Sony WF-1000XM4: Meet The Best True Wireless Headphones on The Market
Sound quality, great noise cancellation, comfortable, new design, V1 processor.
They do not support the aptX codec.
Technical Features Sony WF-1000XM4:
- Type: Intraural True Wireless.
- Noise cancellation: Yes.
- Battery: 8 hours with ANC (additional 16 hours with the case).
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.2.
- Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20 000 Hz.
How do you improve the best True Wireless headphones on the market? Sony completely redesigned its flagship line, and the result is remarkable. The new Sony WF-1000XM4s look different from their predecessors, integrate a better battery, ANC, and the sound quality is really excellent.
The Sony WF-1000X have dominated the fully wireless headphone market for several years now. The previous version, the Sony WF-1000XM3, won all the awards from the most trusted sites. The 1000XM4 features a completely new design, comes with a more attractive carrying case/charging base, and integrates an improved audio processor. They also come with new ear pads that fit and feel better to the touch. They are also some of the easiest to use, and most feature-rich wireless headphones available.
Sony WF-1000XM4: Design and build quality
The first thing that catches your attention is the packaging of the Sony WF-1000XM4. It's made of recycled paper and has no plastic, which is great for the environment. When you open it, you find the case/charging base. It's smaller than the Bose QuietCOmfort Earbuds, and 40% more compact than previous versions of the line. The case is charged via a USB-C port. Sony also introduced in this model the ability to charge the headphones with a wireless charger. All you need is a Qi pad. In addition, you can share the power supply with telephones.
When you open the magnetic case, you find the new WF-1000XM4. Sony listened to feedback from users of the previous model, and thoroughly researched the human ear to design this new model. The Sony WF-1000XM4 has a rounded body shape that fits better in the ear canal. The matte finish of the cups makes them look like a product of the highest quality. It also has some colored details around the microphone, and sensor holes that give it an attractive touch. As for colors, they are available in black or silver.
New pads and IPX4 certification
In addition to the new look, the WF-1000XM4s also come with new ear pads. They are made of polyurethane, and Sony claims they help maintain a more secure seal and provide a more stable fit. They also help to passively reduce ambient noise. They come with three sets of pads (S, M, L). We would have liked them to bring more, but according to the company each pair can easily withstand years of use.
On the other hand, you can use the Sony WF-1000XM4 for running or exercising. They are IPX4 certified, which means they can withstand splashes from all angles. This resistance against sweat and drops is a major improvement over the previous model. They feel comfortable and secure, and you can wear them for hours without discomfort.
With the Headphones Connect application, you can also perform a test to find out if the headphones are adjusted correctly, or if you need to make some adjustments. This is useful if you are not listening to powerful bass, or if external noise comes in. We recommend downloading the app at the time of purchase. It offers you many functions and you can choose which ones you want to activate or deactivate. It also allows you to enjoy music with the new Sony 360 Reality Audio format, available on services such as Tidal or Deezer.
As for battery life, you won't have to worry. The new Sony WF-1000XM4s come with a smaller case, but battery performance is improved over the Sony WF-1000XM3s. It provides eight hours of continuous playback using active noise cancellation and Bluetooth. In addition, the case provides you with an additional 16 hours of charging time.
This capability is superior to its rivals. The AirPods Pro only yield five hours, the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless seven hours, and the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds six hours. On the other hand, if you do not use the ANC technology, the battery lasts approximately 12 hours on a single charge, and about 24 hours with the case. It's also fast charging: five minutes of charging is enough to use them for more than one hour.
You can see the remaining battery life of the headphones or case with the Sony Headphones Connect app, which also alerts you when you drop below 20%. As with all True Wireless In-Ear headphones, battery performance may vary due to different factors, such as volume level or file quality. That said, when we tested them we noticed that the advertised capacity is correct at medium volumes.
Sony WF-1000XM4 features and components
The outside of both cups serve as touch controls, and by using the Headphones Connect app you can customize the functions of each. With these controls you can manage volume, playback and switch between ambient sound mode or noise cancellation. The controls are responsive and easy to use.
They offer you many useful functions. For example, the quick attention mode lowers the volume so that you can have a conversation without removing your earbuds. The Sony WF-1000XM4 also integrates the Speak-to-Chat function that first appeared on the Sony WH-1000XM4 wireless over-ear headphones. This technology activates when you start talking. It works very well, although it takes a few seconds.
Inside the XM4, there are many new components. These True Wireless earphones integrate an enhanced DAC and analog amplifier powered by the new V1 processor. Sony claims it offers clearer sound and improved noise cancellation over the previous model. The Sony WH-1000XM4 also features Sony's DSEE Extreme audio technology with Edge-AI. This function improves the audio quality of compressed formats. The 6mm driver integrated in the earbuds is similar in size to the previous model, but is made with a new material that improves sound quality and noise cancellation.
Connectivity and noise cancellation
They work with Bluetooth 5.2, and wireless connectivity works great. They do not support the aptX HD codec, but they do support Sony's LDAC format that allows you to stream 24bit/96kHz files at up to 990kbps.
Sony worked to improve call clarity and it shows. They have a bone conduction sensor, which prevents the microphones from picking up unwanted ambient noise. They also offer a mode that automatically reduces wind noise. They also integrate Precise Voice Pickup technology, originally introduced with the WH-1000XM4. The result is truly remarkable call clarity.
Active noise cancellation is excellent, especially for True Wireless In-Ear headphones. It isolates you from any environment, and in this price range they have no competition. Android users also benefit from the FastPair function for automatic synchronization. In addition, you can find them in case of loss with the Google Find My Device application. It's a pity that they do not have multipoint connection technology to synchronize the headphones with several devices simultaneously, although it's not a very significant drawback.
Sony WF-1000XM4 sound quality
The sound offered by the Sony WH-1000XM4 is excellent. First of all, the quality and clarity of the bass is striking. They present such good levels of detail that they make the competition look bad. We tested them by playing several songs with strong bass, and perceived a great performance. It's surprising how easily they reproduce all the textures. The Sony WH-1000XM4 also offer incredible clarity to separate different frequencies.
The bass stands out for its quality, but the sound profile is well balanced and doesn't overshadow the other tonalities. All frequencies are perceived as clear and separated, with an excellent rhythmic precision. The vocals are heard with all the emotion of the singers. Likewise, all the instruments sound sublime: pianos, guitars, percussions, wind instruments, everything.
The most important question is: Are the Sony WH-1000XM4 better than the WH-1000XM3? The simple answer is yes. The new model offers better sonic details and richer audio, with a very well achieved tonal balance. The only competition in this department are the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3.
Sony WF-1000XM4 Conclusion
Indeed, the Sony WH-1000XM4s excel in all departments. The new design is more attractive and fits better, and the battery is the best among the most popular True Wireless ANC headphones. The best part: the sound quality is very effective, and they have the best active noise cancellation among In-Ear headphones. Interested? Find the best price on this link.
We also recommend you check out the new Sony LinkBuds. If you need ANC Over-Ear headphones, the Sony WH-1000XM5 and Bose QuietComfort 45 are for you. On the other hand, if you need a cheap headset, the Sony WH-CH510 is one of the best.
Reviews about the Sony WF-1000XM4
The Sony WF-1000XM4s are better than the previous generation in all departments, and the reviews reflect that. On Amazon, it has a score of 4 out of 5. Everyone agrees on the sound quality, but some complain about the punts setting. Below are some comments from Amazon:
- Javier León: “Good noise cancellation and excellent sound. After trying several headphones, I think these are the best.”
- Ruben Torrejon Usan: “I come from the AirPods Pro and I consider the XM4s to offer far superior sound quality. The noise cancellation is top and they are very configurable.”
- shiraz uddin: “They are not as good as the Bose QC Earbuds. It offers advantages, but the ear tips don't fit me well.”