Budget-friendly

WH-CH700N

Best in class

WH1000XM2

Sony's entry-level option, these headphones don't offer the best noise-canceling in the world, but they're still handy for travel and deliver great sound for the price.

$128 at Amazon

Pros

  • Affordable noise canceling
  • Easy to pair with NFC
  • Long battery life
  • Supports wired audio when the battery dies

Cons

  • Charges via Micro-USB
  • Flimsy build quality

These are some of the best noise-canceling headphones on the market, going toe-to-toe with the popular Bose QC35 IIs.

$298 at Amazon

Pros

  • Powerful noise canceling
  • Convenient gesture controls
  • Ambient Sound mode lets you hear your surroundings
  • Great sound quality

Cons

  • Charges via Micro-USB
  • Phone calls don't sound great

If cost is no concern, the WH1000XM2s are the clear winner, with superior noise-canceling, audio quality, and conveniences, but the CH-700Ns won't steer you wrong for the money you'll save.

What's the difference?

You don't need to spend hundreds of dollars on headphones, but you probably won't regret it if you do.

It's hard to compare headphones at such different price points, but it gets a little easier when you remember that they're intended for different users. Yes, of course the WH1000XM2s are better headphones than the WH-CH700Ns for more than twice the price, but not everybody needs to spend $300 on headphones. For the vast majority of people, the CH700Ns are more than good enough, and they're a significantly better value.

If, on the other hand, you're a frequent traveler who doesn't want to sacrifice audio quality, the 1000XM2s are worth the extra money. Not only do they sound better, but the active noise cancelation is significantly more powerful than the CH700N's "digital" passive equivalent. It also features Sony's Ambient Sound mode, which uses the built-in microphones to filter select audio from your environment back into the headphones so that you can still hear and hold conversations.

Category WH-CH700N WH1000XM2
Price $128 $298
Dimensions 8.71in x 2.72in x 10.28in 7.29in x 2.92in x 9.81in
Weight 0.53lbs 0.61lbs
Noise-canceling Digital Active
Color options Black, Blue Black, Gold
Wired option Yes Yes
Extra features Visual EQ through Headphones Connect app Visual EQ through Headphones Connect app, Google Assistant, Ambient Sound, gesture controls
Battery life 35 hours 30 hours
4K Streaming No Yes
USB Micro-USB Micro-USB

Understanding the WH1000XM2's extra features

Sony has built in touch sensitivity on the right cup of the WH1000XM2 that allows you to quickly jump in and out of Ambient Sound mode by placing your hand over the cup, or tap and swipe in various directions to play, pause, or skip between tracks without having to pull out your phone. Once you get used to using these gestures, it quickly becomes hard to imagine going back to living without them.

You can also enable Google Assistant on the WH1000XM2s by using Sony's Headphones Connect app to assign it to the Ambient Sound button on the left cup. Google Assistant works just the same as it would on a phone, answering queries and changing songs through voice commands.

Still, even without the gesture controls and active noise cancelation, the CH700Ns are a great deal for casual music listeners. Sony advertises a whopping 35 hours of playback on the rechargeable battery, and you can easily pair the headphones to your NFC-capable phone by just tapping it against the left ear cup — of course, simply putting the headphones into Bluetooth pairing mode works just as well.

Budget-friendly

WH-CH700N

Hard to argue with for less than $150.

Sony's entry-level option, these headphones don't offer the best noise-canceling in the world, but they're still handy for travel and deliver great sound for the price.

Best in class

WH1000XM2

These are some of the best noise-canceling headphones on the market.

Not everybody needs $300 headphones, but if you can swing it, these are definitely the ones to buy.

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