The long-awaited fan on popular headphones above the ear The Sony WH-1000XM3 audio cancellation, which inevitably travels with the name WH-1000XM4, introduces exciting AI functions and made a few changes to some of the hats that were already industry leaders.
Build and build quality
From the outside, the WH-1000XM4 is almost identical to its predecessor. The cups appear larger and now have a visible sensor on the left side of the ear cup that extends when you remove them, but the comfort and general construction are the same.
The leather cushions of the ear are incredibly soft, and the forehead band is ripped, too. It will not be difficult to carry them all day in the office or on a long trip.
They are still available in black or silver.
And what about the new AI (artificial intelligence) features? Let’s talk about the new dynamic audio control, “Speak-to-Chat” mode and the improved DSEE Extreme …
Like other smart features, the Extreme version of DSEE (Sony’s Digital Sound Enhancement Engine technology) uses AI Edge (meaning AI can work on a local device, without having to connect to the cloud) to compensate for lost audio with digital compression.
This implementation can analyze music in real time, recognize musical instruments, musical genres and other unique musical instruments, and successfully recover sounds from a higher level.
What makes it even more interesting is that it was built in partnership with recording studios Sony Music Studios Tokyo, which works to define its sonic integrity. The results are completely convincing.
Similarly, Adaptive Sound Control can be adjusted automatically depending on the frequency with which you visit. You can customize the places you visit most, such as your home or office, with audio preferences in the Sony Headphones Connect app. Headphones will adjust as you go from place to place.
Perhaps the most interesting AI function is the “Speak-to-Chat” mode, with AI in your head to stop the music when you speak, which means you won’t have to turn off your headphones.
It is certainly a wise decision, although each one will decide for himself whether to apply it in his day-to-day life. For one thing, talking about active headset headphones is rare. Your voice sounds like it’s moving through a tube.
Second, it is disrespectful to keep your headphones on, and even if the music you listen to stops, someone else may never know that this feature exists.
Music restarts 30 seconds after the last speech, which is not much, though you can adjust it in the app to add another 15 seconds.
Among other new features, there is a multipoint connection to connect two Bluetooth devices simultaneously, with the discovery of whether you are wearing them or not.
This last feature is fully functional. Using a proximity sensor and two speed sensors, the headphones automatically stop the music when you take it out and eventually turn it off.
While the WH-1000XM4 has the same dedicated QN1 processor for audio output as the WH-1000XM3, Sony claims to continue to improve cancellation by reducing high and medium waves. This is especially noticeable with ambient sound.
The sound cancellation here is incredibly good. Sony’s ANC is able to separate you from the outside world.
It is somewhat controversial, however, that they do not support Bluetooth aptX. This is usually a codec used for high quality wireless play.
However, Sony has chosen to focus on the provision of Bluetooth LDAC, which also provides streaming Hello Fi. Now that LDAC is part of Android, it looks like a good decision on Sony’s side. Users will probably not notice the absence of aptX.
The sound of the WH-1000XM4 sounds like angels in heavenly harmony, those are angels capable of delivering powerful, rocky songs when needed. That said, there is no difference in sound compared to the previous one.
They use the same 40mm liquid crystal polymer drivers found in the WH-1000XM3, which are characterized by very high altitudes and visible buses. The lower waves are stronger, but not higher, while the middle sounds are much softer. These headphones are not only good for listening to music, but also great podcasts.
Apparently, they have a high resolution of 24 bits at 96 kHz. They can be used for 360 Reality Audio, provided by Deezer and Tidal HD.
It is noteworthy that multipoint communication impairs LDAC, which means that when you use quality it is slightly lower.
Battery life is approximately 30 hours, longer than two days for normal use. And that’s when the audio cancellation is turned on. Headphones can last up to 38 hours outside the ANC.
If you run out of battery, you can take advantage of the fast charging function to have 5 hours of wireless playback in just 10 minutes via a USB-C port. For a full charge, you will need about three hours according to Sony.
Price and availability
The Sony WH-1000XM4 is priced around at $350, which proves to be high. They come with a nice safety box, a travel adapter, an AUX cable, and a USB-C cable.
You can buy the XM4 from Sony’s website, as well as electronics stores such as Amazon, and others.
If you don’t need smart features, then you will get WH-1000XM3 at a better price.
You can also check out our selection of the best headphones for Bose, Cambridge Audio or Nura models.
Instead of relaxing, Sony has upgraded the WH-1000XM4 to some amazing locations.
The new feature of Edge IA is very critical, and it has somehow been able to improve the already canceled audio cancellation.
All of this could mean that the headphones did not produce good sound. But they do. With smooth, fun sound and music, the WH-1000XM4 is no shortage.
However, if all these new features do not appeal to you, older generations of XM3s will suffice.
- Typology: Headphones over the ear or circumaural
- Battery life: 38 hours (without audio cancellation) 30 hours (audio cancellation)
- Wireless distance: 10m
- Conexiones: USB-C / Bluetooth 5.0 / NFC
- Frequency: 4 Hz – 40 kHz
- Active audio cancellation: Yes
- Audio codds: SBC, AAC, LDAC
- Driver Size: 40mm
- Voice controls: Yes
- Touch controls: Yes
- Weight: 254g
- Colors: Silver | The beast