Apple AirPods Pro 2 vs Sony WF-1000XM5: A Closer Look at the Top Earbuds

Looking for the best earbuds? The Apple AirPods Pro 2 and Sony WF-1000XM5 earbuds are two excellent options to consider. Both earbuds have received praise, making it a tough decision for consumers. However, recent updates from Apple have narrowed the gap between the two.

The AirPods Pro 2 now come with a USB-C charging port, whereas previous models used a Lightning charger. This change brings the AirPods Pro 2 in line with the Sony WF-1000XM5 earbuds, which already featured USB-C charging. Additionally, both earbuds are compatible with Qi-certified wireless chargers.

One notable update to the AirPods Pro 2 is the improved dust resistance. The earbuds now have an IP54 rating, protecting them against dust ingress. Previously, the AirPods Pro 2 had an IPX4 rating, indicating no formal dust ingress testing. While the Sony XM5 buds have an IPX4 rating, proper care and maintenance can prevent dust from being a significant issue.

In terms of software updates, iOS 17 brings major improvements to the AirPods Pro 2. Prior to this update, Sony’s WF-1000XM5 offered more premium features, such as Speak to Chat and Adaptive Sound Control. Speak to Chat pauses the music when the earbuds detect a conversation, automatically switching to Ambient Sound mode. Adaptive Sound Control adjusts the headphone settings based on surrounding noise levels.

Now, with iOS 17, the AirPods Pro 2 have Conversation Awareness and Adaptive Audio features, which function similarly to Sony’s Speak to Chat and Adaptive Sound Control. These updates eliminate the distinctions between the two earbuds, leaving only a $50 price difference, the earbud shape, and device integration to consider.

The Sony WF-1000XM5 earbuds retail for $300, while the AirPods Pro 2 are priced at $249. However, discounts are often available at retailers like Best Buy and Amazon. The Sony earbuds have a rounded design without stems, while the AirPods Pro 2 feature the traditional bud-attached-to-stem design.

One major factor to consider is device integration. The AirPods Pro 2 work seamlessly with other Apple devices, offering features like Personalized Spatial Audio and automatic device switching. On the other hand, the WF-1000XM5 earbuds have multipoint connection, allowing you to connect them to two devices and switch audio seamlessly. The Sony Connect companion app also provides comprehensive EQ settings regardless of your device’s operating system.

In summary, both the Apple AirPods Pro 2 and Sony WF-1000XM5 earbuds have their strengths and trade-offs. The recent updates from Apple have brought the AirPods Pro 2 closer in line with the Sony earbuds, making it an even tougher choice for consumers. Ultimately, the decision comes down to personal preferences in terms of price, design, and device integration.

– Christina Darby, ZDNet
– Jada Jones, ZDNet