The Sony WH-1000XM2 are a good wireless noise-canceling headset for commuting. They're slightly better and more customizable than the MDR-1000X. They have about the same performance in most aspects but with a more consistent sound quality and a great app. This makes them one of the best noise-isolating headphones we've tested and a good option for frequent flyers and daily commuters. Unfortunately, they won't be ideal for watching a lot of videos due to their relatively high latency.
The Sony WH-1000XM2 are a slightly updated version of the MDR-1000X. They have a two-tone color scheme that stands out a bit more than the original black version. They also have a simpler control scheme with one button to control the ambient modes and noise canceling instead of two. They're a bit more comfortable thanks to the softer ear pads but the rest of the design is pretty much the same. They won't be the best headphones to exercise with since they're a bit bulky. Although they look and feel well-built, they may be susceptible to the same headband defect as that of the MDR-1000X.
The Sony WH-1000XM2 look quite similar to the MDR-1000X. They have slightly softer padding, but you won't be able to notice the difference by just looking at them. One of the few changes in their design is their color scheme. They have a two-tone black and grey finish, and the ear cups have a slightly matte and rubbery coating that makes them stand out a bit more than the original model. However, they're not very distinguishable from one another at a distance.
The Sony 1000XM2 have slightly better padding on the ear cups but are not distinctively more comfortable than the original MDR-1000X. The ear cups are large and fit well around most listener's ears without being too tight. The headband isn't as generously padded but doesn't put much pressure on the head. They're comfortable enough to wear for long listening sessions and the better padding of the ear cups means they will be less fatiguing after a few hours.
The Sony WH-1000XM2, like the MDR-1000X, have a good, tactile control scheme that offers a decent amount of functionality. They provide touch sensitive controls for volume, call/music, and track skipping. Additionally, they also offer aware modes to reduce the noise cancellation. Unlike the previous models though, the noise cancellation button now doubles as the aware/ambient modes switch. However, they still have the somewhat unique hand gesture that allows you to momentarily stop all audio and hear an on-going conversation by covering the right ear cup. Unfortunately, the touch-sensitive control scheme is not as precise as physical buttons which may cause a couple of accidental inputs.
The Sony WH-1000XM2, like most closed back over-ear headphones, are not the most breathable design to take to the gym. They create a good seal around your ears which prevents a lot of airflow and therefore make you sweat a bit more than usual especially if you're doing more demanding exercises. They should be fine for more casual uses only warming your ears after extended listening sessions, but they will not be ideal for running and working out.
The Sony WH-1000XM2 are the same size as the MDR-1000X. They also fold into a more compact format which makes them somewhat portable but a bit difficult to carry around on your person. They will easily fit into a bag or backpack and they come with a pretty good and sturdy case.
The Sony WH-1000XM2 are well-built premium looking headphones. The ear cups are dense, well-made and feel durable. The headband is also a nice blend of metal and plastic that gives it a unique look and a flexible design. However, like the previous model the hinges and the part of the headband that connects to the ear cups are still plastic. This means they may also be susceptible to the headband defect that caused the original MDR-1000x to receive a lower score. However, until we receive more reports on the WH-1000xm2 headband having the same issue as its predecessor, we will continue monitoring its durability and update the score accordingly.
The Sony WH1000XM2 are stable enough for a light jog but will not be the ideal headphones for working out and exercising. Their wireless design and slightly tight fit make them a bit more stable since their less likely to fall off your head because the audio cable got hooked on something. However, because the ear cups are moderately heavy and stick out a bit, they will sway a lot depending on the intensity of your work out routine.
The Sony WH-1000XM2 is a decent sounding pair of closed-back over-ear headphones. They have a very good, consistent, and deep bass, with adequate thump and punch. They also have a good mid-range, and a nearly flat and neutral treble range, which is important for a balanced reproduction of vocals and lead instruments. However, their bass tends to sound a bit muddy and cluttered, and their treble lacks a bit of airiness. Compared to the MDR-1000X, they have a slightly forward sound and improved imaging and distortion performance, but the difference won't be noticeable to most. Also, like most other headphones, they don't have large and speaker-like soundstage.
The bass of the Sony WH1000XM2 is very good. Their LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 10Hz, which means they are able to produce low thumps and rumbles. Also, the entire response is virtually flat across the bass range, but consistently over our target by more than 2dB, especially in high-bass. This results in an extended and punchy bass, but with the downside of sounding a bit boomy and cluttered.
The mid-range performance of the Sony WH-1000XM2 is good. Low-mid is flat but with a negligible tilt favoring lower frequencies. The bump in high-mid brings and vocals/leads slightly to the front of the mix. Overall, the mid-range is slightly more forward sounding than that of the MDR-1000X.
The Sony WH-1000XM2 have a very good treble range performance. Low-treble and mid-treble are flat and within 2dB of our target response. This ensures a balanced reproduction of vocals and leads. In high-treble, these headphones have fixed the steep roll-off issue that the MDR-1000X had and although this will give more "air" to the treble of XM2, the effect will be quite subtle.
The frequency response consistency of the Sonys are very good. Similar to the MDR-1000X and QuietComfort 35, the Sony 1000XM2 seem to be using its noise cancelling system to check for bass consistency. Therefore, in the bass range they perform extremely consistently across our five human subjects. In the treble range, they are decently consistent, but not as much as the bass range, showing about 6dB of deviation between 2KHz and 10KHz. This results in a consistent delivery of bass and treble across multiple users and re-seats.
The Sony WH1000XM2 have great imaging. Their weighted group delay is 0.15, which is very good. The graph also shows that the entire group delay is below our audibility threshold, which was not the case with the MDR-1000X. Our L/R drivers of our test unit was also very good in terms of frequency, amplitude, and phase matching. This is important for proper and accurate localization of objects (such as voice, footsteps, and instruments) in the stereo field.
The soundstage of the Sony WH-1000XM2, like most other closed-back over-ear headphones, are poor. The PRTF response shows a good amount of pinna activation, which suggests a relatively large size for the soundstage. However, the peak in the PRTF around 2.5KHz could indicate a soundstage that feels a bit unnatural. Also, there's not a notch in the 10KHz region, which could result in the soundstage to be perceived as located inside the head.
The harmonic distortion performance of the Sony is below-average. The overall response is rather elevated throughout the range, and nearly identical to the 1000X model up to 8KHz. However, the excess THD that we experienced above 8KHz with the 1000X, has been addressed with the Sony WH-1000XM2.
The Sony WH-1000XM2 are on par with the previous model in terms of isolation, and they're still one of the best headphones to cancel ambient noise. This makes them a great option for commuting and traveling. They also don't leak much at average volumes so you can use them in quieter settings without distracting the people in your vicinity.
The active noise cancelling (ANC) system of the Sony WH-1000XM2 is excellent. They perform nearly identical to the 1000X, within our margin of error. They achieve about 19dB of isolation in the bass range, which is important for cancelling out the rumble of airplane and bus engines. In the mid-range, where the bulk of speech sits, their reduction is more than 26dB. In the treble range, important for cutting out sharp S and T sounds, the Sonys achieve a isolation of 40dB, which is great.
The Sony WH-1000XM2 have an average leakage performance. The significant portion of leakage sits between 500Hz and 2KHz, which is a relatively broad range and will sound fuller than that of in-ears and earbuds. The overall level of leakage is not very loud either, but it would be audible to people around you at loud volumes and in quiet environments.
The integrated microphone of the Sony WH-1000XM2 has a poor performance. Speech recorded or transmitted with the mic of the Sonys will sound noticeably veiled and also slightly thin, which makes speech a bit difficult to understand over the phone. They also don't fare well in moderately loud environments, as they will struggle to separate speech from ambient noise in a place such as a busy street.
The recording quality of the Sony 1000XM2's mic is mediocre. The LFE is at 276dB, meaning recorded voice will sound slightly thin. HFE is at 3.2KHz resulting in the recorded speech to lack presence and detail. The frequency response between LFE and HFE is also quite inconsistent. Overall, speech may not be easily intelligible with them over the phone.
The microphone on the Sony WH1000XM2 has sub-par noise handling as it achieves a speech-to-noise ratio of only 6.5dB, which is quite low. This means that the Sony won't be able to separate speech from noise in environments with even moderate amount of ambient noise.
The Sony WH-1000XM2 have a better battery life and a great app that offers a lot of control options absent on the MDR-1000x. The customization options and features offered by the app make the experience a lot more personal. You can now EQ the sound profile to your liking with a good parametric equalizer or presets. You can also add effects, choose from different adaptive noise canceling profiles and even select an audio quality priority that enables, LDAC, aptX and aptX HD which is a great addition, especially with Android Oreo devices.
The Sony WH-1000XM2 have a good battery life that will last you all day. They also have a quick charge feature that provides about 50 mins worth of playtime from a 10 mins charge. However, they take quite a while to fully charge at 3.6 hours, and they also don't automatically switch off anymore when they're connected to a Bluetooth source, and the adaptive sound is disabled. This is a partial fix that does not resolve the auto-off issue of the original MDR-1000x. When not connected to a Bluetooth source, they switch off within 5 minutes to save power, which is decent but flawed. Ideally, a timer feature in the app would have been a great addition.
The Sony WH1000XM2 support the Sony| Headphones Connect app which gives them a lot more versatility and control options than the MDR-1000x. The app is well designed, easy-to-use and offers quite a few features that aren't common even for other wireless noise-canceling headphones. It gives you live data on the adaptive noise canceling. You can also calibrate the ANC directly in the app instead of holding the NC/ambient button. There's a great parametric equalizer with presets, an in-app media player, as well as room effects and sound position options. The only thing really lacking in this app is an auto-off timer, but overall it's a great addition and one of the biggest differences between the WH-1000xm2 and the MDR-1000x.
The Sony WH-1000Xm2 are equal to the MDR-1000x in terms of connection options. They are Bluetooth headphones that come with a standard audio cable with no inline remote. This means they will not have a microphone that's compatible with consoles but you can always use them wired for audio with your Xbox or PS4 controllers. Latency, however, is a bit worse on this model than on the previous one but the line of sight range is better.
The Sony WH-1000XM2 do not have simultaneous multi-device pairing like the Bose QuietComfort 35. But on the upside, they do support NFC which makes pairing with smartphones a bit easier.
These headphones come with an audio cable with no in-line remote or USB adapter. This means they do not have a mic that is compatible with consoles.
The Sony WH1000XM2 do not have a base/dock. If you want a versatile headset with a base that you can also use wired check out the Arctis 7 by SteelSeries.
These headphones have a good overall wireless range. They perform a bit worse indoors than the MDR-1000x but do better in direct line of sight. It's not a big difference, however, so they should both be a good option to use with a fixed Bluetooth source and especially if you keep your mobile device on you.
The Sony WH-1000XM2 have a bit more latency than the than the original MDR-1000X. This redesign seems to focus more on improving sound quality and addding sound quality codec options than on low latency. So while the WH-1000XM2 will be good for streaming audio, they won't be ideal for watching videos. If you need to watch movies either use them wired or get the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x for their wired connection and good sound.
The Sony WH-1000Xm2 are a well-built and premium looking noise-canceling headset. They have a good sound and lots of customization options thanks to the new app support. They're also one of the best noise canceling headphones we've measured which makes them a good choice for commuters and travelers. However, their bulky design might not be as versatile as some of the headphones they are often compared to.
The Bose QuietComfort 35 are a slightly better wireless headset than the Sony WH-1000XM2. They're a bit more comfortable and better balanced than the Sonys. The Bose QC35 sound quality packs a good amount of punch and still sound sufficiently detailed with instruments and vocals thanks to their better balanced mid and treble ranges. The Sony WH-1000XM2, on the other hand, have more control over their noise canceling feature, which can also optimize for the environments you're in. The Sony's also have a more premium looking build quality and a better list of features including the touch-sensitive controls and a customizable sound quality.
The Sony WH-1000XM2 are a slightly better headset than the Sony MDR-1000X but not by much. The WH-1000XM2 have a more customizable sound and better control over their noise cancellation feature than the original MDR-1000x thanks to the headphones connect app. The XM2 have also received fewer complaints about poor build quality with the headband making them a bit more durable overall than the older model. On the other hand, the Sony MDR-1000X do better in the mid-range, although not by much especially since you can customize the sound of the XM2. But on the upside, they're a bit more affordable since they are the older generation of the same headset.
The Bose QuietComfort 35 II are a better headphone overall than the Sony WH-1000XM2. The Bose have an easier-to-use, lightweight and more comfortable over-ear fit than the Sonys. The QC35 II also have a better sound quality that packs an equal amount of bass as the WH-1000XM2 but sounds a bit clearer with instruments and vocals thanks to their better balanced mid and treble ranges. The Sonys, on the other hand, have a bit more features and support multiple high-quality audio codecs that we haven't had the chance to test yet. They also look more premium and have an equally good if not better noise canceling performance.
The Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless are a slightly better and more customizable wireless headset than the Sony WH-1000XM2. The Sennheisers have a more customizable app, although it's not as well made or as sleek as the Sonys. They also have a bit more control over their features than the WH-1000XM2. Their default sound quality is also a bit more balanced with instruments and vocals than the Sony although they do have less bass. On the upside, the WH-1000Xm2 look more premium than the Sennehisers. They also have much better noise cancellation that can optimize for different environments and will be more suitable for commute and travel than the PXC 550 Wireless.
The Sony WH-1000XM2 are a better wireless noise-canceling headset than the Sony WH-H900N. The WH-1000Xm2 have better noise cancelation and more features and codec options than the WH-H900N. They also look and feel a bit more premium than the lower-end H900N. On the other hand, the 900Ns have a slightly better-balanced default sound than the 1000XM2s. They also have a slightly sleeker and more fashion-forward design that some may prefer over the very professional look of the WH-1000XM2
The Sony WH-1000XM2 are a better noise canceling headphone than the Sennheiser HD1 Wireless. The Sonys have better active noise cancellation making them a better choice for commute and travel. The 1000XM2 also have a slightly more comfortable design with large ear cups and a more balanced sound quality out-of-the-box. On the upside, the Sennheiser HD1 has lower leakage so you won't distract the people around you in quieter conditions and they have more durable build quality.
The Sony WH-1000XM2 are a slightly better wireless noise-canceling headset than the Bowers & Wilkins PX. The Sonys are a bit more comfortable and not as tight on the head as the PX. They also have a more customizable app that gives them a lot more control over their noise cancellation and sound profile than the Bowers & Wilkins. On the upside, the Bowers and Wilkins are better built and look and feel more premium than the Sonys. They also have a lower leakage level which makes them more suitable for noise sensitive environments than the WH-1000XM2.
The Sony WH-1000XM2 are a much better headphone than the Sennheiser HD1 Over-Ear, but they're also wireless and noise canceling which is not as comparable. The WH-1000XM2 are more suitable for commuting and traveling than the HD1 Over-Ear since they are noise canceling and the HD1 are not. The Sonys also have a lot more features like a customizable EQ, codec options, and room effects. On the other hand, since the HD1 over-ear are wired, they have no latency when watching videos.
The Beats Studio3 Wireless have a more slick design that looks good and is versatile enough to be suitable for sports. They do not have quite the same high-end feel as the WH-1000xm2, but they have a better wireless range and a good battery life with an excellent quick charge feature. Unfortunately, their noise cancellation doesn't quite measure up to the Sonys, so if noise isolation in noisy environments is most essential for you, get the XM2 but if want a more versatile design and have an iOS device, then the Studio 3 are a great alternative.