Sony WF-1000XM4 review
- Industry-leading noise canceling with new Integrated Processor V1
- Exceptional sound quality with new Integrated Processor V1 and supporting LDAC codec.
- Crystal-clear call quality, beamforming microphone and a bone-conduction sensor provide clear voice detection even in noisy environments
|Price history for Sony WF-1000XM4 Industry Leading Noise Canceling Truly Wireless Earbud Headphones with Alexa Built-in, Black|
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The Sony WF-1000XM4 review
The Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds are the complete package, offering premium sound quality, effective ANC and a host of convenient features
Benefits Excellent sound quality Smart, effective noise reduction Convenient quality of life features
Cons No multipoint link Fit can be a bit fiddly
Sony’s recent track record when it comes to headphones has left its latest pair of true wireless earbuds – the Sony WF-1000XM4 – with plenty to live on up to. The Japanese company’s over-ear WH-1000XM3 and WH-1000XM4 both received our coveted Best Buy award, as did the third-generation WF-1000XM3 earbuds.
But those who fear loss of quality can breathe a sigh of relief. The WF-1000XM4 solves all the major problems we had with their predecessors and includes some new features to deliver extremely well-rounded audio. Image of Sony WF-1000XM4 True Noise Canceling Headphones – with charging case – optimized for Alexa and the Google Assistant – with built-in microphone for Phone Calls – Reliable Bluetooth connection, BlackSony WF-1000XM4 True Noise Canceling Headphones – with charging case – Optimized for Alexa and the Google Assistant – with built-in microphone for Phone Calls – Reliable Bluetooth Connection, Black £250.00 Buy Now Sony WF-1000XM4 review: What you need to know
Like the WF-1000XM3, the Sony WF-1000XM4 active noise canceling (ANC) true wireless earbuds are for those with generous disposable incomes.
However, this isn’t just an iterative update. The WF-1000XM4 has been redesigned from the ground up up and are more compact and beautiful than the version that preceded it. But their slimmer look is just the is tip of the upgrade iceberg. See Related Best Headphones 2021: The Best Wired & Wireless Headphones To Buy Best Noise Canceling Headphones 2021: The Best ANC Headphones You Can Buy
The QN1e chip has been replaced by the Integrated Processor V1 to improve ANC effectiveness, while the 6mm speaker drivers have been modified to improve low-end performance. The buttons now work via Bluetooth 5.2 and there is support for Sony’s Hi-Res LDAC codec in addition to SBC and AAC (the two codecs supported by the XM3).
That’s an impressive list, but the improvements don’t stop there. The charging case can now be refilled up wireless has been upgraded, Sony’s Digital Sound Enhancement Engine (DSEE), which upscales lossy audio formats, and the earbuds have been given an IPX4 rating for water resistance.
Plus, the buds contain some of the best features from their over-ear stable mates, the Sony WH-1000XM4. Speak-to-Chat has been added, as has the ability for the earbuds to learn about places you visit and automatically change noise canceling profiles to suit those environments.
I’ll go into more detail below on how all of these changes work, but suffice it to say that the Sony WF-1000XM4 is among the most complete. featured earplugs on the market.
Sony WF-1000XM4 review – earbuds in their case
Sony WF-1000XM4 review: Price and competition
Available in black or silver, the Sony WF-1000XM4 costs £250. That’s undeniably pricey, but Sony’s latest in-ear offerings are far from the most expensive noise-cancelling earbuds I’ve reviewed.
That title goes to the £349 Bowers & Wilkins PI7, which delivers exceptional audio quality and comes with a charging case that doubles up as a Bluetooth transmitter.
Of the many ANC earbuds I’ve tested, none reduce ambient noise as effectively as the Bose QuietComfort earbuds (£250). Apple’s AirPods Pro aren’t too far off the pace, though, and remain the top choice for iPhone users due to lightning-quick pairing with Apple products and hands-free Siri activation. They have steadily come down in price since release and are now available to pick up for £189.
If you’re looking for top-brand noise-cancelling earbuds at a more affordable price, you’ll struggle to find more affordable earbuds than the WF-1000XM4’s predecessors, the WF-1000XM3. Sony’s third-generation earbuds launched for £220 but are currently available for £139. Image of Sony WF-1000XM4 True Noise Canceling Headphones – Up up to 24 hours of battery life with charging case – Optimized for Alexa and the Google Assistant – with built-in microphone for phone calls – SilverSony WF-1000XM4 True Noise Canceling Headphones – Up up to 24 hours of battery life with charging case – Optimized for Alexa and the Google Assistant – with built-in microphone for phone Calls – Silver £250.00 Buy Now Sony WF-1000XM4 review: design, battery life and comfort
Sony’s new earbuds may follow the same naming convention as their predecessors, but they’ve undergone a significant design overhaul.
They are 10% smaller than the WF-1000XM3 and have a completely different shape, replacing the flat panels of yesteryear with rounder bodies with improved in-ear ergonomics. They’re still not the tiniest earbuds out there, but they don’t stick out too far from your ears and the updated design is more aesthetically pleasing.
The charging case has also been shrunk and is 40% smaller than the one that comes with the WF-1000XM3. The XM3’s sturdy case was one of its few drawbacks, so the downsizing is particularly welcome.
Surprisingly, the total battery life of the buttons and housing remains the same. you still get up up to 24 hours of audio playback with both ANC and Bluetooth enabled. However, the division between the buttons and the case has changed slightly.
Sony WF-1000XM4 review – earplugs closed up
The about Sony WF-1000XM4 review
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