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Jabra Elite 10 vs Sony WF-1000XM5

They're both the best Jabra and Sony have, but which are the best for you?
November 21, 2023
Jabra Elite 10
MSRP: $249.00
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IP57 water resistance
Bluetooth 5.3
Battery life
Default frequency response
Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)
MSRP: $249.00
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Effective ANC
Great sound quality
Great auto-wear detection
Water-resistant buds and case
Good fit with four ear tip options
Charges via Lightning cable
Many Apple-exclusive features
No way to customize the EQ without third-party app

In a full market of wireless noise canceling earbuds, the Jabra Elite 10 and Sony WF-1000XM5 stand near the top of the heap. If you’re considering parting with your hard-earned dollars, this is the one to read as we break down the differences and similarities between these titans.

Editor’s note: this article was updated on November 21, 2023, to add information about the Jabra Elite 10 sound, and to update formatting.

What’s it like to use the Jabra Elite 10 compared to the Sony WF-1000XM5?

The Jabra Elite 10 come with 4 sizes of ear tips, a USB cable, a charging case, and your earbuds.
Christian Thomas / SoundGuys
Notice the unusual shape of the ear tips.

Jabra sticks to its recipe with the Elite 10 appearing quite a bit like the rest of the Jabra line. Uniquely, the Elite 10 come with four sets of ear tips, and these are more ergonomic in shape than the average ear tips. The buds have an IP57 rating, while the case gets an IP54 rating, which means these are safe for most exercises you can throw at them. You get all the niceties like Spotify Tap, Dolby Atmos support, Dolby Spatial Audio, Fast Pair, in-ear detection, multipoint, and sidetone during calls.

Sony doesn’t skimp on the WF-1000XM5 either. The WF-1000XM5 come with four sets of ear tips, and they’re made of polyurethane foam, which help out with isolation and getting a good fit. These buds have a lesser IPX4 rating, so you can workout with them, but it’s not as durable as the IP57 on the Elite 10.

Sony WF-1000XM5 charging case open on the table with the earbuds placed behind the case
Harley Maranan / SoundGuys
These boast a reduced footprint case from the previous generation Sony flagships, with a greater battery life.

The buds include Sony 360 Reality Audio compatibility, and its implementation is more limited than the Dolby Spatial Audio. You get DSEE Extreme (Sony’s proprietary DSP) for upscaling lossy audio. The glossy finish on the buds seem less luxurious than previous generation’s WF-1000XM4. These buds also have in-ear detection, multipoint, and Fast Pair.

How do you control the Jabra Elite 10 and Sony WF-1000XM5?

A man wearing the left earbud of the Sony WF-1000XM5 as he holds up a finger to the earbud
Harley Maranan / SoundGuys
Sony WF-1000XM5 touchpads control playback, volume, ANC/Ambient sound, and more.

The Jabra Elite 10 controls use shallow buttons, which aren’t as premium feeling, however, they offer tactile feedback. Out of the box the controls are shown as below. Unless you use the Jabra Sound+ app, they are somewhat basic. You can reassign them in the app easily.

ActionLeft earbudRight earbud
Single tap
Left earbud
ANC mode / answer call / mute
Right earbud
Play / Pause / answer call / mute
Double tap
Left earbud
End call
Right earbud
End call / track forward
Long tap
Left earbud
Volume down
Right earbud
Volume up

Here are the Sony WF-1000XM5 controls:

INPUTACTION (left bud)ACTION (right bud)
ACTION (left bud)
ANC/Ambient sound
ACTION (right bud)
ACTION (left bud)
Quick Access
ACTION (right bud)
ACTION (left bud)
Quick Access
ACTION (right bud)
ACTION (left bud)
Volume Down
ACTION (right bud)
Volume Up
ACTION (left bud)
Quick Attention
ACTION (right bud)
Voice Assistant

You get in-ear detection, and from go the WF-1000XM5 has a pretty nice suite of default controls. Of course, you can alter and reallocate these extensively in the Sony Headphones Connect app.

Should you use the apps of either Jabra Elite 10 or Sony WF-1000XM5?

The Sony Headphone Connect app's custom EQ with the WF-1000XM5 next to the phone.
Harley Maranan / SoundGuys
Sony Headphones Connect for the WF-1000XM5 have a six-band EQ.

Both Jabra and Sony offer similar features in their apps, Jabra Sound+ and Sony Headphones Connect, and both use your data. You gain access to updates, equalizers, listening modes, and control allocation. Both have their own versions of spatial audio (where compatible). Overall, Sound+ is a less clunky interface than Headphones Connect, but most people don’t use either daily once you’ve set up your earbuds.

How do the Jabra Elite 10 and Sony WF-1000XM5 connect?

The controls for the Jabra Elite 10 are hidden as buttons on each of the earbuds.
Even though some of the cheaper Jabra earbuds have aptX support, the Elite 10 do not.

The Jabra Elite 10 buds come with Bluetooth 5.3, supporting AAC and SBC codecs. Sony also uses Bluetooth 5.3 with AAC and SBC codecs, but adds LDAC as well for Android users. Eventually, both the Elite 10 and WF-1000XM5 ought to support LE Audio, and possibly LC3 and LC3 Plus. For now, Sony takes the win for the additional LDAC codec, but if you have an iPhone it really doesn’t matter.

Is battery life better on the Jabra Elite 10 or Sony WF-1000XM5?

Holding the Sony WF-1000XM5 charging case showing the back of the device
Harley Maranan / SoundGuys
On the back of the Sony WF-1000XM5 case features a pairing button and a USB-C port.

When comparing the Jabra Elite 10 with the Sony WF-1000XM5 in our standardized battery test, the WF-1000XM5 comes out on top to a single charge. While the Elite 10 lasts a respectable 6 hours and 28 minutes, the Sony WF-1000XM5 reaches 9 hours and 32 minutes under the same conditions. The test is performed with ANC enabled.

Otherwise, both cases charge via a USB-C cable or a wireless Qi charging pad. Jabra claims the Elite 10 quick charges in 5 minutes with an hour of playback. Sony states the WF-1000XM5 can yield an hour with a 3-minute charge.

Do the Jabra Elite 10 or Sony WF-1000XM5 block noise better?

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The Jabra Elite 10 provide good isolation, assuming you achieve a good in-ear fit with the unusually shaped ear tips. In use, the Elite 10’s active noise cancelation (ANC) is good, reaching 35dB of attenuation with environmental noises at 75Hz, but it’s not terribly consistent.

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On the whole, the Sony WF-1000XM5 have excellent isolation, and if they fit you, they will isolate better than the Elite 10, including some low-pitched noise. The ANC is pretty consistent, including the noise filtering through low frequencies, compared to the Elite 10.

Do the Jabra Elite 10 sound better than the Sony WF-1000XM5?

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Out of the box the Jabra Elite 10 emphasizing bass frequencies up to 8dB more than our headphone preference curve, and you may want to use that EQ in the Sound+ app. There’s a notable volume bump between 150Hz and 500Hz. Between 800Hz and 4kHz, the Elite 10 mirrors our preference quite well. It does exaggerate treble above 4kHz. Fortunately, you can adjust this EQ in the app.

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The frequency response of the Sony WF-1000XM5 gets closer to our preferred tuning, and ought to work well with most kinds of media. You might hear too much bass and mids, which can make using the included equalizer attractive. On the whole, the Sony buds sound better by default.

Do the Jabra Elite 10 or Sony WF-1000XM5 have a better microphone?

A close up of the Jabra Elite 10 shows where the mics are.
Jabra is known for making telecommunication products, such as headsets you’ll find in offices.

In ideal circumstances, the Jabra Elite 10 and Sony WF-1000XM5 microphone arrays sound great. Both capture your voice well in office settings but don’t completely filter out the environmental noise. Perhaps the most distinct difference between the Elite 10 and WF-1000XM5 mic systems shows when you listen to the demos in windy conditions. There, the Elite 10 remains intelligible, whereas the WF-1000XM5 struggles.

Have a listen, and let us know what you think!

Jabra Elite 10 microphone demo (Ideal conditions):

Sony WF-1000XM5 microphone demo (Ideal conditions):

Jabra Elite 10 microphone demo (Office conditions):

Sony WF-1000XM5 microphone demo (Office conditions):

Jabra Elite 10 microphone demo (Windy conditions):

Sony WF-1000XM5 microphone demo (Windy conditions):

Which microphone sounds better to you?

440 votes

Jabra Elite 10 vs Sony WF-1000XM5: Price and availability

The charging contacts and ear sensor of the Jabra Elite 10.
These buds are about $50 cheaper than the Sony buds.

Jabra and Sony have fairly comprehensive dealer networks, so you ought to find either easily. At release the Jabra Elite 10 went for $249, and the Sony WF-1000XM5 listed at $299. In all likelihood, you’ll find the Elite 10 for less than that price, as Jabra tends to offer significant discounts throughout the year and around holidays.

Should you get the Jabra Elite 10 or Sony WF-1000XM5?

Holding the left earbud of the Sony WF-1000XM5 in hand
Harley Maranan / SoundGuys
Most folks will prefer the WF-1000XM5.

While both the Jabra Elite 10 and Sony WF-1000XM5 perform their duties well, the WF-1000XM5 are slightly better for most users. Some choices come down to personal preferences, like touch controls or buttons, for instance. However, objectively, the WF-1000XM5 provide better overall noise canceling and isolation with a significantly longer battery life.

If you’re more interested in workout earbuds, you’ll want the better IP rating of the Elite 10. You can still exercise with the WF-1000XM5, but the Elite 10 buds are geared for that. If you also find yourself chatting on the phone a lot outdoors, the Elite 10 mics tend to work better in windy conditions as well.

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Sony WF-1000XM5
Sony WF-1000XM5
Great ANC
Improved sound quality
Comfortable fit with four ear tip options

Frequently asked questions

Yes, the Sony WF-1000XM5 have an Ambient mode, as well as speak-to-chat.

Yes, both the Elite 10 and WF-1000XM5 have multipoint, and can connect to multiple devices.

Like virtually all Bluetooth earbuds, they both can connect to iPhones and the apps are compatible as well.