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Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017)
AKG N60NC Wireless (2017)
See Top Ranked Closed-Back Headphones

Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) vs AKG N60NC (2017)

Analysis:

The Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) is one of the very best Closed-Back Headphones that one can get for around $320. The AKG N60NC Wireless (2017), however, while a very good choice at its $150 price point, falls just short of being remarkable.

The Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) has managed to impress reviewers from some of the most highly trusted sources on the internet, including SoundGuys and Tom's Guide. It performed great in their in-depth hands-on roundups - it was awarded the "Best Headphones" title by Techradar and "Best Active Noise-Cancelling" by SoundGuys in their respective Closed-Back Headphone roundups. That's high praise, especially when coming from such high-quality sources.

As for the AKG N60NC Wireless (2017) - it was really well-received by reviewers at Rtings, a great source that's known for conducting high-quality in-depth testing. It performed great in its "The 5 Best Noise Cancelling Headphones Under $200 - Summer 2020" roundup and was named its "Runner Up for Best On-Ear Noise Cancelling Headphones Under $200 - More Affordable Alternative", which, on its own, makes it a product that warrants a closer look.

To get a better idea of how they fare when compared directly to each other, we analyzed review scores of sources that tested both. Pocket-lint, TrustedReviews, Techradar, TechHive, SoundGuys, CNET, and Rtings, for example, preferred the Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017), while What Hi-Fi? and PCmag rated both of them the same.

We also took a look at which sources had the best things to say about them. We learned that the Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) got reviewed the highest by Pocket-lint - it gave it a rating of 10, while the AKG N60NC Wireless (2017) most impressed reviewers at What Hi-Fi?, which gave it a score of 10.

Lastly, we averaged out all of the reviews scores that we could find on these two products and compared them to other Closed-Back Headphones on the market. We learned that both of them performed far better than most of their competitors - the overall review average earned by Closed-Back Headphones being 7.4 out of 10, whereas the Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) and AKG N60NC Wireless (2017) managed averages of 9.0 and 8.3 points, respectively.

Due to the difference in their prices, however, it's important to keep in mind that a direct Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) vs. AKG N60NC Wireless (2017) comparison might not be entirely fair - some sources don't take value for money into account when assigning their scores and therefore have a tendency to rate more premium products better.

Comparison of expert ratings
Highly Recommended
Recommended
Mentioned
Not Mentioned
SoundGuys
Tom's Guide
HomeTheaterReview.com
Rtings
PCmag
Techradar
CNET
TrustedReviews
The Verge
Head-fi
Tech. Specs Comparison
Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017)
$279
AKG N60NC Wireless (2017)
$159
Noise-cancelling
Yes
Yes
Wireless
Yes
Yes
Significantly higher than average expert review score
Higher than average expert review score
Highly recommended by trusted experts
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best headphones at Target: Trust the red polo shirts” 
Last updated: 17 Oct 2018
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Great noise cancellation meets even greater sound
in “Best Sony headphones 2020: Top wireless and wired Picks” 
Last updated: 21 Aug 2019
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best headphones
in “Headphones, speakers, and soundbars: the best audio tech we heard at IFA 2019” 
Last updated: 7 Sep 2019
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best audio gifts for grads 2018” 
Last updated: 5 May 2018
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Headphones
in “TechRadar Middle East Awards – honoring the best from 2017” 
Last updated: 6 Feb 2018
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #3 out of 10
in “The best Sony headphones 2020: 10 models to appeal to your inner audiophile ” 
Last updated: 20 days ago
Good Housekeeping
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best Wireless Headphones for Quality Sound” 
Last updated: 22 Aug 2018
Recommended by trusted experts
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up: Best On-Ear Noise Cancelling Headphones Under $200 - More Affordable Alternative
in “The 5 Best Noise Cancelling Headphones Under $200 - Summer 2020” 
Last updated: a month ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #4 out of 12
in “Best on-ear headphones 2020: our pick of the best supra-aural cans” 
Last updated: 9 Jun 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #22 out of 32
in “The best wireless headphones 2020: our pick of the best ways to cut the cord” 
Last updated: 11 days ago
TrustedReviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones 2020: The ultimate headphones for travel” 
Last updated: 2 Mar 2020
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The 6 Best On-Ear Wireless Headphones - Summer 2020” 
Last updated: 10 days ago

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