Both brands offer a variety of headphones to suit different needs, so it can be challenging to choose between them.
In this article, we will compare the two products: Sony WH-1000XM4 vs Sennheiser PXC 550-II in terms of their features, design, and price to help you decide which is the best for you.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Features
- 3 Connectivity
- 4 Canceling Noise
- 5 Battery
- 6 Sound Performance
- 7 Microphone
- 8 Should You Choose the Sennheiser PXC 550-II or the Sony WH-1000XM4?
- 9 FAQs Regarding Sennheiser PXC 550-ii vs Sony 1000xm4
- 10 Conclusion
The Sony WH-1000XM4 are the best sony headphones for modern life if you have the money to spend on them. These are the greatest option all-around for the majority of people due to their superior Bluetooth codecs, superb sound, enhanced noise cancellation, long battery life, and clever features like auto pause and Bluetooth multipoint.
- Superb noise cancellation
- Excellent sound quality
- Bluetooth multipoint is quite useful.
- SBC, AAC, LDAC, and wired playback for Bluetooth 5.0
- Comfortable and equipped with folding hinges
- Automatically pausing when you remove them
- It’s not always possible to double-tap to pause.
- Less comfortable than the WH-1000XM3 in a small way.
- Battery life has decreased since the previous iteration.
- Noise cancellation or the Assistant are controlled by custom buttons.
Sennheiser PXC 550-II
Active noise-canceling headphones with a high price tag are the Sennheiser PXC 550-II. Although the companion application may be improved, it is useful and provides access to firmware upgrades. The first-generation PXC 550 may be a better option for listeners who don’t require quick access to their voice assistant and don’t care about AAC functionality.
- Acoustic quality
- Reasonable noise-canceling technology
- Cellular multipoint
- Easily transportable and cozy
- SBC, aptX, aptX Low Latency, AAC, Bluetooth 5.0
- Quick charging
- Microphone excellence
- It’s simple to inadvertently turn on or off the headset.
- Micro USB power supply
The PXC 550-II, in classic Sennheiser style, places less emphasis on glitzy bells and whistles and more emphasis on getting the fundamentals right. But it doesn’t lack features: the Sennheiser Smart Control app offers bells and whistles (available on iOS and Google Play).
The dedicated speech assistant button allows you to use either the Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa, enable call enhancement, or switch on smart pause capabilities. Playback of material is automatically paused and resumed when the headphones are put on or taken off, thanks to smart pause.
You may also adjust the basic settings, EQ your music, and customize your noise cancellation choices, but I’ll go into more detail about those functions in the parts that follow.
The Sennheiser PXC 550-II and Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones both have many of the same features. The Sony WH-1000XM4 includes a speak-to-chat feature in addition to a voice assistant button, an EQ option for your music via the Sony Headphones Connect app, and an auto-pause feature when you take off the headphones.
If you have this turned on, the music will pause when the microphone picks up your voice. In my thorough review, I concluded that this was more of a gimmick because it was too delicate for my taste. Playback would automatically pause when I laughed while listening to a podcast.
When you cup your hand to the left ear cup of the WH-1000XM4, the passthrough mode, which is another feature, decreases the volume of your music and lets outside noise in. This is useful if you need to hear an announcement while traveling by car or airline.
The Sony cans are the only ones that support 360 Reality Audio, which is a cool feature. Similar to Dolby Atmos, each channel is redesigned to function as an audio object that can freely move around you in three dimensions. An encounter that is more immersive is the end outcome. Remember that in order to benefit from it, you must be a paying customer of a premium streaming service like Tidal or Deezer.
The playback controls on both sets of headphones include buttons and touch gestures, which takes some getting used to. You shouldn’t encounter too many difficulties or unintentional pauses after you master the controls.
Both Sennheiser vs Sony headphones feature many of the newest features, but the Sennheiser PXC 550-II slightly outperforms the competition in terms of total connectivity. In addition to supporting more high-quality Bluetooth codecs than the Sony headphones, it also rocks Bluetooth 5.0.
You can expect SBC, aptX, aptX low latency, and AAC support if you purchase the PXC 550-II. Additionally, the Sennheiser PXC 550-II includes Bluetooth multipoint, allowing you to connect to two devices at once. While switching between her computer and phone while conducting her thorough evaluation, Lily had glitches even though it typically works.
In addition to using Bluetooth 5.0 and supporting SBC and AAC, the Sony WH-1000XM4 also employs its proprietary LDAC codec in place of aptX. Technically, LDAC provides a larger bitrate than aptX, but at the expense of connection reliability. If you choose the WH-1000XM4, you’ll also receive multipoint capability, although it is only functional when the AAC codec is used.
It’s important to note that AAC has poor Android compatibility based on our tests. The only formats that work on iOS devices are AAC and SBC. This might not matter to you if you want to use an iOS device because both headphones support AAC.
However, Android users should think about which Bluetooth codecs they prefer and whether or not such codecs deliver the experience they’re looking for. The good news is that both sets of headphones contain a headphone socket into which a regular 3.5mm audio cable can be plugged.
The Sony WH-1000XM4 is the model to choose if you want the best active noise cancellation (ANC) available. The new WH-1000XM4 is much better than the previous model, the WH-1000XM3, which was already the king of active noise canceling headsets.
A decent indication of what to anticipate from these headphones can be found by looking at the graph above. The noise canceling performance is shown by the blue line, and the higher it is, the more noise is canceled at that particular frequency. That line is the best in its class for the Sony WH-1000XM4.
The majority of humming noises fall between 200 and 500 Hz, where you may observe a noticeable peak; by the time these sounds reach your ears, they have significantly quieted down. It even performs better than competing headphones in this range when it comes to removing sounds below 100Hz.
The noise canceling intensity can be adjusted on both headphones using the corresponding apps. Both the Sony WH-1000XM4 and the Sennheiser PXC 550-II have adaptive noise cancellation, which automatically modifies the ANC’s level in response to the environment.
Additionally, each of them provides a special noise-canceling function that is only available in the associated app. You can adjust the noise cancellation to your surroundings with the Sony Headphones Connect app, which is useful if you find yourself on a plane. Meanwhile, you can choose the anti-wind ANC mode for outdoor use in the Sennheiser Smart Control app.
The noise cancellation of the Sennheiser PXC 550-II is still respectable, even though the Sony WH-1000XM4 may be the finest in class. Although the noise cancellation isn’t as effective at blocking out bothersome hums below about 100Hz as the WH-1000XM4 is, it still does a superb job of doing so. Although the ANC isn’t powerful enough to entirely isolate against construction noises, Lily stated in her thorough assessment that it operates admirably when it comes to the drill that was being used to install her apartment doors.
The Sennheiser PXC 550-II technically triumphs in the easiest way possible to test battery life. With ANC enabled, Sennheiser states that you can use the headphones for roughly 20 hours on a single charge, but in our tests, they lasted precisely 21 hours, 58 minutes. The PXC 550-II has a few drawbacks of its own and isn’t flawless.
Although the fact that it charges via micro-USB is a problem, it does offer fast charging, which can provide 90 minutes of playback with just 10 minutes of connection. Even though this set of headphones costs less than the WH-1000XM4, they are still not inexpensive. One flaw is that it lacks a USB-C charging input, which is more recent.
The Sony WH-1000XM4 offers a quick charge feature that allows for five hours of playback after just 10 minutes, as well as a USB-C connector for charging. The WH-1000XM4 headphones lasted exactly 19 hours and 59 minutes during our testing.
We made sure to turn ANC to its maximum setting and play music at a steady volume of 75dB when testing each of these headphones. It’s important to note that even if 20 hours is still a remarkable amount, the WH-1000XM4 doesn’t function quite as well as the Sennheiser PXC 550-II.
When you consider that the prior WH-1000XM4 recorded an incredible 24 hours of continuous playback, this is all the more unexpected.
It’s difficult to choose between these two headphones based just on sound quality because they both sound great. Since both headphones offer a neutral-leaning frequency response, bass heads won’t be too delighted. This implies realistic audio reproduction, which may be unsettling to listeners used to budget headsets that accentuate low frequencies heavily.
Being able to adjust the EQ is a benefit of headphones with somewhat flat frequency responses. To benefit from this, you don’t need to understand how to equalize music because both programs offer a selection of presets. You really can’t go wrong with either one of these headphones. However, you can read more about the sound quality in the complete reviews if you’re interested.
The Sony WH-1000XM4’s microphone is a solid one, and it isn’t much different here. Although a modest drop-off in frequency response between 150 and 200 Hz is typical for Bluetooth headphones, it is more noticeable than on the prior model. It should still be plenty to get you through your Zoom meetings and phone conversations.
The PXC 550-II microphone set is a respectable product. Sennheiser chose to transmit crystal-clear audio while reducing background noise by using a triple-microphone array in conjunction with noise canceling technology. Additionally, the mics successfully minimize the proximity impact.
Should You Choose the Sennheiser PXC 550-II or the Sony WH-1000XM4?
The Sennheiser PXC 550-II has been discontinued, leaving just the Sony WH-1000XM4 in stock. It still features superb ANC capabilities and support for the LDAC Bluetooth codec. Additionally, the Sony WH-1000XM4 is probably still for sale now that the Sony WH-1000XM5 is available.
The contrast between the new and old Sony cans has now left. Things get extremely close between these two flagship models. The WH-1000XM5 is the best noise canceling headphones available right now, but it’s also quite expensive. A much better microphone and a sleeker, more contemporary design are also included. Check out our complete comparison for a detailed look at these headsets.
Read more: JBL Live 500BT vs Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT
FAQs Regarding Sennheiser PXC 550-ii vs Sony 1000xm4
Is the Sennheiser PXC 550-II still available?
The Sennheiser PXC 550-II is no longer available. Although it’s no longer available through big stores or Sennheiser, you might find it on clearance elsewhere.
But which is more comfortable?
Although subjective, we would suggest that the Sony WH-1000XM4 and Sennheiser PXC 550-II are generally comparable in terms of comfort. Since the Sony WH-1000XM4 is a little heavier than the Sennheiser PXC 550-II, Adam found it a little uncomfortable to wear the Sony cans for extended periods of time.
When Lily wore the Sennheiser cans for too long, she experienced a similar effect. That’s not to imply that these headphones are uncomfortable; pain will probably only set in if you wear them for a long period of time.
Are the Sony WF-1000XM3 and Sony WH-1000XM4 comparable?
The Sony WF-1000XM3 true wireless earbuds are still excellent, but the Sony WH-1000XM4 has better noise cancellation. These earbuds compete with Apple AirPods Pro and include the same granular EQ module as Sony’s top-of-the-line headphones.
Sony includes a variety of ear tips, all of which differ in size and substance, so even if you don’t like how in-ears fit, there’s a strong chance you’ll find comfort with the WF-1000XM3. The Sony WF-1000XM3 is a superb pair of noise-canceling earbuds with little sacrifice if you don’t have enough room in your suitcase for headphones.
When comparing Sennheiser and Sony headphones, it is important to consider the specific needs of each individual.
Sennheiser headphones are often used by audiophiles and music professionals because they provide great sound quality. Sony headphones are more affordable and are popular with casual listeners.
Both brands offer a variety of headphones that are perfect for different uses, so it is up to you to decide which one is the best for you.