling so you can work out in your own music-filled world without disturbances.

If you’re a critical listener who values flat sound, you’ll likely appreciate the Sony WH-1000XM4 or Bose QuietComfort 45 best. Both offer solid noise canceling and aim for a rather flat sound, as opposed to one with extra bass or highs.

If you enjoy electronic dance music and want that extra bass, you’ll probably find the Beats Solo3 best for your needs, plus they’re more affordable than most of the other options on this list. The Solo3 support Apple’s Spatial Audio, which makes music sound spectacularly wide and punchy. Obviously you won’t be getting a true-to-life, flat soundscape, but for the right kind of person, Spatial Audio’s fun sound can be a very desirable thing.


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