Beats Bose or Sony Headphones – Which One Is The Best in 2020 ?

All three beats bose or sony headphones hold their own in the ANC segment, but there’s a clear winner to our ears.

beats bose or sony headphones

Bose’s QC35 II measures well but in practice, the audio quality is what we’d call consumer neutral. That is, boring and clinical without the detail resolution that would be expected out of such a signature.

Sony’s offering sounded both more vivid and accurate. It’s easy to see why audiophiles typically pick Sony. Even the build quality felt more solid on the 1000x, and surprisingly enough the earcups felt both more secure and cozier. Top that off with customizable ANC and gesture control and Sony is a clear winner over Bose.

The one knock we could give against Sony, which Bose also suffers from to a greater degree, is that the sound is cleaner without ANC but the tuning feels off like it was made to be used with ANC.

There’s a certain warmth to the sound that’s lacking without ANC. Also, while the treble on the Bose is inaccurate, Sony is missing a full treble presentation. we quite like roll-off at the top-end for a less fatiguing sound, especially in ANC headphones meant for an active life, but audiophiles will notice a lack of top-end detail.

Compared to the Studio3, Beats held their own but were also bested by Sony. The comfort and build quality on both is similar but Sony gets the edge in comfort here as the headphones felt more stable while giving my ears more room to breathe.

Bass presentation on Sony is also better, with a full low-end extended down to the impact range that is gravely missing on the Studio3. Studio3’s midbass/lower mids bias ruins an otherwise pleasant signature. There is also no comparison with ANC – Sony blocked out significantly more sound. On the flip side, there’s less of a noticeable difference in the audio quality with ANC enabled on Studio3.

We do still think Beats could have had a winner here if they improved the audio signature as they do have the most open sound of the three and hold their own against Sony as neither audio presentation is perfect.

If they had a more linear bass from below 20Hz on and got rid of the lower mids bump Beats would probably best the other two in audio quality. As it stands now though the audio performance doesn’t justify Beats’ price point. Besides, maybe connection strength and (subjectively) design Beats doesn’t best Sony or Bose in any meaningful way.

Build Comfort   ANC Strength Connection    Quality  Sound
Sony WH-1000XM2 3 out of 5 stars 3 out of 5 stars 3 out of 5 stars 3 out of 5 stars 3 out of 5 stars
Bose QC 35 II 1 out of 5 stars 2 out of 5 stars 2 out of 5 stars 2 out of 5 stars 1 out of 5 stars
Beats Studio 3 2 out of 5 stars 1 out of 5 stars 1 out of 5 stars 1 out of 5 stars 2 out of 5 stars


After reviewing all three Beats Bose or Sony headphones, We’d say the Sony WH-1000XM2 will appeal to the largest audience with a superb feature set and an engaging warm audio presentation.

Bose’s QC35 II felt and sounded the dullest of the three, with no notable benefits over Sony besides (assumedly) better long-term comfort. Beats’ Studio3 will appeal to many people on branding alone, and it compares well enough to the other two where if W1 and Beats’ design are priorities then it’s a decent package.

However, some missteps in the audio tuning and inferior ANC make the Sony the best option for somebody who wants the best overall audio quality, ANC, and features.2

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