We already reviewed the Sony WH-1000XM3 and now we have Sony WH-1000XM4 the next generation of Amazing ANC overhead Headphones. It's quite obvious that any makers launch a next updated version of their product that is already loved by users and here also the story is same. Sony WH-1000XM3 is a popular Sony product which is appreciated by critics as well as users.
Its top-class active noise cancelling feature won the user's heart. Great sound, Premium comfort, and superb battery life were the pros along with top-class ANC of WH-1000XM3 but there were few drawbacks like average microphone quality. We as a user expect that we will not get the same disappointment from the updated version of any product but can we expect that Sony has eliminated those drawbacks? Can WH-1000XM4 get the same kind of love from users that WH-1000XM3 got? This time expectations are high. Could WH-1000XM4 fulfill them? Let's find out.
In 2018 Sony released WH-1000XM3. I purchased them in 2019. I still faced absolutely no issue with it. neither with battery life nor with ANC. This new WH-1000XM4 is just 2 month old and they are awesome. Let's do a quick comparison.
ANC is better in XM4 Than XM3, battery life is equal I mean 30 with ANC in both models, if we talk about comfort I personally feel that XM3 is better but again it lacks multipoint Bluetooth connect that you get in the XM4 and this is the point where XM4 won the race. I think if Sony drops the price of XM3 you should go with XM3 but for the same price XM4 is a better choice.
How is the Design and Build Quality of Sony WH-1000XM4?
Sony WH-1000XM4 looks exactly the same as WH1000 XM3. You need to pay very close attention to catch the difference between these 2. WH-1000XM4 weighs 9 ounces that is exactly the same as XM3 but this time they gave 10% more padding for the ear cups but they cut the little amount of padding at the top or say they reduced headbands padding.
In the XM4 you get the proximity sensor at the left earcup. It detects whether you wear the headphones or not and automatically turn on and off. It has 1.57" dome shaped Sound drivers. In the XM3 Sony gave NC/ambient button but in the XM4 you will get the custom button instead of NC/ambient button. You can easily adjust the length of the headband.
As you get the swivel foldable structure in XM3 you get the same in the XM4 that helps to pack neatly in the compact case. Carrying case that includes in the package along with 3.94 Ft cable for wired listening. Well! I am not surprised that I am getting all these things but I am happy that what they gave is durable with having good build quality. The carrying case is also good and durable. Sony XM4 has sensible touch panels that perform many functions for you. The overall design and build quality of Sony WH-1000XM4 definitely didn't disappoint me.
How is the Sound Performance of Sony WH-1000XM4?
If you ask me how you define the sound performance of WH-1000XM4 I will say better than the best. I mean XM3 was one of the best headphones in the ANC segment but XM4 is one step ahead of XM3. I am quite sure that you will feel that you invested the money for the perfect product. Let's quickly go for its audio feature and sound performance.
As I said they have used 1.57" audio drivers that are dome shaped. These dome shaped drivers have very good directionality that gives better audio experience at mids and highs. Same kind of drivers were used in XM3. These Copper-clad aluminium wire (CCAW) voice coils give better performance that are used mostly in premium headphones.
When I was a newbie I was thinking why these manufacturers charge so much and How can someone spend so much for headphones. All headphones perform the same function. That's what I thought But No! I was an ignorant person who didn't know much about the audio and sound at that time. Before knowing about the complete features and quality someone may say that why Sony charged so much for WH-1000XM4 but let me tell you the whole story.
you actually pay for the quality, you pay for the accurate sound reproduction so Sony used DSEE Extreme for XM4. DSEE Extreme uses Artificial intelligence that reproduces accurate frequency responses that might be lost during compression. That means no chance of missing a single beat.
When you are wireless there are chances to lose audio and that's the reason Sony has developed their own technology called LDAC audio technology so you can enjoy high quality wireless audio with the Bluetooth connections. Another benefit of this LDAC technology is that it transmits 3 times faster than any other wireless technology. Roughly looking you will hardly get the difference between these technologies but with paying closer attention you can feel the difference. Passive noise isolation is better this time due to ear cups design.
How is the noise cancellation performance of the Sony WH-1000XM4?
If you are using XM3 you know how amazing they are to cancel the outside noise. But Seriously the XM4 gives a better level of performance. You can actually feel the effort they took to improve the Active noise canceling. Not only that but they added some amazing features for your convenience.
Suppose you wear your Sony 1000 XM3 headphones and someone starts talking with you then what you will do? you hover over your hands on headphones that allow you to hear outside noise. but what if you have luggage in both hands and you can't cover your headphones with your hand? Here the Speak-to-Chat feature of the Sony WH-1000XM4 comes into action.
If you wear headphones and ANC is on and you start talking to someone then the speak to chat feature automatically turns the ambient noise setting that allows you to communicate without keeping your hands on earcups. This feature practically helps you in many situations especially in the travel where you are traveling on a crowded train and your hands are busy to lift the luggage.
The question is why the Sony WH-1000XM4 gives such a best level noise-canceling experience? and the answer is they actually worked hard for it. They have used 2 microphones on each earcup. These 4 microphones catch the external noise and send them towards the HD Noise Canceling Processor QN1 that performs the noise canceling function quite efficiently. XM4 works fantastic even at high altitude.
At a high altitude, ordinary ANC headphones can't work perfectly but Sony has done it quite well. They use Unique Atmospheric Pressure Optimizing that delivers the sound and personal noise cancelation optimizer technology analyzes unique sonic characteristics that means they analyze your head size, glasses you wear, hair, etc and accordingly they deliver sound to you. isn't it great?.
Another fantastic feature I should not miss to tell you. Sony WH-1000XM4 can work according to places you frequently go. Suppose you frequently go to a crowded street then your WH-1000XM4 remembers that location, analyzes the situation, noise level and when you go there for the next time it will automatically adjust the ambient setting and ANC level.
Along with the speak to chat feature it has another feature that makes things easy. Suppose you are listening to your favorite sound track with your WH-1000XM4 and suddenly someone comes to talk to you then you don't need to remove your headphones just place your hand over the housing and the music level will automatically go down within a fraction of second.
How is Charging and Battery performance of Sony WH-1000XM4?
Battery life is strong like previous version WH-1000XM3. It gives 30 hours of battery life with ANC on and 38 hours of battery life with the ANC off. Are you in hurry? Don't have time to charge your headphones? no problem. Just charge it for 10 minutes and it will give you 5 hours of playtime.
You also have an optional AC adapter for charging. Here one thing to note is proximity sensors that are placed at the left earcup will save your battery. How? it detects the movement of your headphones. If you wear the headphones it turns the music on and when you remove them it automatically pauses the music. This feature makes your work easy and also saves your battery.
Is WH-1000XM4 user friendly?
Superior build quality, great battery life, excellent ANC performance all were present in the XM3 but one feature that broke the users heart is the lack of multiple bluetooth connect. Sony took almost 2 years to add this feature but finally they came with it.
In the XM4 you get the Multiconnect feature. With the multipoint connect feature your Sony WH-XM4 can connect with the 2 bluetooth devices. Suppose your headphone is connected to 2 Bluetooth devices and the call comes on a device then it automatically detects and picks a call.
It also smoothly switches to either of the 2 devices according to need. Sony Headphone connect app makes things better and easy. It allows you to adjust the ambient settings as per your need. Also EQ settings can be adjusted with the app. Wearing the headset is quite simple.
Adjust the headband length according to need. You will get R and L letters on the left and right earcup. wear them according to those letters. Sony WH-1000XM4 has tons of features so you need to read the instruction manual carefully to get the maximum benefit. Did I forget to tell you about the voice assistant feature?
What’s in the box?
- Carrying Case
- Plug Adaptor for In-flight Use
- Headphone cable (approx. 47 1/4")
- USB Cable: Type-C
Who are they for?
- Those who want the best ANC headphones
- Who frequently travels, because those people need headphone that have great battery, high comfort along with ANC.