Which helmet should you choose

Which helmet should you choose

The Sony WH-1000XM3 is the winner of rival Bose QuietComfort noise canceling headphones. Now we have its successor dubbed the Sony WH-1000XM4 with ambient noise cancellation and auto pause functionality. Other than that, you get long battery life and awesome noise reduction features. This year, the Jabra Elite 85h rolls up the sleeves to lock the horns with the headphones from Sony. Is the Jabra Elite 85h better than the Sony WH-1000XM4? Or, is Sony still the reigning king in wireless noise canceling headphones? We find out in this comparison.

Jabra Elite 85h vs Sony WH 1000 XM4 Which headset should you choose

Well, that’s what we’re going to find in this article today comparing the Sony WH-1000XM4 to the Jabra Elite 85h to find the noise canceling wireless headphones that are right for you.

So, without further ado, let’s get started. But first take a look at these,

Design and comfort

One of the main features of the Jabra Elite 85h is that it is extremely comfortable to wear. Typical of most high-end headphones, they feature large (and soft) earcups, making them comfortable for large ears. Compared to Sony headphones, these weigh around 40 grams more, but that doesn’t put you off because that difference seems to disappear when you wear them.

Jabra Elite 85h vs. Sony WH 1000 XM4 J

Jabra Elite 85h vs. Sony WH 1000 XM4 J

The headband is lined with imitation leather. On the one hand, they give these headphones a premium look and comfortable wearing. Also, it plays its role by keeping the helmet anchored to one position.

However, note that the Elite 85h can turn out to be a bit bulky which works against its portability factor. Nevertheless, they are comfortable to wear, even for long durations.

Jabra Elite 85h vs. Sony WH 1000 XM4 J3

Jabra Elite 85h vs. Sony WH 1000 XM4 J3

Unlike most new-age headphones and headsets (and the Sony WH-1000XM4), Jabra headphones do not contain touch buttons. Even the Jabra Elite 75t has physical buttons. Using them you can change volume levels, activate noise canceling features and even wake up Siri, Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa, there are plenty of options. All you have to do is memorize the button positions, and you will be good to go.

One cool feature of these headphones is the automatic ear detection feature. Like the Elite 75t, music playback stops automatically when you remove the headphones, thanks to the sensor on the headphones.

As for the Sony WH-1000XM4, they almost look like their predecessor and are available in the same color options as black and silver. However, this time around, the ear cups are a bit bigger (and softer), making them suitable for larger than average ears as well. That said, these headphones are lightweight and weigh only 296 grams, although they seem a bit bigger than the WH-1000XM3.

Jabra Elite 85h vs. Sony WH 1000 XM4 S

Jabra Elite 85h vs. Sony WH 1000 XM4 S

Unlike the Elite 85t, you won’t find any physical buttons here. Instead, manufacturers have bundled up touch-sensitive headphones, similar to the WH-1000XM3. So if you want to change the music, you just need to slip on the headphones. Likewise, you can activate ambient noise by resting your hands on the headphones. Sounds cool, doesn’t it?

But as you might have guessed, it will take a long time to get used to these features. And more often than not, you’ll find that the feature doesn’t respond to your keystrokes, at least initially. However, once you get a handle on them, you can rest assured that these little gestures will take the pressure off your ears, unlike physical buttons, you need to press gently.

Jabra Elite 85h vs. Sony WH 1000 XM4 S6

Jabra Elite 85h vs. Sony WH 1000 XM4 S6

Besides the above, you also get your share of voice activated assistants and features like auto pause. Another handy feature is the Conversation to Talk option, which automatically pauses the music as soon as the headset detects that you are talking about something. However, features like this are better on paper.

According to the folks at Verge, this can be quite annoying as playback seems to stop even when it detects a head noise. If you’re used to mumbling to yourself while you work, this might not be a smart feature to turn on. Fortunately, you can customize its degree of activation to some extent.

Battery and connectivity

Fortunately, the Elite 85h and WH-1000XM4 don’t disappoint when it comes to battery life. Both headphones provide excellent battery life, and this is a feature that sets the two headphones apart from the rest.

With the Jabra Elite 85h, you can expect to see 36 hours of playtime on a single charge. With the ANC off, it can go up to 41 hours. Of course, this also depends on the volume level. The folks at SoundGuys tested them and found that the Jabra Elite 85h produced around 34.58 hours of playtime (with ANC) at moderate volume. This means you can go up to a week without recharging the headphones.

Battery life of Jabra Elite 85h vs Sony WH 1000 XM4

Battery life of Jabra Elite 85h vs Sony WH 1000 XM4

The good thing is that charging doesn’t take long. A full charge takes approximately 2.5 hours. And hey, it comes with a USB-C cable.

On the other hand, the Sony WH-1000XM4 offers around 30 hours of constant playback with ANC on and around 38 hours with ANC off. And like the headphones from Jabra, you should easily have a week, a day on the beach, or a flight without any hassle. In the case of Sony headphones, keep in mind that the Speak to Chat feature also affects battery life.

Jabra Elite 85h vs. Sony WH 1000 XM4 J3

Jabra Elite 85h vs. Sony WH 1000 XM4 J3

Again, Sony has incorporated a cool feature with these headphones. A 10 minute charge can give you around 5 hours of battery life. Likewise, in the case of the Jabra Elite 85h, you’ll get the same amount of juice after charging the heads for just 15 minutes. So yes, if you need your headphones to charge quickly, it can be easily done.

As for the connection, both headphones come with Bluetooth 5.0 and support the AAC Bluetooth codec (see SBC vs Sony LDAC vs Qualcomm aptX), apart from the standard SBC. However, the Sony WH-1000XM4 benefits from the internal Bluetooth LDAC codec. If you need to know, this one allows the connected device and headset to play music at high speed, ensuring you high fidelity music.

As you might already expect, there is no support for aptX. On the plus side, there is multi-point Bluetooth functionality in both earbuds that allows you to pair the earbuds to two devices simultaneously.

Sound performance

So what is the audio performance of these high end headphones? Well, let’s start with the noise canceling headphones from Jabra.

To facilitate noise cancellation, the Elite 85h combines a set of microphones that filter out noise. The best part is that the ANC automatically turns on when these mics are triggered. In addition, you can also personalize his diploma through the companion app. For example, if you are in a crowded place, these headphones will manage to block out all sound. Likewise, it manages to block out sounds from fans or the air conditioning system, allowing you to concentrate more on the job at hand.

Sound performance of Jabra Elite 85h vs Sony WH 1000 XM4

Sound performance of Jabra Elite 85h vs Sony WH 1000 XM4

While the noise cancellation is great for the price, it lags a little behind what Sony headphones boast about. Still, they do their best to keep outside noise down, but they’re not the best.

On the other hand, they sound exceptionally good. The sound is clear and detailed and has a mellow bass. However, that doesn’t mean the bass is on the lower end. It’s balanced, and you will be able to perceive all the details of the song.

Sony headphones are equipped with the internal 360 Reality Audio spatial feature, a feature found in the 2020 Sony WF-SP800N wireless headphones. If you need to know, this is a new audio format. which uses object-based space technology to deliver an immersive experience. You can now use streaming apps like Tidal and Deezer to listen to songs in this new format.

Jabra Elite 85h vs. Sony WH 1000 XM4 S2

Jabra Elite 85h vs. Sony WH 1000 XM4 S2

The main thing about this headset is that you can customize the level of noise cancellation. In addition, you have the advantage of letting in ambient sound. Well, the noise cancellation is excellent, all thanks to the Q1N processor. From shrill noises to loud sounds in public, he can muffle them all effortlessly.

At the same time, they deliver dynamic sound with punchy bass. And there’s a good chance you like the wide soundstage of these headphones. Note that these also support Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Also on Guiding Tech


If you’re looking for headphones with one of the best noise reduction features and want punchy bass, then the Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones are for you. Other than that, you get some AI quirks like music upscaling. On top of that, they are comfortable and light, and the foldable nature adds to that.

On the other hand, the Jabra Elite 85h ticks all the right boxes, whether it’s SmartSound analysis of battery life, noise cancellation or clear call quality. They also come with a warranty against water and dust damage (not sweat damage). However, the sound performance leaves a lot to be desired compared to Sony headphones. Plus, they’re a bit bulky, which makes them a bit less portable.

Originally, Sony headphones were priced around $ 349.99, but you can get them around $ 299, especially during the holiday sales. So yes, if you have a few extra bucks you can go for the Sony headphones. Otherwise, the $ 244 Jabra Elite 85h isn’t a bad deal either.


Thinking of buying the Bose portable smart speaker? Read the article below to see how it performs against the Soundlink Revolve Plus.

Last updated on Dec 3, 2020

The above article may contain affiliate links that help support Guiding Tech. However, this does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains impartial and authentic.

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