Missed the Bose QC45 Prime Day deal? Don't worry, here's a better one (just be quick)

The 48%-off Bose headphones Prime Day deal is very good... but I've found better
(Image credit: Sony)

Bose headphones sit on many heads around the world, and I can see why. They look good, offer arguably the most effective active noise cancellation technology on the market, and have a brand reputation in tech that’s as strong as Rolex in watches. 

Its deserved popularity is probably why its headphones, wireless speakers and soundbars appear frequently whenever a sales event rolls around. Case in point: the Bose QuietComfort 45 wireless over-ear headphones dropped to just £178.95 for Prime Day 2023. That’s a 48 per cent discount on Bose’s latest over-ears. A saving of £141 and the lowest ever price we've seen them go for. The price we've only previously seen on a refurbished pair. Look at the maths any which way and, no question about it, it’s an enticing deal on a pair of good wireless headphones.

It deserves to be popular, and it clearly was. The Bose QC45 deal is no more, with the headphones currently unavailable. But never mind, because it could be bettered anyway – and by a deal that is still lingering as Prime Day comes to an end.

The superior-sounding and in my mind, more visually appealing Sony WH-1000XM4 are still on the end of an extremely tempting Prime Day headphones deal, down to only £197 on Amazon thanks to an unprecedented discount. Indeed, this is the multi-award-winner's lowest-ever price. And if you ask me – someone who has lived with both pairs – the Sonys are certainly worth £19 more than the Boses.

Sony WH-1000XM4 350 £197 at Amazon (save £153)

Sony WH-1000XM4 £350 £197 at Amazon (save £153)
Sony’s premium wireless noise-cancelling headphones deliver on all fronts. They're detailed, dynamic and have a natural knack for timing. Nothing really lets them down – battery life, build, comfort and usability are all great at this level, not least at this knockdown, lowest-ever price.

You can read our full Bose QC45 vs Sony WH-1000XM4 comparison for a comprehensive breakdown of the two models, but essentially both pairs look good, block out noise well, and allow two devices to be connected simultaneously.

However, in terms of sound quality, the Sonys pull away pretty significantly, with greater detail and a more musically cohesive and poised presentation. Despite Bose's admirable sonic neutrality across the frequencies, in direct comparison, they're unable to match the XM4 in terms of timing, dynamics and outright musicality. And that's predominantly why I'd recommend the Sony XM4 at £197 over the Boses, no matter how close to 'half price' the Bose deal gets.

There are other reasons. Yes, the Boses edge it with their unrivalled ANC, but the Sonys aren't far behind at all. And, after a painful start to the relationship, I've gotten used to touch controls on over-ear headphones now – something the Sonys have but Boses overlook in favour of physical buttons. The fact that the Sonys have a 30-hour battery life compared to the Bose's 24 seals the deal, though that may not be a deal-breaker for many.

Is the Sony XM4 discount the best Prime Day headphones deal out there? In terms of premium wireless noise-cancelling headphones around the £200 mark, without question. Their newer, more advanced successors, the WH-1000XM5, have been treated to an 18 per cent discount, but they are still significantly pricier at £316. And lower down the price spectrum, nothing has quite caught our eye like the Sonys and Boses – though the four-star Sennheiser HD 450SE for £75 deal is very tempting. 

If you have £200 to spend on new wireless ANC headphones, you now know where to put it. Just act quickly if you've decided this is a deal for you; as the Bose deal shows, the deals can dry up before the official Prime Day ends.

When Prime Day 2023 ends

  • UK (BST): 11th July 00:01am to 23:59pm 12th July

In the UK, Prime Day deals run until the end of today (Wednesday 12th July), exactly 48 hours after they kicked off. Some deals tend to hang around into Thursday, but most of them do not. And some even end early if the deal has been popular and stock is short. If you've found a deal you like, we would recommend snapping it up as soon as you can.


See the best Prime Day deals UK live right now

Want earbuds or have a different budget? Check out our pick of the best Prime Day headphones deals

And here are the best Prime Day TV deals too

Becky Roberts

Becky is the managing editor of What Hi-Fi? and, since her recent move to Melbourne, also the editor of Australian Hi-Fi magazine. During her 10 years in the hi-fi industry, she has been fortunate enough to travel the world to report on the biggest and most exciting brands in hi-fi and consumer tech (and has had the jetlag and hangovers to remember them by). In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching Liverpool FC and horror movies, and hunting for gluten-free cake.