The Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Headphones are an excellent pair of Bluetooth noise-canceling headsets. That’s why, despite the fact that they were introduced in 2020, they remain our top selection for the finest headsets of 2022. Due to their outstanding noise suppression and cutting-edge codec support, they provide precisely what they advertise plus some extra.
The WH-1000XM4 includes Sony’s 360 Reality Audio format, which allows for immersive sound on stereo headsets, as well as the LDAC codec, which could deliver up to 990 kbps. However, it no longer includes aptX or aptX HD, so their hi-res sound support experience is different.
A software update is now available to enhance Bluetooth stability while the headsets are attached to numerous devices and to solve a fault that caused customers to have trouble connecting the WH-1000XM4 to Microsoft pcs.
- Design style Over-ear
- Bluetooth version 5.0
- Noise cancellation Yes
- Battery life 30 hours
- Voice control support Yes
- Touch controls Yes
- Weight 254g
- Finishes 2
The Sony WH-1000XM4 headsets were officially unveiled on August 6, 2020, and are now Sony’s flagship headsets, lying beneath the mid-range WH-CH710N and completely wireless WF-1000XM4.
The Sony WH-1000XM4 is priced similarly to the Bose Noise-Cancelling 700 Headset ($339.99 / £349.95 / AU$599.95) and significantly less than some of the more upmarket B & W PX7 ($349.99 / £349 / AU$600).
The primary concerns are the polymers used to encase the earcups and hinges. When opposed to the flat surfaces of the XM3s, things seem slightly more textured, which we believe helps create the sense that they are considerably tougher.
The WH-1000XM4 features the same 40mm drivers as the old versions, as well as similar Black or Platinum Silver coverings.
The ‘hangar’ portion of the headset has been updated. The distance between both the hanger and the cups have been lowered to limit the risk of audio leaking, and the region where they attach to the ear cushions has been shortened to provide a more seamless look.
The earcups on the WH-1000XM4 are slimmer, while the cushions are softer and 10% bigger than on the XM3. The neck cushion has also been slimmed down. In addition, the XM4 is one gram smaller generally (254g vs 255g).
All of these elements work together to provide an extremely comfortable fit. The headsets provide just enough force to grab your ears and form a strong seal without feeling too loose. We will not suggest wearing the headsets while exercising because the grip isn’t quite as vice-like as other competitors’, and the headsets still don’t even have an IP certification dust and waterproofing.
Like the XM3, the power switch, USB-C charging connector, and 3.5mm headphone jack have all been retained. On the XM4, the Ambient-NC (noise-canceling) key has also been titled ‘Custom.’ Although the nomenclature has changed, it still performs the same functions, such as toggling across noise-canceling with Ambient Sound styles and performing the NC Optimiser.
They adjust the noise-canceling depending on a variety of criteria, including your facial shape and whether or not you use spectacles. They can even adjust for fluctuations in airflow if you’re a regular flier.
Sony has replaced the DSEE HX processor with the newer DSEE Extreme engine. This new engine not only tries to upgrade reduced audio to near hi-res performance, but it also incorporates Edge-AI, an artificial intelligence technique. It was created with the assistance of Sony Music Studios to analyze songs in real-time in order to replicate an even more exact and authentic quality to the original song.
The Sonys don’t handle aptX or aptX HD, but they are compatible with Sony’s proprietary LDAC technology. It enables you to remotely stream high-quality music from a suitable alternative, such as certain Android phones with android Based 8.0 or higher.
The XM3’s Quick Attention function, which allows you to wrap the right earcup using your palm to have a talk, is carried over, but Sony has pushed the WH-1000XM4’s talking abilities in a whole greater direction.
When the headphones detect that you are speaking, they will immediately pause music and change to Ambient Sound mode. It’s a super fun technique that we’ve found to be quite effective. However, there is a tiny lag between starting to talk and the function turning in, which we’d like to see reduced.
When you take the headsets off, they utilize a proximity detector and motion sensors at every ear cup to halt playback and then quickly resume whenever you bring them back on. The XM4 can really modify the noise-canceling as well as ambient sound levels depending on certain areas using geolocation intelligence and Gps tracking from your phone. One minor disadvantage is that when the GPS connection is lost, the headsets will not be able to modify their settings immediately.
The headsets regulate the microphones and employ audio processing to make speech sound crisper and more exact, which Sony calls Precise Voice Pickup capability. Since both Bluetooth and noise-canceling are activated, the battery life maintains among the cream of the crop, running up to 30 hours on a fully charged battery.
If you don’t use noise-canceling headphones, the time increases to 38 hours. From a ten-minute blast of energy, recharging the headsets with an Outlet adaptor will provide you with 5 hours of battery life.
The HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1 incorporates a novel technique and operates in conjunction with a modern Bluetooth System on Chip (SoC). They can continually monitor audio and noise signals, as well as the interaction between both the speaker drivers and your ears when they work simultaneously.
- Noise cancellation has been improved.
- Pairing several points
- Conversation awareness and auto-play
- The call quality isn’t ideal yet.
The DAC and analog amplifier combo that Sony used in the XM3 performed admirably, and it does so again here.
After listening to a variety of songs, it’s clear that Sony has managed to fit even more efficiently out of the WH-1000XM4. The sound field seems to be broader, and the headsets are able to reveal even more information because of the greater headroom. The WH-1000XM4 has a more composed and assured sound, particularly at lower frequencies. There’s a strength, punch, and poise to the WH-1000XM3 that actually sounds, should we say, paunchy.
Sony’s WH series has always set the bar for synchronization and dynamics, and the XM4s maintain that tradition. The headsets express dynamic alterations, such as transitions from quiet to loud, with ease. Their ability to get into the rhythm of a song and stick to it implies they can amuse you with one of the most basic of rhythms and then seamlessly transition to more complicated compositions.
From the first note to the last, the Sonys make whatever music you give them seem engaging.