AirPods Max vs Sony WH-1000XM5, which wireless headphones are better?

We take an in-depth look at two of the most popular wireless on-ear headphones on the market, the AirPods Max and the Sony WH-1000XM5.

There is a wide variety of wireless headphones headbands in the technology industry market. The largest manufacturing companies in the sector fill the catalog with all kinds of wireless headphones designed for all tastes and consumer needs.

While it is true that currently, in-ear wireless headphones are the most widely used due to their portability; It’s also true that headphones offer better sound quality, in addition to many other benefits, such as Apple’s AirPods Max and Sony’s WH-1000XM5 headphones.

We’re talking about two of the most recommended wireless headphones on the market. But how do you decide which one to buy when the technical specs and audio quality are so similar? This is where garachh comes in, we are going to perform a complete and in-depth analysis in which we will share a comparison between AirPods Max and Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones to make it easier for consumers to opt for one or the other.

Comparison between AirPods Max and Sony WH-1000XM5 wireless headphones

Factors to Consider Before Buying Wireless Headphones


Before diving into the dense, overwhelming and complex comparison of technical specifications, design and price of the Sony WH-1000XM5 and AirPods Max headphones, we will briefly comment on some factors to consider before buying wireless headphones.

First, we need to know exactly what you’ll be using the wireless headset for most of the time. Do you need headsets to work on your projects from home? Want a sleeker headset to wear in the office? Or maybe you need wireless headphones just to use them at home?

Of course, in case you want to buy wireless headphones for walking, cycling or running, it’s probably the best option to choose headphones like the original AirPods. If this is your case, we invite you to read this comparison of AirPods 2 and AirPods 3 in which you will discover all their differences.

Technical Specifications: AirPods Max and Sony WH-1000XM5

Below we offer you a comparison table with all the features and technical specifications of the AirPods Max and WH-1000XM5 wireless headphones from Sony:

AirPods Max vs Sony WH-1000XM5

Parameter AirPods Max Sony WH-1000XM5
Dimensions 18.3 x 16.86 x 8.34cm 11″ x 8.5″ x 3″
Mass 384.8g 250g
microphones 9 8
touch control Do not Yes
Built-in voice assistant Yes Yes
Noise cancellation Yes Yes
Materials Aluminium, stainless steel and fabric Plastic, carbon fibre and leather
Battery 20 hours of audio playback 30 hours of audio playback
Quick Charge 5 minutes provides 1.5 hours 3 minutes gives 3 hours
connectivity Bluetooth 5.0 and Lightning Bluetooth 5.0 and 3.5mm jack
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Design, materials and portability

Apple AirPods MAX

Design of the AirPods Max

The design of both headphones is very sleek and they have many similarities in many ways. Let’s start with the most remarkable first, its colors.

Apple AirPods Max is available in 6 versions with different shades of color. For its part, Sony has chosen to offer only two versions of its WH-1000XM5 headphones in black and white.

  • AirPods Max: Space Gray, Silver, Green, Pink, and Sky Blue.
  • WH-1000XM5: black and white.

As for the general design of wireless headphones, it is very similar in both cases. The AirPods Max and Sony WH-1000MX5 have a padded headband and ear cups, with mechanical parts that allow the ear cups to rotate for more comfortable storage.

Sony headphones come with a fabric travel bag while Apple AirPods Max has a case called “Smart Case” which protects the headphones while leaving the headband outside.

Regarding its manufacturing materials, the AirPods Max is made with an alloy of aluminum, stainless steel and fabric. For its part, the Sony WH-1000XM5 is manufactured with plastic, leather and fabric. This makes the AirPods Max more robust, they are more compact, but also slightly heavier than the WH-1000XM5.



Sony wireless headphones on a black coffee table

One of the most important aspects to consider before buying a wireless headphone is its battery life, and in this aspect, Sony’s headband headphones have a big advantage.

According to the manufacturer’s specifications, the Sony XH-1000XM5 headphones offer a range of up to 30 hours of audio playback with a full charge. Moreover, thanks to their fast charging technology, they are able to play 3 hours of audio with a 3-minute charge.

Apple AirPods Max offers its users a battery life of up to 20 hours of audio playback with a single charge. Although it’s worth noting that with the active noise cancellation feature turned off, battery life is noticeably longer. Its fast charge offers 1h30 audio playback with a 5-minute charge.

Therefore, if you plan to use your headphones very continuously, this is a factor you should consider since Sony’s headphones are much better in this regard.

Features and technical specifications

Why Choose AirPods Max?

It’s hard to parse out the sound quality differences between the two headphones in this comparison, but there are plenty of other reasons to choose AirPods Max wireless headphones over Sony’s XH-100XM5 headphones.

Here are the advantages offered by AirPods Max:

  • Full integration into the ecosystem of Apple products.
  • Quick pairing and excellent sound experience.
  • Wireless headphones are made with high-quality materials.
  • Powerful software features dedicated to iPhone, iPad and Mac.

Why choose the Sony WH-1000XM5?

Sony WH-1000XM4

Below we list all the factors you need to know about why you might choose the WH-1000XM5 headphones over the AirPods Max headphones:
  • Its weight is lighter.
  • A much more affordable economic cost.
  • Its travel bag protects the product in its entirety.
  • They have a 3.5mm headphone jack.


How could it be otherwise, the price of wireless headphones is one of the key elements when choosing one product or another.

The starting price of the AirPods Max is much higher than the starting price of Sony’s WH-1000XM5 headphones, which clearly indicates that Apple’s option is superior in many ways, such as materials of construction, sound quality and software features. On the other hand, this is also a point in favor of Sony, as its headphones are cheaper while still providing a very loud sound experience.

Anyway, in the case of the firm’s wireless headband headphones with the bitten apple logo, the product can be found at a very low price on Amazon.

All in all, both headsets are wonderful alternatives that offer excellent audio quality and cutting-edge technological features that add an extra bonus to the wearing experience. It’s true that the AirPods Max looks like a more premium product due to their materials and compact build. For the rest, the two wireless headphones are very close and are highly recommended options.