After testing the Bose QC35 for my review five months ago, I was absolutely sold on them. They’re comfortable, look great and are the best at blocking out sound. Bose might not be an audiophiles’ choice, but the noise abandoning technology it uses for its QuietComfort series of articles has never been beaten — until now.

A amateur appears

Sony’s MDR-1000X headphones were appear at this year’s IFA with much ado. The aggregation talked at length about its new SENSE engine, calling it a new industry-leading accepted for noise abandoning and audio enhancement.

Bose owners, including me, were instantly sceptical. A new aspirant to the exceptional noise abandoning headphone game that was attractive to advance on the best product on the market? It seemed like a able-bodied task.

But they did it.

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Turning off the world

The MDR-1000X promises a lot, and it delivers on about everything. The sleek, black apartment packs a bunch of avant-garde technology that gives the QC35 a run for its money.

Its main affection is Sony’s newly developed SENSE engine, which should aftermath a better sound acquaintance than other headphones on the market. And it works — the accepted noise abandoning sounds great and blocks off a good deal of alfresco noise.

But things get crazy when you use its Optimizer functionality. By captivation a button on the side, a 20-second sound recording plays three altered kinds of tones, which are recorded by microphones on the inside and alfresco of the device. By active this test, the Sense engine is able to define the characteristics of your head — how big it is, how you wear your hair and if you’re cutting glasses. All of these small things combined access your alert experience, and Sony says the engine is able to personalize the sound based on the data it picks up.

It works appreciably well — you instantly get transported to a bubble of blackout unlike any other headphones do. After any music playing, sounds are muted and seem very far away. When you put up a song, however, it becomes almost absurd to pick up on alfresco noise.

At worst, the noise cancelling is just as good as Bose’s, but it often works even better. And that’s only the beginning.

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The sound of money

Putting them on for the first time made me apprehend article — I hadn’t been alert to music through great-sounding headphones in a long while. I have my claimed Bose QC25 headphones as a daily driver, and coming from them the MDR-1000X feels like a warm bath.

The 40mm drivers in the Sony make all music sound more agitative — I anon started attractive around Spotify for altered genres to throw at it. The highs are more crips and the bass is just absolute — not too much, and not too little. With noise abandoning turned on, it’s easy to drift off into the tracks you’re alert to.

It abashed me that they articulate so good, or rather, that Bose articulate so bad in comparison. When I put on the QC35 again, the highs and lows felt more chastened and everything was a lot less fun to listen to. They’re not bad headphones, but they pale in allegory to the MDR-1000X.

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Features, not gimmicks

In accession to the Sense engine, Sony gave their new flagship headphones some cool tricks that could’ve easily been gimmicks, but absolutely end up being fairly useful.

The first is called ‘Quick Attention’, and activates when you hold a hand over the right earcup. The music and noise abandoning briefly get turned down, and the device’s alfresco microphones put the sound around you through. It’s absolute for having a quick chat or acrimonious up on a gate change at the airport, after having to take them off.

The same affection can also be assuredly activated by acute the ‘Ambient Sound’ button. You can pick amid two settings: ‘Normal’ just puts through all ambient noise, while ‘Voice’ accurately turns up the sound of people’s voices around you. The latter is awfully cool, as it feels like briefly having the best ears in the world.

Thanks to the fancy right earcup it’s also easy to switch songs — annexation left or right skips songs, while annexation up or down changes the volume, which is a great affection to have on wireless headphones like these.

All of these added tricks don’t impact the array life — with a full charge, Sony says they last for 20 hours. In my testing, I found that to be a rather bourgeois estimate, often accepting around 22 hours of juice.

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Plastic and pleather

It’s hard not to be aflame about headphones this great, but there’s one area Sony could absolutely advance — design. Even in black, it’s a clunky beast — it’s boilerplate near as cruddy as a Beats product, but it’s not great. Sony opted to cover the alfresco with protein leather and plastic, while Bose throws in some aluminium. In comparison, the QC35 look sharp and wouldn’t look out of place in business class, while the Sony has more of a casual design.

At 9.7 oz, the MDR-1000x is a little bit added than the QC35, but it’s almost unnoticeable. It firmly clasps the head, after putting too much burden on it, and the chaplet offers enough abutment to wear it for hours after any sign of fatigue. Bose is still the king of comfort, but Sony isn’t slacking either.

An extra 3.5 mm cable is included for wherever Bluetooth isn’t an option, calm with an aeroplane adapter for those long-haul flights. It all fits in the supplied accustomed case, which is hardly bulky but does the job fine. It’s a nice extra, and abiding enough to make the headphones altogether travel-proof.

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About your wallet

Let me be clear — these are not cheap headphones. They currently retail for a cool $399, which places them firmly in the exceptional segment.

But if you have that kind of money laying around and are attractive for the best-sounding, best-noise cancelling headphones on the market, pull the trigger. You won’t regret it.