Apple AirPods Pro vs Sony WF-1000xm3 – Which is better?

Apple AirPods Pro vs Sony WF-1000xm3

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The Sony WF-1000m3 versus the Apple AirPods Pro. There are lots of details and features to dive into when it comes to discussing these two types of truly wireless earbuds. While you can do all the research in the world, what you really want to know is which pair is the best of the two, so you make the best purchase.

Apple Airpods Pro vs Sony WF-1000xm3 Comparison
Editor’s Pick
Apple AirPods Pro

While the Sony WF-1000xm3 do sound better, the overall experience of using and the more natural fit of the AirPods Pro leave them as a better pick – especially for Apple fans and iPhone users. On all counts it’s a very close competition and both are good picks.

The first set of earbuds, the Sony WF-1000XM3, sounds great. This is obviously an important factor when comparing the two sets of earbuds. But while sound quality is a big feature for the Sony earbuds, the Apple Airpods Pro is better and easier to use overall.

1: Sound Quality

The first feature to assess the two brands of earbuds is sound quality. The Sony WF-1000XM3 has a better overall sound than the Apple AirPods Pro.  While the sound is a central factor when choosing earbuds, it has to be acknowledged that neither set hold a professional quality sound that would make an audiophile completely happy. They are wireless and mass-marketed so are not perfectfor sound and noise cancellation of ambient noise.

Both have good sound with Sony offering broader, bigger sound that is heavier at the bottom end. Apple’s Airpods Pro are good too, but don’t carry the same depth as Sony’s earbuds. Overall, either true wireless earbud is good for listening on your commute, a run or while working at the office. They both are solid, with Sony holding onto a slight edge over Apple.

2: Ease of Use

Sound transparencyis another factor that is important when choosing a wireless earbud. In this case, the Apple AirPods Pro does a better job. It is not about the sound per se, but in the waysound can be managed.

Apple wins when it comes to ease of use. First off, if you have an Apple device or system, their AirPods will fit right in. They are easy to use earphones that make listening accessible. The Apple AirPods Pro are simply put in the ear and their noise-cancelling capabilities start immediately. If one earbud is removed, then it will pause. You can also listen to one earbud at a time and they make it easy to switch between calls if needed. While both Sony and Apple earbuds can do all these things, Apple makes it simple and accessible, especially for an iOS or iPhone user.

Ease of working with the Apple AirPods Pro
Apple AirPods Pro vs Sony WF-1000xm3 - Which is better? 8

The ease of working with the Apple AirPods Pro is shown when you need to alter the transparency mode. Press and hold one of the earbuds and there will be a sound signalling that the noise cancellation is turned off and the transparency mode is engaged. This means that there is no longer active noise cancellation on the earbuds so you can hear what is going on around you. 

In contrast, Sony’s earbuds have what is called dynamic transparency. This means the earbuds gauge the ambient sound going on around you and then adapt the transparency level to particular sounds. Apple goes further than Sony buds by offering more options with a second touch to turn the noise cancelling back on,and a third click to turn off everything for a passive mode of listening.

With the Sony earbuds, the ease of use is more awkward. The Apple AirPods are easy to click and are very tactile no matter what is being done. One-click, for pause, another to play, double to skip and three for rewind. They click easily and finding the spot to push on is simple as there is a small indentation where the button is.

The Sony, however, has two buttons that are programmable through their app but more awkward to use. Their options are more extensive than Apple, even allowing the use of a smart assistant such as Google.

The problem with this is that most of the extra options come with extra complications. You won’t miss not having them on Apple AirPods. These featureson the Sony buds are simply extra bells and whistles that aren’t critical to having a good earbud experience. The biggest benefit Sony offers is having a volume control that Apple does not, but their touch sensitivity is not as easy to use as Apple’s tactile experience. Sony is not as simple as the click and go of Apple.

3: Fit

There is nothing worse than walking or jogging and you have to keep sticking your wireless headphoneafter it’s come loose. Apple AirPods Prosoffer a great, natural fit. They hang down subtly as a wired earphone would.

Sony, on the other hand,is not as subtle. Even though Sony comes with multipletips compared to Apple’s regular AirPods, they feel like a surfboard and not like comfortable Apple earbuds.

Sound quality  Apple AirPods Pro vs Sony WF-1000xm3
Apple AirPods Pro vs Sony WF-1000xm3 - Which is better? 9

4: Build Quality

Sony wins when it comes to build quality. Apple has a feel of lightness and some fragility. While they both are durable and can last a good length of time with proper care, Sony does more, with a solid feel and a quality finish. Apple doesn’t carry that weight. They do not have the same feel that should come with higher-end, truly wireless earphones.

5: Accessories

Accessories are interesting for both Sony and Apple earbuds. There is really only one accessory that is of any consequence: the wireless charging case. Apple comes out ahead substantially on this factor of the earbud comparison. Apple keeps the case small and simple, so it fits in your pocket easily. Sony does not.

The Sony case is large compared to the Apple AirPods Pro
Apple AirPods Pro vs Sony WF-1000xm3 - Which is better? 10

The Sony case is large compared to the Apple AirPods Pro. This is problematic as it doesn’t fit anywhere in a pocket naturally. In contrast, the Apple case can usually fit into the small coin pocket and if not, unobtrusively into a regular pocket. Apple also offers wireless charging and a USB option with a lightning cable while the Sony only has the USB options.

6: Battery Life

Both the Sony WF-1000xm3 and the Apple AirPods Pro both offer good battery life for the average user. With hours of battery time, there is little chance of running out in everyday use.

And last but not least, is the looks of the earbuds. Apple has a slight advantage as they are smaller and sleeker looking than Sony. While neither is terrible, it will come down to personal preference. Apple’s white, clean look versus Sony’s larger, dark style. There’s no clear winner since it has to fit the user’s choice. Overall, The Apple AirPods Pro is a better earbud for the money, but the Sony WF-1000mx3 is not far behind.

A passion for writing and ongoing research projects gives Catherine an incredibly broad knowledge of all things. She has authored an incredible number of articles and can be found in the wilderness when not attached to technology or listening to podcasts.

This post was last updated on 2023-03-20 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.

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