Sony WH-1000XM4: The Best Bluetooth Headphones on The Market
Enhanced noise cancellation, DSEE Extreme technology, multiple synchronization, sound quality, comfort.
They are not waterproof, and don't work with the aptX codec.
Technical Characteristics Sony WH-1000XM4:
- Type: Over-Ear/Circumaural.
- Noise cancellation: Yes.
- Battery life: 30 hours (ANC activated).
- Weight: 254 grams.
The Sony WH-1000XM4 offers excellent noise cancellation and surprising sound quality for such comfortable, lightweight headphones. In terms of aesthetics, they don't look much different from the 1000XM3, but integrate several important improvements.
They feature the new DSEE Extreme technology that significantly improves the quality of compressed formats, and can synchronize with two devices simultaneously. In addition, the Sony WH-1000XM4 supports the Sony 360 Reality Audio format that allows you to enjoy spatial sound, and the LDAC codec, capable of transmitting up to 990 kbps.
These headphones are ideal for general use and travelers. They remain the ultimate wireless headphones, and are the ideal choice for most users. In this article, we tell you everything you need to know about the great Sony WH-1000XM4.
Design of the Sony WH-1000XM4
The design remains virtually unchanged from the previous version. This is not a negative point, as the 1000XM3 has a refined, elegant and subtle appearance. The Sony WH-1000XM4 are over-ear headphones that look sober, and you can use them anywhere without attracting too much attention. They are made of durable plastic, and feature soft-touch padding. The construction quality is excellent, and they are very comfortable. You can use them for hours without them causing any discomfort.
They integrate a pair of physical buttons for power and Bluetooth synchronization, and an additional one that allows you to switch between the modes of the active noise cancellation technology. In addition, the outside of the cups function as a touch control panel that you can use to control playback, change songs and turn the volume up or down. They feature a 3.5mm auxiliary audio port, and a USB-C port for charging.
One of the best features offered by the new Sony WH-1000XM4 is the QN1 chip. This processor offers improved ANC technology by constantly sampling the ambient sound to adjust noise cancellation levels. It's a very smart technology that separates these headphones from the competition.
The Sony WH-1000XM4 are stylish, comfortable, offer the best noise cancellation on the market and a unique sound quality for wireless headphones. They are also portable: they can be folded inward, for easy transport in the carrying case included in the purchase package. Our only complaint is that they don't have water protection. They are perfect for everyday use and insulate you in any type of environment, but you cannot use them in the rain.
Best active noise cancellation
the WH-1000XM3 remains one of the best headsets on the market. The touch controls, noise cancellation and smart features stand out. The new Sony WH-1000XM4 inherits all the greatness of the previous version, and adds significant improvements that put it at the top end of the market. The most important upgrade is the new active noise cancellation.
Noise cancellation technology has improved considerably, and is rivaled only by the Bose QuietComfort 45 and Sennheiser Momentum Wireless. At first, the difference is not very noticeable, but after using them for a few hours you realize that they block mid-range noises considerably better. Once you start playing your favorite music, it completely isolates you from the outside world. The winds may cause some noise, but they offer the best ANC technology on the market.
Another unique feature of the Sony WH-1000XM4 is the ability to apply your preferred levels of noise cancellation or ambient mode according to where you are. The headphones play a tone when you arrive at any location, and adjust the noise cancellation level automatically. It needs GPS technology, so this function doesn't work on a subway, but you can create different settings and save them through the Sony Headpohones Connect app.
Sony WH-1000XM4: Connectivity
These headphones work with Bluetooth 5.0 and NFC technologies. The synchronization process is very simple and fast with any compatible device. A new feature of the Sony WH-1000XM4 is the ability to synchronize with two devices simultaneously. In addition, they connect intelligently to the required device in the event of a notification or call.
They integrate five microphones that allow you to use them as hands-free and activate Amazon Alexa and Google Assistants. Through voice commands you can receive notifications, information and access the functions provided by these virtual assistants.
They work with the Sony Heaphones Connect application that gives you many features and customization options. It has a graphic equalizer and different sound settings. With the app you can also control auto power off, smart pause, access the 360 Reality Audio feature, and monitor which devices are paired to your headphones.
New functions of the Sony WH-1000XM4
As for noise cancellation, the Sony WH-1000XM4s use two microphones in each cup to isolate and analyze noise for you. The microphones, together with the superb QN1 processor, allow the headphones to analyze noise and adjust the ANC more than 700 times per second. The technology works flawlessly, and allows you to enjoy your music as clearly as possible.
In addition to unique noise-cancelling technology, the Sony WH-1000XM4 offers simple and efficient features to make your life easier. They integrate a sensor in each cup that recognizes when you remove your headphones, to automatically pause or start playback. If you pause them for a few minutes, they automatically turn off to save battery power.
They are compatible with the Google Fast pair feature that allows you to quickly locate the headphones, and have an atmospheric pressure optimizer for better performance when using them during flights.
One of the most striking new features is called Speak-to-Chat. When you use this option, the microphones recognize when you are talking, and pause the playback of your music while allowing ambient noise to enter, so that you can converse normally. After a pause, playback starts again.
Sony WH-1000XM4: Sound Quality
These Sony headphones use the same 40mm drivers as the previous version. They also offer the same quality in tonality and sound mixing. The audio feels warm and beautifully balanced. These are closed Over-Ear headphones, but the sound spatiality is surprising. Bass response is noticeable, but all frequencies are perceived as crisp, separated and with subtle detail.
We tested the Sony WH-1000XM4s by playing different formats through MP3 players and online streaming services. Performance was impeccable at all times, and they handle complex mixes with ease. The clarity and strength of the vocals stand out, but all the instruments are perceived as rich.
The rhythm and percussions are presented with enviable precision. The Sony WH-1000XM4 delivers dynamic, clear audio with great separation across all instruments. They are able to offer you the best sound quality in any kind of music genre.
They don't support the aptX HD codec, but this is because they work with Sony LDAC which offers really remarkable audio details for wireless transmission up to 990 kbps. They also feature the new DSEE Extreme technology, a process that restores detail in compressed formats to provide greater clarity. Even the lowest quality files sound great on the Sony WH-1000XM4s.
In addition, they integrate Sony 360 Reality Audio technology, a surround sound format that works amazingly well. For now, the digital library in this format is limited, but its performance is remarkable, and manages to create a very realistic surround effect.
The battery of the Sony WH-1000XM4 has the same performance as the previous model. They offer an autonomy that reaches 30 hours with noise cancellation on, and up to 38 hours if you turn it off. At first, we were surprised that they did not improve battery performance, but it's understandable as they offer new features such as speech detection and new sensors. That said, it's a remarkable capability for a wireless headset with so many features. They outperform the Bose 700 and equal the B&W PX7 in this department.
The 30 hours are sufficient for weekend trips and international flights. The sensors that automatically pause or turn off the headphones when you take them off provide maximum autonomy. Furthermore, they charge very fast thanks to the USB-C port. Only 10 minutes of charging is enough to use them for more than five hours, and the entire charging process takes approximately three hours.
After testing the Sony WH-1000XM4 for several days, we can safely say that there are no better wireless headphones in terms of active noise cancellation. They are perfect for travel thanks to their incredible ANC and battery life. They are also very comfortable and never cause pressure, even when worn for long hours.
These are very versatile Sony headphones that completely isolate you from ambient noise, and deliver incredible audio. You can use them to isolate yourself at home, in the office and in any environment, while enjoying your favorite music with an enviable sound quality. The Sony WH-1000XM4 are the best wireless headphones you can get today. Interested? Find the best price on Amazon.
We recommend you check out the new Sony WH-1000XM5. If you are looking for a Bluetooth speaker, the Sony SRS-XB43. Finally, if you are looking for a cheap headset, the Sony WH-CH510 is an excellent choice.
Reviews of the Sony WH-1000XM4:
The vast majority of users who have purchased these Bluetooth headphones consider them to be amazing. 80% of people give them five stars. We added the main reviews listed on Amazon below:
- JDP: “Impeccable sound cancellation. They completely isolate you from noise and sound great. They are worth every euro for their quality.”
- Joan R: “Impressive. I have some XM3s and Sony have outdone themselves again. The sound quality has improved overall.”
- gon: “Perfect sound quality and ANC. If you are looking for headphones to isolate yourself and listen to music don't think twice about it.”
Technical characteristics Sony WH-1000XM4
|Technical Specifications||Sony WH-1000XM4|
|Noise Cancellation||yes, with QN1 precessor|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, wired|
|Battery||30 hours with noise cancellation, 38 hours without ANC|