Today I am going to review Sony noise cancelling headphones WH1000xm4.

I have been a longtime fan of Sony’s wireless headphones. I have owned the extra bass headphones and I have also owned the xm3s which are the predecessor to these and those were pretty much the go-to pick for noise cancelling headphones over the past two years.

Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones WH1000xm4 Review

So right when I picked these up when these first came out I noticed that the boxes between the Sony WH-1000xm3 and Sony WH-1000xm4 are almost identical.

I am not saying that anyone can get confused but they’re very similar and if you take them right out of the box you might not even really know you’re getting the new pair you will have a hard time telling the difference between both of them when you look at them and their actual physical design.

Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Industry Leading Noise Canceling Overhead Headphones with Mic for Phone-Call and Alexa Voice Control, Silver

However, they did upgrade a couple of things so they increased the pleather padding around the headphones totally so the ear cushions are now a bit cushier. There is more padding on the ear cushions. They added a little bit more cushioning on the headband and they increased the actual headband itself so they widened it.

They are nice they don’t necessarily get hot but they’re not as breathable as a breathable like air fabric. The build frame seems to be about the same however what they did change is they changed the build finish you’re no longer getting that plastic or that shiny plastic. They now added this matte rubberized finish and it looks really good.

You also find the same two colors they have a black and silver. I have got the black and it still has all the copper Sony accents everywhere.

Using them with movies or listening to music for a prolonged time is not an issue and the Sony WH-1000xm3 were still my top pick for traveling in comfort and that’s even without mentioning their noise cancelling capabilities.

Sony also added a small sensor inside the ear cup and what the sensor does is basically now can detect when the headphones are on or off your head so if you slide them off music or content will automatically pause now.

The button layout is also still really similar to the Sony WH-1000xm3 with the noise cancelling toggle custom button which can be remapped to a couple of different shortcuts and assistance and same with the power button which is now alongside with a headphone jack port and Sony is still including their microfiber carrying hard case which also includes short charging cable.

Controls are still touched controls, whether you like it or not I have gotten used to them and I think they are really good. I have never been a fan of touch controls but Sony does them good I never felt like any of my inputs were leggy or inconsistent and Sony has gotten this panel to be responsive while you’re using it. The touch panel based on my knowledge seems to be identical to the Sony WH-1000xm3. I don’t think they necessarily changed anything.

Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Industry Leading Noise Canceling Overhead Headphones with Mic for Phone-Call and Alexa Voice Control, Silver

Let’s talk about the internal hardware updates

They are now using Bluetooth 5.0 and finally using and supporting multi-device connectivity so you can connect these sony noise cancelling headphones WH1000xm4 to a phone, a laptop multiple devices all at once, and they seamlessly switch between each other. It works really good you can go straight from watching videos on one device to answering a phone call on the other without skipping a beat or the annoying Bluetooth switch.

The WH-1000XM4 headphones may simultaneously link with two Bluetooth devices for maximum convenience. As a result, when a call comes in, your headphones are aware of which device is ringing and instantly connect to it. At the touch of a button, you’ll also be able to swiftly and easily swap your headphones between the two devices.

Speak to chat is another feature they added this year so if you’ve got the headphones on and let’s say you’re listening to music and someone comes up to you can start talking and the headphones are going to turn off noise cancelling. Pause your content and turn on this ambient mode that amplifies the sounds coming into the headphones so this feature was really cool.

Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Industry Leading Noise Canceling Overhead Headphones with Mic for Phone-Call and Alexa Voice Control, Silver

With the AirPods, they’re called transparency mode and they have kind of a sony version of this I did find however if you put your hand over the ear cup. It is a bit faster there’s less latency than when you’re using the speak to chat mode.

Another thing to mention is I wouldn’t necessarily recommend these for workouts they are good in terms of clamp force however I wouldn’t want to run with these or exercise in these because first of all they have no IP rating, they’re not sweat resistant, water-resistant.

They have no waterproof resistance at all and Sony’s claiming that so I wouldn’t have these anywhere near water. Or in general, working out with them I don’t think they’re the greatest pair to use.

But when it comes to noise cancelling functionality let’s talk about that they are good at drowning out sounds. They’re a bit better than the Sony WH-1000xm3 and sound quality paired with the Sony connect app is about what you’d expect from a generational upgrade in terms of headphones.

Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Industry Leading Noise Canceling Overhead Headphones with Mic for Phone-Call and Alexa Voice Control, Silver

They also deliver the classic powerful base that Sony has really done a great job with minimizing any muddiness soundtracks and movies. Soundtracks sound powerful and amazing with these Sony noise cancelling headphones WH1000xm4 so I would recommend them for that as well. So with the Sony connect app you still have that awesome flexibility. With these, you can customize shortcuts dial in a custom eq and have noise cancelling turned on.

Now noise canceling is by far one of the best features of these headphones. I think one of the reasons why a lot of people buy them is for their noise cancelling capability. It drowns out more of that idle noise like the ones you’d hear from car engines or air conditioner’s voices or loud sudden noises still get drowned out.

The HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1 achieves an unequalled signal-to-noise ratio for low distortion and great sound quality for portable devices thanks to a built-in analogue amplifier. The headphones’ powerful 40mm drivers with Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP) diaphragms are ideal for handling strong rhythms and can reproduce a wide frequency range up to 40kHz.

The Sony WH-1000xm4 headphones use two technologies to maximize noise cancellation performance: Personal Noise Cancelling Optimizer, created individually for you, and Atmospheric Pressure Optimizing, created specifically for traveling on Air.

When compared to standard Bluetooth® audio, LDAC transfers almost three times as much data (at a maximum transmission rate of 990 kbps), enabling you to listen to High-Resolution Audio content in superb quality that comes as near as possible to a dedicated cable connection.

Battery life is still the same on the Sony WH-1000xm4 so you’re getting 30 hours with noise cancelling on and 36 hours with noise cancelling off. Noise cancelling does still have that vacuum feel like you’re getting sucked into space when you put it on. It’s not extremely aggressive but it’s still there.

Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Industry Leading Noise Canceling Overhead Headphones with Mic for Phone-Call and Alexa Voice Control, Silver

I don’t think I have found someone to do noise cancelling yet maybe the AirPods do it somewhat better than sony in terms of the vacuum feel because they use these vents that allow the air to not essentially suck your eardrums out but yeah it’s there it still has that vacuum feel that I feel like i’m a bit sensitive too.

A variety of intelligent technologies are employed by the Sony WH-1000xm4 headphones to produce a smooth, hands-free listening experience. To instantly pause your music in Speak-to-Chat, for instance, just begin chatting. You may also enjoy adaptive playing since a proximity sensor and two acceleration sensors can tell if your headphones are on or off.

Smart technology known as adaptive sound control changes ambient sound settings for the best listening experience based on where you are and what you’re doing.

Adaptive Sound Control adjusts sound to the environment as it becomes used to recognizing places you frequent, including your job, the gym, or a favourite café.

Your headphones’ proximity sensor, along with two acceleration sensors, can determine whether you are wearing them or not and adjust the playback to conserve battery life.

The WH-1000XM4 headphones combine elegant design with superior comfort. Foamed urethane earpads that are very comfortable and pressure-relieving boost ear/pad contact for a secure fit. Additionally, because of their lightweight design, you won’t even realize you’re wearing them.

Sony noise cancelling headphones WH1000xm4 are extremely easy to recommend to anyone that is looking for a high-end pair of Bluetooth headphones that also want noise cancelling capabilities and I have always recommended the Sony WH-1000xm3 so the Sony WH-1000xm4 are no different. For me, Sony WH-1000xm4 are one of the best noise cancelling headphones.

But I will tell you one thing if you do not necessarily need the multi-device support or you don’t care about the extra little tweaks they added I’d say go ahead and check out the Sony WH-1000xm3

So maybe a pair of the Sony WH-1000xm3 is going to get you farther than Sony WH-1000xm4 but if you have the Sony WH-1000xm3 and are itching to throw another 350 out these are an awesome pair to get and what else can I say Sony pretty much nailed it with the WH-1000xm4s.

Technical Specifications (sony.com)

DRIVER UNIT40mm, dome type (CCAW Voice coil)

DSEE EXTREMEYes

FREQUENCY RESPONSE4Hz-40,000Hz

FREQUENCY RESPONSE(BLUETOOTH® COMMUNICATION)20Hz – 20,000Hz (44.1kHz Sampling) / 20Hz – 40,000Hz (LDAC 96kHz Sampling, 990kbps)

FREQUENCY RESPONSE (ACTIVE OPERATION)4Hz-40,000Hz

PASSIVE OPERATIONYes

NFCYes

CORD LENGTHHeadphone cable (approx. 1.2m, OFC strands, gold-plated stereo mini plug)

Sony wh-1000xm4 release date: August 2020

Sony WH-1000XM4 vs. Sony WH-1000XM3

Sony WH-1000xm4Sony WH-1000xm3
Frequency range:4-40.000Hz4-40.000Hz
Connection:WirelessWireless
Weight:254g/8.99 oz254g/8.99 oz
Bluetooth:version 5.0version 4.2
Battery life:38h per charge(30h with ANC)38h per charge (30h with ANC)
Charging cable:USB-CUSB-C
Mic design:5 microphones4 microphones
Wireless range:33ft (10m)30ft (9.1m)
Bluetooth codecs:SBC, AAC, LDACSBC, AAC, aptX, aptX HD, LDAC
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Categories: Electronics