Sony WH-1000XM3 vs Sennheiser PXC550

There is no denying that Sony and Sennheiser have been at it for some time now. They have some pretty great headphones available in the market. Both companies have been at a while for some time, and the best part is that they do have some pretty great options in the market and that is not something you can deny.

Two of the most prominent headphones from Sony and Sennheiser happen to be the WH-1000XM3 and the PXC4550. Both headphones are priced similarly as well, so you are not really going to have any issues whenever you are in the market.

Still, for anyone who is looking to make a decision and buy the right pair of headphones, we are running a comparison between two of the best wireless and noise-canceling headphones available in the market. The Sennheiser PXC550 and the Sony WH-1000XM3.

Design

There is no denying that design happens to be one of the most important aspects of any good pair of headphones. Especially if you are thinking about taking the headphones out and about. In such cases, you need to get some good headphones that are easy on the eyes but still practical.

The design on the PXC500 happens to be one of Sennheiser’s most contemporary designs in the market. It not only looks good but also modern. Something that would fit well in the modern backpack. It actually offers great practicality, does not look outlandish at all, and works really, really well, too. Needless to say, Sennheiser has really nailed the design language.

On the other hand, the design language of the Sony WH-1000XM3 largely follows the design language of the original MDR-1000X. This is not a bad thing at all because it actually happens to be one of the best designs and that is something we can attest. However, Sony has not let the design stay the way it was, they have made some refinements over time, and has experimented with the color scheme, as well. Making the design look good in all situations.

There is no denying that the design on both headphones happens to be great in all situations and you can easily carry them with wherever you want without the headphones looking outlandish or out of place.

Winner: Both.

Sound Quality

There is no denying that having good sound quality is one of the most important factors that you could look into whenever you are buying a pair of headphones; be it wireless or otherwise. Without a good sound quality, it will be nearly impossible for me to buy anything, actually.

The good thing is that the sound quality on the WH-1000XM3 has improved a lot over the predecessor. That is not to say that the mark 1 or mark 2 did not have good sound quality. It is just more refined, fuller, and much better than the previous headphones that we have tested. It does feel a bit heavy on the bass, but in all honesty, it is not an issue since you can always make adjustments once you start tweaking the equalizer and have the sound that you have been wanting to get.

The sound quality on the PXC550, on the other hand, is also pretty good, however, when listening to the headphones for an extended period of time, I did feel like that the sound is simply not enough in most cases. It was something that I was not really expecting at first but after using the headphones after some time, I realized that the natural sound is definitely good but it is not something that will rock your world. In simpler words, the sound on the PXC550 is simply not powerful enough and that is something that happens to be extremely evident. Surprisingly, we noticed the same sound signature when we were reviewing the Sennheiser HD 4.40 as well.

The sound quality on both headphones that is good, that is not something we will be taking away from Sennheiser. However, the most important thing that you need to know about the sound quality is that when it comes to power, the Sony is definitely better.

Winner: WH-1000XM3.

Build Quality

Considering how I plan on using my headphones all the time and traveling with them, as well. I would want to go with a pair that is good overall in terms of how it is built and does not break that easily.

Sony’s had a history of less than impressive build quality, especially in the MDR-1000X because the headphones were pretty fragile when it came to the joints. However, with the mark 2, they made some impressive changes that only trickled down to mark 3, as well. The build quality at this point is something that is not going to give in so easily, making them great for anyone who wants to have a good experience.

On the other hand, the PXC550 is great with their build quality, too. They are much slimmer than the XM3, but the good news is that if you are worried that the headphones might not be as strong as you might like them in terms of the build quality, that is not going to be the case. They are certainly impressive and work really well in all the cases, too.

Both headphones come with the impressive build quality and while I will not call them rugged at all, the good news is that they work really, really well in all the use cases, and should last you long enough.

Winner: Both.

Comfort

I remember selling off so many of my headphones simply because they were not comfortable enough. This is important because, without the needed comfort, it becomes really difficult for me to use any pair of headphones. So, having a comfortable pair is extremely important.

Comfort on both the PXC550 and the WH-1000XM3 offers great comfort. Sony has actually done a great job with adding extra padding onto the ear cups and the headband, making the headphones a lot more comfortable than the previous generations. They are not too heavy, either. So, you really do not have to worry much.

Sennheiser has done a great job with the comfort as well, making the PXC550 one of the most comfortable pair of headphones that I have had the chance to use in some time.

There is no way to way that one headphone is more comfortable than the other. As a matter of fact, the difference is so minor that it only depends on personal preference.

Winner: Both.

Battery Life

I still remember when I bought my first pair of wireless headphones, I had to charge them at least once in a day to make sure I have a battery for the next day, as well. This was definitely an issue in many cases because being a proper listener, I would want my headphones to last me throughout the day.

Things have changed so much in the modern-day and age when it comes to battery life. The battery timings have become so much better that you really do not have any issues that might come in the way. Both Sennheiser and Sony both advertise 30 hours of battery life with active noise cancellation. In my testing, I was able to reach the advertised time with ease, so you don’t really have to worry.

Sure, it largely depends on volume and a few other factors, but in most cases, you will not have to worry about how long the battery is going to last.

Winner: Both.

Features

Last but not least, we are going to be discussing the features of both pairs. Considering how you are paying a premium for the headphones, it really is important that you get a good set of features because, without these features, your overall experience might not be as good. So, it really is important to have a good set of features.

The good thing is that as far as the features are concerned, both headphones trade blows. Both have touch-sensitive ear cups that allow you to receive calls and perform other operations. Both headphones also have active noise cancellation, too. However, the one thing that I noticed is that Sony does a better noise-canceling job than Sennheiser does. Additionally, the Sony headphones come with USB Type C for charging while the Sennheiser has the micro USB. This is something that can raise concern for a lot of people who are more inclined towards getting faster charging, and more universal compatibility.

In terms of the overall features, the Sony does end up besting the Sennheiser in terms of the features and that is something that we cannot overlook.

Winner: WH-1000XM3.

Conclusion

I am actually pleased to see that both headphones are so close to each other in most of the factors involved. However, what is important to know that when it comes to the overall value, Sony does a better job than Sennheiser. These are the wireless headphones that feel truly powerful, and offer a complete package, as well.

True, there are a few ways that these headphones are similar but when it comes to the overall comparison between both headphones, we cannot deny that Sony does a better job.

Bill Wilson


Bill is a certified Microsoft Professional providing assistance to over 500 remotely connected employees and managing Windows 2008 to 2016 servers.
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