Sony WH-1000XM4 Review
Updated: Oct 14, 2020
They are final here, the brand new Sony WH-1000XM4. Even though the name didn't change much, the headphones did improve quiet well. With DSEE Extreme audio up-scaling, and multi-point pairing, these are worth taking in consideration. Stick around to see if these are the pair you are looking for.
You can expect these to look identical to the WH-100XM3. The finish is a little bit more matte and rubbery. In terms of materials, you’re mostly looking at a high-quality plastic build with supply leather padding. The result is a product that feels mostly durable while remaining extremely comfortable to wear for an extended period of time. Overall these are a pretty pair of headphones.
Controls are fairly simple, around the outside of the ear-cups you’ll find physical control buttons for power/pairing and a button that cycles through noise-cancelling modes, as well as a 3.5mm aux. jack and a USB-C port for charging. The outer part of the ear-cups act as a touch-capacitive control panel that can be used to play, pause or skip music, and raise or lower the volume.
While the Sony WH-1000XM4 didn’t get an upgrade in battery life to the WH-100XM3, you're getting a good amount of 30 hours with noise cancelling turned on and around 38 hours with noise cancelling turned off. Even though the battery didn't improve you can still quick charge these with 10 minutes to give you 5 hours of playback time.
Noise Cancellation Quality
With the WH-1000XM4 , you’re getting a much greater sense of noise cancellation in the mid-ranges, those sorts of areas where you get a low-level humming kind of sound that you could attribute to a fan, or an air conditioning unit, or even an engine noise. It’s never fully silenced unfortunately , but it’s remarkably quiet, and as soon as you have actual audio playing through the headphones, you can’t hear the outside world at all. Though high wind can still cause a bit of irrelevant noise to come through, it’s otherwise among the best noise cancelling Bluetooth headphones.
Noise Cancelling Modes
The noise-cancelling modes are intelligent, with your approval, the WH-1000XM4 headphones can learn where you are using geo-location access, and apply your choice of level noise-cancellation, or ambient sound pass through depending on where you are located. So, at home you may prefer a fully cancelled noise mode, while in the office you may want voices to come through. With the feature activated, the Sony headphones play a small chiming tone when it’s reached one of your set locations, and dials the noise-cancellation up or back appropriately. Though GPS requirements mean it won’t be able to work during a underground shuttle , you can preset your station or travel hub in the accompanying Headphones Connect app, and have it activate your preferred noise cancelling settings whilst above ground before descending.
Sony’s using the same 40mm drivers in the WH-1000XM4 as they used in the WH-1000XM3, so tonally and in terms of mix, there’s not much to differentiate from the WH-1000XM4 to the WH-1000XM3. It’s a warm and balanced sound that does well to offer a wide sound-stage when required and detail that can pierce through a powerful bass performance. On the noise-cancelling front, Sony is using its Dual Noise Sensor tech, making use of 2 mics in each ear-cup to suck in sound and analyse it with the QN1 noise cancelling processor. This allows the headphones to adjust its noise cancellation response gradually quickly, at more than 700 times a second. It’s fantastically powerful, and never gets in the way of your music.
A sensor in the ear cups will recognize when you take the headphones off, and pause music accordingly, resuming playback automatically when you replace them in your head. If they’re paused for a few minutes (at a gap of your choosing), they’ll automatically turn off to save battery life. A new multi-point connection lets the headphones connect to 2 devices at once, intelligently switching between both as the requirement of each device dictates say, to deliver a notification or answering a call.
With the New Speak-to-Chat feature option switched on, the headphones microphone will intelligently recognize when you’ve started talking, and pause your music while ramping up ambient noise being fed into the headphones. It’ll let you have a chat naturally without taking your headphones off, with a short pause occurring after you stop chatting before resuming music playback. However, it’s a bit inconvenient, if you decide to break into song and sing along with your tunes with the feature activated, it’ll pause your track, ending your karaoke session.
Should you buy the WH-1000XM4?
If You want the best noise cancelling headphones, there’s no doubt that, when it comes to reducing background noise, you can’t do any better than the Sony WH-1000XM4. They’re the perfect carry on for your flight thanks to their long battery life and exceptional ANC, and are well-worth it for travelers. If You're working from home and need some peace and quiet these headphones can finally bring you that relief, and with Amazons Free 2 Day shipping with Amazon Prime, you can start enjoying these headphones in no time. If you’ve been indoors due to Covid-19 and need some peace and quiet, the Sony WH-1000XM4 can provide that comfort you’ve been searching for.
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