Beats Studio Pro vs Sony WH 1000XM4: Comparison in 2024

Odi Productions May 14, 2024
8 People Read
Holding Beats Studio Pro vs Sony WH 1000XM4 side by side in hand

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase. 

In this article, I'm going to share my HONEST experience with the Beats Studio Pro vs Sony WH 1000XM4 in detail, after personally owning both products. I have thoroughly tested each of these headphones for hundreds of hours, and aim to offer a critical opinion from the perspective of an audiophile and professional music producer.

I'll be comparing these two head to head on categories like price, comfort, features, battery life, noise cancelling, and sound quality.

Then at the end, I'll share which is the better overall value for the money, and my overall recommendation on which you should buy.

I've also conducted a separate Beats Studio Pro review and Sony WH-1000XM4 review, for those who are interested in reading more detailed thoughts about each headphone after.


Key Takeaways

Beats Studio Pro headphones on desk

  • Sony WH-1000XM4 has slightly better sound quality and noise cancelling, while Beats Studio Pro has more features and 33% longer battery life.

  • Both the Beats Studio Pro and Sony WH-1000XM4 are very comfy with great battery life.

  • Beats Studio Pro has newer features like Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos support, which the Sony WH-1000XM4 doesn't have.


Beats Studio Pro vs Apple AirPods Max Price Compared

Overall, the older Beats Studio Pro is $29 cheaper than the Sony WH-1000XM4 at current market prices for brand new. This translates to the Studio Pro being 12% less expensive than the Sony WH-1000XM4.

Beats Studio Pro Prices

  • Retail: $349.99

  • New: $249

  • Renewed: $158 (save up to $91)

Sony WH-1000XM4 Prices

  • Retail: $348.00

  • New: $278

  • Renewed: $215 (save up to $63)


Order HERE for the LOWEST PRICE AVAILABLE 

(Do NOT pay retail): 

Save up to $91 on Beats Studio Pro with Renewed below:

Save up to $63 on Sony WH-1000XM4 with Renewed below:

Disclosure: These links may provide a discount and in return, give us a commission in order to run the website 🙂


Comfort

Pressing Sony WH 1000XM4 earpad cushion material

When it comes to testing headphone comfort, I always start by weighing each headphone on my scale:

  • Beats Studio Pro weight: 268.6 grams

  • Sony WH-1000XM4 weight: 251.6 grams

Both of these headphones are very light by over-ear headphone standards, but the Sony's are 17 grams lighter than the Beats, a difference amounting to about 7%.

Honestly, 17 grams is not something you are going to notice, and both headphones feel equally light when worn on head.

Overall, I find the Sony WH-1000XM4 to be slightly more comfortable than the Beats Studio Pro due to a plusher headband material.

The Beats Studio Pro headband is noticeably harder and can feel a little bit of top-of-head pressure, but there's a reason for this we'll get to below.

Both headphones have equally plush earpad cushion material and perfect clamping force, not too strong by any means.

Beats Studio Pro vs Sony WH-1000XM4: Which is better for working out in the gym?

Both headphones are great choices for working out in the gym, but I would prefer the Beats Studio Pro because it can stay secured on the head more easily due to the headband material having more friction to stay in place. The Sony's are slightly more comfortable due to its plush headband material, but this may work against it if you are performing a lot of active movements.

Either way, you will not be disappointed with either of these due to their solid noise cancelling and sound quality.

Beats Studio Pro Comfort: 4.0 out of 5

Sony WH-1000XM4 Comfort: 4.5 out of 5

Winner: Sony WH-1000XM4


Features / Battery Life / Noise Cancelling

Holding Beats Studio Pro in hand

Features

The Beats Studio Pro (released in 2023) is just under 3 years newer than the Sony WH-1000XM4 (released in 2020).

With that, the Beats has the latest features such as Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos support, which the Sony's do not have to my knowledge.

Also, since the Beats brand is technically owned by Apple, the Studio Pro works quite seamlessly with the Apple ecosystem of devices running iOS and MacOS, moreso than the Sony's.

Both headphones are Bluetooth wireless with active noise cancelling, and feature in-built microphones for taking calls.

The Sony WH-1000XM4 does have a dedicated smartphone app that allows you to customize the "Custom" button and decide the mix between outside noise and noise cancelling.

Looks

Personally, I greatly prefer the look and design of the Beats Studio Pro which is actually my favorite-looking headphone to date.

I've criticized the Sony WH-1000XM4 in my individual review of the headphones for being too blocky when it comes to the earcups. They stick out too much and just look awkwardly large on head.

Conversely, the Beats Studio Pro is chic, has a cohesive form from the headband to the earcups, and overall are quite fashionable when worn.

Beats Studio Pro vs Sony WH-1000XM4 Battery Life Comparison

The Beats Studio Pro has 10 hours longer battery life than the Sony WH-1000XM4, translating to 33% longer battery life.

  • Beats Studio Pro Battery Life: Up to 40 hours

  • Sony WH-1000XM4 Battery Life: Up to 30 hours

In my testing, I found both battery life claims to be accurate, and rarely need to charge either the Beats or the Sony more than once every 1-2 weeks.

That said, the newer Beats' 33% longer battery life has the advantage here and means even less need to charge frequently.

Beats Studio Pro vs Sony WH-1000XM4 Noise Cancelling: Which is Better?

Despite the Beats Studio Pro being 3 years newer, I find the Sony WH-1000XM4 noise cancelling performance to be superior in effectiveness. To my ears, it sounds like the Sony WH-1000XM4 is more adaptive to filtering outside noises in real-time.

Both headphones have Transparency modes to hear outside noise, but the Sony WH-1000XM4 has the ability to control the mix between outside noise and noise cancelling. The Beats Studio Pro doesn't have the ability to decide this mixture.

Overall, the Beats Studio Pro has newer features and longer battery life, while the Sony's have slightly more effective noise cancelling.

Beats Studio Pro Features / Battery Life / Noise Cancelling: 4.5 out of 5

Sony WH-1000XM4 Features / Battery Life / Noise Cancelling: 4.5 out of 5

Winner: Tie


Beats Studio Pro vs Sony WH-1000XM4 Sound Quality Comparison

Sony WH-1000XM4 wireless headphones on desk

Thanks to advancements in technology, both the Beats Studio Pro and Sony WH-1000XM4 have very good sound quality for Bluetooth wireless headphones.

Neither headphone is in another league compared to the other in this department, so it will likely boil down to preference. I will try my best to describe each headphone's sound quality differences in detail.

Let's start with the bass.

I prefer the bass representation on the Beats Studio Pro, which has more powerful sub-bass impact and slam.

The Studio Pro not only reaches the lower frequencies, but it has more bass quantity than the Sony's. The elevated bass has a more enveloping sound in the Beats.

Sony emphasizes the upper bass which creates a punchier sound, but it is comparatively light in the sub-bass, which is disappointing for modern genres. This also slightly bleeds into the mids creating some muddiness.

When it comes to the mids, I prefer the Sony's which sounds fuller with more information on male vocals and instruments like guitar.

The Beats has fairly recessed mids (or perhaps overemphasized bass and treble), that creates a thinner overall sound, albeit very clear.

I prefer the treble on the Beats which has more detail and sparkle for female vocals, although it is very forward and is just on the edge of strident for certain tracks. The Sony's are duller but smoother in the treble. Neither have much airiness, which I would like to hear more of.

When it comes to the audiophile sensibilities, both headphones fall short in soundstage size and width, sounding rather compressed and "2D" even compared to the AirPods Pro 2 earbuds.

No doubt, they are both "in your face" with intimate soundstages, although this can work on certain genres.

I think the Sony's slightly edge out the Beats when it comes to dynamics, while the Beats might have a tad more separation and resolution thanks to the treble.

I find the Sony's to be more versatile when it comes to being good at all genres and having a more realistic timbre, whereas the Beats primarily excels for the modern genres like Pop, Hip Hop, and EDM.

If you're looking for the most "fun" sound signature, I think the Beats wins primarily due to the sub-bass and detailed treble. As someone who listens to all genres and enjoys more natural and realistic representation, I slightly prefer the Sony's.

Beats Studio Pro Sound Quality: 7.8 out of 10

Sony WH-1000XM4 Sound Quality: 7.9 out of 10

Winner: Sony WH-1000XM4


Value

As of this writing, both headphones can be found new for under $300, with the Beats Studio Pro around $249, and Sony WH-1000XM4 around $278.

On some occasions, I've seen the Beats Studio Pro for even as low as $180, and the Sony's for around $248.

Either way, the Studio Pro seems to about $30 cheaper on average.

Considering that wireless noise cancelling headphones can go for over $500 like the Apple AirPods Max, both the Beats and Sony's are strong values for the money.

I'd say that if you can find the Beats Studio Pro on sale for $180, that is an insane value and I would buy that in a heartbeat. But if we're comparing full price, I'd probably spend the extra $30 for the Sony's.

Beats Studio Pro Value: 4.0 out of 5

Sony WH-1000XM4 Value: 4.0 out of 5

Winner: Tie


Beats Studio Pro Overall Rating: 8.1 / 10

  • Sound Quality: 7.8 / 10

  • Comfort: 4.0 / 5

  • Features / Battery Life / Noise Cancelling: 4.5 / 5

  • Value: 4.0 / 5

  • Total: 20.3 / 25


Sony WH 1000XM4 Overall Rating: 8.4 / 10

  • Sound Quality: 7.9 / 10

  • Comfort: 4.5 / 5

  • Features / Battery Life / Noise Cancelling: 4.5 / 5

  • Value: 4.0 / 5

  • Total: 20.9 / 25


Overall Winner: Sony WH 1000XM4

Holding Sony WH-1000XM4 wireless headphones earcup

This was a close one! The Sony WH-1000XM4 narrowly edges out the Beats Studio Pro in our direct comparison thanks to its slightly better sound quality, noise cancelling, and comfort.

It was not a clean sweep, as the Beats Studio Pro is still very comfy, has 33% longer battery life, and has newer features like Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos.

For my money, I would choose the Sony's because they are more versatile for all genres and have the better noise cancelling performance.

But if the Beats Studio Pro is on sale for $180, I wouldn't hesitate to pick those instead and be perfectly happy.

At the $300 and under price point, the best alternatives would be the Sennheiser Momentum 4Apple AirPods Pro 2, both of which I've reviewed quite favorably.

I recommend you check those individual reviews out if you're shopping for new headphones.


Order HERE for the LOWEST PRICE AVAILABLE 

(Do NOT pay retail): 

Save up to $91 with Renewed below:

Save up to $63 on Sony WH-1000XM4 with Renewed below:

Disclosure: These links may provide a discount and in return, give us a commission in order to run the website 🙂


Frequently Asked Questions

Is Sony or Beats headphones better for noise cancelling?

In my testing, Sony headphones like the WH-1000XM4 and WH-1000XM5 have superior noise cancelling performance compared to Beats products like the Studio Pro, and definitely the older Studio 3. Both brands have adaptive noise cancelling and transparency modes, but Sony offers more customization options.


How We Tested and Our Methodology

RecordingNOW.com is a 100% independent publisher with over 10 years of experience testing and reviewing consumer electronics and headphones.

We currently purchase the products we test with our own money, and are not paid by any company or manufacturer to influence our opinions or decisions.

After purchasing the product, we conduct up to hundreds of hours of detailed hands-on testing in a controlled, acoustically-treated environment.

ODi Productions is our resident expert and author of this article, with 10 years of experience as a professional music producer, tech journalist, and audiophile.


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(USB C)

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Beats Studio Pro wireless headphones on desk

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Holding Sony WH 1000XM4 in hand

Disclosure:  Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase.