AirPods Pro 2 upgrade is significant.

AirPods Pro 2 upgrade is significant.

Apple AirPods Pro 2 vs Sony WF-1000XM5: The Ultimate Earbud Showdown

If you’ve ever found yourself asking, “What are the best earbuds?” chances are you’ve come across the Apple AirPods Pro 2 and the Sony WF-1000XM5 earbuds. The decision between the two can be particularly challenging given the rave reviews both receive. But fear not, as we dive into the details of these earbuds to help make your choice a little easier.

Let’s start with the latest and greatest from Apple – the AirPods Pro 2. Apple has made some major hardware and software changes to bridge the gap between Sony’s earbuds and their own.

First up, Apple has finally ditched the Lightning charger in favor of a USB-C charging port in the AirPods Pro 2. Sony, on the other hand, already had a USB-C port on their XM5 earbuds. Both earbuds are also compatible with wireless chargers certified by Qi.

Apple has also upgraded the dust resistance of the AirPods Pro 2, which now have an IP54 rating, offering protection against dust ingress. This is a significant improvement from their previous IPX4 rating, where the “X” meant they were not formally tested for dust ingress. While the Sony XM5 buds still have an IPX4 rating, keeping the charging port clean should prevent any major dust issues.

Now let’s talk software. Apple is set to release iOS 17 on September 18, and this update brings some major software enhancements to the AirPods Pro 2, making them more comparable to Sony’s offering than ever before.

Prior to iOS 17, Sony’s WF-1000XM5 had some premium features that the AirPods Pro 2 lacked, such as Speak to Chat and Adaptive Sound Control. Speak to Chat pauses the music when the earbuds detect the wearer is conversing with someone, automatically switching to Ambient Sound mode. This allows the wearer to have a conversation without removing their earbuds. Adaptive Sound Control, on the other hand, adjusts headphone settings like volume and noise cancellation based on surrounding noise levels, learning from the wearer’s frequent locations.

With the arrival of iOS 17, Apple introduces Conversation Awareness and Adaptive Audio features that function in a similar manner to Sony’s Speak to Chat and Adaptive Sound Control. These software upgrades eliminate key distinctions between the two earbuds, leaving only three major differences to consider: price, design, and device integration.

The Sony WF-1000XM5 originally retailed for $300, while the AirPods Pro 2 came in at $249. However, it’s worth noting that both earbuds are often available at discounted prices on platforms like Best Buy and Amazon.

In terms of design, the Sony WF-1000XM5 goes for a rounded shape, sans the stems that dangle from the ear. Apple’s AirPods Pro 2, on the other hand, stick with the traditional bud-attached-to-stem design.

Finally, device integration plays a significant role. If you’re already in the Apple ecosystem, the AirPods Pro 2 will seamlessly integrate with your devices, offering features like Personalized Spatial Audio and effortless switching between Apple devices. However, if you don’t own Apple devices, you may miss out on these exclusive features.

But the Sony WF-1000XM5 has its own advantages. With multipoint connection, you can connect the earbuds to two devices and switch audio seamlessly between them. Additionally, the Sony Connect companion app offers comprehensive EQ settings, regardless of your device’s operating system.

In conclusion, choosing between the Apple AirPods Pro 2 and the Sony WF-1000XM5 earbuds may initially seem overwhelming. But by considering factors like price, design, and device integration, as well as the impact of software updates, you can make an informed decision. Whether you lean towards Apple’s ecosystem or prefer Sony’s multipoint connection and EQ settings, both earbuds offer excellent sound quality and a range of features to enhance your listening experience.